How to take care of a luxury watch

Buying a luxury watch is an investment, so it makes sense that any owner will endeavour to keep their timepiece in pristine condition, for as long as possible. There are several ways to achieve this.

Follow instructions

The best way to take care of your luxury watch is to appreciate how it can be used, what its limitations are, and what sort of care and attention it needs to keep it looking great and working to exacting precision. Since every watch is unique, you can keep your timepiece in superior condition by reading the instruction manual it came with, or by seeking expert advice. What may be necessary for one type of watch, may be slightly different for another, so tailored care and maintenance is essential.

Careful cleaning

No matter what type of luxury watch you own, they all need regular cleaning. Bespoke watches are very sensitive, and exposure to dust or dirt can affect their precision elements. Keeping it looking pristine will help to ensure your watch functions accurately, and remains a great investment. Every time you wear your watch, before putting it away at the end of the day, give it a careful wipe down with a soft cloth to remove any dust, dirt or perspiration. If your watch is embellished with diamonds, these can also be gently cleaned by using a soft soapy brush. Never use harsh or abrasive cleansers on your watch.

Caring for the strap

As well as taking care of the watch face, it is essential that you look after its strap, so that it also remains in immaculate condition, and doesn't weaken, tear or wear away.

If your watch has a leather strap, avoid getting it wet - leather and water don't mix well, and water could damage it. If a leather strap does get wet, allow it to air dry before putting your watch away. Instead, clean leather straps with a suitable leather cleaner.

Rubber straps can, however, be cleaned with warm (but not hot) water, so remove the strap and place it in soapy water for a spruce up.

Watches with gold bracelets can get scratched, but you can remove these by gently polishing it with a special cloth. If you're worried about not doing this correctly, then take it to a professional who can help.

If you wear perfume on your wrists, be aware that if this comes into contact with your watchstrap, it may weaken or damage it. Therefore, always apply perfume and allow it to dry before putting your watch on.

Watches and water

If your watch gets wet, dry it as soon as possible. Even if your watch is water resistant, be mindful about how you use it in water. A luxury watch is sturdy and built to last, but even these have limitations with regards to water exposure. For instance, you should never expose your watch to hot water, whether through cleaning it or wearing it in the bath. Hot water can damage the gaskets or weaken the glass. A water resistant watch should still be wiped down after water exposure, especially if the water contains chlorine or salt.

Avoid extreme temperatures

A luxury watch will serve you well for many years if looked after properly, but one thing it doesn't like is being exposed to extreme temperatures. High temperatures can play havoc with the lifespan of the battery, whilst cold temperatures can interfere with the precision of the watch's timekeeping. It's not just the functioning of the watch that detests extreme temperatures; leather straps will need replacing more often if they're exposed to very hot or cold weather conditions.

Professional maintenance

Experts recommend you give your luxury watch an MOT every two to four years. A professional jeweller or watch repairer will give it a good clean, change batteries, if required, and ensure that the mechanical and automatic movements are fine-tuned and reliable.

If you notice anything unusual about your watch in between servicing, or if it fails to keep to time, get it checked out by experts as soon as possible. It might be a tempting idea to open up the watchcase and have a look around to see if you can sort any problems out yourself, but unless you know what you're doing, this should be avoided at all costs. Opening the case may cause undue exposure to dust, dirt or water, and may even void your warranty.

Appropriate wearing

Another vital element for ensuring your luxury watch lasts a lifetime is by only wearing it for appropriate occasions. Unless you own a sports watch, experts recommend you don't wear a luxury watch for active pursuits, in case it gets knocked or damaged. If your watch might get wet and it isn't water resistant, take it off. Even water resistant watches can lose their resistance over time, so keep an eye on it to make sure water isn't penetrating the watchcase.

Correct storage

The best way to keep your watch in good condition when not in use is by storing it in a watch box, wrapped in a soft cloth. This will keep it protected and reduce exposure to dust. You can choose various storage options, depending on different scenarios. Hard and compact cases are ideal for transporting your watch around, such as if you go on holiday, whereas a watch box with transparent lid is ideal for use at home, so you can easily view your watch, especially if you own a collection of timepieces.

If your luxury watch spends a long time stored away, it's worth getting it out every now and again to check that it still functions properly, and to give it a regular wind up, if necessary. In fact, not wearing your watch regularly may cause the lubricants in its movement to harden, affecting its functionality. So, if there was ever an excuse to get your watch out and show it off on your wrist, this makes the perfect reason!