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13 Dec

5 Common Mistakes That Might Be Damaging Your Watch

We're obviously in the market of fixing watches here at Manhattan Time Service but we don't want to see any avoidable damage to timepieces and that's why it's always good to inform you of the potential, and common, ways in which you might be unwittingly causing damage to your watch.


Whether you've got a top of the range Rolex or a timepiece at the other end of the spectrum, you need to look after them one and the same but there are actually some regular mistakes that watch owners make that could well be impacting the inner workings of your timepiece and we're here to help ensure that you're not making these mistakes.



When you love watches as much as we do at Manhattan Time Service, you've got to make sure that you treat them with the respect that they deserve and whilst it's inevitable that damage can occur to watches, it's a good idea to be aware of the unforeseen ways in which you might be inadvertently damaging your own wristwatch. Take a look at five of the ways that you could be causing avoidable problems with your watch below:

1] GOING OTT ON THE POLISH - Whilst there is always the temptation to regularly polish the casing of your timepiece to keep it looking bright and new, you might actually be doing damage to it in the long run. There are always going to be scratches and scuffs that appear on your watch casing over time. This is something that you can't really protect your watch from and is considered general wear and tear. Polishing the case may return some of the sheen but it is important to be aware that each time you add a layer of polish to the watch casing, you're potentially removing a thin layer of the gold / metal through burnishing. This is something the be particularly aware of if you have a vintage watch that you intend to sell in the future because it might impact the value as any buyer will be looking for the timepiece to be in as an 'as-new' condition as possible.

2] NOT BEING CAREFUL WITH WATER - Most watches are built to withstand water nowadays but there are still plenty out there don't have a water resistance and these should not be submerged in water at all as you risk irreparable damage if you do. It's also important to remember that even with water resistant watches, this refers to depths that it can be submerged to and doesn't mean that it is completely safe in water. For example, hot water such as jacuzzis or high steam in saunas can cause the metals in the watch construction to contract and make water more likely to enter the mechanism and damage the watch. Watches can be fragile things and being careful around water will always be a good idea, particularly if you've a valuable timepiece that be severely damaged.

3] WINDING IT TOO MUCH - With mechanical watches that need winding, there will be a lot of people that won't know whether they're winding too little or too often and this is another unforeseen way that you could be possibly causing damage to your watch. This is more of an issue with the older watches because today's modern mechanical watches will ordinarily have a built in mechanism that prevents you from over-winding them but an older one might not have this fail-safe and this means you might over-wind it and cause damage to the movement.

4] NOT SETTING THE DATE AT THE RIGHT TIMES - Another common mistake that is regularly made by watch owners that could be causing damage to the mechanism of your timepiece is changing the date at the wrong times. This isn't something that many people will consider when thinking of the things that can damage your watch but, in fact, if you start changing the date between the hours of 10PM and 2AM, you risk damaging it because your watch is already in the process of changing the date and interfering during these hours can cause damage. As with many of these issues, it is something which more commonly associated with vintage watches than more modern timepieces but it is certainly something worth bearing in mind.

5] GETTING TOO CLOSE TO MAGNETS - Magnets can wreak havoc with watches if you're not careful and is something you should look to avoid if you want to keep your timepiece in top working order. If you've got a vintage watch, wearing it close to even common, everyday items such as laptops or smartphones can cause issues with the mainspring or hairspring and whilst it's not an overly common occurrence, you'll be surprised with by the sort of damage that can be done to a vintage watch by magnets.

The above are just a selection of the problems that may impact the workings of your watch mechanism and whilst they are not something that are overly likely to effect today's luxury watches, those made more traditionally years ago could run into issues from the above so bearing them in mind is a good idea if you're want a watch that stays at the top of its game.


Practiced horology since the age of 15, successfully took apart, cleaned and assembled a Rolex Submariner Cal. 3135 at the age of 19, further improved his watchmaking skills with NAWCC School of Horology. “It has been 15 years since I took apart my first watch, my goal is to repair every timepiece ever produced”.

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