Jaeger-LeCoultre shares advice on maintaining accuracy and ensuring longevity
Your first premium watch marks a real milestone in adult life as it’s a statement that reflects your character and innate sense of style. But just like your car (or body), it’s a complex machine with multiple moving parts; even watches with the most robust mechanism (or ‘movement’) and the most resilient waterproofing need regular check-ups to make sure they’re ticking along nicely.
“Watches should be serviced every three to five years,” advises a senior Jaeger-LeCoultre watchmaker. “Regular servicing ensures reliability and prevents the small internal parts of the watch getting damaged as the oil that lubricates the intricate mechanisms runs out.”
Luxury watch and jewellery retailer Wempe holds a Jaeger-LeCoultre Service License which entitles it to provide a full maintenance check of the all the brand’s luxury watches in-house. This consists of completely disassembling the movement of the watch; ultrasound cleaning and oiling the components; refitting the dial and hands; polishing the case; changing the seals and meticulously testing every aspect of the watch’s mechanics and aesthetics.
Besides scheduling a routine appointment for brand-approved, horological maintenance, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s expert has some additional advice on how to increase the overall lifespan of your treasured timepiece.
Most high-end, modern watches are very robust and maintain a high degree of accuracy, even if you’re unexpectedly caught in a torrential downpour or pushed into a pool at a raucous party. However, watch-case components are sealed together with rubber gaskets that need to be checked and replaced regularly because they lose their elasticity (and consequently water-resistance) over time, particularly when exposed to high temperatures, cosmetics, perfumes or cleaning products.
Leather watchstraps last longer if they are never submerged in water for prolonged periods. If swimming wearing your watch is non-negotiable, make sure the crown is screwed down tightly, rinse off chlorine or sea salt with fresh water after your dip and dry carefully with a non-abrasive cloth. Metal bracelets should be washed with a supple brush soaked in soapy water.
There are often more than 200 components in a watch, each performing a precise role. Every knock and jolt causes the fine oils within the timepiece to move, damaging the small internal parts, increasing the friction in the movement and causing it to work inconsistently by shortening its service intervals.
The winding crown of your watch is directly connected to the movement, so always lay it down flat to avoid denting the crown or causing internal damage.
Inadvertently magnetising your watch will affect its accuracy and can even cause it to stop completely, because its small components start to cling together and the function of the balance-spring is altered. Watches with steel casings are even more sensitive to magnetism as they amplify magnetic fields inside the movement.
Magnets are everywhere in the modern age – used to close handbags, glasses cases, wallets, fridges and cupboards. Everyday appliances including mobile phones, TVs, tablets, laptops, microwaves, induction hobs, hi-fis and hairdryers also produce magnetic fields. The worst offenders are walk-through scanners at airports, so always put your watch in the small tray provided.
If you suspect your watch has been magnetised, simply move the caseback around a compass. If the hands of the compass start to move, book a service to get it de-magnetised.
Jaeger Le-Coultre’s sage advice will save you time and money between regular services. As our watchmaker points out, “Your watch becomes a constant companion and should be treated with due care like all your most prized possessions.”