Watch care – 3 simple tips to make your watch last a lifetime

Watch care: How do you look after a watch properly? What is the best way to store a timepiece? What to do if the heirloom no longer ticks? Do I need a watch winder?

Watch wearers ask themselves these questions and more again and again. Anyone who has bought a favourite watch obviously wishes to enjoy it for a lifetime.

Most wristwatches are of the highest quality and very robust. Nevertheless, the timepieces and their precision mechanics require a certain amount of attention and care to guarantee their longevity. Environmental influences and frequent wearing can affect the lifespan of watches. Reto Baumgartner and Lukas Reinhard reveal what you can do yourself to maintain and care for your favourite piece. If you are still unsure, Reto and Lukas will be happy to look after and clean your watch in the atelier in Aarberg.

Tips for correct care

Clean the watch case properly

Watches with a water resistance of at least 50 meters can also be cleaned under running water. However, you should first check that the crown is firmly screwed down to prevent water from entering the case and thus the movement.

Avoid detergents or other cleaning agents at all costs. Plain water is sufficient. After washing, you should dry the watch thoroughly with a soft cotton cloth.

Watch care with cotton cloths

Be careful with leather and textile bracelets – sturgeon bracelets are an ideal alternative

Leather bracelets should be handled with care. They are afraid of water, as water and sweat stains can quickly form on this natural product. As leather is also susceptible to heat and dryness, smooth leather should be cleaned regularly with special leather care products. Suede leather can be cleaned with a soft, slightly damp cloth.

Stainless steel is relatively easy to clean and can be polished with a soft damp cloth.

Rubber is insensitive to water and is therefore mainly used for diving watches. After contact with salt water, the strap should nevertheless be cleaned with mild soapy water. Then rinse with clear water and dry with a cloth.

Too much moisture can damage textile wristbands in the long term, causing them to become stiff and brittle. Fabric straps can be easily cleaned with soap or a mild detergent. After rinsing, however, they should be left to dry completely before being put back on.

For some time now, RB Baumgartner has been recommending the sturgeon skin bracelets that Sabina Brägger in Bern produces exclusively from the leather of sturgeon of the Frutigen Tropical House. The sturgeon leather is waterproof and there are no unsightly sweat marks. The leather also does not turn rancid and is very durable thanks to the vegetable tanning process. Because there are no identical pieces of sturgeon hide, the product is unique – like a fingerprint – sometimes the leather has a lot of structure, sometimes less. The beautiful patina of the sturgeon leather, which intensifies over the years, is certainly also unique. The leather is naturally tanned with the natural plant material mimosa and is therefore stronger to handle. As the leather is neither bleached nor further treated, it is very comfortable to wear on the skin and does not trigger any allergic reactions.  

Tips for correct handling

A certain routine in handling your wristwatch can help you to positively influence the longevity of your watch with little effort. Our five tips will help you to enjoy your timepiece for a long time to come.

Watches do not need creams – quite the opposite. Contact with skin creams, lotions and perfumes can damage the material.

After contact with salt water, you should always rinse your watch with clean fresh water. Salt water has an aggressive effect on metal as well as silicone and rubber seals and can accelerate the ageing process or lead to leaks.

Watches do not like being exposed to the sun, as UV radiation can bleach the dial and the heat can damage it. Excessive temperature fluctuations can have a negative impact on the accuracy of the watch. In addition, the lubricants in the movement can evaporate too quickly, causing fine components to become brittle and reducing the battery life of a quartz watch. Direct sunlight and going to the sauna should therefore be avoided.

Tips for correct storage

Storing watches correctly is important. Most people take their watches off when they go to sleep. Even if you switch between models frequently, you should make sure that your watch is stored properly.

Store your watch protected from sunlight, heat and moisture and at room temperature. It is best to store the watch in a box or the original box.

Watch care – Storing in the original box

You should consider using a watch winder if you have an automatic watch with a calendar function and/or moon phase display that you do not wear regularly. This is because setting these functions is not easy once the watch has stopped.

Good watch winders also have a “sleep phase” that allows them to rest at night, similar to natural wearing behaviour. Also make sure that the watch winder can rotate in both directions. In addition to their functional purpose, the models made from high-quality materials also set the perfect scene for your timepieces. The selection ranges from discreet to elegant to design highlights. We will be happy to help you choose the right device.

Watch care – watch winder

What to do when the clock stops ticking?

Should your favourite watch nevertheless stop ticking, Lukas Reinhard and Reto Baumgartner will be happy to help you. You can bring your watch directly to the workshop in Aarberg, to the partner workshops (SchmuckZyt in Solothurn, Sollberger Uhren & Schmuck in Wiedlisbach and Youmy in Küssnacht am Rigi) or to the new repair center at Iten Elektro AG in Münchenbuchsee, or send it by post with a repair order, which you can download from the website under Service. The RB Baumgartner team will be happy to take care of the repair or overhaul.


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