How to Clean a Watch the Correct Way (Seiko Mod or Not)
We keep hearing how important it is to keep our hands as clean as possible these days. Given their proximity to our hands, it's only natural that we want to keep our wristwatches clean as well.
Remember to get under the fingernails too! Source: Initial.com
In fact, during pandemics, we recommend wearing water-resistant stainless steel watches because they are the easiest to clean and can withstand constant water exposure.
Fortunately, there is a wide selection of water-resistant watches available from a variety of high-quality brands. The Seiko divers line is a leading timepiece brand for scuba divers and sportspeople in general.
Watches, like cars, clothes, and even your own body, require active cleaning. However, before you do any watch cleaning, there are a few things you need to know.
First, check to see how water-resistant your watch is (approx. 50 meters and above is pretty common). If it is less than 50 meters, you will need to take some special precautions when cleaning, but most watches offer at least 50 meters of water resistance.
Water resistance is usually painted on the dial or engraved on the caseback Source: I Know Watches
If your watch has little or no water resistance (approximately 30 meters and below), you should take extra precautions to ensure that you don't damage the watch.
To clean a watch with little or no water resistance, use a soft, dry or possibly (lightly) damp cloth, but avoid submerging the timepiece to avoid damage.
If you have a watch that is made from a precious metal (such as gold), you should clean it with an extra-soft brush, a microfiber cloth, or simply your hands to avoid damaging the softer material.
Gold is super easy to scratch so extra care is always needed when handling them. Source: Watchuseek
Even if your watch is a Seiko diver made of stainless steel, it may begin dulling over time. Stainless steel watches can rust as a result of frequent swimming, saltwater exposure, or even sweating, and cleaning the rust off will extend the life of your watch.
How Old is Your Watch – When Was it Last Serviced?
Another factor to consider is the age of the timepiece and the date of its last proper watch maintenance servicing.
Both of these factors contribute to a watch's effective water resistance, as older pieces and those that have not been serviced in a long time will have reduced water resistance due to aging and drying gaskets.
Yes, it's a beautiful watch. But replacing the probably-crusty-by-now gaskets will help lengthen its life. Source: Reddit
Gaskets will dry out over time, becoming brittle, and if they crack, moisture will get inside and rust your movement. A timepiece has a crystal, caseback, crown, tube, and pusher gaskets, which need to be replaced if one of them fails due to being old and dry.
At namokiMODS we offer Lubri gaskets for when it’s time to change gaskets: Your gasket keeps water out of the watch, which makes it a wise investment.
If you want to know more about cleaning your Seiko SKX007 Diver Watch, you can find a complete set of SKX007 Mod parts in the link below, as to always count with key Seiko mod parts for your watch maintenance.
Find the entire set of crystal gasket, bezel gasket (0.8mm), caseback gasket and click spring right here!
Things You’ll Need When Cleaning Your Watch:
Two bowls to hold warm water to fit your watch (and possibly the bracelet)
Soap, such as hand type or gentle liquid dish soap
A clean soft brush such as soft toothbrush
Two microfiber clothes for dealing with moisture
Anti-bacterial eco-friendly sanitary wipes
To remove the bracelet from the case, you'll need a spring bar tool.
If you want to know what the pros use for cleaning, click here to learn about Rodico 7033 professional cleaning putty, an almost magical cleaner that’s ideal for removing smudges or fingerprints from your watch's dial, hands, or any other surface.
Have you met any watch modder who is not in love with Rodico's cleaning putty? Source: Esslinger
The putty is also great for lifting delicate Seiko mod parts like plates, bridges, dials, and hands without smearing or marking the delicate surfaces. Also useful for removing excess oil or stains.
Steps to Follow for Proper Watch Maintenance:
Step 1: Know Your Watch
Examine the condition of your watch, preferably with a magnifying glass. Look for any damage that may allow moisture to enter. Examine the condition of the crown and any other moving parts.
For people who want absolute cleanliness, a watch loupe will help spot the tiniest specks of dirt. Source: Peter Chong
Look at the edge of the crystal (where it is mounted to the case); if it has a chip or any visible area where it is not firmly connected to the case, your watch needs watch servicing.
Step 2: If Needed, Remove Your Bracelet Or Strap
Removing the bracelet allows access to those difficult-to-reach areas. Remove the bracelet or strap from your watch using an appropriate spring bar tool, assuming you are comfortable doing so.
