A so-called “luxury” watch is a timepiece with design qualities that go far beyond the average wristwatch. In general, they’re more elegantly constructed than the typical watch, and they sometimes feature a number of useful options, like time zone information or even GPS. In the luxury watch world, these extra options—features that give the watch capabilities apart from simply showing the time—are known as complications. These can significantly increase the price of a watch, as well as the maintenance responsibilities of the owner.
For the reasons outlined above, luxury watches tend to be much more expensive than the typical watch. There is no exact definition for a luxury watch, no special points that separate these devices from their less extravagant relatives, but many people classify watches in this category if they have a price tag over $1000—again, however, this is only an estimate.
A luxury watch can give you years of dependable use. Some people bring theirs out only on special occasions, while others wear their watch as part of their standard everyday attire. However you decide to use your watch, though, you need to take care to make sure that it can stay in top condition for as long as possible. That’s the only way to keep it running well and looking sharp; it’s also a sound moneymaking strategy if you’d like to reserve the option of reselling your watch at some future date.
Having said all that, what steps can you take to keep your luxury watch in good shape? Here are some pointers to bear in mind.
Follow Manufacturer Instructions
This is probably the number one tip. When you buy a luxury watch, a manufacturer’s manual should come with the package. This useful booklet contains a wealth of information that you should take the time to read. Among other things, it will likely have information about recommended service schedules, types of cleaning materials approved for use on the watch, tips on using the watch properly, and your warranty (if any).
If you have questions about how to handle your watch, this is the first place you should look. A manual created for the specific model of watch on your wrist will be more useful to you than broad teaching points intended for everyday watches.
What happens if you don’t have a manual? This can happen if you bought your watch used, or if you simply misplaced your manual. You should definitely see whether you can get a replacement watch manual, either from the manufacturer or a shop that deals with these kinds of watches.
Store It Properly
You’re not going to be wearing your watch 24 hours a day (or, at least, you shouldn’t!). Where you put your watch when it isn’t in use will go a long way toward determining its long-term condition.
Don’t just let your watch lie around naked in the bottom of a desk drawer; it’s best to wrap it up in a soft cloth of some kind. This will keep dirt away from it and protect it from incidental contact with other objects.
If you have more than one watch, you may wish to invest in a case or an organizer specially made for luxury timepieces. These will make sure that your watches aren’t in contact with one another, or exposed to pollutants in the air that can cause damage.
You also must be careful of the temperature conditions where you store your watch. Very hot and very cold conditions will mess up your watch, damaging the battery and keeping it from telling time. Make sure your watch gets to rest in moderate conditions.
Avoid DIY Repairs
If you feel your watch may not be operating correctly, you may be tempted to open it up yourself and take a look. Try to resist that temptation—you risk damaging your watch. Watches are precision-crafted instruments that can be harmed by even extremely tiny particles of dirt.
Opening your watch may be all that it takes to dirty the insides. Also, opening the watch may ruin the waterproofing, if present. A final consideration is your warranty, which in some cases will no longer work if the consumer decides to take matters into their own hands like this. When your watch begins giving your trouble, take it in for a professional inspection.
Keep It Clean and Dry
You want to make sure that your watch stays clean as long as possible. This includes giving it a good cleaning after you take it off at the end of the day. Here’s another topic where it’s best to consult your watch manual, which should have specific cleaning recommendations for you to follow. You have to be careful not to use harsh materials that could harm your watch. Microfiber cloths and mild soap tend to be good—but, as we say, check the manual first.
Also, keep in mind that even a “waterproof” watch ideally should not be exposed to water when it isn’t necessary. Waterproofing isn’t always permanent; over time, watches tend to lose this capability—and any excessive water exposure will only make this process come faster. If you’re going to be in an environment where your watch might get wet, consider leaving it at home if possible. If it does get wet, wipe moisture off it as soon as possible.
Wind It Occasionally When Not in Use
If you’re only an occasional watch wearer, then your luxury timepiece will likely see a lot of downtime. Here’s a lifespan-enhancing tip: If it’s a mechanical watch, you should wind it up every few months while it’s in storage. What does this do? It will prevent oily chemicals at rest inside the watch from hardening and possibly interfering with the free movement of its parts.
Get It Checked on Schedule
A lot of people wait until the watch stops working altogether before they take it in for professional inspection. However, this is another example where an ounce of prevention is cheaper than a pound of cure.
You should figure out a service schedule where a trained professional will examine your watch and detect any problems before disaster strikes. Don’t worry—watches don’t need service all that often. Depending on the type of luxury watch you own, you’re looking at 2 to 5 years between service dates.
Mechanical watches need to be brought in relatively early (i.e., every two or three years), while quartz watches can wait a year or two longer between inspections. Again, check your manual for manufacturer recommendations.
Another benefit to routine inspections is that it may detect whether your watch’s waterproofing is failing—before you find out the hard way. This is important because, unlike a defect with the time-keeping mechanism, it’s hard to determine by looking at it whether your watch is no longer safe from water.
Be Careful with the Strap
When you think about keeping a watch well-maintained, it’s natural to think chiefly about the case and the mechanical parts it protects, but don’t overlook the watch strap (or bracelet). This is an important element of the watch, and it can also become damaged if you don’t take care of it.
For example, leather straps may become deformed from contact with water. Perfume is another problem for watch straps—try not to apply it to the wrist area on a day when you plan to wear your watch.
Visit GEM Pawnbrokers
Looking for a luxury watch that won’t drain your bank account? Want to trade in your old unwanted watch? We’ve been dealing with trades and sales like these since we started way back in 1947. Visit one of GEM Pawn Brokers’ locations throughout New York City for the best pawn deals in the region.