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Image of the mechanism at the back of a watch

Maintaining a Mechanical Watch

A mechanical watch is much more than a timepiece. It is an emblem of the culmination of art and science, a salute to classical ingenuity. Whether we own one or a hundred, each mechanical watch is as special and dear to us as the first.

Not only is it a pure status symbol, it is also a source of great personal pride with immense sentimental value – which is why it requires extra care. 

Here are some tips on maintaining a mechanical watch to ensure it remains in top condition for generations to come.

What You Should Do

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Clean Your Mechanical Watch Regularly

  • Use a soft damp cloth to wipe off dust particles then wipe it dry with a lint-free cloth.
  • Pay close attention to the area where the case meets the bezel, around the lens and in between the links.
  • To clean the metallic bracelets, use a soft hairbrush.

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Tips on Winding a Mechanical Watch

  • Wind your mechanical watch daily to prevent watch part lubricants from congealing.
  • Set a consistent winding schedule (preferably at the same time every day) for every wind-up.
  • We recommend winding your watch in the morning hours before strapping it on.
  • Stop winding if you experience any slight resistance during the process to prevent over winding.
  • Only wind a watch when it is off your wrist.

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Prevent Water Damage to Your Watch

  • Take your water-resistant mechanical watch to a professional watchmaker every 1 to 1.5 years to test if they are still waterproof.
  • Take your watch to a professional immediately if you notice any misting (as this may be a sign of a broken seal or gasket).
  • Do not expose water-resistant watches to chlorine, soap, or salt water.
  • Always clean your watches with freshwater and wipe them dry with a soft dry cloth immediately after they come into contact with soap, salt water, or chlorine.

What You Should Avoid

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Strong Magnetic Fields

  • They make your watch operate inaccurately by running fast, slowing down, or even stopping altogether due to magnetic attraction.
  • Never expose your watch to any magnetic field including but not limited to those in computers and microphones.

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Tip: Take your watch to professionals for demagnetisation regularly.

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Extreme Temperatures

  • Extreme high temperatures can cause your watch to expand while excessive low temperatures can cause contraction. Excessive heat may also congeal the watch lubricants causing friction on its gears and accelerating its wear and tear.
  • Avoid extended exposure to direct sunlight as it will cause your watch colour to fade while the heat can also shorten its battery life.

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  • Avoid any contact between your watch and chemicals such as perfumes, oils, cleaning supplies, colognes, among others. Chemicals could damage its gasket, metallic bracelets, cases, and fabric materials.

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Tip: Like your jewellery, always wear your watch as the last item when all the perfume or cologne has dried up.

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Sudden Shocks and Impacts

  • Sudden shocks and impacts could damage the watch permanently. You could also scratch or damage the crystals.
  • Avoid wearing your watch while golfing, biking on cobblestones or while attempting any vigorous activities or sports.

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Tip: In case of any incident, take your watch to professionals who can reliably diagnose and repair any resulting damage.

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Tip: If you are not wearing or showcasing the watch, place it in a watch winder to keep the watch mechanism running. This will help prolong the life of the watch.

Despite all the rules and admonishments above, a mechanical watch is one of the most sentimental personal devices you can own. Taking care of it not only keeps it in top condition but is also a show of respect and appreciation for the craftsmanship and tradition that went into making it.

For most people, this is one of the only machines that they intimately interact with. Therefore, keep it wound, clean, dry and give it some tender loving and care.

If you would like to find out more on how you can protect your watches and other valuable possessions, leave your contact details via the 'Contact Me' button below and our representatives will get in touch with you.

Disclaimer - The content of the above article is not intended to constitute professional advice. Although all content is believed to be accurate, Chubb Insurance Singapore Limited (Chubb) makes no warranty or guarantee about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the content of this article. Users relying on any content do so at their own risk.

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