Ape here. Now, I’ve travelled the globe, far and wide, in my search for unique and unusual watches. As a lover of these marvellous, miniature time-keeping machines, I am pleased to note the rising popularity of mechanical watches. Humans are buying them more and more, but alas, not all of you know - these watches do need a little TLC. So, without further ado, here’s my handy how-to guide on the basic housekeeping of your hard-working, love-earning, magnificent mechanical watch.
Wind it up, will ya?
Mechanical watches are powered by a coiled mainspring, which will only provide power for a day or two if you fail to keep it properly wound. Winding is a simple process. You must turn the watch crown, clockwise a few dozen times, until you feel resistance. Then you’re done! I told it you it was easy, but you humans seem to even have difficulty correctly peeling bananas – the best technique is ‘upside down’, as you say - But halt! Before you get wound up, there are some house rules – things to consider for maximum precision from your mechanical watch.
1.Take It Off
Take your timepiece off your wrist to wind it. Not doing so will put unnecessary stress on the winding stem, and you’ll end up causing long-term damage.
2. Don’t Overwind
I use this rule for many effects I hold dear to me. My mechanical watches, the rope on my tyre swing, Mrs. Ape herself…Once you feel resistance, stop. Do not wind her right up to breaking point, because from there there’s no going back. Watch or wife.
3. Be Consistent
Fit your wind into your daily grind. Try to wind it once a day at the same time – before you strap it on in the morning, might I suggest? Mechanical watches keep best time when the mainspring is above half-tension, so get into the habit of punctual-winding.
If you feel all of this winding is a little too much work, there is an alternative. As part of my weird and wonderful watch collection, I have a selection of kinetic watches which independently wind; through your movements, they create their own electrical energy and power themselves. Clever little blighters! These watches only need winding if you take them off for a few days – perfect for the more languid homo sapien.
Now we’ve got the winding out the way, I’ve got a few more pearls of watch-wisdom to bestow upon you. Mechanical watches don’t care for water – a small splash is not so much an issue as all watches from my collection are everyday-splash-resistant, such as the Excelsior Spider, but fully-submerge your watch and there could be trouble. Next - stay away from magnets. Heed my advice human, as exposure to magnetic fields could cause erratic gear behaviour – or even cause your watch to cease completely!
If possible, avoid wearing or storing your watch in extreme temperatures. Your watch is made up of intricate, delicately-working parts and exposure to excessive heat or cold temperatures may cause these to contract or expand, potentially damaging the entire mechanism. Keep it clean, as dirt and chemicals can cause damage and corrosion. And lastly, be gentle with your watch. That small, round clock attached to your arm is an emblem of the meeting of science and design – a production of man’s ingenious engineering.
A mechanical watch is a work of art. The beauty of owning one is that it requires interaction with its owner – you develop a relationship with your watch. So do one to others as you would to oneself, and take good care of the damn thing.
Enjoy your watches my friends.
Until next time,