Here at Automatic Watches, caring for your automatic watch is highly important to keep it in tip top condition, regardless of the ever lowing cost of owning automatic watches. So here is our very own top 10 points for caring for your automatic watch – or in fact any good watch.
- Don’t go beating your watch just to see if it can stand up to it as most automatic watches will not. This is especially true of the more vulnerable pocket watches. If you drop a pocket watch, chances are the balance staff will probably break. Its a good recommendation to wear a chain with a pocket watch when you carry it!
- If you are going to be working in or near something that is bad for your watch, such as cement or chemicals, take it off.
- Don’t get into the shower if you’re still wearing your watch. The soap, shampoo and other toiletries can eat away at the watch’s gaskets and destroy them
- Don’t pull out the crown on a mechanical automatic watch or use any of the buttons on the watch if under the water. If you do that you’ll allow water to enter the watch. There is an exception to this as some of the newest watches use magnetic switches in their pushers. They do not have any way for water to enter when the pushers are used. This feature is only available on a few, very expensive watches, so don’t try your luck trying to see if your watch has it!
- To keep your watch clean as well as safe the, you must take it off when you are doing something that will ruin it. If you work with cutting meat, cooking all kinds of food, making dough for bread etc, some of it will inevitably get stuck to the watch in hard to get at places. If people had any idea how much gunge gets trapped in their watchband they would not want to wear it while eating!
- Most watches, despite what the BAR or water resistance rating says, are generally not suitable for SCUBA diving. If the watch is not rated at 20 BAR or above then it absolutely should not be used for SCUBA diving. Swimming may be fine if the watch is tested for water resistance beforehand. Washing the car with a garden hose can even be bad as the pressure of the water from the hose can exceed the water resistance of the watch.
- A mechanical watch should really be serviced every 3 to 7 years weather you wear it or not. This is mainly because the watch oil can dry out. If it is non water resistant, then watch dirt will collect. Eventually the oil dried up parts will wear out. Of course you can ignore this advice but the end result could be an expensive repair bill. Worse is when the worn out parts are no longer available. This makes the watch unrepairable or custom parts need to be made which is very expensive. Pocket watches should be serviced every 2 years as they don’t have a sealed case.
- Don’t touch the bridges or wheels of a pocket watch (or any other mechanical watch) with your fingers. This can result in rusted parts and oils from your finger prints can actually etch the plates of the movement. Likewise, don’t blow on the movement as this will introduce moisture which could also lead to rust.
- Keep a pocket watch clean and dry as they are very susceptible to rust and dirt. Avoid storing the watch in a damp environment, especially in places like a basement or garage. Bad storage, besides lack of service, can ruin a cherished family heirloom faster than rust and dirt!
- Modern mechanical watches generally have some magnetic resistance. On the other hand, most old pocket watches do not. If you place your watch near a strong magnetic source, such as a magnetic elevator or speaker magnet, it may become magnetized. When this happens the watch will either stop completely or its timekeeping will become erratic. The only cure is to have it professionally demagnetized by a watchmaker or jeweler.
As a last general rule for all watches, watch winders for watches are not really recommended as they have a tendency to wear out a watch faster than normal. The exception is a complicated perpetual calendar watch. It doesn’t take all that long to wind a watch or to set it. If you use a watch winder regularly, you’ll just wear out the automatic winding parts fast.
I’ve always wanted to know what the longest lasting automatic wristwatch is, but I think they are all pretty much similar in their lifespan. Some people may ask, “how long will an automatic watch last”, or maybe “how long should an automatic watch run”, which are pretty much the same question. Well, for your information, a correctly serviced automatic watch should normally run 30-48 hours on a single winding. Of course, if the watch is worn on a daily basis, there is no need to wind it manually and the automatic parts are rested at night when it’s not being worn.