So you’ve purchased your first mechanical watch. Now what? It’s time to take care of it. It’s easy to forget that a mechanical watch isn’t just a watch—it’s a tiny little machine on your wrist. It’s one that requires maintenance from time to time and above all, a little care. While some of these tips were originally published on our blog back in 2015, we’re back with more to help you look after your prized timepiece.
Before you use your watch for the day you may need to wind it and set the time. It’s recommended to do both before you even put the watch on your wrist. This is to avoid unnecessary tension on the crown and stem. Additionally, for most Orient watches like the AA02 II or AC00 it is advised that you do not set the date on the watch between 8PM and 4AM (based on the time listed on the watch).
In the last few years our in-house made movements have evolved in capability: from automatic only to being automatic, hand-winding and hacking. Winding is the act of giving power to your watch. In this case we’ll be talking about hand-winding and the possibility of over winding. Watches like the GMT that have power reserve indicators make it easier to tell when a watch is fully wound. But what about other watches that don’t have this feature? When winding a watch by hand, keep rotating the crown until you feel a slight resistance. On average, it will take around 30 rotations of an Orient watch crown to achieve full power.
Alternatively, instead of winding your Kamasu watch manually, you can give it a few shakes to get it up and running. This is the automatic aspect of our mechanical movements. After putting the watch on your wrist, your natural movement should wind it up just fine. All Orient movements sport a 40+ hour power reserve, so if you wear your AK00 Version 3 watch daily, you won’t have to worry about it stopping overnight after you’ve taken it off for the day. It is important to point out that a watch keeps time most accurately when wound at least halfway to full in its power reserve. And while it is possible for an automatic watch to be overwound, this occurs less in newer, modern watches.
Unless you have a watch like the Neptune that’s reinforced for water resistance, shock resistance and anti-magnetism, it might be a little more exposed to the elements.
We’ve stated before that water and moisture are the most common enemies of a mechanical watch. This is why it’s important to always make sure that the crown of your watch is always pushed or screwed in when you’re not setting it. It’s also not recommended that you shower with your watch. We know that a lot of people do it, however the drastic change in temperature may have adverse effects on seals, lubricants, and other internal components.
Aside from water, shock and magnetism can affect your watch as well. Shock is straightforward—dropping or knocking around your watch can have negative effects on its performance and aesthetic. Magnetism is a bit more nuanced since your watch can get magnetized by everyday items you never considered. In fact, objects like speakers, microwaves, cell phones and tablets (especially with those magnetic cases) can alter your watch. Magnetization generally causes a watch to gain time and run unreliably.
Long and Short-Term Maintenance
So how do you keep your watch shiny and looking new? It’s as simple as using water, a soft brush, a polishing cloth, and some elbow grease. Again, make sure that the crown is in its sealed position. While the method differs for leather straps, you can certainly use it for rubber and metal bracelets.
In terms of servicing the actual movement of your watch, the rule of thumb is between 3-5 years. This will ensure that all the parts are clean and functioning, well-lubricated, and ready for years to come.