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Pocket Watch Care and Maintenance

Pocket Watch Care - Avoid These Seven Deadly Sins

Pocket watches are popular and many people want to own them. Often our new customers have questions on the care and handling of these time pieces. While a quartz pocket watch doesn’t require a great deal of maintenance, the same cannot be said of the mechanical variety. In order to keep your pocket watch in tip top condition for as long as possible please avoid these seven deadly sins of pocket watch care.

1.) Improper winding habits.

Deadly sin number one, improper winding. A mechanical pocket watch needs to be wound approximately 30-40 half turns for a full wind. This wind will last about one day before you must wind the watch again. If the stem does not turn further do not force it. Winding it more does not make it keep time longer, it will only damage the stem or the internal mechanisms. Make a habit of winding your watch at the same time each day.

2.) Never Adjusting the Time.

Deadly sin number two, forgetting to adjust the time. You need to check the time on your watch daily. If you want your watch to be accurate you must check and adjust the time daily, no exceptions. Mechanical pocket watches can lose small amounts of time after 24 hours have passed. This can cause the time to be off by several minutes after a few days have passed.

3.) Snapping closed the pocket watch cover.

Deadly sin number three, snapping the cover closed. Snapping the cover of your pocket watch is a big no-no. Never close the cover without depressing the release button at the top of the stem. Over time this action will wear down the softer metal on the edge of the cover where the clip holds the cover closed. Worn metal on the cover edge equals a loose cover and eventually failure.

4.) Not using a pocket watch chain.

Deadly sin number four, not using a watch chain. Some people simply place their pockect watch in a coat or vest pocket. This is not just a fashion statement, no visible chain, it is a accident waiting to happen. A pocket watch without a chain can slip out of a pocket or fall to the ground when removed from the pocket causing serious damage to your watch. Always keep your watch secure with a pocket watch chain.

5.) Exposing your watch to water and dust.

Deadly sin number five, exposing your watch to the elements. While many wrist watches are dust or water proof, this does not true for most pocket watches. Moisture can prematurely age and damage the internal mechanisms of your pocket watch. Avoid heavy rain, humid bathrooms and if an accident does occur, dry the watch immediately. Excessively dusty conditions should also be avoided. Treat your pocket watch like your electronics, if the conditions could cause damage your laptop it will probably also damage your pocket watch.

6.) Scratching the case or crystal.

Deadly sin number six, keeping your watch in the same pocket as your keys. When you buy your pocket watch you naturally want to wear it. It’s fun to pull it from your pocket by the chain and check the time. All this in and out of pockets can be very damaging if there are other objects in that pocket. Never ever put a pocket watch in the same pocket as your keys, loose change or cell phone. The constant jostling about and brushing back and forth will cause scratches and nicks on the cover or crystal.

7.) Improper pocket watch Storage.

Deadly sin number seven, improper storage. At the end of the day remember to treat your pocket watch well. Do not store it by throwing it in your desk drawer or nightstand. It is best to keep your pocket watch in either a display stand or in a lined storage box. If you do not have these options available use the original box your pocket watch arrived in. Also use a soft cloth to wipe any fingerprints or oils that may have deposited on the surface from your hands through the day. To keep your pocket watch looking great for years to come always clean the surface before storage.

8.) Bonus Tip:

Like any mechanical devise the mechanical pocket watch requires some regular maintenance. You would not think of letting your car go without an oil change, your fine pocket watch is no different and occasionally needs some time at the watch shop. Most watches should be cleaned and oiled about every 7 years depending on usage and how well it's been cared for. Check with your watch dealer or refer to the manufacturers recommendations for suggested cleaning and oiling intervals.

While some of these tips are common sense you would be surprised at how often watch owners commit these deadly sins of pocket watch care. We have had numerous requests for local repair facilities due to forced over winding, dropping, improper cover closing and general disregard. The owners are always ashamed that they treated something so beautiful and unique with disrespect and sometimes they end up paying quite a bit to get their pocket watch in working condition again. If you avoid these behaviors your pocket watch should last for generations and give you years of excellent service.

Copyright © 2013 Pocket Watch Emporium™, Unauthorized use without written consent is prohibited.


 

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