How to Care for Your Wristwatch

Written by Simon

9th August 2019

Mechanical watches are made to be worn every day, yet last a whole lifetime and even down through generations. For those reasons, they can hold a huge amount of personal and sentimental value – there are so many good reasons to take care of a wristwatch and keep it working for as long as possible…

Though they are designed to tolerate some wear and tear, they are still damaged easily. By bearing the following tips for proper wristwatch care in mind, there is hope that your wristwatch will be more able to stand the test of time.

Our services include watch battery replacement (quality Renata watch batteries supplied and installed in most types of watch cases, including Jaxa type backs), replacing broken Spring Bars and new watch straps.

Explore our website to learn more about our range of services, or drop us a message for more advice on your watch!

1. Service your watch regularly

I’m sure many of us have a collection of watches hidden in a drawer, which we never got round to taking for a service or repair. If this sounds familiar, we suggest you collect up your wristwatches and bring them to Keyishoes so we can get them working for you again!

How often you have your watch serviced depends on the type of watch you own, its brand, as well as your own personal use. However, these are the general guidelines for servicing your watch:

  • For a mechanical watch: Every two to three years
  • For a quartz: Every three to four years

We recommend you pop in to visit Keyishoes so that we can have a look and advise you in more detail. We have a range of services on offer for repairing and servicing watches, including replacing broken spring bars (the easily bent or broken small metal springs that hold your watch strap to the case). You can contact us for a no obligation quote today!

2. Clean your watch properly

Leather Straps

So much attention is given to the watch itself that the fine leather straps miss out on some much needed TLC. Your leather watch strap should be treated like any other leather item so, with enough care and attention, it will stay soft for years to come.

Early deterioration of the leather grain can occur when it is exposed to direct sunlight, water, humidity, cosmetics or oil-based products. So, we generally advise:

  • Keep your straps dry whenever possible with a cloth
  • Avoid prolonged periods of direct sunlight
  • Make sure your strap does not come into contact with perfume or grease, etc. (let your cologne dry completely before putting your watch on!)

At Keyishoes, we can replace your watch strap from our selection of straps of various styles and sizes. We can also adjust the links on your watch strap, adding or removing links, to give you the perfect fit!

Watch Cases

  • Keep your watch case shiny with regular, gentle cleaning with a soft cloth and warm, soapy water
  • Don’t submerge your watch in hot water – even if it is water resistant – as the heat can cause damage to the gaskets
  • Diamond embellishments can be scrubbed gently with a soapy brush (such as a soft toothbrush)

3. Store your watch securely

To make sure your watch is not exposed to any forms of shock, extreme temperature and moisture that can damage it, we suggest you routinely carry out the following:

  • Store the watch in its box or a safe place when it’s not being worn. When not wearing your watch, it’s always best to keep it in the box it came in
  • Keep your watch at room temperature. If you know your watch will be exposed to some extreme temperatures, make sure it has been properly serviced to check the gaskets are still tightly sealed

4. Avoid magnets

Magnetic fields can interfere with the timing integrity of your watch, and can even cause it to stop completely. This is because the escapement (which regulates the oscillations of your watch and keeps proper timing) can seize up.

Some watches, such as the Rolex Milgauss and Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra, are designed for high magnetic fields. Watches like these are labelled with a Gauss rating – a unit for measuring magnetism. However, a watch can stop working at 60 Gauss, when the magnet on a fridge door is 50 Gauss!

To avoid this happening, don’t leave your mechanical watch around speakers, fridges, computers, radios, mobile phones, tablets, and anything else containing magnets.

    5. Avoid contact with water

    Water resistance depends on the style of your watch. Over a long period of time, the seals on even higher-rated water resistant watches can deteriorate. Unfortunately, you will only realise this is happening when it’s too late, as soon as condensation forms on the crystal. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you:

    • Remember ‘water resistance’ is not the same as ‘waterproof’ – do not submerge your watch in water unless it is a specially designed diving watch (in which case, you must ensure the crown is tightened all the way before entering the water)
    • Have the seal on your watch checked by a professional every 12 to 18 months to spot early signs of deterioration

    6. Set watch functions correctly

    Incorrectly setting the functions on your watch can also cause damages to the movement and gears. Generally, we recommend the following:

    • Do not set the date on your watch between the hours of 9pm to 3am. During this time, the gears are already in movement to switch the date, so changing them in this period can cause a misalignment of the date window and break parts in the movement
    • Do not set the time backwards as you can cause damage to the mainspring

    7. Wind your watch with caution

    Winding your watch may seem like a simple and convenient task, but it must be done regularly and correctly to ensure it remains in good working order. Here is some general advice:

    • Wind it daily – if the watch is left unused and unwound, the gears will start to stiffen and the watch will not work as efficiently.
    • Stop winding once you feel resistance, as overwinding can damage the movements.
    • Remove your watch before winding – wearing it whilst winding can pull the crown out, or cause you to overwind. Plus, removing it first will give you more control over the angle at which you move the crown, feeling the resistance more easily


    Mechanical watches can last a whole lifetime and be passed down through generations if they are given the right attention and care they need. We hope our advice is useful to you, and that your watch remains in good order for as long as it can.

    While these tips are mostly universal, your particular watch will have some special recommendations. Make sure to find out information about your watch from its manufacturer by reading its manual.

    For more advice on your watch, we invite you to browse our website, visit us in Carlisle, or drop us a message to speak to an expert today!

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