Removing the watch strap reveals many dirty secrets. Source: Adjusting Vintage Watches
This will give you access to one of the dirtiest parts of your watch, the inner side of the lugs and the bracelet end link.
Step 3: Wiping The Watch
Wipe every facet, nook, engraving, and edge with one of the wipes. A quick once-over should take no more than a minute or two, and with the watch mostly clean, you'll be able to see the more stubborn dirt accumulations
Fill one bowl halfway with warm water, add a few drops of soap, and swish it around to get it soapy. Also fill the second bowl with warm, clean water.
Carefully submerge your (water-resistant!) watch case into the soap water, ensuring that the winding crown (and any pushers, if applicable) are screwed in place.
Submerging or putting under gentle running water is fine as long as all precautions were taken. Source: Watch Addiction Watch Reviews
Gently scrub the surface of the case, caseback, and dial side with your fingers to remove any dirt. You can also use a soft brush to gently scrub the lugs, bezel, and caseback, but not the crystal.
To clean the crystal, soak one of the clothes in soapy water and gently wipe the glass surface
To rinse it, place it in a clean bowl of warm water. After rinsing, carefully dry the watch case with a dry soft cloth, removing as much water as possible. Set aside the case.
Step 4: Toothpick (Or Brush) your Precision Tool.
You can use the flat edge of a toothpick to work the cleaning wipe. If any sticky grime remains after wiping it away, take a toothpick and cut off the brittle tip.
A toothpick helps get into those stubborn nooks and crannies - just don't press too hard with it! Source: Waha Watches
Wrap the toothpick in the wipe's edge and gently work the harder edge into the problem areas (while ensuring the toothpick does not tear through the wipe)
Keep in mind that softer metals can be scratched by toothpicks, so it's best to be as thorough as possible with the wipe, especially on precious metal cases.
Step 5: A Final Microfiber Finish
Finish the cleaning with a soft and clean microfiber that can quickly absorb any excess moisture (and help with oils from your skin as you're holding the watch).
Wrap the cloth around your finger and use your fingernail to ensure the cloth gets into all of those tough-to-reach spots like the bezel edge, the crystal edge, and the inner lugs and caseback seam.
Dabbing with the microfiber cloth is the best finish to a watch cleaning session. Source: Millenary Watches
You can finish up with a microfiber cloth, and pick up any moisture or oils from your skin. Just use the cloth with your fingernail, and gently wipe the watch case clean. Try to pick up everything that is left, and leave your watch looking as pristine as possible.
Step 6: Reassemble!
When both the case and bracelet are completely dry, carefully reattach the bracelet to the case with the appropriate tools. Your sparkling new watch is now ready for you to wear.
And you are done! Congratulations.
But...How Often Do I Need to Clean My Watch?
This type of deep watch cleaning can be done as often as the watch requires, depending on how you wear it. Some watch wearers do this on a weekly basis, while others prefer monthly or even longer intervals.
For lighter and frequent cleaning watch maintenance, simply hold your (water-resistant steel!) watch under warm running water and use a little gentle soap on your fingers to wash, rinse, and gently dry it with a soft towel.
A Personalized Treatment for Your Bracelet
If your bracelet is made of metal or rubber you can keep it attached and clean it alongside the watch. If you don't think your strap can stand up to a bit of water – you will need to pop it off.
Those committed cleaners who removed bracelets even if they are made of a durable material --like steel, titanium, or rubber-- a soft brush with a gentle soap and water should be sufficient to clean the clasp and bracelet. Run the bracelet under a faucet if necessary to flush out any debris.
For bracelets made out of precious metals, such as gold or platinum, we recommend using your hands or an extra soft brush. If a more thorough cleaning is required, we recommend rinsing with a gentle hand soap and warm water, followed by drying with a soft microfiber cloth.
Never dip leather in water. Source: WikiHow
However, if your bracelet is constructed of something much less water-resistant — leather, for example — then you will need to use a gentler cleaning process. Above all, never use alcohol, soak in water, apply harsh soap, or rubbing force on your leather strap.
If you feel it is time to replace your old bracelet from your Seiko diver, or simply want a new bracelet, visit our site for a wide range of Seiko Mod bracelets designed to fit the SKX007 and several other cases. We designed these bracelets to have a perfect fit with OEM parts.
We Have all the Tools You Need at namokiMODS
Keeping your watch clean will help it to look its best, but it also works to keep the watch in the best working shape possible.
If you want to learn more about watches, and all the options NamokiMODS offers for Seiko mods and do-it-yourself watch service, please check out our website for much more information!