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Keep that Watch Clean

by Jordan Ficklin

I keep coming back to this topic, because it is one that I see nearly every day. You should really keep your watches clean. Besides, the fact that a watch full of body cheese is disgusting, it also causes your watch bracelet to wear out prematurely (I touched on this in A clean watch lasts forever and Tribology). A well made watch bracelet should provide you with many, many years of use. A Rolex bracelet, for example, should really provide you with 30 years of use if you keep it clean and wear it tight to the wrist.

We tend to rate watch bracelets by how much life is still in them. A new bracelet is 100%, a bracelet ready to fall apart and break is 0-10%. A ten year old bracelet should be at about 70% or so under normal use. A co-worker of mine showed me her Rolex yesterday, it is 7 years old and I would rate it at 85%. She takes good care of her watch.

Lets look at a brand new bracelet:100BracleetThis watch, however, which I looked at yesterday is only 10 years old and the bracelet is more like 30-40%:40Bracelet
I’ll spare you the pictures of the body cheese that was packed inside the bracelet, but pretty much their was no open spaces at all. All that dirt and grime is just wearing away the steel and causing this bracelet to wear out prematurely. Keep your watches clean!

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  1. Francis
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Hi 🙂 Interesting tip.

    I own a datejust with a jubilee style bracelet similar to the one in your picture. I usually save it for when I want to be a bit dressier, and so it ends up remaining fairly clean, but I’m actually not sure how to keep it clean for the decades of wear I’m sure are to come.

    How do you suggest cleaning a jubilee style bracelet? There are a lot of tiny little nooks and crevices that are fairly inaccessible.

  2. Tony
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Sometimes, I hate people:(
    I get a really dirty watch come in and wonder how anybody has the sheer nerve to take a watch to a jewelers in that appalling state.

    Also, bio-hazard warning stickers would be nice:)

  3. J.Peter
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Francis, first make sure the crown is screwed down on your watch (to ensure water resistance). Then, take a soft toothbrush and some hand soap and go at it. This will leave your bracelet nice and clean. Also, every once and a while you could drop by your jeweler and ask them to remove your bracelet and put it in the ultrasonic to clean it – this is probably a free (or very inexpensive) service.

  4. J.Peter
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Tony, hate is a strong word. I think most people just are not aware that their watch is disgusting. If you can come up with a nice way to indicate their watch is a little dirty and teach them how to clean it maybe next time it won’t be as bad. Occasionally, however, bio-hazard stickers are appropriate.

  5. Tony
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I think in some cases, people just don’t care.
    They wear their watches all the time, in bed, the bath/shower/hot tub etc. and think they are being cool.
    I mainly do warranty work for a UK distributor in the lowish range and see watches just a few months old that look as if they have been in a war zone. Again, no respect for the item they have spent their money on.
    It almost seems that regardless of the value, the watch to some is just another commodity.
    And of course, they expect the watchmaker to take better care of their watches than they do themselves… which, of course, we do.

    Still, keeps me busy.

  6. Francis
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the tip J.Peter 🙂

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