There is so much more to a luxury watch than just something you wear on your wrist to tell time. A high-end timepiece is a status symbol, investment, and something to cherish for more than a lifetime. It is also a salute to amazing craftsmanship and beauty. All these in mind, it requires proper maintenance and knowledge of taking care of luxury watches if you want it to age beautifully and keep it running perfectly for years on end.
Let us start by learning what watch brands are considered luxury and knowing their worth:
If you’re looking for investment value above all else, Girard-Perregaux is certainly not one to be overlooked. This Swiss watch company has been around since 1791 and makes only 12,000 watches in a year. It has a spot on the top ten best luxury watch brands in the world according to watch experts. They design and produce their own movements and components.
Having been around since 1915, the Swiss watch company, Rolex, is one of the most popular brands that offer high-end timepieces. Their classic timepieces are noted for their investment value, reliability, comfort, and ease of repair.
Based in Le Sentier, Switzerland, Jaeger Lecoultre, started making high-end watches and clocks in 1833. It has fashioned hundreds of different inventions and over a thousand movements since the company was founded by the brilliant Antoine LeCoutre. In 2000, the company became a fully owned subsidiary of Richemont, a Swiss luxury group. Of their many designs, the Duoplan and the Reverso are their two best-sellers.
Patek Philippe & Co.
Noted for its beautifully rare pieces, this family-run Swiss watch manufacturer is considered by a lot of watch enthusiasts as the creme de la creme. Among the many famous and royal personalities that own a Patek Philippe timepiece are Queen Victoria, Pope Pius IX, and Victor Emanuel III of Italy. The prestigious watch company has designed innovations such as the split-seconds hand, chronograph, minute repeater, and the perpetual calendar. Vintage models are often sold at six-figure prices.
Lange & Söhne
This high-end German timepiece manufacturer is highly regarded by luxury watch virtuosos as one of the finest in the world. They offer wristwatches that contain mechanical movements, rather than the common quartz. Compared to the Swiss, these German timepieces are often described as “austere” and straightforward in terms of design.
Caring For Your Luxury Watch
A great deal of taking care of luxury watches go to keeping its surface clean and its interior free from foreign particles. The standard routine care to keep your timepiece running flawlessly for generations can be as easy as gently wiping off the buildup of contaminants such as moisture, sweat, dust, and dirt.
- Cleaning Non-Water Resistant Watches
Keep your watch away from moisture at all times. Should it come close to or in contact with moisture of any kind, simply wipe it clean and dry with a soft piece of cloth.
- Cleaning Water Resistant Watches
Clean the head of the timepiece with a soft damp piece of cloth and wipe it off with a dry one afterward. Use a soft toothbrush and water with mild soap to clean metal bracelets.
Water resistant watches may sometimes vary in terms of the degree since water resistance is not exactly a permanent property. Oxidation and condensation are two natural processes that frequently occurs in crystals and metals. Over time, some of the parts can deteriorate due to these processes. It is imperative that you seek professional watch repair services to assess your watch’s water resistance every year so that any compromised parts can be repaired immediately.
Before exposing your water-resistant watch in water, the crown should always be screwed in tightly or pushed down, so the water will not seep into the case. Immediately clean your watch with fresh water if it has been exposed to chlorinated or salt water, and dry with a soft piece of cloth afterward. A built-in rotating bezel can also be useful in these situations, dislodging micro-debris, like salt or sand, when rotated.
- Lifespan of Batteries
Battery lifespan is affected by several important factors: movement condition and age, watch type (analog or digital), the complexity of the parts, number of functions, etc. It is important that you regularly have your watch batteries changed to hinder leakage that can cause severe damage.
- Date Setting
Watch experts recommend that when taking care of luxury watches, you never make any adjustment when the short hand is in the middle of the 3 and 9 o’clock marker. This is to ensure that you won’t damage the pinion and the gears.
- Caring for Leather Straps
Leather straps are prone to premature deterioration when exposed to moisture, intense light, oil, and high humidity. These elements lead to the discoloration of the strap. You are encouraged to dry the leather straps using a soft, absorbent cloth to prevent damage.
Elements to Avoid
Magnets are bad news to your watches. Keep your watch away from subtle magnets such as those in speakers, computers, and even in mobile phones. They can alter the performance of the watch, making it perform slower or faster. It could also make your watch stop completely.
Within minutes, a Swiss Repair professional could demagnetize your watch and bring it back to its original performance. However, if the damage is severe, a complete movement overhaul is recommended.
As in most things, exposure to extreme, detrimental temperatures (below 0 °C/ 32 °F and above 60°C/ 140 °F) can strain your timepiece and severely alter its performance.
One of the most common causes of watch damage are shocks or sudden impacts. Physical damage to the case, internal components, and crystal could nullify your warranty. More often than not, you will need to have it repaired. A Swiss Repair professional could easily assess the damage and offer the necessary course of action.
Prolonged exposure to chemicals from frequently-used products such as perfumes, solvents, and cosmetics can cause severe physical damage. Keep your watch away from these chemicals to prevent stains and discoloration to the strap, be it metal or leather.
Complete Luxury Watch Overhaul
Apart from this basic routine of taking care of luxury watches, it is also advised that you schedule a complete movement check every three to four years to ensure that your luxury watch is kept in tip-top shape and performance.