Mechanical watches are no longer the sole domain of men. These days, more women are gaining an appreciation of the technical side of fine watchmaking and thus savvier about complex mechanisms when researching their high-end timepiece options.
If you’re planning to buy or already own a mechanical watch, here are some things you should know about keeping it running smoothly. Unlike quartz timepieces that run on batteries, these time-telling machines with intricate mechanisms do require a little more attention. But for their longevity and the high price that they come at, you’ll find it’s definitely worth putting in the additional effort.
1. Do not wind your watch while wearing it
This could put pressure on the winding stem and damage it. So always wind your watch before putting it on your wrist.
2. Wind it consistently
There are two types of mechanical watches — the manual kind, which needs to be wound every single day, and the automatic (or self-winding) variety, which draws energy from the movement of the wearer’s arm and only requires winding after a period of it not being worn.
Whichever you own, it’s a good practice to wind your watch consistently — daily, (at the same time of the day for peak watch performance) for manual watches; and at least twice a week for an automatic piece if you do not wear it every day.
3. Learn the safe way to set the date
Do not set the date when the time indicated on your watch (not the actual time of the day) is between 9pm to 2am. Setting the date in this interval could damage the date-changing mechanism because of the way the gears engage. Also, always adjust the date by winding the time forward — going backwards could also damage the date mechanism.
4. Send it for servicing regularly
Mechanical watches are often compared to cars, in the sense that they need regular cleaning and maintaining to keep them running properly. Before you buy a mechanical piece, know that it will cost you more than the sum indicated on its price tag because of this.
Depending on the make of your watch, the recommended frequency of servicing is between every 2 to 7 years. Don’t skimp on maintenance because it could be disastrous for your timepiece. Servicing prevents bigger problems from happening, extends the life span of your watch and ensures that it is telling time accurately.
5. Keep it away from extreme heat and cold
Should you be travelling to a country where the temperature could potentially dip below 10 deg C, it’s advisable not to wear your mechanical watch on your trip. It’s also wise not to test the limits of a water-resistant timepiece unnecessarily.
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