How To Take Care
Of Your Watch

A watch is a highly technical instrument that you’ll wear every day, meaning it needs the utmost care and attention. There are ways in which you can care for your watch at home, and there are times when you’ll need to enlist the help of a professional. Every watch is different, so whilst we recommend you refer to your watch’s own user manual or the official brand website, discover how to care for your watch using these watch care tips.

  • Water Resistant vs Waterproof

    Water Resistant vs Waterproof

    What’s the difference between water resistant vs waterproof? Well, water resistant means able to resist the penetration of water to some degree but not entirely. Waterproof means impervious to water.

    In the watch world, water resistant vs waterproof can cause some confusion. The term the watch industry usually uses when describing a watch’s performance in water is ‘water resistant’, because no watch is completely ‘waterproof’. There’s always a limit to how much water pressure a watch can resist.

  • Using Your Watch In Water

    Using Your Watch In Water

    However, some people may refer to a watch with extremely high water resistance levels as ‘waterproof’ – but these watches are still not absolutely waterproof.

    The water resistance of your watch refers to the static pressure it can withstand, not the actual depth of water it can be used in.

    For example, 50m water resistance doesn’t mean you can dive up to a depth of 50m. The 50m refers to the pressure it can experience if it was static at a depth of 50m, but as soon as you move the watch, the pressure rises. Therefore a watch with a water resistance of 50m is actually only suitable for shallow swimming, not diving.

    Watches designed for water activities should always have the crown pushed down or screwed in tightly before being exposed to water. Use this table below to see how you can use your watch in water.

    3 ATM / 30m:
    Splash proof and waterproof in small amounts of water.

    5 ATM / 50m:
    Can be submerged in water. Suitable for shallow swimming.

    10 ATM / 100m:
    Suitable for swimming, snorkelling and water sports.

    20 ATM / 200m:
    Ideal for scuba diving.

    30 ATM / 300m and over:
    Professional and deep sea diving.

    As you can see by this table, if you’re looking for a swimming watch you’ll want to be shopping for a watch with at least 50m water resistance if you’ll just be doing shallow swimming, or at least 100m if you’ll be doing some diving.

    To ensure and maintain water resistance, we recommend that you remove your watch before having a hot shower or using a sauna. Extreme heat could cause watch seals to expand and create openings for water droplets to get inside.

    The water resistance of your watch may not be permanent as over time the seal may be affected by wear or accidental shock to the crown. We'd recommend you have the seals of your water resistant watch tested annually.

How To Clean Your Watch Case

Keeping the exterior of your watch clean will go a long way in helping to preserve it. Cleaning your watch every couple of months will prolong the appearance, and will minimise the chance of dust, dirt and moisture getting inside the case.

  • Water Resistant Cases

    How To Clean Water Resistant Cases

    Use a soft toothbrush and mild soapy water to clean your water resistant case, before rinsing with cold water and polishing with a soft dry cloth (our jewellery cleaning cloths work a treat).

    If your watch is designed for swimming, for example if it’s a specialist divers watch, always rinse with warm tap water after immersing it in the sea or a pool. If your watch has a rotating bezel, rotate the bezel gently while cleaning it to dislodge any debris like sand or salt.

  • My Watch Isn't Water Resistant

    What If My Watch Is Not Water Resistant?

    If your watch isn’t water resistant, avoid exposing it to any type of moisture. If you want to clean your non water resistant watch, simply wipe it with a soft dry cloth.

  • Cleaning Bronze Watches

    How To Clean Bronze Watches

    Different watch brands have introduced bronze watches into their collections, including Tudor, Oris and Zenith. When bronze comes into contact with oxygen, a chemical reaction occurs called ‘oxidisation’, which causes a thin layer of oxidised copper to form known as ‘Patina’.

    This coating protects the underlying materials against corrosion, and also changes the colour of the bronze itself. It gives your watch its own individual character and uniqueness, which is pretty cool.

    You may love the look of this, or you may want to clean your watch to bring back the original shine and colour. Follow these tips from the brands if you do.

    Bronze Tudor Watches

    Clean your watch with warm, soapy water and soft cloth to dry it with. Tudor recommend to not use any cleaning agents.

    Bronze Oris Watches

    Oris recommend you don’t remove the patina as it acts as a natural protective layer for bronze. However, if you discover unsightly marks, clean your watch carefully by mixing salt with a little vinegar and rubbing it in using a soft brush. Rinse carefully with water.

    Bronze Zenith Watches

    Clean your watch using a special jewellery microfiber wipe which you should have received when purchasing your Zenith watch.

How To Clean Your Watch Strap

  • Stainless Steel Straps

    How To Clean Stainless Steel Bracelets

    Use a soft toothbrush and mild soapy water to clean metal bracelets. Rinse with cold water and use a dry cloth to polish it.

