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Keeping Time: How to Make Sure Your Luxury Watch Lasts Forever

Updated on June 22, 2017

Even though today’s luxury timepieces come in a wide variety of styles, most of them share a few common traits: they’re usually driven by a winding mechanism or automatic/perpetual movement and second, they’re designed to last a long time—sometimes several lifetimes. To ensure your watch stays as functional as it is aesthetically pleasing, we’ve put together a few tips to keep your watch ticking now and for generations to come.

Tip 1: Wear your watch often

Rolexes and other high-end luxury timepieces are meant to be worn often and are designed for continual movement. According to the experts at Auction King, when a watch is dormant, the lubricants in the watch can harden, causing friction and other malfunctions. It’s recommend that even if you don’t wear your luxury timepiece every day, it’s best to move it or gently wind it every 48 hours. (There are also watch cases that rotate and simulate movement—a great option for those who wear their luxury timepieces less frequently.)

Tip 2: Consider winding your watch manually

Automatic watches are wound by the motion of your hand and the oscillating weight, but in most cases, you can also manually wind an automatic watch to keep the parts moving even if you’re wearing it. To do so, be careful to wind the watch the proper way. (It’s best consult with a local watch repairperson for advice on how to do so with your individual make or model.)

Tip 3: Get your watched serviced regularly

To further prevent mechanical breakdown, friction or other problems that may occur with your timepiece, it’s always a good idea to get your watch serviced by a watch service professional. Rolex, for example, has the Rolex Service Centre locator to help you find reputable watch repair and service persons who can tune your watch, inspect for any replacement parts that may be needed and who will also clean and re-lubricate your watch.

Tip 4: Restore with caution

Because luxury timepieces can and should last for generations, it may be tempting to restore an older/vintage model that you may have. This is especially true if your watch has a gold plating. If you restore it, you may lose some of that gold. It’s less of a concern if the watch is stainless steel but still, tread lightly and restore it only if you are convinced that’s what you want to do. (Leather bands and crystal displays can and should be replaced whenever needed.)

Tip 5: Keep your watch clean

Not only is a clean watch better-looking, it can also help ensure the exterior parts do their job in keeping the internal parts sealed and working properly. If your model is waterproof, make sure the winding crown is tightened and no water can get into the watch before you clean it. Then, using non-ammonia soap and water, clean away. Just be sure and use an abrasion free pad or brush and don’t try to polish it (that could wear the metal down.)

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