How to Clean Your Pocket Watch

Mechanical pocket watches like your Colibri pocket watch need proper maintenance, including cleaning the tiny mechanical parts. After all, you depend on it and use it everyday. You’ll know you need to have your watch cleaned if you’ve been using it for three or five years already and it is no longer as shiny as the first day you bought it. If cleaning the watch is an issue because you don’t have any idea how to go about it, these tips will show you the way:

* If the product manual provides reader-friendly instructions, follow it to the letter. But if you feel you’d rather get professional service, do so. A professional should do the cleaning of the tiny mechanisms inside your Colibri pocket watch; they have the tools and the experience to do it.
* Don’t attempt to use any cleaning or lubricating solutions unless recommended by the watch manufacturer.
* Don’t attempt to clean the watch with a soft-bristled brush with soap and water, unless your pocket watch is water resistant up to 10, 15, or 20 BAR. If your watch is simply marked water resistant it simply means it can withstand splashes of water or raindrops only and shouldn’t be soaked at all.
* If it’s waterproofed, use a soft-bristle brush and gently brush the surface of the watch. Immediately but carefully, dry it with a lint-free cloth.

Cleaning Jobs

If you take your watch to the “cleaners”, ask about their cleaning methods. Proper cleaning involves disassembling the pocket watch, not just the dip and dry method. They charge less than $50 for disassembled cleaning. This won’t do good for your pocket watch, or for those antique engraved pocket watches.

The proper watchmaker or cleaner will disassemble your watch – remove the pivots, bearings, pinions, jewels, and teeth. These are carefully inspected for any irregularities before these are cleaned with an ultrasonic bath and passed through a three-stage rinse and heat dried. Sensitive parts are hand-cleaned with the correct solutions. After reassembly, the watch is lubricated and adjusted to the current time. This method will cost you about $100, but worth it.

Caring for Your Pocket Watch

Knowing how to protect your pocket watch from damage helps keep it going for years. Here’s how you can prolong the life of your pocket watch:

* When winding your watch, pull at the knobs carefully.
* Wind the clock at a regular established time.
* When storing it, wipe it with a clean dry cloth before encasing in its box.
* Keep it away from humid conditions.
* Keep it out of water.
* Follow the watch manual for proper care and maintenance.
* When mailing your watch to a professional watch service, enclose it in a bubble wrap before stuffing it into a boxed padded with Styrofoam or newspaper.

Your pocket watch shouldn’t be sidelined just because you don’t know how to clean it. Anyway, it will take another three or five years before the next visit to the “cleaners.” Until then, take good care of it.

How To Take Care Of Your Watch

Do you know how to take care of your watch effectively? Do you know when you need to have it serviced? Are you aware of activities that could ruin your watch? With just a little guidance, it is possible to learn how to take care of your watch.

All It Takes Is A Little Common Sense

When it comes to knowing how to take care of your watch, a little common sense will go a long way. Here are some common sense tips to keep your watch in perfect working order.

1. DO NOT give it a licking just to see if it keeps ticking. Beating your watch just to find out if it will hold up is never a good idea.

2. DO NOT where it if you will be working in or around something harmful, such as chemicals. In this case, remove your watch before beginning work.

3. DO NOT shower with your watch on. Just because it may be water resistant does not mean it will hold up to soap and shampoo.

4. DO NOT use any buttons or pull out the crown on your watch while it is submerged in water. This will allow water to enter it causing major damage.

5. DO NOT touch the wheels or bridges in a mechanical watch with your fingers. This may lead to rust and permanent fingerprints, which will hinder movement.

Likewise, do not attempt to blow on the watch movement; this will introduce moisture, which can lead to rust.

Having It Serviced

Failing to have your watch serviced every so often can result in a costly repair bill. Even worse, some of the worn out parts may not be available any longer. This may render the watch irreparable, or custom parts may have to be ordered that are quite expensive.

Whether or not you wear your watch on a regular basis, mechanical watches need to be serviced at least every three to seven years to remain in good working order. The reason for this is that the oil will eventually dry out. In addition, watches that are not water resistant will collect dirt. Once the oil dries, the parts inside they will begin to wear.

How often they should be serviced really depends on the style it is as well as the owner of the watch. There have been stories of people who have gone as long as twenty years between repairs, but unless you like to pay hefty repair bills, it is not recommended that you try waiting that long.

