Mechanical watches are marvels of engineering and craftsmanship. They are intricate machines that require careful maintenance to keep them functioning reliably and accurately for a long – long – time. Making sure a watch is serviced correctly and regularly is absolutely necessary to make sure it can do that over time. And the recommendation is to have your watch serviced every couple of years. But what does that actually mean?
When a mechanical watch is serviced, it involves several steps to ensure that the watch is working correctly and efficiently. The first step in servicing a mechanical watch is disassembly. The watch is carefully taken apart, and each component is examined for wear, damage, or corrosion. This step requires skill and experience as each component needs to be handled with care to prevent damage.
Once the watch is disassembled, the individual parts are cleaned using specialized solutions to remove any dirt or debris. This process can take some time, as each component needs to be cleaned thoroughly to ensure that there is no debris left behind that could interfere with the watch’s function.
After cleaning, each component is inspected under magnification to detect any defects such as worn pivots, bent teeth, or cracked jewelsJewels Watch jewels are small, synthetic sapphire or ruby bearings that are used in mechanical watches to reduce friction and wear on moving parts. They are typically made from corundum. They are used as bearings for a.o. the pivots to reduce friction. [Learn More]. If any components are found to be defective, they are replaced with new ones to ensure the watch’s accuracy and reliability. Note that if there are particular parts you do not want replaced, you should explicitly mention this when handing over your watch and make sure you have confirmation that they have noted your request.
Next, the moving parts of the watch are lubricated with special oils and greases to reduce friction and prevent wear. This is a critical step in ensuring the watch’s long-term reliability, as proper lubrication reduces the amount of wear on the moving parts.
Once all the components have been cleaned, inspected, and lubricated, the watch is reassembled. During this step, all the components are carefully adjusted to ensure the proper functioning of the watch. The watchmaker will pay close attention to the watch’s timing and adjust the balance springHairspring The hairspring is a thin spring in a mechanical watch movement that is connected to the balance wheel. The balance wheel oscillates back and forth at a consistent rate, and the hairspring helps regulate these oscillations. The hairspring works by applying a restoring force to the balance wheel, which helps to keep the balance wheel oscillating at a consistent rate. The hairspring is also known as a balance spring. [Learn More] and escapementEscapement The escapement is a mechanism in a mechanical watch movement that regulates the release of energy from the mainspring and keeps the watch ticking at a steady rate. The escapement is made up of two main components: the escape wheel and the pallet fork. The escapement is responsible for the ticking sound of the watch, and it ensures that the watch runs at a consistent rate. As the escape wheel rotates forward, it locks and unlocks with the pallet fork, allowing a small amount of energy from the mainspring to be released. This causes the balance wheel to oscillate and the watch to 'tick'. [Learn More] to ensure that the watch is keeping accurate time.
After reassembly, the watch is tested for accuracy, power reserveRéserve de marche Also known as Power Reserve. A watch's power reserve refers to the amount of time a mechanical watch can run without being wound. The power reserve of a mechanical watch can vary depending on the size of the mainspring, the efficiency of the gear train, and the rate at which the mainspring releases energy. If a watch has a Power Reserve 'complication' it simply means that the status of the power reserve can be seen on the watch itself (either on the dial or movement side of the watch). [Learn More], water resistance, and any other functions specific to the model. The watchmaker will carefully monitor the watch’s performance to ensure that it is functioning correctly.
Finally, if necessary, the case and bracelet are polished or refinished to restore their original appearance. This step is not always necessary, and sometimes you really want to avoid this step, but it can help to make the watch look like new again if that is what you’re going for.