Time to clean your watch bracelet? There are several factors to consider before reaching for the soap and water. How often should a watch be cleaned? Which soap works best? What if it gets damaged?

We’ll answer all of these questions and more, but first– what kind of damage can dirt do to a watch?

Why You should Clean Your Watch Often

Daily dirt and sweat is bad news for a watch. It’s not only gross, but it can damage a watch overtime. Dirt can actually enter inside the case as you pull out and push in the crown.

The dirt and grime becomes embedded in the gasket on the crown and turns the soft gasket into a coarse grinding stone. As it turns, it basically causes the case tube to become thinner and thinner, which results in a higher risk of water penetration and damage.

Oftentimes, the case tube will need to be replaced sooner, and risk water getting into the watch.

The same kind of thing happens at each hinge point on a dirty watch. Dirt and grime causes the bracelet to wear faster, which can be devastating for a $10,000 to $15,000 bracelet. Keep your watch around for generations by following our guidelines below.

How to Clean A Watch Bracelet

We always recommend taking it to a jeweler who specializes in watch repair and cleaning, or send it back to the manufacturer.  This is the best way to keep your watch running for ages.

If that’s not an option, you CAN do it yourself if needed, but only on a waterproof watch.

Waterproof Watch

  • Make sure the winding crown is screwed down tightly for waterproofing.
  • Clean the case and bracelet with a dry, clean, soft cloth. (this should be done monthly, or as often as you’d like)
  • For waterproof models, rinse off the watch with luke warm water.  Using an ammonia free soap and soft brush, create a lather and brush the case and between links.
  • Gently submerge the watch in water and rinse off any remaining particles and soap.

Non-Waterproof Watch

We do not recommend trying to clean a watch that’s not waterproof on your own. Take it to a reputable jeweler or watchmaker and have it cleaned. It will most likely be free of charge. If not, it will be a small investment that’s worth it for the life of the watch.

What Not to Do

NEVER put your watchcase in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner, use an ammonia based cleaner, or use harsh chemicals on your watch bracelets.

How Often Should You Clean Your Bracelet?

Give it a good wiping with a damp cloth and toothbrush about every month or so and remove the bracelet for a thorough cleaning twice a year!

In addition, your watch will occasionally need to be polished.  Scratches and dings are inevitable. We recommend letting the professionals take this one.   Proper polishing cloths and special polishing formula suited for jewelry is needed, and most jewelers will have these items on hand.

Service as Needed

It’s important to have your watch routinely serviced, and most experts will suggest every five years. We compare it to buying and maintaining a vehicle. You wouldn’t buy a Mercedes and then never change the oil, right?!

Luckily, Jonathan’s offers both watch servicing and repair. We’re basically your one stop shop for new and used luxury watches.  Having been in business for over 25 years now, you can trust us with your Rolex investment.

Have more questions about maintaining and cleaning your luxury watch ? Schedule an appointment and come see us in our Houston showroom soon!

Want to see more? Like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to see our watch inventory. We also post regularly to our personal Instagram pages here:

Sergio Nuncio

Jay Freedman

Kiefer Nuncio

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