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How to Care for your Vintage Watch

November 11 2018

Care of your Vintage watch

Interest in vintage timepieces has reached an all-time high. Some people become enamored by the watches’ stories; others seek the unique look and feel of a watch that has aged naturally over many decades. In this article I will go over some of the most commonly asked questions about how to care for your vintage watch.

Setting the Date

Setting a watch is a pretty straightforward process, but it does have some does and don’ts.  If you pick up a watch that isn’t running and you aren’t sure when it stopped, pull the crown all the way out and spin the hands until the date changes. You have now found midnight. Next, advance the time past 3 a.m. before pushing the crown in to quick set the date. The date-changing mechanism starts to engage the gear train after 9 p.m. and normally disengages after 3 a.m. Quick Setting the date during this period can break off the delicate teeth of the mechanism. On some non quick set models, setting the date ahead is done this way.  Advance the hands until the date changes at 12. Then turn the hands backwards until about 9:30, then forward again until 12 to advance the date. It is better to set the hands forward rather than backwards.

Watch Winders

Watch winders have become a popular trend among owners of watches with self-winding or automatic movements, the idea being that you should keep the watch moving, whereby keeping the mainspring fully wound.  I am not a big fan of this idea.  If you don’t plan to wear your watch every day, then I would just let it run down and when worn again, simply pick it up, wind it, set the date and start your day. You really can’t hurt a watch by letting it sit without wearing it.  If you are a collector and don’t wear all of your watches very often, it may be a good idea to wind them maybe once a month to keep things moving, but there is no need to keep them running constantly.

Still Ticking

A mechanical watch is still one of the most reliable, personal devices you can own. Keep it clean, keep it wound, keep it dry, and one day you’ll be able to pass down your prized timepiece to the next generation. Take care of your watch, and your watch will take care of you.