  • Leather Straps

    How To Clean Leather Straps

    • For leather straps, avoid getting it regularly damp, exposing it to direct sunlight and contact with chemicals like perfumes, solvents and detergents.
    • If you’re wanting to wear your watch whilst being submerged in water for prolonged periods, a stainless steel or rubber strap is a better option for you.
    • It’s a good idea to clean your leather strap after any form of activity, as dust, dirt and sweat can cause stains and odours.
      1. Wipe strap with a soft dry cloth or jewellery cleaning cloth, to remove any dirt particles that could scratch it.
      2. Gently put a small dot of mild hand soap on a slightly damp cloth, and scrub the strap on both sides. Avoid using a wet cloth and immersing the leather in water. Dry the strap thoroughly and allow it to air dry before next wearing it.
      3. Condition the strap with a small amount of leather conditioner, which can prolong the life of a watch band and keep it shiny and soft.
  • Rubber Straps

    How To Clean Rubber Straps

    • Like leather straps, rubber straps shouldn’t be exposed to chemicals like perfumes, cosmetics or oily products.
    • As a lot of divers watches use rubber straps, it’s important to remember to clean the strap with warm water after wearing it in the sea to prevent the high salt content from damaging the strap.
  • Ceramic Straps

    How To Clean Rubber Straps

    Ceramic straps have extremely high scratch resistance, so your ceramic watch won’t pick up small scratches and marks. However, ceramic is much less resistant to shattering so be careful not to drop your watch on a hard floor.

    To clean ceramic, a soft toothbrush and some warm, soapy water is all you need. Rinse with cold water and use a dry cloth to polish it.

Helpful Hints

Polishing your watch is slightly different to cleaning it. Cleaning removes dirt and grime, whilst polishing removes scratches and restores shine. If you’d like your watch polishing, we recommend you bring it into store when we resume our cleaning services and one of our experts can do it for you, or we can send it off to the brand.

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How To Look After Your Quartz Battery

Quartz watches are powered by batteries which need changing over time.

On average, the life of a quartz watch battery is around two to three years. The more functions a watch has, the quicker the battery will run out. Some quartz watches are equipped with battery end of life indicators, where the second hand will commonly jump in five second intervals when the battery is running out.

If your watch starts losing time or stops working, visit your nearest store and we’ll arrange for your battery to be changed.

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How To Look After Your Mechanical Watch

  • Manual (Hand-Winding) Mechanical

    Manual (Hand-Winding) Mechanical

    A manual mechanical movement is the oldest type of watch movement made, dating back to the 16th century, and requires daily winding in order to work.

    • Remove your watch from your wrist before winding.
    • Always wind your watch fully at the same each day, being careful not to force the crown.
    • It should be wound until you feel tension or tightness on the crown.
    • Stop winding as soon as you feel resistance, as forcing the crown can damage the mechanisms.
  • Automatic (Self-Winding) Mechanical

    Automatic (Self-Winding) Mechanical

    An automatic mechanical movement was first introduced during the beginning of the 20th century. As the name suggests, it winds itself while worn on the wrist so it doesn’t need daily hand-winding.

    • Your automatic watch should be worn daily for the best performance.
    • Discover our collection of WOLF watch winders to keep your watch ticking away whilst your not wearing it. Designed to not only keep your watch healthy through timed vibrations, but it's also the perfect place to safely store your automatic watch when it's not on your wrist.

Servicing Your Watch

  • Maintenance Service

    Maintenance Service

    We recommend you have a maintenance service on your watch every 18 to 24 months, although this will depend on the brand, the watch model and your own personal use. Refer to your specific user guide to double check what timings you should be adhering to. This will help ensure its water resistance and accurate performance of the movement. This service includes (although it might vary slightly by brand):

    • Rating/ regulation check
    • Replacing the crown, gaskets and battery for quartz movements
    • Water resistance control
    • Cleaning of the case and bracelet
    • Overall quality control check
  • Complete Overhaul

    Complete Overhaul

    A complete overhaul service on your watch is recommended every four to five years, although again the frequency we recommend will depend on the brand and your own personal use. This service includes (although it might vary slightly by brand):

    • Dismantling the movement and cleaning, oiling, regulating, reassembling all of the parts and checking all of the functions
    • Repairing or replacing any worn movement parts
    • Replacing the crown, gaskets and battery for quartz movements
    • Water resistance control
    • Cleaning of the case and bracelet
    • Final quality control

Pop Into Store For More Detail

Our friendly team will be happy to advise you in more detail. Some brands are only available in selected stores, so to ensure you receive the right care and advice, please check our store finder to locate your nearest stockist.

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Things To Avoid

1

Prolonged exposure to sunlight

Keeping your watch in direct sunlight for a prolonged period of time can fade the colour on your watch. Heat can also shorten the battery life, so it’s best to prevent your watch from being placed in direct sunlight.

2

Extreme temperatures

Exposing your watch to extreme temperatures can critically alter its performance. Avoid exposing your watch above 60°C and below 0°C.

3

Magnetic fields

Magnets can cause your watch to run slow, fast or completely stop. Mechanical watches should not be exposed to anything containing a magnet. Objects that give off magnetic fields include computers, speakers, refrigerator hook magnets, smartphones and even the fastening clips on handbags.

4

Impacts and shocks

However robust you think your watch is, impacts and shocks to your watch could result in damage to the case, crystal, the movement and the dial.

5

Chemicals

Avoid consistent contact with chemical products like solvents, detergents, perfumes, cosmetics etc. as prolonged exposure could damage the straps, case and gaskets. Perfumes can damage leather straps, weakening them and potentially causing them to tear. When spraying perfume or cologne, let it dry completely before placing the watch on your wrist.

Inspiration & Advice

Watch Size Guide

Watch Size Guide

Use our Watch Size Guide to help you find the right watch size.

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Watch Glossary

Watch Glossary

Learn about the different features, functions and parts of a watch in our glossary.

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Smart Watch Buying Guide

Smart Watch Buying Guide

Smart watches boast a host of impressive features such as heart rate monitors, GPS tracking and voice activated search.

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