Caring for your watch

All watches, quartz or mechanical, require regular servicing to maintain their proper function. Service requirements vary between models and with use, but most manufacturers recommend that your watch is serviced every 4-6 years. In reality most people don’t do this and take an “if it isn’t broken don’t fix it” attitude. While it isn’t what we would recommend, if you decide to do this it is important to ensure you stop wearing your watch if it shows any signs of needing attention.

In a mechanical watch, signs of being ready for a service can be: not running for long between winds or wear, losing or gaining time outside of the normal parameters or stopping all together. Quartz watches will often just stop, lose time or behave erratically. Batteries only lasting for a short amount of time can also be a sign that your watch is having to work harder than it should to keep running too.

When your watch is ready to for servicing, we have service accounts with Omega, Longines, Tissot, Tag Heuer, Raymond Weil, Rotary and Seiko, plus a network of independent specialists for most other watch brands and vintage watches.

It is also a good idea to ensure that your watch is kept clean externally, as dirt between links will accelerate wear, in addition to making your watch look less attractive. This can be done at home with a damp cloth and soft brush such as a child’s tooth brush, or for a small charge we can clean it for you.


Water resistance

Most, although not all, watches are made with a degree of water resistance. Traditionally this has been expressed in the form of depth in metres, but this can be deceptive: it doesn’t mean that you can dive to the stated depth but that the watch is resistant to water at the comparable static pressure found at that depth. We prefer to use the alternative measurement of bars of pressure as it is less confusing. 1 bar is approximately equivalent to 10m of static pressure, so a 100m water resistant watch can also be described as water resistant to 10 bars of pressure. Put into context a decent power shower can produce 4 or more bars of pressure and reasonably vigorous swimming upwards of 5 bars so we don’t recommend swimming in a watch rated less than 10 bars or 100 metres.

It is important to remember that water resistance is reliant on rubber seals in the case back, crystal and the winder or buttons. The rubber deteriorates, particularly with exposure to salt or chemicals such as chlorine or shower gels, so you should always rinse your watch after swimming or bathing. If you rely on your watch being water resistant it is recommended that the seals are checked each year. Even the top brand watches only guarantee water resistance for one year from purchase or servicing.


Special care for vintage watches

Wearing a vintage watch is a bit like running a vintage car; they can be more individual and characterful than their modern equivalents but will also often need more maintenance. Modern manufacturing tolerances have improved the timekeeping and reliability of watches and you shouldn’t expect a vintage watch to perform to the same standards as a modern watch. Acceptable tolerances of timekeeping will vary between brands, movement types and ages so it is impossible to say what to expect in a general statement, but we are happy to advise on individual watches.

Although every effort is made to maintain the original water resistant properties we do not guarantee the water resistance of our vintage watches over 30 years old. Again we can advise more clearly on an individual basis.

Where possible we try to use original and new parts when servicing watches for sale and for customers. Often original parts for vintage watches are simply not available so alternative generic, modified or salvaged parts have to be used, but only where the watchmaker has utter confidence in them.