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It’s not all fun

by J.Peter

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I love watchmaking! I very rarely have a day where I don’t enjoy what I do. Don’t get me wrong however, it’s not all fun.

Today I write about one of the less appealing aspects of my career, in case you were thinking about becoming a watchmaker.

Body Cheese is what we call it. I don’t know where that name came from but it is appropriate. Not everyone has perfect hygiene, I’m sure I don’t but I clean my watch on a regular basis. Here is what it looks like if you don’t.


I see this on a daily basis, not always this bad but to some extent. I keep hand sanitizer around for exactly this purpose. This isn’t the worse I’ve seen, just the worse this week. If you don’t think you can handle this, watchmaking may not be for you.

To the consumer: Bracelet cleaning options:.

    If your watch is waterproof (like this Rolex):

  1. Take it to the sink get an old toothbrush and some hand soap and go at it under running water about once a month or so to prevent it getting this bad.
  2. Take it to a reputable jeweler or watchmaker and have them ultrasonically clean the bracelet.
  3. If it’s not waterproof:

  4. Take it to a reputable jeweler or watchmaker and have it cleaned (if you’re a good customer they’ll most likely do it for free) If you’re not they may charge you a little bit.
  5. If you feel comfortable doing so: Remove the bracelet and clean it with soap and water and a toothbrush as described above.
  6. Clean the case (and/or bracelet) with a dry toothbrush.

Never put your watch case in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. Never use an ammonia based cleaner to clean your Rolex bezel (it will fade!). Never use harsh chemicals on your watch case (like Acetone, alchohol, Benzene, Naptha, etc) they will damage gaskets.

Keep your watches clean. It keeps your watchmaker happy, it keeps you healthy, and it helps your watches & especially watch bracelets last longer.

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