You have made your first investment on your dream automatic watch – congratulations! No matter whether you have spent a week’s salary or a year’s salary for your timepiece, it should serve its duty by ticking trouble-free for decades. This does not come without putting in hard efforts, though. Whether you own a dive watch, pilot watch, or any other type of watch, there are a couple of things to keep in mind to help it run flawlessly. Read our guide to learn about how to take care of your automatic watch. It deserves your love and care!
Avoid the three mortal enemies of your automatic watch: moisture, shock, and magnetization

Moisture: Watches that are not water resistant can break down when they are soaked in water. Water can corrode the metal components inside the watch if the watch is not treated with watertight seals. Any damage to these components can cause the timepiece to malfunction. In this case, it is best to keep your watch away from water. Note that dive watches are specifically designed to function underwater, so they do not mind accompanying you during a morning swim or even a deep dive excursion. 

Shock: Although most watches contain shock absorbers to protect them from unexpected blows, watches are indeed delicate gadgets that can break upon impact. Even if the outsides of the watch may seem intact, the metal components within may have broken down. If you know that you may be performing activities that may involve a lot of wrist movement, take the opportunity to remove your watch and store it in a safe place. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Magnetization: Inside your precious timepiece, there is a metal component called the hairspring. It is very susceptible to influence from magnetic fields because magnetism can cause the coils to “stick” together, which in turn shortens the active length of the hairspring. This either comprises timekeeping accuracy or completely shuts the watch down. Unfortunately, there are many ways to inadvertently magnetizing your watch. You may have placed your watch too close to your smartphone on the table or accidentally put it in your bag with your tablet. It is possible that even the magnetic clasp on your friend’s handbag may have affected your watch. The good news is that demagnetizing your device is a quick fix. A professional watchmaker can solve your problem in five minutes.

Develop your personal watch care routine

Try to wipe your watch every night to get rid of any dust or dirt. This helps keep your watch clean and presentable. Cleaning is also important for your health as it prevents germs from accumulating on the surface.
How you wipe your watch depends on the level of water resistance. If you own a watch that is not water resistant, then you should use a piece of smooth, soft cloth to gently wipe the surface. Be sure to include the dial, bracelet, and strap. Do not press too hard to minimize the risk of accidentally breaks.

After cleaning, air-dry your watch in a safe place. One of the best places to store your watch is in its original package. It is specifically designed to be a treasure box that protects your watch.
Investing in a polish kit and polishing the watch crystal every 3 months can maintain the glory of a regularly worn watch. Polish kits normally include sandpaper and polishing cloths. By rubbing the different components of the watch with wet sandpaper and polishing cloths, you can remove small scratches from the metal casing and restore the shininess of the watch crystal.

Wind your watch only when you have not worn it for a long time

Automatic watch movements wind themselves as long as you are wearing the watch on your wrist. The rotor connected to the movement can rotate freely with each movement of your wrist, which in turn automatically winds the mainspring. Normally, you would not need to manually wind your automatic watch, but if you do not wear your watch every day, you may need to wind it a bit. Do not wind the watch on your wrist. Try to lay the watch down on a flat surface and wind with your dominant hand. Give the crown 20 to 30 spins until the second hand starts moving. There is no risk of over-winding your automatic watch, but the winding mechanism is more vulnerable to breakage with careless use.

Ask a professional to service your watch

All watches need professional care from time to time for them to run smoothly. Most recommend servicing your watch every 3 to 5 years at your local watchmaker. This is equivalent to a “spa treatment” for your hardworking timekeeping companion.

Taking care of your watch properly is paying respect not only to your investment but also to the craftsmanship and heritage of this invention. By following the recommendations above, your watch will be able to function effectively for the years to come.