Mechanical watches are designed to last a lifetime and, if cared for, can last several lifetimes. Normal wear and tear of watches due to daily use is expected, so it is recommended that you check them every 3-5 years. Although these mechanical watches are designed to withstand normal wear and tear, they are still easily damaged, requiring extensive (and expensive) repairs, in some very simple ways.
Daily Ways To Damage Your Watch
One of the simplest and perhaps most common ways to damage your watch is to drop it. Damage can result from a short fall or from a greater height, depending on the landing surface and how the watch falls. Whenever the watch hits a hard surface it can potentially cause damage, including when it is worn and collides with something hard.
To avoid dropping your watch, carefully remove it from your wrist or case and keep it away from shelves. If you intend to wear your watch while running the risk of bumping into walls or other hard surfaces, you may want to consider taking it off first.
Improper Storage of the Watch
Properly storing your watch can also help keep it running and prevent damage. Keeping the watch in extreme heat or cold can damage the movement and seals. Rapid transfer of excessive hot and cold temperatures can cause parts to expand and contract. This can cause water vapor to enter the dial and move around causing damage. Heat can particularly dry out the lubricant or cause it to freeze, creating friction in the gears.
Ideally, keep the watch at room temperature and gradually change extreme environmental situations. If you know your watch will be in extreme temperatures, make sure you have received proper service to verify that the gaskets are tight.
Incorrect Function Settings
Incorrect setting of watch functions can also cause damage to the movement and gears. Setting the date during the “danger zone” period can cause the calendar to become misaligned and parts of the movement broken. The danger zone for setting the clock is between 21:00. M. And 3:00 a. M. During this time, the gears are moving to change the date.
If the date window is misaligned, you may start to see the date change before or even after midnight instead of when the clock strikes 12 a.m. M. Refer to the instruction manual of your watch for safe time and safe date change procedures. In general, placing the hour hands in the lower half of the dial avoids the “danger zone”.
Features aren’t limited to just date changes. Incorrect setting of any complication on the watch can cause damage to the movement. Also, setting the time backwards instead of forwards can damage the mainspring.
Charge a Watch on your Wrist
While it may seem easy and convenient, charging or setting the time on the watch while wearing it could cause more damage. Wearing the watch while it is winding can accidentally pull the crown out or overcharge it. The angle at which the crown is moved can cause tension to the movement. Taking off the watch before setting the time or winding it will allow you to feel the resistance and pull the crown out at the correct angle.
Take Off the Watch While Charging
Most watches will have some resistance when the mainspring is about to be fully wound. On newer models, some main springs have a built-in function that allows you to continuously wind without damaging the movement. Check your model and if you feel resistance, stop rolling.
Cross Thread of the Crown
Another way to damage the crown, besides pulling it at the wrong angle, is to screw it back on. Not all watches have a screw-down crown, but if yours does, be careful when closing it. The crown can stick and cause permanent damage.
A slightly misaligned crown can allow water to enter the movement and dial, causing further damage. To avoid screwing and jamming the crown, take your time as you screw it back, avoiding force. Crowns typically turn 1.5 full turns and can be up to three. Be careful not to screw the crown too tight, it may even be impossible to unscrew it!
Using the Chronograph Underwater
Running the chronograph underwater can allow water to enter the case. Underwater timekeeping should be performed with a unidirectional bezel instead of the chronograph. Pressing the buttons underwater can compromise the seal. This allows the water to move, causing rust. The dial can also be damaged and rusty or discolored.
To avoid water damage, only use the rotating bezel underwater. If you have screwed tappets, make sure they are fully screwed in even before submerging them. If you are unsure whether the gaskets are tight, take your watch to an authorized repair center.
Incorrect Alignment of the Pushers
In addition to properly adjusting the crown, you will also need to make sure the buttons are aligned. These buttons are most commonly found on more complicated watches, including perpetual and annual calendars. If you don’t push them all the way down before releasing them, the complication can get stuck in the middle. When a complication gets stuck, the wheels can break or the complication doesn’t advance properly.
Take your time when using the features of your watch. Push the pusher all the way and then release it all the way. It is important to use the correct stylus or pin provided by the brand. Sometimes the error can be quickly corrected by moving the clock forward 24 hours, but in many cases it will need to be sent to an authorized repair center.
Exposure of the Watch to Magnetic Fields
A magnetic field can seem like an unknown culprit that can damage the watch. The drain can start to act unevenly and even become blocked. If you’re not familiar with the escapement, adjust the oscillations of your watch and help keep the timing right.
Avoiding placing the watch on radios, speakers, and electronic devices such as cell phones and tablets is the best way to avoid damaging the movement. Some watches have been specifically designed for high magnetic fields, such as the Rolex Milgauss and Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra.
Watches with high antimagnetic characteristics are labeled with their Gaussian rating. A Gauss is the unit of measurement of magnetism. With the advancement of watch technologies, some brands use alternative, non-magnetic materials within their movements.
Take Care of your Watch
Preventing damage to your luxury watch will keep it running smoothly and help you avoid expensive repairs that it may need. While all watches should be serviced every few years, they should be in perfect working order between visits watch repair near me. Store the watch in its box or other safe place when you are not wearing it and check the different parts to avoid any inconvenience.