There’s more to simply buying a luxury watch than putting it on your wrist during the day and back into its protective case at night.
After spending anywhere from a few hundred dollars to upwards of a couple thousand, how you properly care for and maintain a luxury timepiece is paramount to its longevity. While taking the proper precautions allows a watch to keep its trademark shine and style, consistent and routine maintenance also helps the accessory maintain value — which proves ultimately significant for those frequenting the secondary market.
Considering the aforementioned steep prices associated with luxury watches, knowing exactly what to do to care for them shouldn’t be done haphazardly. To help shine some deserved light on this topic, we linked up with Crown & Caliber CEO and founder Hamilton Powell, to get professional input on the subject. For those unaware of Crown & Caliber, it just so happens to be the “No. 1 online marketplace for buyers and sellers of luxury pre-owned watches.” In other words, Powell knows what he’s talking about. Here’s what he had to say about how to care for your luxury timepiece.
1. Get the watch serviced every 3 to 5 years
“You wouldn’t drive a car for 100,000 miles without getting it serviced, and the same thing goes with a watch,” Powell told The Manual. “You should get your watch serviced every three to five years, though it does depend on the brand. This just keeps it in good shape.”
To build on top of this, find a trusted watch servicer to look at your watch — as you would a trusted mechanic. While the three to five year range offers quite a bit in terms of flexibility, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you feel you should take the watch in for servicing closer to three years (or even before), don’t hesitate. The last thing you want to do is drastically diminish the value.
2. Retain all watch accessories and any warranty information
“Make sure to keep any accessories or paperwork or warranty cards or anything that comes with that watch,” Powell added. “These only enhance the value of the watch when you do try and resell it.”
While this directly concerns its resell value, keeping any relevant information or accessory that came with the watch when you bought it is extremely important. These add-ons are part of what give the watch its consistent value and not having them is almost as bad as forgetting to service the watch. As odd as it may sound.
3. If you drop it, get it checked out immediately
“If you screw up and you drop your watch off a 10-foot ladder, just go get it checked out,” he said. “Because if it’s messed up, it’s only going to get worse and worse.”
This seems like a no-brainer, absolutely, but just like you wouldn’t (typically) continue to drive a car in desperate need of body or mechanical work, you shouldn’t continue to sport a watch in dire need of some maintenance — aesthetic or otherwise. Again, find someone to service your watch that you trust, this way you’ll know you’re not only going to limit the damage (and thus, depreciation) of the timepiece but that its repairs can be trusted long term.
Bonus: Buy the right watch initially
“Overall, the greatest thing you can do to maintain the value of your watch (on the pre-owned market, especially) is to buy the right watch in the first place,” Powell acknowledged. “If I go out and I buy a brand new, bright orange Mercedes, I don’t care how well I take care of it and have the original paperwork and all that, there’s only so many people that are going to want to buy that on the pre-owned market. Same thing goes in the watch world. The more commodified the watch, the better it typically trades on the pre-owned market.”
All photos courtesy of Crown & Caliber