5 Do’s and Don'ts in Caring for your Vintage Watch

5 Do’s and Don'ts in Caring for your Vintage Watch

Despite the soaring popularity of smart machines, mechanical vintage and luxury watches still hold a special place in people’s hearts. In fact, the sales of second hand, high-end watches has grown to a $20-billion market despite the global pandemic.

Whether you are buying a vintage watch for its elegant look, interesting story, or value as a part of a collection or heirloom, you must give it the proper care and maintenance to ensure that it indeed lasts a lifetime.

Here are some essential do’s and don’ts in caring for your vintage and luxury watches:


1. Do use a watch box when your piece is not in use

Brown Leather Watch Roll


If you want to keep your watch in pristine condition, you need to store it properly – away from direct sunlight, dust, magnetic fields, and other harsh elements.

As much as possible, keep your watch stored in a dry, cool, dark area to prevent humidity or moisture from corroding its vulnerable parts. The best way to do this is to store your precious time piece in a watch box.

At FIVE:45, we offer a wide range of quality watch boxes to suit your preference and taste. For the astute luxury watch collector, buy a watch box from a trusted, premier brand like Wolf.

Established in 1834, Wolf is well-known for its beautiful, practical jewellery storage designs. They offer a wide range of watch boxes in assorted colours, materials, and styles to suit your exquisite tastes.

Wolf Watch Box


Don’t store your vintage watch in a watch winder for any length of time

Some watch box models come with an added feature – a programmable or automatic winder. While some owners suggest storing your vintage watch in a watch winder, most experts do not recommend doing so.

Watch winders keep your watch moving by keeping it fully wound. However, older watches cannot withstand the constant winding, which may wear down its tiny components until it breaks.

Keep your vintage watch idle inside its box until you’re ready to wear it. If you haven’t bought a watch box yet, you can lay it flat on a drawer or store it in a special case until you can invest in a watch box.


2. Do wind your watch regularly

Wind your Watch


This may sound contrary to the first tip, but vintage watches do need regular winding – just not too much. Watchmakers recommend winding a mechanical watch at least once a month.

Winding helps lubricate the watch’s components and ensures that everything is in proper working order. Just remember to stop winding as soon as you feel resistance from the crown. Overwinding can cause irreparable damage to your watch.


Don’t wind your watch while wearing it

Though it seems more convenient, never wind a watch (even if it’s not vintage) while it is still on your wrist. It is highly possible to overwind a watch when you’re wearing it and cause unnecessary stress to the mechanism.

Moreover, you can cause some severe damage to the crown if you pull it or thread it back from the wrong angle. This will cause the crown to jam, misalign, or unintentionally create an entry for water to seep in and damage the watch’s internal mechanism.

Remove the watch first, then gently wind the crown. This will allow you to wind the crown at the right angle, plus it will make it easier for you to feel crown resistance, which signals you to stop winding. Just be mindful of where you take it off, especially if it’s a fragile dress piece.


3.   Do keep your watch clean

Keep your watch clean


Sometimes, dust accumulates where you least expect it. If you are not careful, dust can slip inside your watch and wreak havoc on the mechanism. For this reason, you should make it a habit to wipe your watch clean with a soft cloth, paying close attention to its case back.

Dirt tends to accumulate where there is moisture, and the back of your watch is probably coated with perspiration from your wrist.

Don’t use harsh cleaning materials for your watch

Do not use any chemicals, jewellery cleaners, or even water as these may cause permanent damage to your watch’s casing. Also, be selective of the cleaning cloth you use. Some clothes are rough enough to damage or scratch the watch’s crystal – and depending on the watch’s make, the scratch may never be buffed out.


4. Do choose when to wear your watch

While it might be tempting to wear your vintage watch every day of the week, this is not advisable. Be selective of when you use your watch to prevent wear and tear and to protect it from the elements.

While it might be tempting to wear your vintage watch every day of the week, this is not advisable. Be selective of when you use your watch to prevent wear and tear and to protect it from the elements.

Don’t wear your luxury watch during strenuous activities

Don’t wear your watch if you are planning to engage in activities that involve a lot of arm movements or that require staying anywhere near water.


Watch in water


Most vintage watches are not water-resistant nor shockproof. If you wear them while swimming or golfing, you will end up with a broken watch.

You should also steer clear of places with hot temperatures, such as saunas and spas, while wearing your watch. The extreme change in temperature will cause your watch metal casing to expand and contract, making it easier for moisture to seep in.


5. Do schedule regular service

As a rule of thumb, luxury watches must be serviced every two to three years to check if the components are still working and are properly lubricated.

Who services your watch?

While many watch owners prefer to send their beloved watch to its original manufacturer for servicing, you may want to choose another service centre that specifically deals with pre owned and vintage watches.

They will know how to keep your vintage watch in excellent condition without devaluing it through the replacement of “old” parts (e.g., dials, bezels, crowns) with newer ones. You can even ask the service centre to clean and remove unwanted scratches from your timepiece.

FIVE:45 Service Centre


FIVE:45 has partnered with a few industry leading watchmakers who have had the necessary many years of experience working with all kinds of watches. We will make sure your watch gets the attention and care it deserves.

We also offer other watch services, often in-house, including the changing of straps/bracelets, polishing and cleaning your watch, magnetic testing and correction, and machine testing to check the accuracy of any mechanical watch. We provide a one-year guarantee for every watch we service.

Is it time to get your luxury watch checked? Contact us today!



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