Maintenance Of High Grade Mechanical Automatic Watches

Maintenance of​ High Grade Mechanical (Automatic) Watches
you​ now are the proud owner of​ a​ fine mechanical watch .​
It is​ the watch you​ will pass down to​ your​ grandchild .​
High grade timepieces are known for​ quality and​ durability but like all machines, they need to​ be maintained to​ perform at​ fullest potential .​
With proper maintenance you​ will have a​ fine timepiece to​ wear with satisfaction​ knowing it​ is​ running with precision.
When my customers ask, Why does an​ overhaul cost so much? I​ usually show them my method of​ taking the watch apart and​ the number of​ parts and​ how meticulous I​ have to​ be in​ handling them .​
Then they understand​ .​
Hopefully, this​ article will also impart the same understanding to​ you, the reader.
Manufacturers recommend an​ overhaul be performed, on​ average, every 3-5 years depending on​ usage .​
By usage, I​ mean how careful you​ are with your​ watch .​
if​ you​ wear it​ to​ do heavy construction​ work, for​ example, it​ will need more frequent cleaning than one worn during office work .​
Just because you​ can wear a​ watch when you​ shower doesn’t mean you​ should .​
Soap scum, at​ a​ minimum, looks bad .​

An overhaul requires the watch to​ be totally taken apart and​ each part cleaned ultrasonically in​ a​ special solution​ to​ remove all traces of​ the old oil, dirt and​ dust .​
There are approximately 250 parts in​ a​ calendar automatic mechanical movement .​
It is​ then rinsed twice in​ another solution​ and​ heat dried .​
All worn movement parts and​ case gaskets have to​ be replaced to​ insure the watch is​ water resistant .​
The parts always should be replaced with genuine parts from the manufacturer .​
this​ will insure the parts fit perfectly.
The case and​ bracelet are polished to​ remove all the scratches.
Then the movement is​ reassembled .​
Watchmaker’s tools are specialized to​ perform the delicate assembly .​
They are made by different manufacturers because different watches require their own highly precision​ fitting tools .​
I​ am always amazed by the people who would no more dissemble their computer but who will take their watch apart .​
Putting it​ back together is​ always very trying for​ them .​
Seems they have some extra parts left and​ no where to​ put them! I​ have received watches in​ plastic bags, broken and​ missing parts and​ I​ am asked to​ fix it .​
Proper tools with knowledge cannot be underestimated.
Four special oils are used to​ lubricate the moving parts and​ the jewels .​
Different parts of​ the movement require different type oil .​
for​ instance, each pivot wheel and​ balance staff is​ lubricated with the precise amount of​ the proper grade of​ lubricant to​ maintain​ the minimum level of​ friction​ and​ wear.
The heart of​ your​ watch is​ the highly sensitive balance wheel complete .​
The parts which make up this​ heart are: 1) Balance wheel, 2) Balance staff, 3) Hairspring, 4) Roller table with the jewel.
A timing machine is​ used to​ regulate the time .​
you​ attach the watch to​ the machine and​ it​ pulses to​ indicate if​ it​ is​ running fast or​ slow .​
in​ either case, adjustments are made until the timing machine indicates a​ straight line.
When the watch is​ returned to​ the customer, it​ looks like new and​ performs to​ factory standards .​
From my years of​ experience, presenting a​ totally refurbished watch to​ its owner is​ always a​ wonderful feeling of​ accomplishment.

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