Your grandmother’s abandoned 1955 Cartier Tank Americaine may use some TLC. Even though you would adore wearing it, it takes courage to put an antique item like that on your wrist. The following suggestions from our Swiss-trained Cartier repair specialists might let you wear that lovely timepiece without having to worry too much about breaking it:
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The majority of vintage timepieces from the 1960s and earlier are mechanical, therefore winding is required to keep them operational. It’s crucial to only wind mechanical watches until resistance is felt, as many older clocks lack mechanisms to prevent the mainspring from being overwound. A further crown turn attempt could potentially result in mainspring damage.
Don’t expect accuracy fit for the twenty-first century.
The fact that the time on your 1955 Cartier is not as accurate as the time on your 2020 Bulova quartz shouldn’t be a huge surprise. One reason why quartz watches are popular is because they are more accurate at tracking the time than mechanical watches. Your favorite Cartier is older than fifty years, which is perhaps a more significant factor. And even though it was designed to span a number of lifetimes, it does not benefit from the most recent technological advancements. Depending on the age, quality, and condition of the watch, vintage timepieces might lose anywhere from 10 seconds to three minutes every day. But if you discover that your watch is losing a significant amount of time every day, think about having it serviced by a watch repair expert.
Keep hoping for the best
Vintage clocks need extremely specialized care, which your neighborhood jeweler might not be able to provide. Opt for one who is knowledgeable about repairing antique watches as you do repairing more contemporary watches like Kate Spade. Additionally, you want them to have a ton of glowing client testimonials. Another alternative is to send your watch back to the original maker for servicing, but that can get pricey and time-consuming.
When bringing your watch in for repair, be as explicit as you can. No matter how skilled, watch technicians cannot read minds. If you don’t want a scratch on the case cleaned away because it holds sentimental value, let your repairman know.
Keep Your Watch Dry and Spotless
Dust, sweat, greasy fingerprints, and perfumes can wreck havoc on your watch. Dust particles will mess with the watch’s movement, and sweat and oils on your wrist will corrode or stain the metal case back. Try to pull out the crown to change the time in a spot that is relatively clean. Take a soft polishing cloth or a pencil eraser and gently massage the surface clean if the smudges on the crystal or case back are troubling you. Another choice is to put some mild dish soap in a cup of water. Brush the surface you’re attempting to clean with a toothbrush or cloth dipped in the cleaning solution. Old watches and water don’t mix, so make sure the crown is tight and use the least amount of liquid on the brush or cloth. If your watch has tarnished or rusted metal or more challenging stains, you might wish to send it to a watch repair expert.
On a vintage item, some degree of wear is normal and could even raise the value. Even if your watch was originally intended for use in water, as we indicated above, you want to take every precaution to keep it out of the water today. O-rings and other waterproof gaskets from earlier times weren’t as durable as those from today. They’ll probably have deteriorated or dried up over time, making your watch subject to leaks.
Consider your watch to be a classic car that you wouldn’t drive everywhere or all the time. Mechanical movements are sensitive to frequent gravity fluctuations. These devices aren’t ideal for vintage timepieces, even though they may be suitable for modern watches that you want to keep wound and ready to go. Older watches shouldn’t be kept wound when not in use because the increased wear may burn through the lubricant more quickly than usual. It works just great to keep it laid flat in a drawer or watch box.