So, you just got yourself a mechanical watch (or perhaps you’re angling to get one tomorrow) – how do you take care of this little machine? And make no mistake – it is a machine, and needs to be taken care of.
There’s lots of little bits and parts (you can see them in action, and how they work together, here), and as with a ll things mechanical, taking care of a watch, and giving it some preventative maintenance, will save you from expensive repairs down the road (and the temptation to toss the watch in the recycle bin).
Luckily, short of taking the watch in for a full service ever 3-5 years, it’s a pretty easy checklist to remember:
- Keep it wound: if it’s your daily wearer, wind up a manual (until you feel resistance) before putting it on. If you have an automatic, just strap it on and go. If it’s not in daily wear, you’ll probably want to get it fully wound every couple of weeks. Ove at ABlogToWatch, they taked about this subject a bit more right here.
- Don’t set the date on your watch between 10 pm and 2 am (that is, the time shown on the watch) to prevent damage to the movement.
- If you can avoid it, don’t wind the watch backwards when setting the time.
- Avoid exposure to magnetism, excessive shock, and deeper watch than the watch is rated for.
- Keep it clean: you don’t have to have an ultrasonic cleaner, but at least hit it with an old toothbrush now and again to get the crud off.
If you’d like more details, Gear Patrol has an excellent article by Jason Heaton (here) that gives you more details. And I know I linked it above, but if you’ve not seen this video (here) on how a mechanical watch works, you owe it to yourself to check it out.
And this reminds me – I’m going to need to find a good shop sometime here in the near future for some of the professional-style maintenance. Anyone have a recommendation, either in the Chicagoland area, or mail order? Let me know in the comments, or via email.