By Indra Jhaveri

With the arrival of smartphones and even smart watches, the necessity for a wristwatch has changed. While they are still practical, they should be seen as a piece of jewelry or accessory that can stylize any wrist.

When considering a watch more of a piece of jewelry than simply a timepiece, it makes sense to view it also as a sensitive, precision instrument that requires proper care and maintenance (like most jewelry and…even Apple watches). Mechanical, automatic and digital watches, both for the wrist and the pocket, as well as timepieces meant to be worn as pendants, all require maintenance and care at some point to lengthen its lifespan and keep it looking fresh.

A watch can be damaged from rugged overuse, dust, extreme temperatures and exposure to water or steam. Forceful blows can crack the crystal, damage the case, knock the hands off or misalign or damage the internal mechanism. Water can enter through three various places — the crystal, the crown and the back case. The crown is the mechanism used for winding and/or setting the time. The crystal covers the face of the watch, and the back case provides access to the movement.

Mechanical and automatic watches require regular winding to keep time. Mechanical watches are wound by hand and automatics are wound by the motion of the wearer. An “auto-winder” can be used to keep an automatic watch wound. While digital watches have a battery, an electronic circuit and fewer or no moving parts, they still require care.

Did you know that battery life may be extended by removing the battery? If the user wants to remove a battery, great care is required. It’s important not to touch the circuit or lose any of the screws, and to keep the battery in a secure location (and out of reach of the little hands and curious minds of a toddler as if swallowed, batteries can be very dangerous!) However, even when they are on the shelf, batteries have a limited lifespan and replacement is probably the most common service when it comes to a digital watch.

If a jeweler or watch repair person refers to an “overhaul,” he or she is referring to the complete disassembly and cleaning of every part of the watch movement including every gear, spring, bolt and nut.

Each piece is then individually cleaned in three different cleaning liquids and then inspected. Photographs can be taken of all internals if needed, and worn or broken parts are replaced as necessary before reassembly.

Given proper and appropriate service, a watch can give years, even decades of pleasure and accurate timekeeping to its owner. AMI Diamonds gives each watch repair individualized scrutiny and custom care — complete with guarantees.

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