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Before the time of smartwatches and iPhones, the world had to settle with good old, trusty mechanical watches. These are known to be pretty sturdy and reliable devices that will tell you the time (which is all you need to know in a day right?) just as well as any smartphone. The only question is, will a mechanical watch last forever or, like most other devices, will it need replacement every few years?
Mechanical watches can last for several lifetimes, but this will only happen if they are well-cared for. Mechanical watches require constant cleaning, polishing, and winding of the mainspring. If done diligently, a watch should last for two or three decades at least.
If you are willing to put in the effort to keep your watch running for as long as possible, you will find that it will serve you remarkably well. Don’t worry if you aren’t quite sure how to do that, because you have come to the right place. Read on to learn some pros and cons of mechanical watches, as well as the best ways to keep them intact and running.
How Long Do Mechanical Watches Last Before Winding?
As mentioned before, mechanical watches have the capability of running for a long time if you are willing to put in the effort to take care of them. Most mechanical watches have the potential of running for up to 30-40 hours at a time, though sometimes it is considerably less. It is difficult to predict exactly how long your watch will run because the time varies from model to model.
Automatic watches should wind using only the movement of your arm. Manual watches will need regular winding. Listen carefully for your watch to stop before winding it again. The only catch to having a mechanical watch is that it could stop at any time without a trace of warning. Of course, this won’t affect your life in a big way, but it could very well make you miss an appointment or two which will, in turn, lead to some minor frustrations. Keep a careful ear out and listen so you can wind the watch as often as needed.
Pros and Cons of Mechanical Watches
Naturally, there are upsides and downsides of owning mechanical watches just like there are for any other device. Hopefully, learning what a few of those are will help you to decide whether your mechanical watch ought to be replaced or if the two of you will be together forever. Without further ado, here are the pros and cons of mechanical watches!
First of all, mechanical watches never go out of style. Regardless of whether you lived in the 1970s or now, you will find that mechanical watches are always making a fashion statement. You can always count on your mechanical watch to go perfectly with just about anything you might wear.
Mechanical watches have much more longevity than their counterparts. As mentioned before, a well-cared-for mechanical watch has the capability of lasting for several decades. Have you ever seen movies or known people who were given heirloom watches by their predecessors? That’s because they are capable of lasting for multiple lifetimes!
Because of the great craftsmanship done on mechanical watches, they are very durable. Old watches need great care to be taken of, but watches being crafted now are built to withstand several knocks and bangs. They can be relied upon to withstand much (though keep in mind that you still have to be careful with them!) and will therefore last longer than most other watches do.
Unfortunately, though they have much to offer, mechanical watches are not without their flaws. While they are pretty reliable for the most part, their accuracy can slowly begin to wear off as they start to suffer wear and tear on their mechanisms. An iPhone may not last for nearly as long, but you can at least depend on it to have the correct time at all times.
Additionally, because most mechanical watches are crafted with the finest craftmanship possible, they are bound to carry a hefty price tag. You will have to pay top dollar if you expect to get the highest quality watch possible. Whether the price is worth it or not is completely up to you, but be aware that it will be expensive regardless.
Mechanical Watch Maintenance Tips
If you have decided that a mechanical watch is most definitely your speed, then you’ll need to know how to take care of it, because if you don’t, it’s not going to last nearly as long as it might otherwise.
You need to keep it as clean as possible. Any grime that gets into the inner workings of the watch will gum up the mechanisms and prevent it from functioning as it ought to. If this were to go long enough without being treated, you would eventually find yourself with a broken, poorly working watch on your hands. You will also need to keep the watch polished, though this is more a matter of simply keeping the appearance up.
Keep your watch away from water and magnets at all costs. Most watches are equipped with gaskets and seals that have been designed to keep water out. However, the more you expose your watch to water, the more eroded the parts will be and the easier it will get for them to fall apart and water to get in.
If your watch has had a brush with a magnet or water has gotten inside, the best thing you can do is take it to a repair shop. The repairman will be a professional, therefore, they will be better at telling whether the watch will live to see another day or not. If you are sure something is wrong, do NOT attempt to fix the watch on your own because you risk prolonging the issue.
Watches are finicky things with fussy parts and mechanisms. If you were to mess that up (even on accident), you may end up completely ruining your timepiece. If any doubts exist in your mind, just take the watch to a repair shop—it’s the easiest and safest way to get things fixed!