When most people buy watches, they don’t realize how much goes into keeping them up-to-date and in good working condition. It’s not like having a car, but you do have to take some steps to keep your timepieces running well. This is especially important if you bought a fine watch like a Cartier Santos 100 or a Techno Marine; these are moderately priced watches, so to allow them to deteriorate is just plain silliness. Below are a few guidelines you will want to follow in order to get the most out of your watches.

1. It’s important that you clean your watch with a dry soft cloth or a brush sporadically. Oftentimes, as with most electronic products, dust will get into the gaps of the watch or into the case, and this could indeed make your watch stop working. Also, if you notice perspiration on your watch’s case or strap, it’s also a good idea to clean these as well with a watch cleaner and cotton.

2. Make sure you don’t wear your watch in situations where it could be exposed to really high temperatures. Watches have many protective elements such as water resistance, but I have yet to see a watch that can be exposed to high temperatures and not get ruined. Also, if you have a fine watch, make sure you don’t keep it in the sun for a long time, as this could cause thermal shock!

3. If your watch isn’t shock-resistant, such as many Charriol watches, it’s always best to take it off when you are doing a sports activity such as tennis or golf. Sometimes the jerkiness of your movements can ruin the watch or move around parts inside the watch. Also, if you plan on taking a shower or swimming, make sure the watch is water resistant! If you do have a water resistant watch, the gaskets should be replaced every 12 to 24 months to ensure the quality of the watch is up-to-date.

4. Don’t open the watch. Not only can this void any warranties, it’s also just plain dumb! The parts inside a watch are very small and you could very easily lose some of the pieces in the watch; pieces which cannot be replaced.

5. If you want to buy watches with a leather strap like those of the Chase Durer watches, it’s always a good idea to keep the strap dry. Not only can water and other liquids ruin the leather, but if it’s exposed to water enough, it can stretch, crack, and even break. While some watches do have replaceable leather straps (sold separately), this can cost money and time; time that you might not want to waste on something you could have avoided to begin with!

If your fine watch ever breaks or need something fixed, all you have to do is contact your manufacturer, and they will either have you send it in for repair or suggest a watch service center in your area. The only real “fixing” you should be doing as far as opening up the watch is replacing the battery. Other than that, stay away from the guts of the watch! It’s a job best left to the professionals.