If your watch is vintage, unsealed and not dust or water resistant, then you should take it in to be serviced at least every two years. If it is more modern, sealed and water or dust resistant, then you should be able to go five to seven years without having it serviced, even if you wear the watch every day.

In conclusion, your watch is a high-precision instrument, and just like any other high-precision instrument, it must be taken care of properly and serviced regularly in order to continue working as it should. If you do take the time to learn how to take care of your watch, you risk reduced accuracy, or even stopped movement.

Mechanical Watch Servicing

Mechanical watches have been keeping time since the 17th century, and with that long history comes the impression that they simply run forever. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. A mechanical watch is an engine, and like the engine in your car, it needs to be cleaned, oiled and adjusted (COA) on a regular schedule to function at their best.

Watch servicing is actually less complicated than many people would think. All that is required is a very steady hand, the ability to work calmly under magnification and the right tools to make sure that the watch movement is not damaged in the process.

How often should I have my watch serviced?

This can be a hard question to answer, but you can treat it like you do your car. Most mechanical watches should be serviced on a standard five year schedule. With normal wear this is how long it takes for oils in your watch to break down or dry up or for enough dirt to collect in your watch to require a thorough cleaning.

Another indication that it is time to service your watch is that it stops keeping accurate time. This is most often seen in a watch that runs slow regardless of how well wound it is. Let’s look at a quick overview of what goes in to a COA.

Taking the movement apart

Warning: you can easily ruin your watch forever if you are not experienced or careful in how you disassemble and reassemble your watch movement.

When it is time to service your watch the first step is to disassemble it. We start by releasing the tension on the mainspring. Once that is done we can remove the crown and stem. The movement will then come easily out of the watch case in most instances. The watch is then turned over so that the hands may be removed.

Once the hands are removed we again turn the movement over and locate the screws or dial feet that hold the watch face in place. Carefully the screws are removed and the watch face is removed without bending it. On the front of the movement we can now remove the minute and hour gears and pinions.

Finally we can begin the process of removing each gear and spring from the movement. Each piece must be treated with extreme care and keep secure for reassembly.

Cleaning and oiling the movement

Now that the watch and movement disassembled it’s time to clean it. Each part of the movement and the watch case are cleaned thoroughly in either an ultra sonic cleaner, or a naptha solution may be used. If you choose to use naptha, please be very careful, this chemical is toxic and can harm you if not used properly. Once the parts are cleaned, allow them to dry on a lint free cloth or paper towel. Any lint or dust you introduce to the movement at this point will defeat the purpose of cleaning it.

Once all of the watch parts are cleaned it is time to oil. When oiling a movement there is a very fine balance between using enough oil to provide lubrication and using too much oil and having it attract dust and creating a mess inside the watch. Very little oil is actually needed since only very small drops are placed on each jewel or pivot hole. One area you want to avoid getting oil on is the hairspring. The oil will cause the spring coils to stick to each other and keep the watch from functioning properly.

Reassembling the watch

Now that the movement has been properly cleaned and oiled its time to put the watch movement back together. The process is simply the reverse of disassembly. However, extreme care needs to be taken. Each gear should easily slide in to place and the screws that hold them should tighten easily. Any binding or tightness needs to be address immediately or the watch will most likely not function properly.

Once the movement is reassembled we can replace the dial and the hands and then place the movement back in to the cleaned watch case.

Winding Up

As you can see, there is a lot that goes in to servicing a watch and a lot that can affect the time and skill required. I am very comfortable taking apart a simple mechanical watch, but as the complexity of design increases I become less and less confident. Even after taking watch repair classes from people like Dan Gendron, now retired, I find myself looking in to these watches and marveling at the complexity.

Selecting a Home Watch Service

When you make the smart choice to hire a professional home watch service, interviewing each one is part of your due diligence. The decision to turn over an emotionally and financially valuable property requires careful research. As you conduct the interview of each prospective service, ask about their tools. Tools are an indicator of their professionalism and commitment to the business.

You may ask, “Who needs tools to watch a house?” Let’s look closer at this question and see if you come to the same conclusion.

