How did you get your first luxury timepiece? Was it a gift from your parents? A family heirloom that has passed through generations? A present from a loved one? Or a ‘well done’ item you gifted yourself once you had the means to?
Whichever it is, we can hazard a guess and say that you have an emotional attachment to your timepiece and would want to have them with you for a long time, whether or not you go on to have others in the future.
Besides, with the kind of profits luxury timepieces are racking up on the secondary market, it does not matter if you are not attached to yours: you can sell them for double their original price and use the money to go on to get one you really like.
But this can only happen if you keep your timepiece in the same state as it was when you got it, or at least in a fairly good state.
So, how do care for your luxury timepieces to make them last forever?
Don’t wait until problems surface before you service them
Timepieces are like autos: you have to service them regularly to avoid a rapid decline in performance.
Timepiece servicing is a preventative measure against damage that may arise in future. It’s also worth noting that problems discovered earlier may also be easier and less costly to fix, than when the full damage sets in.
A complete overhaul, or full servicing, consists of complete disassembly of the timepiece movement, cleaning of even the tiniest parts and a thorough inspection of every single part in the movement. Any part that needs fixing will be repaired. Then, the parts will be lubricated and reassembled. The final steps include a timing calibration to ensure accuracy, the closing of the case and a water-resistance test.
Is it absolutely necessary to follow the time frame recommended by the brand that made your timepiece? It depends on a number of factors, which include the make and age of the piece, as well as the conditions under which it is being used and stored.
In general, experts recommend servicing to be done once every two-and-a-half to three years for mechanical watches, regardless of how often they are worn. For quartz timepieces, the battery should be replaced once a year, whether it is being used often or not. Besides the annual battery change, a complete overhaul should be done every five years.
Tackle problems as soon as they arise
Once your luxury timepiece stops working, of course, you should repair it. However, there are other issues that can arise that should make you immediately seek out a service centre even if the piece is still working.
Some common issues include intermittent stoppage of the movement and inaccurate time. If you notice that your timepiece has gone ahead of time, that is most likely caused by a magnetic field, and it needs to be fixed. Also, when you see any fogging or vapour inside, you should get it checked quickly as it’s not a good sign.
Exposure to magnetic forces can bring about a gain or loss of time in a timepiece, as they can magnetise running parts in the device and cause them to stick together, resulting in movement inaccuracy.
Many are unaware of how easy it is for their timepieces to come into close proximity with magnetic forces. They can come from many things used in our daily lives, such as a mobile phone, the clasp on a handbag, or even the electrical devices in our homes like speakers or the microwave.
Fogging underneath the crystal is a sign of condensation, indicating that moisture has gotten inside. This can be due to worn-out gaskets, or moisture seeping into the timepiece via the crown. Regardless of the reason, it’s best to get it checked out and fixed, as moisture within can cause corrosion in the movement over time.
When there’s rattling coming from inside the timepiece, it is likely due to parts that may have come loose. Do not shake it or wind the crown, as doing either may cause further damage – send it to the pros for a check, pronto.
Try to avoid damages to your timepiece
Damages are inevitable, but they can be avoided as much as possible. Preventing constant injuries to your device will not only save you huge repair costs, it will also help to keep your piece looking new for longer.
For one, don’t shake your mechanical timepiece to keep the time going. What you should do is simply wind up the mechanism via the crown to store energy inside it. It is a common misconception that the former should be done to a mechanical device.
Secondly, simply try not to be careless when handling your timepiece. If you drop your device, there’s a high chance that internal parts will be broken even if you don’t see any external damage.
Finally, do not keep your luxury timepieces in humid areas, such as in or near the bathroom. If you live in humid climates, you need to service your timepieces more often than others who live in less humid areas. This is why you shouldn’t exacerbate the situation by exposing it to an environment with even more moisture.
Source: CNA Lifestyle