If you keep your watch clean, then it will necessarily be better maintained – something that can ensure that it retains its value as it ages. Of course, some wrist watches will accrue in value as they get older but this can soon be wiped out if you do not take care of your timepiece properly. Keeping your watch in mint condition may mean obtaining specialist equipment that only watchmakers use or investing in professional watch cleaning materials that only tend to be used by jewellers. That said, you can do a fair job of maintaining a luxury watch by simply keeping it clean. After all, every watch that is worn every day will pick up grease and grime so cleaning it will help it to keep looking good as well as ensuring that it continues to work properly. What do you need to know?
Remove the Bracelet to Clean It
The bracelet is the metal strap that your watch may have been supplied with. These usually unclip from the watch itself and can be cleaned relatively easily in soapy water without the timepiece needing to get wet. Bracelets use inter-linking chains which can accumulate dust and dead skin. So, drop them into a shallow bowl of warm water. Add a little anti-bacterial soap and leave it there for a minute. Then take it out and gently scrub it with an old toothbrush. Once you have worked the bristles into each of the bracelet’s crevices, pat it dry with a soft cloth to avoid streaking as the water dries out.
Handling Leather Straps
Of course, not all luxury watches are supplied with metal bracelets. If yours has a leather strap instead, then you should use a slightly different method to clean it. Ideally, you will be able to remove the strap and clean it on its own. Begin by wiping it down with a dry cloth to remove any superficial stains or blemishes. Jewellery polishing cloths are ideal for this. Next, use a gentle, unperfumed soap with a little warm water to clean the surface of the leather. Do not submerge the strap but wipe it down with a cloth that is only just damp, not sopping wet. Remove the soapy residue and remaining water by dabbing with a kitchen towel. Allow the strap to dry out and then apply some leather conditioner to bring back its suppleness.
Clean the Watch
To clean the watch itself, use a sanitary wipe on the crystal and the case to remove stain marks. Wrap part of the wipe around a toothpick so that you can work it into the hard-to-reach areas, such as under the lug where the strap attaches, where your fingers will not be able to reach. Be careful as you want to be gentle with your cleaning action and avoid scratching the watch. Once you are satisfied that the watch has been cleaned, use a pristine microfibre cloth to absorb any remaining residue. Work it around the bezel using your fingernail to ensure the whole watch is looking great before you reattach your strap.
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