The good news is that keeping your timepieces clean isn’t difficult, and I asked Jason for some easy-to-follow procedures that you can perform from the comfort of your own home. Please examine the following before we go into the real gritty. First, please familiarise yourself with your watch before proceeding beyond wiping the tail of your t-shirt over the crystal to remove a fingerprint. To follow the procedures below, you must first comprehend the status of your watch. While the following is meant to expose your watch to the bare minimum of wetness and abrasion, it’s still a good idea to check for water resistance, the eye’s overall condition, and the methods by which it keeps the outside world out. This is especially important if you want to clean old timepieces, as moisture is often a terrible thing for them.
With that in mind, there will be no damp rags, no dunks, and definitely no suggestions to rinse your watch under the faucet. While certain eyes can be treated this way, we’re going for a more gentle approach. Let’s take a look at the supplies you’ll require.
A watch-specific brush or a soft-bristled toothbrush, preferably one that has been used (thus especially soft) before being washed and dried before getting near your watch.
Jason uses a Cape Cod Detail Brush, peg wood, a Cape Cod microfiber towel, microfiber detail sticks, and wipes from Medtrica if you want to utilize what the experts use (shown above). Here are the basic steps to follow once you’ve gathered your tools.
Step 1: Examine the Timepiece
Cleaning your watch is an excellent opportunity to examine it closely (ideally with a basic magnifying lens) and assess its condition. Look for any damage that might allow moisture to get in. Keep a close eye on the crown’s state and other moving parts. Examine the crystal’s edge (where it is mounted to the case). Your watch should be properly inspected and serviced if the crystal has a chip or any visible place where it is not firmly bonded to the casing (and then cleaned).
Remove Your Bracelet Or Strap in Step 2
Remove the band or strap from your watch with an appropriate spring bar tool if you are comfortable doing so. This will give you access to one of your watch’s dirtiest areas: the inside side of the lugs and the bracelet’s end link. While we’ll cover how to clean and care for non-bracelet choices later, removing your bracelet makes it much easier to clean both the watch and the bracelet. Remove your preferred mount and place it to the side for a bit.
Step 3: Clean Your Watch
Carefully clean every facet, nook, etching, and edge with one of the wipes. A quick once-over should take a minute or two, and with the watch generally clean, you’ll be able to view the most tenacious dirt accumulations.
Step 4: Using a Toothpick (Or a Brush)
Take a toothpick and snip off the brittle tip if any sticky filth didn’t come off with the wipe. Wrap the toothpick around the wipe’s edge and carefully massage the tougher edge into the trouble spots (while ensuring the toothpick does not tear through the wipe). If the cleaning has displaced some horological debris, carefully brush it away with the detailed brush (or your soft-bristle toothbrush). Please bear in mind (again, know your watch) that softer metals can be damaged by anything as simple as a toothpick, so wipe as thoroughly as possible, especially on precious metal casings. Please don’t get scratched if you’re not sure. Contact your AD to get your valuable timepiece properly cleaned.
Step 5: Applying Microfiber
Finish by wiping off the watch with a soft, clean microfiber that may rapidly absorb any extra moisture (as well as oils from your skin while you’re wearing it). Wrap the cloth around your finger and use your fingernail to ensure it reaches all of the hard-to-reach areas, including the bezel edge, crystal edge, inner lugs, and caseback seam.
You should now have one extremely clean watch. For those who removed their bracelet, the following methods are basically comparable for cleaning a bracelet, but you may start by bathing it in warm soapy water, brushing it clean with the toothbrush, and then lying it flat in the fold of a paper towel, tapping the water (and dirt) out.
Remove your spring bars and inspect the endlinks (particularly if they’re the dirt-trap folded sort) and the clasp, paying specific attention to additional pieces like wetsuit extensions. If your bracelet is very intricate (especially the clasp), make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and/or consult your AD about specific cleaning procedures. Once the bracelet is clean, a microfiber towel may be used to swiftly dry it.
That’s it — your wrist is now fresh, clean, and ready for a non-gross existence. After you’ve performed this deep cleaning, Jason advises giving the watch a quick once-over with a cleaning wipe every few days to maintain it clean. This is especially essential given the growing attention on hand-washing and the fact that the act frequently results in water and soap gathering under a watch, allowing extra filth to build up over time. When washing your hands, remove your watch and replace it on a clean (and dry) wrist as soon as feasible.
Okay, you’re good to go. Re-attach your favourite bracelet or strap, and flaunt that gleaming watch wherever your (probably) filthy legs lead you.