After spending your hard-earned money on an expensive timepiece, it is important to take good care of it. Dirt and scratches are unavoidable and will be found on any watch if you wear it regularly. However, little bit of care and maintenance can ensure that your watch will perform well, look brand new every time you wear it, and last a lifetime.
Let’s take a look at how to best clean different types of watches.
Solid Gold Watches
If your watch is made of solid gold then it’s best to dab a tiny amount of non-gel toothpaste on a cotton ball or cleaning cloth to clean it. Make sure the inside of the wristband and outside of the band along with its case is scrubbed gently yet firmly. You can also use a cotton bud to get into those hard-to-reach places. Once you have cleaned your gold watch thoroughly, you can use a damp cotton ball to get rid of the toothpaste residue. Always use a glass cleaner to clean the face of the watch.
Leather Watch Bands
Leather watch bands require regular cleaning and maintenance since they are one of the most absorbent materials used in watches. If you wear a leather watch every day then it is a good idea to clean your watch once in a week. Start by using a dry jewellery cloth to get rid of any dust or residue on the band. Next, use a wet cloth along with gentle soap to thoroughly clean the band. Make sure you use very little water to clean the band. Too much water can discolour and eventually warp the leather.
Gently rub the soapy water all over the band in circular motions followed by wiping the leather with another clean, damp cloth to remove any remaining residue. A leather watch band needs to be looked after properly whether you wear it every day or only on special occasions. For valuable timepieces like used Breitling watches, Chronoexpert recommends that you should keep your leather strap away from water, cosmetics or chemicals. Investing in a cleaning kit will bring back your leather band completely back to life.
If your watch is gold-plated then you need to be extra careful while cleaning it to avoid scratches. If you use a hard scrub then you might end up removing the gold-plating. While cleaning a gold-plated watch you should do so gently and slowly. You can clean your gold-plated watch with a damp cotton ball or cotton bud before and after every use. Antibacterial dish soap mixed with warm water is also one of the best ways to clean a gold-plated watch. Avoid using a soap containing dye or fragrance and opt for a natural, gentle soap instead.
Use a gentle toothbrush or a jeweller’s cloth to scrub between the links with the soapy water. If there is too much rust or grime on your watch then you may need to invest in good jewellery cleaner. Make sure you use the jewellery cleaner only on the band of the watch. In the case of stubborn rust you can also soak the band of your watch in ammonia solution for one minute only and then rinse it off with water and dry with a clean cloth.
Silver and Stainless Steel Watches
Antibacterial dish soap mixed with water works well for cleaning silver or stainless steel watches. With regular use, the polished look of silver or stainless steel watch can start to look dull. If you want your watch to shine, you can also use a glass cleaner to get rid of excessive grime and make your watch sparkle.
Use a soft toothbrush to clean your silver or stainless steel watch. You can also soak the band of your watch in a bowl of glass cleaner for up to 10-15 minutes which will make your watch look brand new, but be sure to avoid immersing the watch case in the water as this will ruin the workings of your watch. If you wear a silver or stainless steel watch every day then it will need a deep cleaning once a month.
If your watch is studded with diamonds or stones you will need to carefully clean each stone with a jewellery cloth. If you want your diamond watch to shine and sparkle then you can dip a cotton bud into a glass cleaner and gently rub it around the stones to make them sparkle again. You can also use a non-gel toothpaste along with jeweller’s cloth to gently scrub the hard-to-reach areas between bracelet links and around the stones. Make sure you are extra careful while cleaning a diamond watch in order to avoid any damage to the stones and use a polishing cloth to remove any residue left from cleaning. Avoid using a tissue or napkin since this can scratch your watch.
Now, as you can see, different watches clean differently and keeping them up and running and looking immaculate isn’t an easy thing to do. In case you make some mistakes, you won’t be able to fix the watch by yourself and therefore, you will not have an operable watch that you can use.
Therefore, with all the information in mind, we still recommend that you find a professional – someone who knows how to clean watches properly and reassemble them. That way you can be sure that your watch will be safe and sound. If you are unwilling to pay a pro, make sure to identify the type of your watch and follow the instructions above. Best of luck.