Thursday, February 3, 2011

Caring for your Luxury Watch.

You have just purchased an exquisite Patek Phillipe Complicated Perpetual Calendar luxury watch. This is a purchase of a lifetime, a legacy to be passed from generation to generation. After all Patek Phillipe is one of the most sought after watch brands , a triumph held since 1839. The craftsmanship is impeccable, the movement - a symphony of moving parts. However,
this watch, like all other watches, require proper storage and maintenance. A watch can last many lifetimes if taken care of. When purchasing your watch do a bit of research into caring for your watch.

  • A Watch is comprised of many different parts that need to be cared for in different ways. The part of the watch that bares most of the brunt of everyday wear and tear is the Watch Crystal (the transparent cover on your watch face) and requires care. The Sapphire Crystal is an extremely hard material - 9 on the Moh Scale and is scratch resistant to most materials.

    Caring for your Watch Crystal1. Wrap your Luxury watch in a soft cloth before placing it on a hard surface such as your granite kitchen counter.

    2. Whenever possible, store your Luxury Watch in its original box.

    3. Do not store your Luxury Watch with your other jewelry. Diamonds are harder than Sapphire Crystal and can scratch the surface.

    4. Avoid wearing your Watch during high risk activity such as moving heavy equipment or Sports such as Rock Climbing. (Some Sports Watches are crafted for this type of activity. Make sure your Watch is designed for those activities.)

    5. Avoid wearing other jewelry on the same wrist as the constant rubbing may cause abrasions to your Watch.

    6. Avoid inadvertently scraping you watch against corridor walls or on furniture. Some man made materials used to make simulated stone surfaces for furniture and walls comprise of incorporated silicon carbide which is a very hard material and can scratch most Watch Crystals.

    Although your watch is Sapphire Crystal, thereby making it Scratch Resistance, it is not Scratch Proof. (Read my post entitled "What makes my Watch Scratch Resistant?" to completely understand the concept.)

    Caring for your Watch Bracelet:
    Whether your Watch Bracelet is stainless steel, gold, gold-plated, platinum, titanium, Tungsten Carbide, rubber or a combination, the same precautions must be taken as Caring for your Watch Crystal. (above) .

    Caring for your Leather Watch Bands:
    1. Do not expose your Leather Strap to water. Water causes the leather to become brittle, crack, and eventually break.

    2. Do not expose your Watch strap to perfumes and other chemicals; this may degrade the leather.

    The length of your watches lifespan is determined by your care, personal wearing habits, and the climate in which you live.

    Caring for your Quartz Watch and battery.
    1. Do not pull out the stem/crown of your Watch in order to save your Watch battery. You will be harming your watch by exposing its movement to dust and moisture which may cause the Watch movement to malfunction. In addition, pulling out the Watch stem/crown will not save your battery life, it merely disengages the hands from the movement. The movement still runs depleting the battery power.

    2.Your Watch Battery is probably a 1.55 volt silver oxide battery. It will probably last 2-5 years depending on the brand, type of watch and movement. Do not attempt to change your watch battery yourself, especially if your Watch is water resistant. Opening the back of the Watch by an unauthorized individual may void the warranty of your watch. This task must be performed by an Authorized Service Center for your Watch Brand or an accomplished watchmaker who will change the battery by performing a detailed process of 27 intricate steps. Listed below are the main steps involved:
    Measurement of the lower working voltage

  • Timing test on quartz timer

  • Replacement of gaskets and crown if worn down, thereby hampering the watches water resistance.

  • Checking proper fit of case back and gasket seat

  • Testing the water-resistant models to ensure seal has been reestablished

  • Finally cleaning the case and metal bracelet

Quartz watches are powered by the battery and therefore do not need to be wound.
Caring for the movements of your Watch.
1. A loose, chipped or cracked crystal must be replaced immediately to prevent dust from entering the watch movement. Dust is a Watches nightmare. Even a tiny speck of dust can stop your Watch.

2. In the event a watch is only worn on rare occasions, store your Watch in its original box in a dry area to protect it from dust.

3. Regular maintenance is the key for the longevity of your watch. A mechanical movement needs to be serviced every 3-5 years, and a quartz movement at every battery change. Water resistance seals and gaskets can become worn resulting in small open spaces which will allow air, dust and moisture to enter.

Caring for Water Resistancy of your Watch.

1. Do not submerge your Watch in Water even though it states it is water resistant. Watches that are Water Resistance to 30 meters can only withstand minor splashes. No Watch is Water Proof. Some Watches like the Tag Heuer Aquaracers are Water Resistant to 300 meters; however, although it can used for extreme Water Sports , it requires a Helium valve for very deep dives.
2. Service your Watch once every 2-3 years to ensure that your watch remains water resistance. Seals and Gaskets may crack and need to be replaced. Water Resistance is not permanent.

3. Do not shower, bathe or swim while wearing your watch. Other agents such as chlorine, steam, soap, mildew, salt water and perfume, may enter the watch. If not cleaned immediately, these agents will over time corrode the gaskets and the seals thereby effecting the watches water resistance as well as allowing dust to enter, damaging the movements of your watch.

There is no substitute for good watch habits. Take care of your Watch and it will keep on ticking.


  1. Thank you for the post, I am a watch collector and the tips you have given are a great help. You have offered tips on simple and effective ways of taking care of one’s watches. Thanks and keep up.

  2. Thank You! I value your comment.