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A vintage or classic watch makes a great gift and a stunning heirloom. If you have bought, inherited or been given a classic watch then you should take good care of it. Watch repair can often work miracles on a damaged watch, but taking time out of your day to take your beloved timepiece to a watch repair shop in Aurora, CO may be avoidable if you treat the watch with the care it deserves. These tips will help to reduce the wear, tear and damage on that beloved family heirloom.
1) Take the Watch Off While You’re Doing Manual Work
You can wear modern watches with plastic straps and solid faces while you’re working outdoors or playing sports. Do that with a vintage dress timepiece and you will be taking a trip to a watch repair store every month. Many vintage pieces are made with hollow links rather than solid ones so that they can be as lightweight as possible. The faces are prone to scratching and the springs are thin and delicate. They’re well made, they’re repairable, but they are pieces of fine engineering designed to be treasured and shown off, not “put through their paces”. When you’re wearing that collectible watch, pretend you’re a gentleman from the time it was made.
2) Avoid Over-winding
Most watches made before 1970 will need winding at least occasionally. Self-winding watches do not need to be wound manually unless they have stopped completely. Other watches can be wound while they are still going. Take care not to wind too tightly. When you feel resistance as you turn the crown, that’s a sign that the watch has been wound tight enough.
Avoid using automatic winders. While modern mechanical watches are often kept in a winder, older watches were not designed with that in mind, and over-winding the watch could shorten the lifespan of the spring and wear out any lubricant. When you remove your watch, lay it flat and store it in a clean, dry place. A dedicated box is a good idea, ideally somewhere that doesn’t experience rapid temperature changes.
3) Avoid Shocks and Impacts
The mechanism in a vintage watch was not designed to cope with the kind of acceleration and deceleration that modern watches can cope with. If you are going to be doing anything that is high impact (playing sports, for example), take your watch off. If you can’t be without a timepiece, wear a fitness tracker while you’re training. They’re designed to be more flexible and durable and will withstand the abuse better.
4) Keep It Dry
Some vintage watches say that they’re water-resistant, but note that water-resistant does not mean ‘waterproof’. Vintage watches can withstand a splash of water if you’re out in the rain. However, getting the watch wet will lead to a need for some serious watch repair work. The case is not watertight, and if the watch is several decades old any seals may have dried out and cracked slightly, so water can penetrate them and fog up the watch face. If that happens, the watch isn’t going to break completely. The water may dissipate eventually, but you should try to avoid having it happen too often.
5) Treat the Strap with Care
If your watch has a leather strap, treat it regularly to keep it soft and supple. If it has a metal strap, try not to over-strain or stretch it. If you need to adjust the strap because of weight loss or gain, or because it was given to you by someone with a different sized frame, take it to your nearest Aurora, CO watch repair shop to have the adjustment done by a professional. Resist the urge to ‘punch another hole’ or to open and close links yourself. Watch repair companies have the tools required to do the job well, and the expertise to get it right the first time. If you make a mistake, you run the risk of damaging the strap beyond repair.
6) If You Need to Set the Watch, Do So in a Clean, Dry Place
Some watches require you to flip them open to set them, and to pull open the crown. When you do this, there is the risk of dust, dirt or water getting into the watch. Sit down, indoors, in a clean and dry space to do any work on the watch. Wipe the face and rear of the watch clean, and make sure that your hands are clean too. Set the watch carefully, taking care not to over-wind it when you do so. Close the watch securely afterward.
7) Get Your Timepiece Serviced
When you find a watch repair service in Aurora, CO that you trust, take your watch to them regularly to have it serviced. Watches that aren’t used often should be serviced every three years or so. A watch that you use regularly should be serviced more often. If the watch has sentimental or financial value you should make it clear if you want to keep original parts as much as possible, or if you would prefer new parts even if they might make the timepiece less collectible.
A good watch can be expected to last for many lifetimes if it is properly taken care of. Matheus Fine Watches can do a lot for old watches because the parts that make them work are ones that can be pulled out and replaced. It’s harder to perform repairs on digital devices because the microchips in them are often proprietary.
If you have a watch that you love and treasure, call us today to discuss watch repair and servicing options. We are here to keep your watches ticking.