A Ben Bridge watchmaker services a luxury watch movement. A Ben Bridge watchmaker services a luxury watch movement. A Ben Bridge watchmaker services a luxury watch movement.

How often should you get your watch serviced? As a general rule of thumb, a luxury automatic or mechanical watch service interval is every three-to-five years to keep it running smoothly. Even if you don’t notice anything wrong with your watch, it’s never a bad idea to bring it in for a checkup within that window if you wear it regularly.

A skilled watchmaker will disassemble your watch in a clean environment, inspect for worn parts, outside debris and make sure everything is properly lubricated. 

If you think your watch could use a service, drop by your local Ben Bridge store and speak with one of our Personal Jewelers. For more than 110 years, we’ve been dedicated to helping people connect with fine timepieces and jewelry, and the purchase is just the beginning. We’ll be here throughout the life of your purchase to help ensure your luxury watch is properly serviced and running like new. 

A watchmaker at his desk working on a complex luxury watch movement.

Servicing Matters for All Movement Types

If you love your watch and wear it regularly, you’ll want to make sure you get a thorough and professional service by someone who is authorized to work on your brand, especially if you care about things like genuine manufacturer replacement parts. 

This is true for quartz movements as well as mechanical and automatic watches. Maybe you can get away with just swapping out the battery of your quartz watch and calling it a day for a few years, but if you really want it to run like new for the long term, it will need to be cleaned, lubricated, tested for waterproofness and inspected occasionally. 

But as many watch enthusiasts have come to learn, things can get a little off kilter, even between your scheduled services. That’s why we spoke with our watchmaking experts to take a deep dive into some of the key signs your watch might need to be checked out by a certified watchmaker. 

Is Your Watch Gaining or Losing Time?  

If your watch is certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), it could gain or lose between four and six seconds per day, although many luxury brands have even stricter tolerances. If you find your watch gaining or losing more time than the manufacturer tolerance, it’s a clear sign something is going wrong. 

Gaining Time

This is an issue you’re more likely to run into with your mechanical or automatic watch movement. When this happens, several issues could be the cause, from magnetization to internal components malfunctioning or drying lubrication. If you have a quartz watch and notice the second hand jumping ahead in 3-4 second intervals, that’s a sign you may need a new battery. 

Losing Time 

If your manual watch loses time even when it’s fully wound, or your automatic watch continues to lose time – there are plenty of issues that could be the culprit. To really know what’s going on, you’ll want to have your timepiece looked at and serviced by a professional. 

Are you experiencing any of these issues? Be sure to make an appointment with a certified watchmaker at Ben Bridge. We service many top-tier luxury brands and only use genuine manufacturer parts for repairs in our state-of-the-art facilities. 

There’s Condensation Under the Crystal 

If you notice condensation or moisture inside the crystal of your waterproof watch, something has gone very wrong. A vintage watch could lose its waterproofness over time and need some work to get it back into shape. Newer watches can also be subjected to moisture. Maybe the crown or pusher wasn’t screwed down properly before you went for a swim. 

No matter how the moisture got there, it needs to be removed by a professional. Even a single drop of water can cause big problems and it doesn’t take long! When moisture makes it into the movement it can begin to corrode parts and dry out the lubrication. When this happens, you’re in a race against the clock to get your watch serviced before rust or corrosion causes permanent damage that requires many of the parts, or the entire movement, to need replacement. 

If you discover signs of moisture inside your watch, our experts recommend keeping the watch sealed and the water inside to bring to a watchmaker right away. 

Your Watch is Making Noises You Didn’t Notice Before 

Any type of rattling coming from your watch case is far from normal. If a screw or other part came loose, it can get into your movement and cause a lot of damage. If your watch is making any kind of noise that doesn’t seem normal, take it off and bring it to your watchmaker. 

Not Every Function is Working as it Should 

An automatic watch with only timekeeping function has around 200- 250 moving parts on average. However, a watch with more complications, like a chronograph, can easily have even more moving parts. If your watch has complications beyond timekeeping, such as a day, date or chronograph and one of the functions isn’t working, it’s time to see a watchmaker to determine what exactly is going on. 

Your Watch is Visibly Damaged 

Luxury watches are built to take a beating, but things happen. From scratches or cracks in the crystal to scuffs on the case and bracelet, a little wear and tear is inevitable. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with it. Our watchmakers can replace the crystal, polish out scratches and get your watch looking and running like new. 

Luxury watch with a broken crystal. Luxury watch with a broken crystal. Luxury watch with a broken crystal.

Don't wait to have your watch serviced if you spot signs of visual damage.

Tempted to Open the Back and Investigate Yourself? Not a Good Idea 

Even if you’ve done some research and have a pretty good idea of what might be happening with your watch, it’s not a good idea to try to handle anything beyond a battery replacement on your own. Professional watchmakers work in extremely clean and organized work environments with highly specialized equipment. 

Quality watchmaking facilities control temperature, humidity and dust. That’s why there’s a saying among watchmakers; “the watch you are working on is only as clean as your bench.” Even the smallest amount of dust getting into your movement can lead to big problems, so it’s never a bad idea to leave your prized timepiece in the capable hands of a professional. 

Time for a Service? Contact Your Nearest Ben Bridge

If it’s time to get your watch checked out, we’d love to hear from you. Find your local Ben Bridge store and stop by to speak with one of our watch experts. Our watchmakers are authorized to work in-house on the most prestigious watch brands in the world, including Rolex, Cartier and many more. Learn more about our legacy of watchmaking that dates back more than 110 years.