Summer is here and it’s time to take advantage of the weather. There’s a lot of talk about how well watches can stand adverse conditions. In fact, it’s the crux of a lot of today’s watch marketing. So why worry about a little sand and salt water? Well, while most “high-end” watches can deal with an average day at the beach, it’s good to go the extra mile to ensure functional longevity and pristine looks. So here are a few tips to keep your watch running and looking its best no matter how often you hit the surf.
Rinse With Fresh Water
It’s hard to deny the appeal of wearing something like a nice no-date Rolex Submariner out on a fishing or dive trip. But, salt water can cause corrosion with constant buildup or exposure. It may not be immediately apparent, but pitting can occur around the case back and lugs if you don’t address salt water residue. Simply rinsing your watch with fresh water after the day is over is your best bet. Additionally, a soft bristle toothbrush with very, very mild soap is also a good idea.
Mind The Crown
This one may seem pretty self-explanatory. Still, ask any watchmaker just how many panicking watch owners run into their shop during the summer months because of water ingress. No watch is truly waterproof, and water resistance ratings aren’t worth much if you don’t keep the crown screwed down. It may seem like a rookie mistake, but there are probably some pretty seasoned collectors out there that are afraid to admit to this cardinal sin. So, before hopping off the yacht, do yourself and your watchmaker a favor and keep that crown screwed in tight.
Like salt water, sand can also cause a few issues, especially if you have a watch with some kind of rotating bezel. Sand has been known to trap itself under dive bezels and hang out for a while. This results in stiff and crackly bezel action that can potentially make you sick to your stomach.
If you haven’t been able to avoid the sand, there are a couple of remedies. Some older watches allow for bezels to be popped off, which makes cleaning pretty straightforward. Otherwise, submerge the watch in warm water with mild soap and give the bezel a turn—that should do the trick. If things get real tough, whip out that soft bristle toothbrush again.
Overall, watches should be worn and not babied. They should tell stories about where you’ve been and what you’ve done. As low maintenance as they are at times, it’s important to know that a little goes a long way. This is the same for routine servicing and quick cosmetic care. So relax, enjoy the sun, and make some memories. With the right kind of care, that shiny new diver will still be by your side for years to come.