Picking out a Swiss watch is not something to be taken lightly. However, taking home the one among many that you’ve found to be a perfect fit for your aesthetic, lifestyle, and budget is apparently the easy part. Here, Lucerne Luxe’s managing director Emerson Yao clues us in on the dos and donts that every respectable watch owner–whether an old hand or a new inductee–must know.
1. Don’t take your watch’s word on its powers of water resistance
In recent years the word “waterproof” has been replaced by “water-resistant,” and its meaning can be confusing. “Waterproof” was used in the past when there were no devices to measure the pressure a watch could withstand. With the invention of pressure testing equipment, the offending word was replaced by “water resistant,” and standard ratings of 30 meters, 50 meters, 100 meters, and 200 meters were implemented.
But these number don’t represent the actual depths a watch can go underwater—a common misconception. They merely show that a watch can resist pressures at those depths under laboratory conditions: using a fresh gasket, sitting stationary in a pressured tank, and fixed temperatures. Merciless, real life scenarios will yield completely different results, so be wary on your diving expeditions.
2. Do try to wear your watch on the regular
Your watch will stop when not used daily. When worn during the day—typically five to eight hours—its movement will gain enough power reserve to last 24 to 32 hours at rest. The power reserve on most automatic watches are limited from one to one and a half days. So if it sits on your bedside table all weekend, it will need some intervention come Monday morning.
An exception to this are watches with three days power reserve (meant for over the weekend idle use), a seven days power reserve (meant for a once a week use).
3. Don’t tweak the calendar near the stroke of midnight
Calendar watches are usually fitted with a quick calendar corrector, which allows the wearer to adjust the date without endless turns of the hour and minute hands. But left to its own devices, it usually adjusts the calendar every 24 hours, particularly when the hands are near the 12 o’clock position. The problem is that we have no way of knowing whether the hands are at 12 noon or 12 midnight when the watch stopped.
If you use the quick calendar corrector when the hour and minute hands are at the midnight hour, there’s the possibility that the “Day-finger”—a wheel that turns the calendar wheel to the next day—will contradict the quick calendar corrector, creating two opposing forces acting on the calendar wheel. The result: the tooth on the calendar wheel will break.
So instead, first move the hour a minute hands away from the 12 o’clock position, and position them between two o’clock and nine o’clock. You may then use the calendar corrector.
4. Do send your watch in for maintenance every eight to 10 years
The mechanical components in a watch need a certain amount of oil to work perfectly. When they start to dry out after a little under a decade, the parts wear out faster from the increased friction. Fortunately, all they need is a little tune up to clean and re-oil the parts.
If you don’t bring your watch it for maintenance service, the most common problem is it won’t run accurately and the delays will increase over time, effectively compounding the problem of Filipino time. Worse is that your watch may occasionally stop, and worst is the parts will need pricey replacing.
5. Don’t fret about your watch’s accuracy
It’s acceptable for a watch to gain or lose +/- 5 sec per day and it will still be 99.99% accurate.
How often the time needs adjusting depends on the wearer and how precise they want it to be. Some even set their time in advance by two to five minutes to compensate for future errors. Otherwise, once every three months is reasonable.
6. If you take your watch diving, do send it in for yearly testing to maintain its integrity
With the effects of temperature, sweat, and other substances that may come in contact with your divers watch, the gasket and seals that protect it from water seepage can sometimes become compromised. So a diver will need to have his watch’s water resistance rating tested yearly to be assured of protection. The Lucerne service center is equipped with pressure testing equipment to measure the water resistance of a watch.
7. Don’t reverse-adjust a perpetual calendar watch
Because it’s not possible. If its date is ahead by a day or two, you’ll just have to allow the watch to run down until it stops. At that point, wait some more until the day catches up to the wrongly adjusted day and date indicated on your watch.
8. Do keep away from magnets, and don’t underestimate their size
Super magnets are found in our purses, laptops, box enclosures, and the like. They are small but can be very powerful. Try to avoid putting your watch near them, because when a watch movement is magnetized—usually the hair spring—the spring will start to stick together and the timing will be inaccurate, with the watch usually running fast.
9. Don’t be surprised if your Swiss-made watch was not entirely made in Switzerland
Swiss law states that for a watch to be Swiss-made, the movement has to be made in Switzerland, encased in Switzerland, and final quality control must take place in Switzerland. But the movement that makes up the majority of the cost of the watch is considered Swiss only if the movement is assembled in Switzerland, manufactured and inspected in Switzerland, and the components are at least 60% of the total value. So in some cases, the case, glass, dial, or even the bracelet can be made overseas.
Lucerne Luxe has boutiques in Glorietta 4 and Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City, and Ayala Center Cebu.
Interview by Arianna Lim
Illustration by Raxenne Maniquiz