Hints & Tips





Horological Workshop for

Antique and Vintage Watches and Clocks

Member of the British Horological Institute

Member of the British Watch And Clockmakers Guild

A watch is one of the most delicate mechanisms in daily use; yet it supposed to function day in and day out. Of course you want the watch to give you good service and it will do so if you treat it kindly.

Many antique watches are accurate timekeepers, others are not! The accuracy of a mechanical watch depends on many factors and can even change when it is used in a different environment. The movement of our body, the restlessness of our arms can jolt and jar a watch and as a result the timekeeping can be altered. The changes can be so minimal that many of us don’t notice them until may be a week has passed. Sometimes it is possible to compensate a little by making adjustments to the movement, in other cases these variations are due to design and/or quality.

Vehicles are ruggedly constructed. Some weigh tons. Many of their parts are so heavy that ordinary people cannot lift them. And yet, vehicles must receive frequent attention. The oil has to be changed every 7000 miles or so; components have to be replaced. If this is not done, trouble is sure to follow.

A watch is made up of tiny precision parts, some are so small that they can hardly be seen by the naked eye. Certain watch parts can be so delicate that they are thinner than a human hair. It is often expected from a watch to work twenty four hours a day, for an indefinite number of years. The magic is that unlike vehicles, watches can do this, provided they receive a little care and attention. All you need to do is this:

Don’t open the back of the case. The tiniest speck of dust or moisture can harm the mechanism or the finish!

Remove the watch from your wrist when washing your hands! A small drop of moisture entering the case may rust the hairspring or other vital parts.

With water protected watches, only rely on the water protection if the watch has been tested for water tightness in a workshop equipped to do so.

If the glass ever breaks or cracks, immediately have it it replaced with another. Don’t let dust or moisture get on to the dial or the inside of the watch.

Don’t expose the watch to any strong impacts. The delicate pivots may break or bend and the tiny jewels could crack as a result.

Have the watch serviced on a regular basis. If you choose to use it daily the recommendation is to have it checked by a experienced and qualified watchmaker every two years at the latest.

If your watch needs attention give it to an experienced and qualified watchmaker.

Never try to oil your watch yourself. Lubricants used in Horology are specialised substances which have to be applied with great care. The wrong lubrication can result in serious damage to your watch.

If you follow these simple instructions you will get a lifetime of satisfactory service from your watch.

Hints & Tips