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Posted in: Watches
By Tessa Lye
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Watch Aftercare Guide

Some people buy watches as an investment, while others just love to wear stunning watches. Either way, it's likely that you want to keep your watch looking its best for as long as possible. To make this easier, we've put together a guide to at-home and professional watch aftercare.

 woman wearing gold bracelet watch

At-home watch aftercare

It's likely that you'll want to keep your watch clean, especially if you wear it regularly. Not only does this keep your watch looking its best, it can also limit superficial scratching and damage by keeping your watch free of debris.

For a lot of these aftercare tips, you will need a soft cloth. We recommend this watch cloth. You could also use a soft microfiber cloth; these can be found in many supermarkets and homeware shops.

How to clean a watch strap

In general, it's always best to remove straps from the watch face before cleaning. If this is not possible, you will have to be careful to avoid getting the watch itself damp (especially if your case is not water resistant).

To clean a stainless steel or ceramic watch strap, you can take some mild soapy water and use a soft toothbrush to clean anyway any dirt and debris. You should then rinse it carefully with cold water and use a dry soft cloth to wipe the straps dry.

To clean a leather watch strap, you should follow the following instructions:

  1. With a dry soft cloth, wipe the straps thoroughly. This will remove any dirt and debris that could scratch your leather straps.
  2. Take a very small amount of mild hand soap, preferably a moisturising hand soap. With a slightly damp microfibre cloth, gently rub the soap into the inside and outside of the strap in circular motions.
  3. Thoroughly rinse the cloth with clean water, and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Use the cloth to wipe any soap residue off the watch straps.
  4. Allow the straps to dry completely before wearing.
  5. After the straps have dried, it's a good idea to apply some leather conditioner. This will keep the leather soft, shiny, and moist and prolong the life of your watch straps. 

Generally speaking, you should always strive to keep your leather watch straps away from moisture. You should also try to avoid getting perfumes or cosmetics on your straps.

Rubber watch straps can be cleaned by wiping off dirt with a damp soft cloth.

 blue rubber skagen watch

How to clean a watch case

To clean a water resistant watch case, you can use mild soapy water and a soft toothbrush. Rinse the soapy water off with cold clean water, and wipe dry with a soft cloth.

If your watch case is not water resistant, it's best to avoid any moisture at all. Simply use a dry soft cloth to wipe the case clean.

Professional watch aftercare

It's best practice to have your watch seen regularly by a professional. Generally speaking, you should do this every 2-5 years, but your watch's manufacturer will have the best advice for your specific watch. There are a number of different services you can access to keep your watch in top condition.


For aesthetic issues such as light scratches or marks, you can have your watch professionally polished. It should be noted that polishing is essentially removing a layer of metal. Make sure you know what metal your watch is made and/or finished with, and follow manufacturers' guidelines for the amount of times a watch can be polished in its lifetime.

Battery replacement and reseal

A quartz watch will inevitably need its battery replacing at some point. This should be done by a professional who will ensure the battery and seals are replaced properly. Never leave a used battery in a watch, as they can leak and damage your watch's movement.


When your watch needs to be repaired, you should always have this done professionally as soon as possible. If your watch is still under the manufacturer's warranty, it should be sent back to the manufacturer for repairs. At T. H. Baker, we maintain excellent working relationships with all our suppliers and manufacturers to ensure that we can sort out any issues as smoothly as possible.

close up of watch face

General watch care tips

There are a few issues you should always keep in mind when it comes to keeping your watch in great condition.

  • Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause fading and shorten battery life.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures. Exposing your watch to temperatures outside of 0° - 60° Celsius can seriously damage its performance.
  • Avoid contact with chemicals. Chemicals can cause aesthetic damage to your watch, including but not limited to perfumes, cosmetics, and solvents.
  • Avoid impact and shocks. Impacts and shocks can damage the inner workings, dial, and case of your watch. Ceramic straps are also susceptible to damage from impacts.
  • Avoid magnetic fields. Magnetism can cause watches to gain or lose time. Mechanical watches especially should never be exposed to magnets.

We hope you have found this brief guide helpful. As always, manufacturer guidelines should be adhered to above all else. Failure to do so may invalidate manufacturer warranties.

Any questions?

At T. H. Baker, we're always happy to answer any questions you have about watches or jewellery. Feel free to get in touch either in store, online, or by telephone on 01562 312 224.

11 months ago