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Preserving your timepiece can be as simple as keeping the exterior clean, minimizing the opportunity for foreign particles to get inside. Gently wipe off your watch from time-to-time to remove dust, dirt, perspiration and moisture buildup. This routine care will extend the life and appearance of your watch.
Guideline 1. Non-Water Resistant Watch Cleaning: Avoid exposing your non-water resistant watch to any type of moisture. In the event it comes in contact with any moisture simply wipe it with a dry soft cloth.
Guideline 2. Water Resistant Watch Cleaning: Use a soft damp cloth to clean the head of the watch and then wipe off with a dry soft cloth. Metal bracelets can be cleaned by using mild soapy water and a soft toothbrush.
To keep your watch in immaculate condition it is recommended that a complete movement overhaul be performed every three to five years.
Guideline 1. Leather Straps: Premature deterioration of leather straps can be prevented by limiting exposure to direct intense light, moisture, high humidity, cosmetics or oily products. Exposure to such elements can also cause stains and discoloration to the strap. Therefore it is imperative to immediately dry the strap with a soft absorbent cloth to hinder further damage.
Guideline 2. Water Resistance: As not all watches are designed to be water resistant, those that are, vary in degree of water resistance. Water resistance is not a permanent condition for any watch. Over time the crystal can reveal signs of condensation or oxidation on the dial; and gaskets and seals tend to deteriorate over time. It is advisable to have your watch’s water resistance assessed every 12 to 18 months so that a Swiss Repair expert can repair it immediately should it be compromised. Watches that are designed for water activities should always have the crown pushed down or screwed in tightly before being exposed to water. It is also best not to operate or adjust the crown and/or push buttons to prevent water from seeping into the case. If your watch comes in contact with salt or chlorinated water, clean it immediately with fresh water and dry with a soft cloth. If the watch has a rotating bezel, rotate the bezel while cleaning it to dislodge any debris like sand or salt.
Guideline 3. Never immerse your watch at the maximum depth recommended by the manufacturer: The water resistance of a watch refers to the predetermined maximum depth at which immersing the watch in water is safe. Manufacturers determine the level of water resistance based on tests they carry out in laboratories. Since we don’t wear watches under lab conditions, use the diagram and guide at the bottom of this page to assist you in determining how cautious you should be at particular resistance levels.
Guideline 4. Never push, adjust or open the crown and pushers of your watch when it is immersed in water: The easiest way for water to infiltrate a watch is through the crown-stem hole. The crown’s stem is attached to the watch’s movement via a hole present in the case edge. As you move the crown to varying positions, you cause the gasket to be compressed and stressed. Water will seep into the watch through the crown-stem hole if you do not push the crown all the way in OR if the shape of the gasket varies even slightly because of you constantly winding and turning the crown.
Guideline 5. Do not press the buttons of a chronograph timepiece while in water unless the manufacturer states otherwise.
Guideline 6. Ensure your watch has a screw-down crown if you plan on wearing it in water, and double check that it is tightened before coming into contact with water. A screw-down crown screws shut to a threaded tube in the watch’s case. When the crown is tightened, the compressed gasket in the crown seals the opening and ensures that no water seeps into the watch.
Guideline 7. Don’t let water in through the case-back: Be aware of the type of case-back your watch has, and how easy or difficult it is for water to seep in through the case-back. Use the table below to help you understand your watch.
Guideline 8. Avoid hot temperatures: Warm water temperatures (especially when plunged into cold water directly afterwards) will modify the shape of the gaskets, and may allow water to seep in.
Guideline 9. Avoid swift and sudden changes in pressure: Avoid diving unless you watch is built for doing so, because the change in pressure may cause gaskets to rupture and allow water to seep in.
Guideline 10. Never subject your watch to corrosive chemicals like highly chlorinated water or abrasive soaps.
Guideline 11. Get your watch tested for water resistance periodically, preferably annually: With natural wear, parts of the watch will deteriorate over time, particularly the gaskets. Gaskets are shaped rings made of nylon, Teflon or rubber that seal the junctions between the watch case and the crown, crystal and case back. Chronographs also have gaskets on the chronograph pushers. Gaskets are there to ensure that water does not seep into the watch. The condition of gaskets deteriorate over time, which means that the water resistance of your watch will decrease over time. In other words, over time the manufacturer’s limitations are really more limited. We recommend getting your watch tested at minimum once yearly to ensure that your watch is still water resistant, to avoid water seeping in.
Guideline 12. Setting the date: Never adjust the date on your watch when the hour hand is between 9 and 3 o’clock (clockwise) in order to prevent damage to your watch movement’s gears and pinion.
Guideline 13. Batteries: On average, the life of a quartz watch battery is estimated to be 2 to 3 years. Significant factors that affect the life of the battery include the age and condition of the movement, and the type of watch — analog/chronograph or digital. The more functions a watch has, the frequency of battery replacement will increase. When a battery can no longer power the watch, have it changed promptly to prevent battery leakage and causing damage to the mechanism. It is important to have batteries changed only by an Approved Repairer!
WINDING AND SETTING
Guideline 1. Mechanical Manual (Hand-Wound): Always wind your watch fully at the same time each day, being careful not to force the crown. When it stops, or you feel resistance, stop winding. Forcing the crown can damage the setting mechanism.
Guideline 2. Mechanical Automatic: An automatic watch should be worn daily for peak performance. To power an automatic watch the crown should be given 20 to 40 turns. If worn on your wrist it should be wound once every two weeks. It should be wound twice a week if it is not worn daily. A watch with a screw-down crown should be secured after it has been wound and set to ensure the water tight integrity of the watch.
THINGS TO AVOID
Guideline 1. Extreme Temperatures: Extreme temperature can critically alter the timekeeping performance of a watch. Avoid exposing your watch to temperatures above 60°C/ 140 °F and below 0 °C/ 32 °F, such temperatures can be detrimental to any watch.
Guideline 2. Magnetic Fields: Magnets can cause your watch to run slow, fast or completely stop. Mechanical watches should not be exposed to anything containing a magnet as it will prevent your watch from working properly. Be aware of and avoid placing your watch near subtle permanent magnets like those found in computers, speakers, refrigerator hook magnets, and yes, even cell phones. Over time a watch’s repeated indirect exposure to magnetism creates an increasing effect that alters its performance. Simply bring your watch to an Authorized Repair specialized expert to demagnetize it in a matter of minutes. If the watch is severely magnetized, we will recommend that complete maintenance of the movement be performed.
Guideline 3. Impacts: Unexpected impacts or shocks to your watch may result in possible damage to the case, crystal, internal components: dial, hands and movement, as well as void your warranty. Such inopportune events may prevent the watch from functioning as desired and it will more than likely require service. Often your watch may not have any visible indications of shock, however, if you suspect that it is not operating properly allow one of Swiss Repair’s expert watchmakers to diagnose and assess the cause and appropriate course of action to restore the watch’s function.
Guideline 4. Chemicals: Avoid consistent contact with chemicals such as cosmetics, fragrances, detergents, solvents, etc., as prolonged exposure may damage the case, gaskets, leather strap and or bracelet of your watch.