Vintage Watch Care Guide

Wear your vintage watch with elegance and caution. Avoid wearing it while performing high-intensity activities or in environments that could potentially damage it. Remember, not all vintage watches are created to withstand water or shock.

  • For instance, if you plan on doing something active, such as tennis of golf, consider removing the watch from your wrist, as sudden movements of the arm can be damaging.
  • Up until the middle of the 50's, the waterproofing of watches was not practiced by manufacturers, meaning that antique watches manufactured before this period are particularly vulnerable to water and moisture.

Make it a habit to wind your watch fully each morning and a bit in the evening (3-5 turn). Leave it on a flat surface, dial side up, overnight to maintain accuracy.

Stay clear of fully tightening the mainspring, as this can lead to a rupture in the vintage spring metal. Instead, wind the mainspring to slightly more than half-tension for optimal timekeeping and safety.

Keep your vintage watch shining with regular, careful cleaning. Use a soft, lint-free cloth for the case and bracelet. Remember—never immerse your watch in water unless it's rated for water resistance.

Regular professional maintenance ensures your timepiece functions flawlessly. Look for signs of necessary service such as inaccuracies in timekeeping, condensation under the crystal, or a worn-out strap.

In order to operate smoothly, it is recommended that you get your vintage watch serviced every 5–6 years.

Safeguard your timepiece during periods of non-use. Store your watch in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight or sources of magnetism.

Protect your vintage investment with a suitable insurance. Keep a record of all documentation, including watch passport, servicing history, and purchase receipt — it's vital for future service or potential resale.

Our Tips for Longevity

Making minor adjustments to your watch while it's on your wrist might seem convenient, but it can apply upward pressure on the crown and potentially bend the stem. As the stem isn't designed for such stress, it can easily fail. Always interact with the crown, whether for winding or time adjustment, with the watch off your wrist.

Never operate the crown while wearing the watch.
Tip Nr.1

An exposed crown invites dust, dirt, and moisture - prime threats to mechanical watches. Always confirm that the crown is pushed back in post time-setting. If your watch has a screw-down crown, ensure it's fully tightened before wearing."

Make sure the crown is snug against the case or screwed down.
Tip Nr.2

While many high-quality watches tolerate both backward and forward adjustments, some date-complication models can be damaged by counter-clockwise settings. To ensure complete safety, it's wise to form a habit of setting the time clockwise."

Set the time forward only
Tip Nr.3

Keeping your vintage watch away from moisture is a great idea. This applies not just to swimming and showering but also to steamy bathrooms. Remember, steam is simply water vapor. Activities like doing dishes and exposure to rain should also be avoided with your watch.

Drier is better
Tip Nr. 4

Notify your insurance provider of new watch purchases using our Zurichberg receipt and certificate. Understand what your policy covers, as some include outdoor incidents and theft, but might limit the insured value of luxury items. Whether you buy what you can afford to lose or need added security, choose what fits your needs.

Check and inform your insurance
Tip Nr. 5

It is smart to stick to this interval since the oils in watch movements dry out over time, , increasing friction and causing wear and tear. Remember, a comprehensive service by a skilled watchmaker using original parts can be expensive. Depending on the watch's brand and complexity, it can cost from hundreds to thousands of Swiss francs,

Stick to a 5-6 year service interval.
Tip Nr. 6


These manuals offer invaluable insights on the operation and care of various Swiss vintage watches.

Automatic Movement

Infinite energy as long as you wear me

Download Manual

Manual Winding Movement

You give the energy, I give you the time

Download Manual

Quarz Movement

Don't worry – I've got you covered.

Download Manual

Do you have Questions?

For personal guidance about care and operation of your watch bought on Zurichberg, simply start a chat