Keeping Fine Watches in Fine Form
High quality watches typically cost a large quantity of money, and it is unlikely, unless the watch’s owner is filthy rich and equally careless with his wealth, that an expensive watch will be tossed aside after a few years. The highest quality watches, from Rolexes to Bvlgaris, will likely be treasured for a generation or more. Even the highest quality watches, however, require regular servicing, which may mean a simple battery change or something more extensive, such as changing the rubber gaskets on a waterproof watch. How should a fancy watch owner go about finding a good service center, and what sort of servicing might be required?
First, before you take your precious watch, which cost you gobs of money, in for servicing at a local service center, check your owner’s manual. Some watch companies service their own products while others contract with service centers to make repairs. These authorized service centers will have the parts needed to repair your watch immediately available, they will be very familiar with the brand and the procedures for servicing it, and they will be regulated by the watchmakers to a certain extent. Taking your watch to an unauthorized service center could lead to lengthy or, even worse, shoddy repairs that will harm the integrity of your family heirloom.
When should expensive watches be sent in for repairs? First and foremost, check your owner’s manual for the watch manufacturer’s recommended servicing schedule. Mechanical watches typically need to be serviced more often, meaning once every couple of years. Otherwise, they may lose their accuracy or water-resistance. Quartz analog watches require less servicing than mechanical watches. Some basic servicing needs to be done every couple of years accompanying battery changes, but they won’t need a full servicing for six to ten years. A full digital quartz watch doesn’t actually require any servicing except for a change of batteries.
While the time and continual investment required for keeping a high quality watch in tip top shape is more than one might expect, expensive watches have an undeniable appeal. For wealthy adventurers, the $3,500 Breitling Emergency watch sends an SOS signal to a search and rescue station close by and will lead to a search and rescue operation by aircraft to find you. If you’re a stylish heiress who is unlikely to require rescuing, you might be interested in the $65,000 Patek Philippe dress watch with 264 hand set, high quality baguette diamonds. While most of us can only dream of owning such watches, it is important for the lucky few who do own high quality watches to keep their possessions in the best shape possible to preserve for future generations.