Ask the Expert
Here are some frequently asked questions that certified watchmaker Steve Paul answered for the local “Ask the Expert” column.
Question 1: “I over wound my watch. What should be done?”
A: First of all, the phrase “over winding a watch” dates back over a hundred years. Watches used to run by blue steel mainsprings and lubricated with animal fat oils. These oils would tend to gel up over time and bind up the tightened coils of the mainspring causing a watch to stop. Today’s synthetic oils and alloy springs corrected that problem making over winding a non-issue. You should always fully wind your watch. If your watch fails to start after winding, there is a mechanical problem present causing blockage or friction and you should bring it to a qualified watchmaker for diagnosis. Exactime Watch & Clock has 3 full time watchmakers and can repair your timepiece in-house.
Question 2: “How can I tell if my watch is a fake?”
A: It used to be relatively easy to spot a counterfeit watches. However, today’s fakes have fooled even experienced watch experts. The cases, bracelets, boxes, papers and even the movements are being copied almost identically on some models today. Even the model and serial numbers look legitimate. If you are considering purchasing a pre-owned watch from an individual, insist on having it checked out by a watchmaker first. Exactime Watch & Clock has 3 full time watchmakers who will inspect the watch inside and out for no charge to insure your peace of mind.
Question 3: “My watch is water-resistant. Can I swim with it?”
A: Exactime Watch and Clock offers 3 full-time watchmakers on-site who can inspect and retain your watch’s water resistance capabilities. Exactime also has quality water-resistance watches for sale. Most watches on the market today offer some level of water-resistance. Unfortunately, many will survive submerging into water when they’re new, but will eventually fail in the long run. If you want to be able to swim or shower with a watch, consider a watch with two water-resistant requirements. The features that you should look for are a screw-down locking crown and a screw-on back. With these, the rubber gaskets are forced to compress and create a better water seal. Approximately once a year, you should take your watch to a qualified watchmaker and have it pressure tested for leaks. This preventative maintenance may save you a costly repair if your watch becomes water damaged.
Question 4: “Electricity in my body prohibits me from wearing watches, what do you suggest?”
A: I have been repairing watches for 30 years, and I have never witnessed or read any scientific research that supports your claim. The amount of electricity necessary to interfere with your watch would be substantially more than a body could produce. Your bad luck with watches is probably just “bad luck”. Exactime Watch and Clock offers free, while you wait, estimates for your malfunctioning watch. Exactime also has quality new watches in all price ranges and will stand behind your purchase even if you’re prone to having “bad luck.”
Question 5: “Should I replace the battery in my watch myself or take it to a professional?”
A: At Exactime Watch and Clock, you get the best of both worlds for battery replacement. Not only is the battery replacement inexpensive, it is also handled while you shop by an experienced staff that includes 3 full-time watchmakers. It can be risky to attempt to do the work yourself. Some common risks include scratching the case backs, accidentally allowing lint or dust to enter the watch movement, or inadvertently damaging the electronic components of the watch. In order to receive proper replacement, the correct tools and a clean, dust-free environment are recommended. A trained professional can identify the proper battery and install it quickly. Then he or she may lubricate or replace the case back gasket in order to maintain the watch’s water resistance.
Question 6: I got my watch wet; what should I do?
A: If you notice moisture condensing on the inside of your watch crystal, you need to quickly address this problem. Moisture trapped inside the watch can cause the delicate steel parts to rust and may damage or stain the dial or face. The best course of action is to take your watch to a watchmaker as soon as possible. The watch case needs to be opened and the inside should be dried out. If you cannot quickly get to a watchmaker, continue wearing your watch. The heat from your wrist keeps the inside of your watch warm, causing the moisture to collect and condense on the inside of the crystal, away from the movement.
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