Here’s something people might stop to ponder. The quality of your watch case will be a good indication of the overall quality of the watch. The material from which the case is made is a good indication as a precious metal case (i.e. gold and platinum) is not fitted with lower-grade movements.
Gold is an excellent case material because of its resistance to corrosion and its antimagnetic properties. A quality well-made gold or platinum case will give many years of service if not abused.
Stainless steel is excellent material because of its resistance to wear and corrosion. However, it is necessary to check that the case is made entirely of stainless steel and not of lower grade plated cases with just a stainless steel back.
Tungsten carbide alloys, ceramic and titanium which can be made in steel or gold-coloured finishes are highly scratch resistance metals. These are more often found in the higher end price ranges due to costs associated with the materials.
Most popular cases are plated types (and now even plastic) and are generally in the lower price ranges.
Mechanical movements are also influenced by the material the components are made from. In the case of the higher priced watches, they are made from highly refined alloys. It follows that the higher the quality of the watch movement, the more stable and reliable its performance.
It’s important that the correct battery be fitted, so it is best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation and to have it fitted professionally. Batteries designed for hearing aids, calculators or cameras may work in watches, but their sealing is not designed to be reliable over long periods. So they should never be used in watches.
This is the internationally agreed term for describing the qualities of a watch that offers protection to the consumer against damage caused to watches by the entry of moisture.
Water-resistant is just that. It may resist (not necessarily well) water by immersion in no more than one meter of water for approx. 30 minutes. However, it is not guaranteed by the manufacturer or the retailer.
It will not resist water for any depths more than this and most certainly not for any length of immersion.
If a water resistant case is opened, it may not be resistant again. It is recommended that any watches that are marked water resistant be returned to the manufacturer when it comes time for battery replacement.
These watches must be subjected to water immersion without damage to 200mtrs. They should have dial clarity and the ability to resist the corrosive effects of salt water. Their cases are much stronger and better sealed. There is a Standard for Divers Watches which was ratified in Australia in 1996.
Caring for your Watch
• Should be wound daily (unless automatic) at beginning of the day.
• May vary in timekeeping – 15 to 30 seconds a day is not unusual
• Service and re-lubricate every three to four years.
• Performance can be affected by exposure to strong magnetic fields
• Auto winding systems need to be worn six to eight hours a day to ensure they stay fully wound
• Should be advised at point of sale about the battery life and that the battery should be removed as soon as the watch stops to prevent damage from any substance that may leak out
• Should also be informed as to the timekeeping accuracy that may be expected
• Those with auto generating systems need to be worn for six to eight hours a day to function properly.
• Should be told at point of sale if they are water resistant
• Other questions to ask are the affect of wear, exposure to chemical, rough treatment and ageing of the gasket with
their particular watch case.
• What happens to watches exposed to extended periods of vibration?
• Dress Watches usually offer a lower level of protection against water resistance, dust entry and rough treatment.
All good quality watches should be serviced regularly. Reputable jewellers and watchmakers should have established their businesses to provide high quality specialist services. It should be an aspect that sets them apart from retailers who rely heavily on price alone to sell their products. Many customers own high quality watches which are increasing in value due to the fact that they are no longer made or have become collectables due to the reputation of their makers or technology inherent in their construction. It is most important that those handling these items recognise their value, handle them appropriately and offer the high quality service they deserve.
Robert Cliff Master Jewellers
Shop 380A Castle Towers
Castle Hill, NSW 2154
p | 02 8850 5400
02 8850 7999
e | [email protected]
w | robertcliffmasterjewellers.com.au