How To Clean Your Vintage Pocket Watch Effectively At Home?

Every now and then you take out your pocket watch to see the time! We know that pocket watches are rare to find. And your antique pocket watch is so precious for you as it helps you to stay alarmed all the time and to focus on all the work at the right time.

An Antique Pocket Watch

An Antique Pocket Watch

But are you aware of the right procedure of cleaning the pocket watch effectively that keeps it safe and in working condition for longer period of time?

Cleaning a pocket watch, especially if it is an antique one, involves quite a bit of labor and patience. Especially when disassembling the mechanism inside the watch you need to be very much careful. Then cleaning and drying all the parts properly and effectively is really a challenging job.

If you are not one of the passionate DIY’ers who has great patience to complete the work in a do-it-yourself way, you should not try cleaning the watch yourself. Instead take it to a professional watch maker or a watch repair shop where you can get it serviced at a cost.

For those who are passionate about do-it-yourself techniques, here we discuss the procedure of cleaning the pocket watch at home.

Proper Ways of Cleaning Your Pocket Watch

The first process of cleaning a pocket watch is to open the back case using a blade which is blunt. If it needs unscrewing, use one hand while placing the watch on its face on the palm of the other hand.

Then gently dismantle the parts of your pocket mechanical watch along with the movement and unwind the coiled spring using a screw driver. When it comes to cleaning the parts and movements of the pocket watch, it is advisable to soak all the parts except mainspring in naphtha solution.

Use a soft brush to gently brush the interiors and the parts including the main spring and when finished leave them to dry on lint free paper or wipes.

Some of the watch professionals also recommend using watch cleaning kit and ultrasonic watch cleaners which makes the cleaning job easy and affordable.

When it comes to oiling your pocket watch, use a best quality oil for lubricating the parts and jewel holes designed on the watch bridges. Assembling the parts is an important step and this should be done in the reverse way of their disassembling. You can refer few videos online like here to assemble your watch carefully.

Cleaning precious and rare pocket watches such as Waltham watches can be risky and tricky especially if you are not an expert at it. Here is another good video that helps you know about cleaning Waltham pocket watches. You can also follow the same procedure to clean your wrist watch.

These vintage watches made of brass case should be cleaned and dried up with a soft cloth, wiping every drop of water that may stick inside holes. Use of hard chemicals will damage the coating of the watch. Jeweler’s cloth should be used while cleaning expensive watches made of steel to remove any oxidation that may take place in case of water remaining inside.

The Don’ts for Cleaning A Pocket Watch

Above steps are easy to follow at home and can be tried out (in case if you are not in hurry). However there are few of the dont’s you should know about while doing the job yourself. You should know about them before starting the pocket watch cleaning process.

  1. Never use any lubricant, which is not recommended for the watch cleaning. Go through the manual where a list of lubricants is given which are not to be used.
  2. Soap, water and brushes with soft bristle should not be used unless the watch is water resistant.
  3. No other cloth other than lint free cloth should be used to dry the parts, movements and outside of the watch.
  4. Do not use harsh chemicals, which may damage the parts and the whole mechanism of your vintage watch.
  5. Do not give your watch for cleaning to anybody who has little knowledge about cleaning process.

How Usage of Automatic Ultrasonic Watch Cleaning Devices Makes The Job Easier?

Mechanical pocket watches should be cleaned every two to three years by mechanics or by jewelry shops so that it remains in proper working condition. And to avoid all the risks involved you should consider giving it to a reliable watch maker who can get it serviced at a genuine price.

As getting your antique pocket watch serviced can be expensive, usage of automatic watch cleaning devices at home is often recommended.

Use of innovative devices have come into picture lately with each of them having their merits and demerits. The safest and the most efficient of them are the ultrasonic cleaners, which are being recommended even for cleaning of most expensive pocket watches.

These ultrasonic cleaners are also used for cleaning pearls and jewellery items and have been found to give proven results when cleaning pocket watches effectively is concerned.

Ultrasonic watch cleaning machines: Known for providing effective cleaning in just few seconds

Ultrasonic watch cleaning machines are known for their ability to clean surfaces that would be difficult to clean manually.

They are known for the precision in cleaning stuff like watch (and spare parts), jewelry and fine electronic instruments which otherwise would be damaged. These machines are commonly used in the clock manufacturing units too so that small parts of the clock can be cleaned thoroughly.

How the machine works?

These automatic watch cleaner works on the principle of creating ultrasound waves – usually ranging from 20 – 400 KHz of frequency. The unit has two small parts, a small motor and a cleaning tank. Cleaning tank has a basket in which the jewels or watch parts have to be placed. The pocket watch cleaning solution should be dispensed into the basket and the tank should be closed.

Now as soon as you turn ON the machine, small microscopic bubbles are produced that fights with the dirt and debris accumulated on the watch surface, thus removing all the dirt from the watch. As this high tech device is designed in a sophisticated manner, it reaches to the hard-to-reach dirty places to clean the watch in a most professional way without harming the delicate parts.

To take the hassle out of the process, each unit comes accompanied with instruction set and user manual. You can get here the best information regarding the right pocket watch cleaning solution and other nitty-gritty steps of operation. You can also check the instruction manual for getting all the details on how to clean your diamond rings at home using these devices.




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