How To Care For Vintage Watches


Collecting vintage watches is like collecting art: it’s an enjoyable hobby, and vintage watches are certainly pieces of art. Carrying such artistic, historical worth, while also still being functional timepieces is what makes vintage watches so valuable. Many older watches are delicate with fragile internal movements and pivots, as well as not made with water resistance. Despite how old a vintage timepiece is, it should be mindfully cared for and preserved to be passed on or sold for generations to come. So how do you properly take care of a vintage watch? There are a few important tips to keep in mind when it comes to watch care. We’re going to list them out today so you will be better prepared to keep your treasured vintage piece in tip top condition.

Watch The Surface You’re On

The last thing you want to have happen is for your expensive, vintage watch to break because you accidentally dropped it on a hard surface. This can easily be avoided! If you’re wearing your vintage watch, this is a critical preventative tip when putting your watch on or taking it off. Be sure you are standing over a soft surface, like a bed, couch or carpet at least. You can even place a fluffy towel or blanket on your bathroom counter when you are putting the watch on or taking it off. If you drop your vintage watch during this process, at least you’ll know that something soft is going to catch its fall and the chance of it breaking is slim.

Keep Far Away From Water And Air Moisture

While many watches are made for water resistance, including a variety of vintage Rolex timepieces, that doesn’t mean they can withstand water now. Water can easily seep into the mechanics of a watch, old or new. While water damage can be an easy fix on a modern watch, this is not the case with a water-damaged vintage watch. Be preventative and keep your vintage timepiece away from water all together. This includes moisture in the air even. Highly air conditioned rooms or extra heated rooms can affect the pressure of your watch, allowing water molecules to sneak in. If this does happen to you, take the watch off and let the water vapor dissipate. Be mindful of walking in the rain or snow with your vintage watch exposed, and try not to leave it on the bathroom counter when you’re taking a hot, steamy shower.


Be Mindful Of Manual Labor

Again, vintage watches are delicate, depending on their age. This means that the shock absorbers are not as strong as they might’ve been back at its creation. Don’t wear your vintage watch if you’re doing heavy manual labor, like lifting boxes, doing carpentry work or even playing tennis.


Watch The Magnetism

Mechanical watches can become magnetized. This affects how the watch tells time. That being said, make sure you keep your mechanical vintage watch far away from audio speakers, phone handsets and electric motors. To test the magnetism of your watch, hold a compass near the watch’s movement and see if the compass needle vibrates with the watch’s movement. If so, then your vintage watch has been magnetized.


Service Your Watch Regularly

Vintage watches require regular maintenance if you are wearing and using it every day. When you first purchase the timepiece, get it serviced so square everything away, and then schedule regular service appointments to make sure everything is looking good. If you notice it not tracking time correctly, you’ll definitely need to get it looked at too.

Increase the lifespan of your vintage watch by taking care of it and getting it serviced regularly. By doing so, you’re increasing its lifespan and giving yourself the opportunity to pass it down or sell it when you are ready. For more information about vintage timepieces, give us a call at Craft and Tailored.