How to Care For Your Watch:
1. Storage is Key
Keep your watches in a dry, temperature-controlled environment. Humidity can get into watches, and moisture can destroy dials and cause movements to rust. Avoid hot tubs and leaving your watch in the bathroom when steam is present.
2. Insure Your Valuable Time Piece!
Maintain a separate record of serial numbers and photographs of your watches. In the event of theft, you will have the proper information for authorities and your insurance agent. IN some cases, you can submit the police reports of watch thefts directly to the watch companies, so if your timepiece ever come back to them for service, they can return it to you.
There are websites and forums where you can post information on a stolen watch as well do your due diligence on any watch that you are thinking of purchasing. We suggest: http://www.thewatchregister.com
Potential purchasers who search for the watch’s serial number will be able to discover if it has been stolen and if you have suffered the theft of a watch, registering it on the Watch Register offers you the best chance of finding it in the future.
3. Wear Your Watches!
Collectors enjoy wearing their Watches! Just be aware that some watches are more delicate depending on their age. Watches from Thirties and Forties can be more sensitive to humidity and dust, depending on the case design, while often watches from the Early Sixties onward tend to be less temperamental.
Water-resistant watches with screw-down case backs tend to hold up better over time, keeping out water, oil, and dust, while vintage chronographs (watches with an integrated stopwatch function) with square pushers are more prone to letting humidity in – more care should be taken when wearing them.
4. Service Your Watch Regularly.
Mechanical watches, either manual or automatic wind, need to be serviced (cleaned and oiled) on a regular basis to keep them in good working order. We suggest every 5-7 years but that may vary depending on the age of the watch. Many people wait until their watch stops working before they see their Jeweler or Watchmaker. Preventative maintenance on older or collectible time pieces assures that the watch isn’t being worn out prematurely and allows for the time-honored tradition of passing your watch along to family members for generations.
5. Communicate with Your Watchmaker
Communicating with ones Watch Engineer or Jeweler for servicing is critical. Be sure that you take your watch to a reputable establishment that you trust, with a proven track record!
Not all watches need to go back to the dealer. Dealers will often “repair” things that don’t need to be repaired because it keeps them in compliance with their corporate requirements, thus costing you much more money and taking much more time.
Find a trusted Jeweler with a Watchmaker on Staff.
www.morrisonsjewelers.com – 925.253.9227
6. Is Professional Polishing a Good Idea?
If you are keen to maintain the value of your watch, as well as choosing a suitable watchmaker to service your piece, you need to talk to them about what you want done.
Restoring a watch to how it used to look can reduce the value of a timepiece, especially if its exterior case is polished, luminous material on a dial is repainted, or original parts are replaced. In watch terminology, the case is the outside of a watch, the area naturally most liable to being affected by polishing.
Instead, it is important to maintain a watch’s original finish, without worrying unduly about nicks and scratches.
7. Maintain Dials and Bezels
Typically most of the value of a collectible watch resides in the dial, so it is important that these remain original if possible. Find a jeweler that you trust to care for your watch.
8. Replace Broken Crystals
In terms of aesthetic value, crystals are generally among the least important parts of a watch but can be a bit pricey if it requires an original or sapphire crystal.
If you do replace a crystal on a watch and its a collectible timepiece, you can ask your jeweler to refurbish or return the original piece if you ever wish to sell or trade in the future.
9. When Possible, Keep Original Bracelets
Original bracelets are of increasing value to collectors. Sometimes they provide important aesthetic features. It is extremely rare to find an appropriate strap on a vintage watch, since they are typically worn out and replaced over time – but they are always a plus for collectors.
10. Care and Cleaning of your Movement.
Movements are the engine of a watch and, as such, need to be kept in good working order; this is where trusted watchmakers earn their money. If the parts of a watch come into contact with dust or moisture, or lose their lubrication, they may become damaged.
The number of individual components in a movement can run into the hundreds. Skilled watch engineers are able to fully disassemble a watch, cleaning and re-lubricating parts as needed. Watchmakers can then reassemble the piece and adjust its timing. It’s best to keep your watches running as cleanly and as accurately as possible, and reputable watchmakers have the tools to achieve that.