DIY Watch Repair

Written by: Sue Fritz | | Insuring Your Jewelry Jewelry

DIY Watch Repair

The work day seems like it will never end. You look down at your watch and it’s only 2:03. With a sigh, you get back to work. After what seems like hours, you check the time again. 2:03. No, you haven’t entered the Twilight Zone – your watch has stopped!

When your watch stops working, it doesn’t always mean a rush to the jewelry store or the need to file a watch insurance claim. Instead, try some of these simple tricks to get your watch going again.

Replace the battery

A dead battery is the most common problem for battery-operated watches. The factory battery will last you the longest, because a watch needs more battery power as the components age. The amount of time your watch battery lasts will depend on how many gizmos and gadgets it has on it, and how frequently you use those special features. Because watch batteries can be tough to find, purchase an extra one when you buy your watch. That way, you won’t have to go searching for the right kind of battery to use when your watch dies. Most watch batteries are easy to change. Just open the back of the watch, pop out the battery, and put in the replacement.

Check out this YouTube video for step-by-step instructions.

Wind it up

Vintage mechanical watches need to be wound regularly. If you don’t wear it for a few days, it will stop running. To wind your antique watch, grasp the crown (that’s the knob on the side of your watch). You may need to pull the crown out, away from the watch, before you begin winding. Slowly turn the crown clockwise for several revolutions. Each time, wind it as far as you can, release, and then turn it again. After a number of rotations (usually between 20 and 50), you should feel some resistance. At this point, the watch is fully wound. Push the crown back in, and you should hear the ticking resume. Many manual watches should be wound every day. Try to do it at the same time for more accurate timekeeping.

Modern watches are frequently self-winding, so they wind on their own as you wear them. If you take your watch off for several days, it may need to be rewound. In that case, rotate it for a few minutes to get it going again. If you have a large collection of luxury watches, you may want to invest in a watch winder. You probably aren’t wearing all of your watches at once (at least, we hope not!) so when you switch to a new one, it will likely need to be wound, and a watch winder can speed this process.

It got wet

If you drop your watch in the pool, sink, or bathtub, don’t panic – most watches have some degree of water resistance. Retrieve your watch from the water and take out the battery if it has one. It’s not actually the water that usually does the damage – it’s the electrical shorts or rusting caused by the water. Don’t shake it in an attempt to dry it off, as this can just drive the water deeper. Gently pat it with a towel instead. Then, put your watch in an airtight container or bag filled with uncooked rice, preferably instant. Rice is a desiccant; it draws water to it and will help to dry out the watch. Leave your watch in the rice for at least 48 hours, rotating it occasionally. When you no longer see fog in the display, pop the battery back in (if applicable) and see if it works. If you don’t have rice around, you can always try to dry it manually by opening the watch with a pair of needle-nose pliers and airing it out, but this might void your warranty, so stick to the rice method if possible.

A word of caution: before you attempt any DIY watch repair, make sure to thoroughly read over your warranty. Tampering with or opening your luxury watch may void the warranty. Only attempt to repair your watch yourself if your you are confident that it will not be voided by your actions. With Lavalier’s watch insurance policies, you will still be taken care of even if your warranty doesn’t apply. We offer coverage for all kinds of scenarios, including loss, damage, and theft. If one of the methods above doesn’t fix your problem, you can be confident that your watch isn’t a total loss when you have watch insurance with Lavalier.

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