While you reside in the property, you make several assumptions about the house’s systems. Many of these are based on being there for months at a time and being in the home for hours on end. If you feel cold or hot, you go to the thermostat and make an adjustment. If that doesn’t work, you call an air conditioning company. If the freezer appears cold, you don’t worry. When it isn’t cold, you call a repairman. If you look up one day and see a spot on the ceiling, you assume there is a leak and call a roofer or perhaps crawl around in the attic to look for a leak. If you hear a toilet running, you shake the handle. If that doesn’t work you may call a plumber or handyman. You know the pool has a leak because you look at it every day. In each case, your experience from living in the property is what allows you to see what is happening and take corrective action.

A home watch service, on the other hand, is only in the house for an hour or less on most visits. Whether you pay for weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly inspections, they must make decisions based on this short period of time. They do not have the luxury of living on the premises and watching for items to fail. They should be pro-active in monitoring the home’s systems, comparing the results to previous history, and taking corrective action. What allows them to do this? Professional grade tools are the key.

As a minimum, your service person should carry an instantaneous digital temperature sensor with a high degree of accuracy, a humidity sensor with plus or minus 2% accuracy, specialized lighting for quickly identifying flaws in the ceiling, tools to find toilet leaks, a camera to record problems, a moisture meter, and other similar equipment. The best of the best will even have special ‘smoke’ to check the fire alarms, a specialized tool to check the microwave, a leak check system for the pool, and may have an infra-red camera to identify problems. The list of tools is not nearly as important as recognizing that they are a necessary part of watching a property.

On every visit, the service should be inspecting and recording such items as the temperature of the fridge and freezer, the temperature at the vents for air conditioners and heaters, examining every corner of the ceilings, closets and floors, for leaks with a high-powered light, recording the inside temperature and humidity, and similar tasks. This is their one time, and it is short compared to living in the property, for identifying problems before they become a huge issue. A mere walk through, just looking for things, is of no value unless it employs professional grade tools and the information is recorded.

When you interview for a professional to watch your home, ask to see what tools they have. If their reaction is shock, and they bring out an old pair of pliers, send them on their way. Let someone else deal with the problems that will happen from this less than prepared service.

Maintaining Gold Jewelry

Just like your car needs a little servicing from time to time, your gold sets need a bout of maintenance too. This in return helps retain the lustrous appeal for as long as a couple of lifetime’s worth. The gold jewelry you own today will be ancestral gold tomorrow that is passed down through generations.

The following article constitutes a few tips on maintaining the beauty of your gold jewelry.

To begin with it’s best to know the kind of gold that you own. Often your gold is protected with rhodium plating that helps resist discoloration and scratches. This is mostly practiced on white gold articles which leaves them with a pristine white shine. Depending on the sort of usage, the plating wears off to reveal the yellowish tinge of the gold. Hence, a practical solution here is replating the gold in order to restore its original look. However the cost for the same is a bit expensive.

Do not go around parading your gold adornments on a daily basis. This will only wear them off faster then you’d wish them to. If you wear gold rings on your fingers then take it off before heading for a bath, steam, sauna or indulging in domestic chores that involve water like washing utensils, clothes, cooking, etc.

If you have gemstones impregnated in your gold jewelry, then all the more a reason for you to handle them with extreme care. Keep them off places of high temperature or moisture as the former attracts tarnishing and the latter dirt.

A pinch of Washing powder or detergent in lukewarm water can pose as an excellent cleansing solution for removal of marks and stains on your jewelry. However, ensure that these powders are devoid of harmful chemicals. This could fuel instant chemical reactions that should limit their occurrences to scientific labs. If it’s a case of minimal dirt, stick to dry cleansing with a piece of cloth.

Another situation where you’d encounter chemicals would be a swimming pool. Exposure to chlorine can wreck your gold right down to its core.

Dry and cool conditions for storage is just as important. Bed your jewelry box with cotton before stuffing them your gold sets.

No one wants their gold to turn dull or suffer the corrosions of daily lives. They come with an imaginary tag of ‘handle with care’ warning. Treat it with a lot of care, so it looks a million bucks when you sport it.

How to Buy Gold Jewelry Online

Gold – lustrous, shiny and everybody’s dream metal. The more you have, the more you want. But buying gold jewelry is always fraught with risks. That is because the metal is becoming dearer by the day, and expert fraudsters have the know-how to create imitations that can trick even the experienced eye. The risk multiplies when you are shopping for gold online because you cannot see or touch the item before purchase. All the traditional checks become meaningless online. You could very well be throwing your money away. Even so, many people prefer to buy gold jewelry online.

