Much like your car, a high quality watch is a finely tuned machine. Many of its components are extremely delicate and great care must be taken to make sure they continue to function as they should. Like other pieces of expensive jewelry it only takes a few moments in the wrong environment or under the wrong conditions to do lasting damage. It is extremely important to know how to properly care for you watch to keep it in the best condition possible.
Watches and other fine jewelry should always be stored in a dry, clean and well protected environment. A sturdy, cloth-lined jewelry box or case is an ideal place to store an expensive watch. A box or case that has dividers and compartments will protect the glass and soft metals from being scratched or dulled from contact with other pieces of jewelry. If your watch has a leather band, make sure the watch is stored so the band is not twisted or bent. This can damage the leather causing it to weaken in areas where stress has occurred.
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Maintenance and Repair
Most watches require little actual maintenance. There are, however, small maintenance procedures that should be followed to ensure your watch works properly for several years to come. They include:
Broken links – Watches that have bands made with separate metal links should be taken to your jeweler for immediate repair. The longer the links are allowed to remain broken, the greater the risk of more damage being done to the band.
Broken crystals – If you notice the watch’s crystal is broken in any way, immediately take it in for repairs. Even the smallest crack or chip can allow dust and dirt inside the casing. The intricate gears and workings inside a watch can be irreparably damaged if dust or humidity are introduced.
Broken leather bands – Leather can dry out and crack from lack of use. If a watch has been stored for an extensive period of time, look closely at the leather band. If any cracks or rips are noticed, the first stop should be your jeweler. Leather is normally very strong and supple, but if it is worn and overly dry, a minimum amount of stress or pressure is all that is needed to cause it to break.
Battery replacement – Most watch batteries will last anywhere from two to three years. Keeping a record of when the battery was replaced will remind you when it will need changed. It is important to remember that in most watches the back cover must be removed to replace the battery. To protect the sensitive insides, always allow your jewelry to change the battery for you. They have the tools necessary to perform the task, in addition to doing it in a secured environment that is free of airborne dust and debris.
When it comes to cleaning your watch, never attempt to do it yourself. The band is easily cleaned and polished with a jewelry cloth, but when it comes to cleaning the interior, that is a job best left to the professionals.