(Image source; Pinterest user ‘Doug Kincaid’) Clumsiness but also ignorance can be the source of ruining that perfectly fine (pre-owned) watch. If you don’t know any better, it is very tempting to go for the cheapest address to have your precious father’s or grandfather’s watch restored. But if you want to be sure that the…
(Image source; Pinterest user ‘Doug Kincaid’)
Clumsiness but also ignorance can be the source of ruining that perfectly fine (pre-owned) watch. If you don’t know any better, it is very tempting to go for the cheapest address to have your precious father’s or grandfather’s watch restored. But if you want to be sure that the watch comes back as authentic as possible, you have to do some research. Which isn’t too difficult these days, with the number of collector’s websites and on-line magazines. Besides that, there are other examples how you can ruin your precious watch, even when it is fresh out of the box. Allow us to give you some examples in this article.
RTFM! (read the f manual)
Yes, read it. That little manual (sometimes no more than a one-pager) is there for a reason. Instead of fiddling around with the calendar complication on a Sunday morning without reading the manual first, take a few moments to read how to properly set it.
If not, you can damage your watch and it needs to go back to the dealer (or worse, to the manufacturer, and that can take a long time). This doesn’t only apply to complicated calendars like an annual or perpetual, but also for your ‘simple’ date watch.
Remember we have had customers who damaged a new watch so badly by forcing a date change in the wrong hours that the service centre refused to repair this under warranty conditions.
As briefly mentioned in the introduction of this article, if you are planning to have your watch restored, make sure to:
- Do proper research about the company who is going to do it for you;
- Make sure you know which parts need to stay original/authentic and which ones can be replaced;
- Be very – v e r y – cautious for companies who like to polish a watch ‘like new’.
- See a. Get references if possible.
We come across over-polished watches all the time (remember: gone is gone), and although nice & shiny, in most cases the original nice shapes are totally gone. It will not only damage your watch (aesthetics), it will also ruin the value of it. Check the corners of your watch after a repair often edges are worn. This is a big part in the appraisal valuation of our pre-owned watch buying process during our in-stock purchasing.
It may sound like commercial nonsense to you, but your watch DOES need a periodical service. We’ve come across 30-year-old Rolexes that have never been serviced.
The good part is, that these watches can be easily serviced and repaired. The bad part is, it will be expensive, as a number of parts need to be replaced by new ones because the old ones are worn out due to wear and tear (you need to understand that oil is very important, similar to the engine of your car).
If you have your watch serviced every few years, you will prevent the expensive replacement of movement parts. Sometimes, with even older watches, replacing the parts can be a hassle. Even from the big brands out there. We can help with servicing enquiries and advice. (see the image below you can see a small scratch on the case).
If your watch says it is water resistant to 30 meters. That’s quite deep actually, however, in reality, you shouldn’t even take it for a swim. 30 meters, or 3 ATM pressure, indicates that it is water resistant, but not suitable for swimming due to the pressure, if you move your arms around in the water, the pressure already very high. So do not take these ‘meters’ (or feet) indication too literally. You can swim with watches that have a WR of 100 meters (or 10 ATM), and dive with those that have a 200 meters WR. Deep-sea diving (should only be done with watches especially made for that purpose. Below are an Omega Planet Ocean 600m water resistance, a Rolex Yachtmaster – 100m water resistance and the Rolex Submariner 300m water resistance.
After Swimming Care
Make sure to properly clean (rinse) your watch after swimming. Especially when swimming in salt sea water, you need to rinse it with tap water. Also, have the seals, crown and pushers checked once a year if you actively use your watch in the water. Did water enter your watch? in this case bring it immediately to your watchmaker, seals need changing and it must be dried professionally.
Wear it don’t box it.
Remember your watch is mechanical, it’s made of metal parts that require fine oils to lubricate it. If you mothball a watch (some people do with rare items) you risk damage over time as oils flow south to the bottom of the watch.
These oils now leave exposed cogs and gears and corrosion can occur. The watch will start to slow as oils appear thicker in certain parts of the watch. It’s vital that you wear an automatic watch every week at least to turn the oils. Most collectors have a watch winder, this allows the watch to rotate several times a minute to mimic the human wrist, thus keeping the oils moving. See below for some example watch winders.
A final thought, watches have and should be passed down through the generations. This is entirely feasible with right care and maintenance. Clocks and watches from the early 1700s are still working, Bregeut still remake many of the original watches and still service all of the movements, it’s this that keeps the value of watches and the status of the brands.