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Repair & Care of the Finest Watches Since 1987

The Ultimate Guide on How to Clean your Watch

16 October 2015 by Greg Kelly

How to clean your watch

Watches are one of life's trusty companions. They adorn our wrists during those lengthy office meetings, our hazy summer retreats and our daily commute. Along the way our precious timepieces begin to pick up the dirt and grime of daily life and begin to lose their shimmer. To make sure the watch you love lasts for a long number of years we recommend some cleaning techniques you can use to keep it looking its best 


  • Leather Watch Straps 

Your watch strap is in constant contact with your skin often on a daily basis making it susceptible to damage caused by perspiration and dust. This is absorbed by the leather reducing the lifetime and appearance of the strap. To slow down the acceleration of wear you should wipe the outside and inside of your strap daily, either first thing in the morning before you put it on or last thing at night after you take it off, with a soft dry cloth which will help remove contaminants before they get a chance to build up.

  • Metal Bracelet 

It is easy for metal bracelets to gather a build up of contaminants that begin to dull and even damage the appearance and connections of your bracelet. Perspiration, dust and even dead skin (apologises to our squeamish readers) if allowed to accumulate, will cause your watches quality to deteriorate. To clean your metal bracelet first remove it from your watch (always use proper tooling to do this such as the Bergeon watch spring bar tool) and then mix warm water with a touch of detergent and use a soft brush (a child's toothbrush with fine bristles will do a good job) and very gently give your bracelet a clean making sure to get in-between the links. Once you have gave the bracelet a good clean rinse with clean water and allow to dry completely before reattaching to your watch. We recommend doing this at least once a month to keep your bracelet in good condition. 

  • Removing Scratches

No matter how careful we are scratches are bound to happen sooner or later to our favourite watch. Some people accept it as part of the character of their timepiece, like trusty battle scars, while others look for quick fixes to get it back to as new condition. There are no magic clothes or polishes available which will remove those scratches without damaging your watch so do not fall for the snake oil sales messages. If you would like your watches refurbished then visit an accredited watchmaker who has been specifically trained in polishing to refurbish your watch. Our watchmaker Tuomas went through intensive training from Rolex in polishing so do not let anyone loose on your watch who has not had adequate training to a high standard. Polishing is an artwork and one that needs a special skill set or else you risk ruining your watch. If you are looking to have your watch refurbished we recommend you have it done every 5 years depending on the condition of watch. Some people recommend never having your watch polished as it will effect the resale value but we say unless you have a very rare model which you have bought as an investment there is nothing wrong with your watch getting some TLC after many years of trusted service.

British Watch and Clockmakers Guild
British Horological Institute
American Watch and Clockmakers Institute

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