Watch Maintenance and Watch Cleaning Tips

Being a watch owner comes with a handful of responsibilities. Cleaning watches and watch maintenance should be included near the very top of every watch owner’s list of responsibilities.

Whether your watch is a high-end luxury timepiece or something you got for under $2000, keeping it clean is your responsibility.

We’ll be dishing the dirt on why it’s important to keep your watch clean and well maintained and how to do this.

Why Watch Maintenance Is Important

Take a moment to think about your watch and where it sits on your body. Unless you’re a pocket watch fanatic, your watch typically calls your wrist “home.”

Rado Diamaster

Humans are prone to sweating. So, it just makes sense that sweat gets trapped under your watch which not only results in an uncomfortable feeling but the formation of a particularly cheese-like odor.

On top of sweat, watches can trap dead skin as well as particles of dirt. Finally, an unclean watch can be eight times dirtier than a toilet and makes for the perfect breeding ground for bacteria ranging from the plain old gross to the downright dangerous. The bacteria that is commonly found on watches includes the likes of:

  • Staphylococcus aureus (also known as staph)
  • Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (also known as yeast)
  • Hyphae (also known as mold)

And all of the above is just what your body and its surroundings produce on its own! This is not accounting for the lotions, creams or ointments you may apply to your body. Do you now see why cleaning watches is so important?

Watch Maintenance

Maintaining your watch is incredibly important for a wide range of reasons. Thankfully, none of the reasons are as gross as the reasons that make watch cleaning so important. The primary reason for maintaining your watch is simple: to get the most out of it.

Omega Speedmaster

Your watch is an investment, right? And who wouldn’t want to protect their investment?

The watch maintenance requirements depend on many aspects. Including the type of watch, the brand, the age, how often you wear it as well as how you store the watch when it’s not in use.

In terms of servicing your watch, the industry recommendation is every three to five years for watches that are worn daily and less often for the watches you only wear once in a while.

Top Tips for Maintaining and Cleaning Watches

Now that you know why maintaining and cleaning your watch is so important, here are a few watch tips to help you do so successfully.

Cleaning the Watch Face

With the exception of especially old watches, most watch faces can be cleaned in one of two ways: with a Q-tip or with a chamois cloth and warm soapy water. Faces that have crystals or markings on it require careful cleaning with a moist Q-tip. Standard watch faces need only a gently wipe with a chamois cloth that has been dipped in warm soapy water.

IWC Pilot

Tips for cleaning watch faces
  • If you don’t have a chamois cloth handy, a soft-bristled toothbrush will work just as well
  • Always use a mild antibacterial detergent or special watch cleaning soap
  • Never press down hard or scrub the face
  • Remember that the cloth or toothbrush must be damp and not sopping wet
  • Use a light window cleaner product to make your watch’s face shine even more

Cleaning the Watch Strap

Perhaps the most important part of cleaning watches is making sure that the strap has been thoroughly cleaned. The steps involved in cleaning a watch strap are entirely determined by the material of the strap.

Hamilton Jazzmaster

Leather watch straps can be cleaned using a damp, soft cloth. If your leather watch strap is in serious need of a clean, then the usage of a mild antibacterial detergent is permitted.

Nylon watch straps are among the easiest to clean, as long as they can be completely removed. So easy are they to clean that you can add a nylon watch strap in your washing machine along with your regular load of washing!

To clean a stainless steel watch strap, wipe it down with a clean, dry chamois cloth. Once you’ve removed the initial layer of dirt, dip the straps in lukewarm water with a splash of dish soap. Next, grab a clean toothbrush and work away at the crevices of the bracelet before rinsing with warm water & drying with a soft cloth.

Rolex, Hublot

Tips for cleaning watch straps
  • Use special conditioning oil to keep leather watch straps well maintained
  • If you don’t have a chamois cloth you can use a paper towel, microfiber cloth or even the hem of a soft cotton shirt to clean stainless steel watch straps
  • Wipe down your watch straps on a daily basis
  • Deep clean your watch straps once every month

Watch Maintenance Final Thoughts

We hope our watch tips have helped you to fully understand the importance of cleaning watches and keeping them properly maintained. Sure, it requires a bit of time, effort and sometimes money on your part, but it is so worth it.

Keep it clean folks!

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