A watch is one of the most important and delicate accessories a modern gentleman can own. As you wear it regularly and in all kinds of settings, your watch is exposed to all manners of weather, activities and – yes – your own good and bad behaviours.
If looked after correctly, a watch can last for years. A good watch will see you through styles and fads, bringing elegance and sophistication to any look from the boardroom to the bar. A fine watch can even become a family heirloom, a precious object steeped in history and memories than can be passed from father to son.
So, of the all the essential accessories a gentleman can own, it’s vital that a gent knows how to treasure his timepiece. Here’s how to do it in style!
A Beautiful Home
How often do you come home, take your watch off and just drop it on the nearest surface? Or, worse still, shove it away in a drawer until the next time you need it?
Treat your collection to a dedicated watch case to keep it safe, dust free and on display. More than just a box, a quality watch case is an elegant piece of furniture. Without even too much effort, you’ll be able find cases in polished woods or fine leathers with silk or satin linings to protect your watch from scratches and abrasions.
You can find boxes to suit any number of watches, from 5 to 50, so think about how big your collection is now – and how large it may become in future. When choosing, a good watch case should include cuffs or pillows to wrap the watch around, preserving the natural curve in leather straps. A lockable lid is a great feature if you’re using the case for travelling and a tempered glass lid means you can admire your watches even when they’re safely tucked away.
Keep it Wound
If you have an automatic watch – that is, one that needs to be wound by wearing it, rather than getting power from a quartz battery – a watch winder is both essential and one of the classiest gadgets a gentleman can have.
A winder gently rotates your watch, simulating the movement of your wrist, to keep your watch correctly wound and ready to go whenever you are. If you watch has complications such as a perpetual calendar or lunar tracker, popping it on a winder when not in use ensures these functions keep continuity and don’t need to be reset every time you’ve taken your watch off for more than two days.
Despite the long history of watches, the first watch winders were made in the 1990s by the Italian brand Scatola del Tempo, who continue to make beautiful, if rather pricey, watch winders. For a respected brand at more accessible price points, many watch aficionados recommend WOLF, a European brand that has been making watch cases since 1834. Their watch winders combine classic styling with patented technology such as near-silent nylon gears and fully adjustable winder modules.
As with all things, beware of winders that appear too good to be true. Cheap winders may mimic quality models but, with loud motors and cheaper unshielded electronics, actually risk magnetising your watch’s fine internal machinery.
Don’t Spit: Polish
Whether your watch is a classic Rolex or one of the more gentlemanly smartwatches like the Huawei, the sad fact is that it’s going to get marked, scuffed or even scratched as part of the normal course of life. After all, it can’t sit in the watch case all the time!
For both vintage and less expensive watches with acrylic glass faces, Poly Watch is the most trusted brand for buffing out scratches while Cape Code polish clothes are recommended by the horological world as the best way to buff metal cases and straps back to a smooth shine.
However, most contemporary quality watches have sapphire glass faces. These cannot be buffed at home so, if you get a scratch on your sapphire face, leave it to the experts and return your watch for a service. Recommended every five years, a watch service can be costly but it’s a full spa retreat for your watch where the brand wizards will carefully open, clean and oil your watch, and replace any damaged or ailing parts.
With these three factors – watch box, winder, regular servicing – your prized watch should keep on ticking regularly for as long as you want. Of course, if you’re extremely rich and rather concerned about your watch, you could always invest in a luxury safe for a cool £200k.