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Watch Care Guide

Cleaning Your Watch

Stainless steel watches
You can clean your metal watch case and bracelet with a soft brush (old tooth brush works a treat) with cold or mildly warm water with liquid soap; unless the watch has no water resistance. Afterwards rinse it off with cold water and use a dry cloth to dry and polish it.

Over time human sweat which is acidic and contains salt can corrode and blemish the underside of your watch, and there can be a build up of dead skin and debris from the air around us. If you clean it every couple of months, it will help prolong the appearance of your timepiece.

Please note: If your watch does not have a water resistance rating at all, please use a dry cloth to clean and polish the watch case.

Leather strapped watches
To prolong the life of your leather strap, avoid the following:

  • Exposure to direct sunlight for long periods as it can fade the leather and dry it out (just like a sofa)
  • Submerging a leather strap watch in water for long periods of time (go for a rubber or stainless steel bracelet model instead)
  • Avoid contact with solvents, detergents and perfumes

Like metal straps our sweat will deteriorate the leather strap as well as normal wear and tear, however replacing a leather strap is easy and usually cheap to do. If you need to replace your leather strap simply give us a call or send us a message via our contact page with the brand and model number of your watch, and we will try and source it for you; or contact the manufacturer directly who will also be able to help.

Like all leather goods from shoes to sofas you can buy leather polish to help protect your leather strap against water and direct sunlight. All you need to do is make sure you choose the correct colour and be sure to test it first on a small area of the strap; preferably the part that is hidden under the buckle clasp fastening.

Rubber and plastic strapped watches
Plastic and rubber straps should not be exposed to fragrance sprays, chemicals, detergents and gasses. Try to avoid getting oily substances or paint on your watch as it will prove difficult to remove, like leather straps plastic and rubber will deteriorate over time and may harden and discolour after extensive use and wear and tear.

Most divers watches use rubber straps, it is important to clean the strap with warm water and liquid soap every time it is used in the sea. The sea as you no has a high salt content and if left can build up and also blemish the strap over time. Plastic is also easy to clean using the same method with a soft brush.

Watch Servicing & Repairs

Quartz battery powered watch movements
Most quartz watches are powered solely by batteries, however some models from Fossil use a mixture of quartz and automatic movements; please read your manual for full information. If your watch stops working you should send it to the service centre (details of which can be found in your manual) to have the battery replaced as soon as possible. While they are replacing the battery it's a good idea to have your watch serviced especially if your watch is water resistant, any worn seals or gaskets will be replaced at the same time. Quartz movements contain both electronic and mechanical parts which will need periodic servicing every couple of years.

Most Quartz batteries last around two years; some watches do house batteries that last as long as 10 years, for full details please read your manual that came with your watch.

Please note: If you leave a dead battery in your watch for along period of time, it will more than likely leak and could permanently damage your watch.

Automatic and mechanical watch movements
Mechanical and automatic watches should be serviced by the manufacturers service centre (details can be found in your manual) every 3 years to keep your watch accurate, they also require cleaning and servicing as the movement can be made up of hundreds of moving parts which can stop if even the smallest particle of dust or debris manages to get inside; which in turn could damage it.

Automatic watches are powered by the wearer's movements, this means if the watch is left for a long period of time without being worn you will have to manually wind the watch. Instructions for doing so can be found in the manufacturer's booklet that arrived with your watch.

Please note: You should keep your automatic or mechanical watch away from magnetic sources, leaving it near things like HiFi or Cinema speakers, white goods or other sources which produce a magnetic field may damage the movement and stop it from working.

The above tips are for your guidance only, it is important to read the manufacturers guarantee book that arrives with your watch. The British Watch Company can not be held responsible and does not imply that the above information is accurate.