Buying and caring for your watch
Almost everybody owns a watch, but getting the most out of it requires a little knowledge about how watches work. Our top 10 watch care tips, and information about their materials and mechanisms should give you a well rounded overview.
Our top 10 tips for caring for your watch:
- Keep it in its box or a padded bag when not wearing it. Do not leave it in the bottom of a handbag as this will subject it to scratches and knocks.
- Have it pressure tested when it has a battery change if it is 100m water resistant or more. This will ensure it remains water tight
- Refrain from wear in hot, steamy environments like showers, saunas or spa pools. Hot water particles are smaller than cold water particles and can enter your watch causing condensation. Most watches are not guaranteed against wear in hot water or steam.
- When wearing the watch in water, make sure the crown is pushed or screwed in all the way so it is sealed up properly.
- Have the watch regularly serviced internally to make sure all parts are running smoothly.
- When the battery goes flat, do not leave the flat battery in the watch for a long time. Flat batteries can leak and damage the watch inside
- Do not attempt to take the back off your watch yourself. This should be done in a controlled environment with no dust or moisture. Bring your watch into us for a battery change rather than trying to do it at home.
- 8. When you buy a new watch, keep the warranty card and instructions handy in case you ever need them again.
- Have your watch fitted properly when you purchase it. If the strap is too long, the watch can roll around and get knocked more easily.
- Do not subject your watch to strong magnets. This includes machinery with magnetic components, sound system speakers, bio-magnetic underlays and magnetic jewellery. Magnets can interfere with metal parts inside your watch causing time loss and other issues.
TYPES OF WATCH
There are 4 main types of watch movement used today:
- QUARTZ: This is a battery powered watch. The most common watch movement available. Battery powered watches are highly accurate and don’t require much servicing. All you need to note is that the battery needs changing when the watch loses time
- SOLAR: These watches work by light being converted into energy through a tiny solar panel. That energy is stored in a rechargeable battery which doesn’t need regular replacing. Solar watches are popular as they are very accurate, environmentally friendly and don’t need regular battery changes. All you need is light, natural or artificial, to charge the watch.
- AUTOMATIC: Automatic watches are powered by being worn. The wrist movement of the wearer winds a main spring. Automatic watches are very popular and reliable provided they are worn regularly to maintain power. Automatic watches need more regular servicing and should be adjusted regularly to another time source as they tend to lose about 20 seconds (plus or minus) per day.
- KINETIC: Kinetic watches are less common, but they are available in some brands. The wearers movement powers a rechargeable battery. They are very accurate and environmentally friendly.
WHAT ARE WATCHES MADE OF?
These are the most commonly used materials in watches today.
- STAINLESS STEEL: a huge majority of todays watches are made of stainless steel. It is a rust proof, silver coloured metal that is hard wearing, robust and hypoallergenic.
- PLATED METALS: Unless you’re a lucky person with a solid gold watch, most yellow gold and rose gold watches are metal plated. Each brand uses a different plating process to achieve different colours, but provided you are careful with your watch, your plating should last a very long time.
- TITANIUM: A natural element with the symbol Ti, titanium is an extremely strong metal. It is a dark grey colour and is much lighter than steel. Titanium is an industrial material and is hypoallergenic. Because of its strength and durability titanium is hugely popular especially for gent’s watches.
- CERAMIC: Ceramic technology is used a lot today. It is extremely scratch resistant, enormously hard and unique in its durability. Ceramic elements are fired in an oven at 1600 degrees then diamond polished. It is hypoallergenic and gives a beautiful shiny look. Mainly available in black and white, ceramic is the latest in watch design.
- RESIN, RUBBER AND SILICONE: Resin, rubber and silicone are all materials popular especially in work watches and sports watches. Not too expensive, extremely durable, water and stain resistant, these materials are the perfect thing to make watches that take hard knocks and are worn in messy environments.
- WATCH GLASS: there are two main types of glass used in watches today:
- MINERAL CRYSTAL (sometimes known as Hardlex) is a standard watch glass that is quite scratch resistant and resistant to most gentle knocks. It is easily replaced should it ever crack.
- SAPPHIRE CRYSTAL is a crystal glass made of synthetic white sapphire. It is shatter resistant and scratch resistant and is used in many of our watch brands.
- If your watch glass is scratched or broken, we can replace it for you. Bring in your watch for a free quote
Water resistance is a very important factor to consider when selecting a watch. The depth indicated isn’t exactly how deep the watch can go. When you move your watch in water, the pressure on the watch increases threefold! Make sure your aware of the capabilities of your watch so you don’t have any mishaps with water damage.
When a water resistant watch has a battery change, the back of the watch is taken off and refitted again. That can compromise the water resistance. We recommend ALL watches over 100m be pressure tested with every battery change. This is an extra charge, but it is considerably cheaper than trying to fix a wet watch, or even having to buy a new one thanks to water damage.
|Water resistance rating||Suitability||Remarks|
|Water Resistant 3 ATM or 30 m||Suitable for everyday use. Splash/rain resistant. NOT suitable for showering, bathing, swimming, snorkelling, water related work and fishing.||NOT suitable for diving.|
|Water Resistant 5 ATM or 50 m||Suitable for swimming, household sinks, sports, non-snorkeling shallow water related work, and fishing.||NOT suitable for diving.|
|Water Resistant 10 ATM or 100 m||Suitable for recreational surfing, swimming, snorkeling, sailing and water sports.||NOT suitable for diving.|
|Water Resistant 20 ATM or 200 m||Suitable for professional marine activity, serious surface water sports and skin diving.||Suitable for skin diving.|
|DIVERS WATCHES||Some watches are made for professional diving and have very unique specifications to regular watches. These all work according to manufacturers specifications.||Suitable for professional diving|
Most watches should be regularly serviced. This especially applies to mechanical watches, automatic, kinetic, wind up and luxury brands. Think of a watch mechanism like a car – your car needs a regular service as does your watch. Over time, the lubrication inside the watch dries up and turns to dust which can wear away and cause friction and issues inside the watch. In order to keep accurate time, the lubrication needs to be looked at and a good clean undertaken. We recommend a service every 3 – 5 years for mechanical watches, and every 4 – 6 years for quartz battery powered models.
We use Authorised Service Agents for all watch services and maintenance for Omega, Brietling, Raymond Weil, Longines, Rolex, Seiko, Tissot, Patek Phillipe, Bulova, Tag Heuer, Cartier, Michel Herbelin, Gucci, Rado and more!
Quotes for a service and repairs are free of charge.
REPLACEMENT STRAPS AND PINS
We stock or source replacement straps for all manner of watches. A watch may need a new strap because your old strap has had it, or just because you think it needs a makeover. We stock stainless steel and leather straps in many styles and can supply original straps directly from the manufacturer for all brands we stock.
If you have a clock that needs repair or servicing, contact us for more information. We can source a large range of clocks to suit any home or usiness as well as barometers, hygrometers, thermometers and tide clocks. We also stock a large range of Seiko and Casio alarm and travel clocks.