Tips for cleaning your watch properly

how to clean a watch

The most typical watch to clean is one with a good water resistance, think about 50 meters or more, if it is less, you will need to take into account some special considerations when cleaning it, but in general most watches offer some degree of water resistance.

Also, if the bracelet of your watch is water resistant, i.e. metal or rubber, you can keep it together and clean it along with the watch, although if the bracelet lacks water resistance (think leather), remove the strap and clean it separately.

Steps to follow to clean a watch

What you will need will be mild soap, warm water, a bowl, a small soft brush (such as a soft toothbrush), a protected cleaning area (such as over a layered towel) and a dry microfiber cloth. The process is as follows:

Fill the container with hot water and a small amount of soap to create a mild soap solution.

Dip the brush into the solution and gently brush the watch to clean it. If your watch is made of a precious metal (such as gold), you will need to use an extra soft brush, a microfiber cloth or just your hands so as not to damage the softer material.

Once clean, gently rinse the watch with non-soapy water. If your watch is moderately water resistant (50 to 100 meters), you can do this with a quick splash; if your watch has excellent water resistance (such as 100 meters or more), you can rinse the watch directly under a running faucet, which can help remove any remaining dirt.

Dry the watch completely with a soft microfiber cloth. For a gold watch there would be no problem, in fact that is one of the advantages of a gold watch.

Cleaning a non-water resistant watch

If you have a watch with little or no water resistance, usually defined as 30 meters or less such as the Patek Philippe Calatrava or the A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia, then it is important to take special precautions to protect your watch during cleaning.

clean watch

We recommend using “a soft, perhaps slightly damp cloth” to clean it, but avoid submerging the piece so as not to cause “major damage” to the watch. We recommend cleaning a non-water resistant watch using only a soft, dry toothbrush to physically remove any debris, and then wipe it with a cloth.

However, this type of watches tend to be more for events and offer greater exclusivity. As can be those of the aforementioned brands, which you can take a look at our Patek Philippe watches for sale.

How to clean your watch strap or bracelet

Now that your watch is clean, you should also clean the bracelet to which it is attached. Just like the watch itself, when cleaning a bracelet you should consider its water resistance, its age, the material it is made of, etc., all of which will help you determine the best way to clean it.

Water resistance is still the most important thing, so if either your bracelet or your watch is water resistant, but not both, you should separate the two and clean them accordingly.

In the case of a more durable bracelet, such as steel, titanium or rubber, we recommend using a soft brush with a little soap and water to clean the clasp and bracelet, or even running the bracelet under the tap to remove any debris.

For more precious metals, such as gold or platinum, we recommend cleaning the bracelet with your hands only or, if possible, opt for an extra soft brush, as a brush that is too stiff can scratch the metal.

Benefits of regularly cleaning your watch

The benefits of cleaning your watch and band at home are twofold. The most obvious is to reduce any residue that may have been found on the watch, be it hair, oil, dust or dirt, all of which not only reduces the quality of the watch’s intended appearance, but could also damage the various sealants, gaskets and finishes on the watch and accompanying band.

While deep cleanings during servicing are great, no one takes their watch in for servicing every week, so it pays to perform the regular maintenance a watch needs.


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