If you've purchased or inherited an antique watch, then you should spend some time getting it into good running condition. Depending on how old the watch is and what shape it is in, you might need to head to a jeweler to get the watch into even basic running condition. However, even if the watch is ticking fine, it is still a good idea to visit a jeweler to have it checked out. Here are some of the most common issues you should look at.

Cleaning, Polishing or Replacing the Crystal

The first thing to look at is the crystal. Older watches had crystal windows, never plastic. The crystal will scratch over time. The scratches are not only an aesthetic problem, they can affect functionality. This is because scratches can cause water to creep into the mechanics. This might end up causing rust and ruin.

The decision on whether to polish the crystal or replace will depend on how deep the scratches are. Minor, surface scratches, can be polished out. However, deep scratches cannot be buffed out and the crystal will need to be replaced.

Clean or Replace The Band

If your watch has a metal band, then you will likely want to have it cleaned. This is a process where the individual links are polished. If there are any loose connections between the links, then these can be replaced.

Metal bands get dull after many years. The watch will look much more impressive with a shinny, polished band.

If, on the other hand, the watch has a leather band, you will likely need to replace it. A leather band should be maintained with oils. If it was neglected for years, then sadly, it needs to be replaced. A dry, cracked band should be tossed.

Replace The Gaskets

Gaskets prevent moisture from getting into the watch. Since they break down over time, it is important to replace them periodically.

Don't Forget The Movement

The movement refers to the interior clockwork, which is what makes the watch tick. In older watches, it is important to have a jeweler look at the movement. This is definitely not something you can do on your own.

The movement will be disassembled. The individual pieces will be examined. Those needing to be replaced will be set aside. The pieces that are in good condition will be placed into a cleaning basket then put into a special ultrasonic cleaning machine. When the pieces are cleaned, they will be oiled then re-assembled with the new replacement parts.

For more information, contact a jewellery repair specialist.