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Watch maintenance

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, for high school graduation my uncle gave me his Omega speedmaster (hardly a vintage patek but it is a fine gift I think), and I was wondering how I should go about taking care of it? Given my age, I'm no big timer (I don't think I am even a middle timer), and with the exception of an old montblanc and a pair of interesting cuff links I have no clue how to treat nice things. This is a watch that I'll be wearing thus I feel I should take a more active role in making sure it stays nice. Are there any steps that should be taken? Are watches cleaned/polished? Regular trips to the doctor?

I would also like to hear some opinions about the Omega Speedmaster in general as well.

Thank you!
post #2 of 9
Great watch.

Don't do violent sports with it. Don't swim or shower with it. Leave it to a good watchmaker for service every five years. Change the strap now and then. Enjoy it!

/M
post #3 of 9
A classic. To add to the above advice I'd say use it regularly as well - and know that if it has not been used in some time it may not keep perfect time for the first few days. And post photos!
post #4 of 9
Like Singlar said, avoid water in all forms, especially hot water like showers and hot tubs. They will not only invade the mechanism, but also ruin the gaskets. There are a lot of speedy models, but if you have a manual wind version, don't overwind it - once a day and wind back and forth, not just in one direction- it shouldn't matter too much, but for that last wind when it becomes tighter, you will reduce some stress on the stem. For the automatic versions the same goes in terms of not overwinding, but if you wear it regularly and you won't have to wind it. The Speedmaster is a very historied watch and one of the nicer chronographs out there. Treat it well, but there's no need to baby it. Like all mechanical watches it will be precise, but not accurate. Meaning, it should be within the same amount of seconds off each day and slowly drift in one direction or the other- either positive or negative. You can figure out how to lay it at night to help balance this effect. But, it will be predictably off. It will not be, like a quartz watch, accurate. Nor will it be exact like a radio controlled cell phone. Don't worry about a few seconds here or there. But, when it starts to drift a lot, or if the winding mechanism becomes grainy like sand between your fingers, or it gets water inside, send it to someone good to clean and oil the movement. I would use Omega's authorized service center in the US or RGM http://www.rgmwatches.com/repair.html. Good luck. Great watch.
post #5 of 9
I don't see why he should avoid water with the watch. By avoiding water you are babying it, unless this is something specific with the Speedmaster.
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by xudisco07 View Post
I don't see why he should avoid water with the watch. By avoiding water you are babying it, unless this is something specific with the Speedmaster.

In general, it's a good idea to avoid water with any watch that doesn't have a screwdown crown regardless of the WR rating.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by xudisco07 View Post
I don't see why he should avoid water with the watch. By avoiding water you are babying it, unless this is something specific with the Speedmaster.

The traditional speedmaster is WR to 50m, which essentially means surface water. It can come into contact with water, but not submerged, unless in perfect conditions. Those perfect conditions exist when the watch is first pressure tested, but never again, once shipped, sitting in a case under hot lights, and then worn.

A chronograph without screwdown pushers is especially susceptible to water. Hit the chrono button when washing your hands and you may be letting water into the case. The gaskets around the pushers are not nearly as secure as around the crown- which screws down, or the caseback, which of course is screwed in or pressure fit. The pusher's gaskets are designed to give and allow the buttons to be pushed to activate the chrono. Consequently the seal is not as secure.

Traditional speedmasters are on leather straps too. Those don't do too well when wet. A bracelet prevents that from being a problem, but not the former.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by scurvyfreedman View Post
The traditional speedmaster is WR to 50m, which essentially means surface water. It can come into contact with water, but not submerged, unless in perfect conditions.
It's more complicated than this. Submerging should be fine, as should washing your hands, etc. But being "waterproof" (nobody uses that term any more, prefering the much more weasely "water resistant") to 50 meters really means that the watch won't leak up to pressures of about 5 atmospheres or 75 psi. That sounds like a lot, but it isn't. For example, you can probably snorkel around all you want wearing the watch. But jump into the pool wearing it and you might well get a leak. That's because you can easily generate a momentary burst of very high pressure (dynamic pressure) when your watch hits the water. As an example, if your watch hits the water -- or the water hits your watch -- at about 20mph, you would be right at the rated tolerance for your watch. You can generate this much dynamic pressure by slapping the water with your hand. So 50 meter water resistance is pretty iffy. 100+ meters starts to be pretty solid as anything likely to make your watch leak will probably also break your hand. Plus, you have some leeway for degrading seals, etc.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by scurvyfreedman View Post
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounder View Post
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Two great and informative posts, thank you.
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