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Vintage Watch Care Tips from Experts

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While it is fashionable to acquire secondhand and vintage watches these days, it is vital to remember that historical watches may not be as sturdy and durable as their modern-day equivalents. A vintage watch, like anything of significant age, necessitates special attention. When it comes to vintage Rolex watches, this is especially true. Newly constructed timepieces have no wear on their components, which means they can often run for many years before exhibiting any problems. 

All watches, however, will need maintenance at some point, and Rolex recommends a full service every ten years to ensure proper performance.Here are some helpful hints for caring for your vintage timepiece.

Be Careful and take Gentle Care

It’s vital to remember that vintage watches are much more delicate than modern timepieces. Years ago, businesses lacked access to the high-tech materials that make a case robust, as well as a variety of other coatings and assets that are now employed in watchmaking. Some vintage metal bracelet watches even contain hollow links rather than solid links, making them lighter in weight and more prone to scratching and dimpling if slammed against something hard.

Do Not Expect Perfection

Vintage watches may be slightly less precise than modern timepieces. Your vintage watch should be accurate to within a minute or three per day. Keep in mind that the watch may be older than you, therefore its performance will be imperfect.

Don’t Excessively Wind

Because quartz watches were not invented until 1969, all vintage watches made before that year are mechanical. If you have a mechanical watch, it will almost certainly need to be wound on a regular basis, regardless of its age. 

If the watch is self-winding (automatic), it only has to be wound if it has fully stopped. You can wind a hand-winding watch even while it is still running. In all cases, however, stop winding as soon as you sense resistance in the crown. If you try to squeeze one more turn out of it, you risk damaging the mainspring by overwinding it.

Keep it Dry and Away from Water

Water resistance was not given the same importance in vintage timepieces as it is today. Old watch gaskets may have dried out, and certain chronograph watches may not even have gaskets, allowing moisture to sneak in and generate fog under the crystal. Although the vapor should eventually dissipate, it is advisable to avoid water at all costs.

Let it Take a Break

Leave your antique watch at home if you’re planning a rigorous activity that requires your arm to be in full motion, such as hitting the tennis courts or hitting the golf course. Many of yesterday’s timepieces are delicate and cannot sustain as much shock as today’s tougher pieces, just as they were not as water resistant as today’s watches.

The watch movement is particularly prone to dust while the crown is open for setting. Pull out the crown to set the watch in a clean, dry environment, such as while sitting at a table. Wipe the outside of the watch down with a gentle cloth to keep it clean. Remember to wipe the caseback, which might collect dirt from perspiration on the wrist. You don’t want the dirt to work its way into the movement.

Keep the Watch Clean

The watch movement is particularly prone to dust while the crown is open for setting. Pull out the crown to set the watch in a clean, dry environment, such as while sitting at a table. Remember to wipe the caseback, which might collect dirt from perspiration on the wrist. You don’t want the dirt to get into your movement.

Have it Serviced

Every two or three years, have the vintage watch serviced to ensure the movement is clean and new oils are added. However, it’s also critical that you inform the watch’s service provider. A watch may be polished to remove scratches or wear during servicing. You may want to tell them not to polish the metal if there is a scratch on your watch that has a special memory attached to it. Let the watchmaker/brand know if you don’t want the dial changed.

Do Not Use Watch Winder

It’s best to store your vintage watch in its box or lay it flat in a watch drawer when you’re not wearing it. Despite the fact that watch winders are widely used today, watch experts argue that vintage timepieces were not designed to have their mainsprings fully wound at all times. The lubrication in the movement may have a shorter lifespan due to the constant winding.

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