Attractive discounts lead people to shop for gold jewelry online. Whopping discounts in the range of 50% to 65% are nothing new when you shop online. So, a bracelet that costs $1,000 in a local store can be bought for $600 onwards when you shop for it online! Retailers are able to offer such discounts because of the low overhead costs involved in running an e-store when compared to a brick and mortar store. Besides, an online business attracts customers from all over the world. So, jewelry houses can expect high volumes of sale at all times.

Then, there is the comfort factor. Buying gold jewelry online is easy, quick and quite a wonderful experience because of the wide selection that is offered online. You can simply browse through thousands of items without stepping out of your home.

Buying gold jewelry online doesn’t have to risky. The right information can help you make the right decisions and pick the best online deals.

Know your gold: The purity of gold is denoted in karats. 24K gold is the purest but pure gold is soft and quite delicate. It toughens up when alloys or other metals are added to it. That is why 14k gold is very popular across the US. 14K gold stays in shape longer and does not break easily.

Color: These days, white gold jewelry is also gaining popularity. Always buy white gold that is mixed with palladium. If the gold jewelry is inlaid with precious gems, learn about the quality and purity of the stones.

Go for the best: Much depends on the shop you are buying from. Never buy gold jewelry from a shop that sells everything. Choose a reputed online store. Research the company and see whether they have been in the business for some time.

Understand the seller’s terms: You are not ready to buy even after you have selected a seller and a product. Before you click the ‘Buy Now’ button, read and understand the site’s policies regarding delivery and return of the jewelry. Check whether the site is secure and whether they have a contact number. Write to them with your queries. A speedy response will tell you a lot about the quality of their customer service.

Order wisely: Many people who shop online feel cheated when the product finally reaches them. Before you buy, understand the exact size and weight of the item you are buying. Often, the web store will provide you with an enlarged image of the item. Even so, it is difficult to make out the exact size. The secret is to check the dimensions, ALWAYS.

Buying gold jewelry online is not risky at all when you know what to look for and whom to buy from. With a little care, you can wear your gold jewelry for as long as you wish without having to spend hours on shopping.

How to Get the Best Price When Selling Gold Jewelry

Selling gold jewelry can prove to be a challenging, time consuming task. Gold is a valuable and potentially lucrative commodity, and as a result the risk of being ripped off or not getting the best price for gold is high. Dishonest buyers often attempt to purchase your pieces below market value, or bully sellers into accepting a lower price for their items.

Selling Gold Jewelry

This is disrespectful, if not downright rude and offensive, to the seller. For this reason, pawn shops and other outlets that sell gold jewelry in public marketplaces often prove to be unreliable and unfair. To get the best price, there are better, safer options for selling jewelry. The best bet for selling jewelry is to go online and find a gold buyer.

Online, there are services dedicated solely to buying gold, and others that will accept other jewelry too, such as diamonds or silver. By going online to sell gold jewelry, location no longer becomes an impediment to getting the best price for expensive wares. Selling jewelry online puts the advantage in the hands of the seller, not the buyer.

Getting a Fair Price Online

Online gold buyers recognize the importance of competitive pricing, and will often buy gold above market rate. They realize that they aren’t the only buyers in town, and respond by adjusting their prices fairly and promptly based on the going rate for gold.

Through the anonymity of the Internet, sellers need not worry about discrimination based on appearance, age, or gender. Being taken advantage of no longer becomes an issue online, where selling is an autonomous process. Online jewelry buyers realize that a seller has a service to offer, and don’t treat their clients like they’re doing them a favor by buying their gold. By selling gold jewelry online, sellers can make money without even having to leave the house.

The risk of getting gold jewelry stolen on the way to the shady pawnshop on the corner is gone thanks to the thriving online gold buying market. Pawn shops and other gold gobbling bullies are a thing of the past thanks to the possibilities opened up by selling gold jewelry online.

Where and How to Sell Gold Jewelry

You see it all over these days, “buying gold”, “sell gold jewelry for cash”, “get rid of old gold in your house” but when it comes to time to actually do it be careful of where you decide to go. Just because you see a sign someone is holding by the side of the road or a web advertisement saying that they will give you “cash” for your gold does not mean that they will give you the most cash. It is important that you pick the company that gives the highest payouts possible and it never hurts to get a few quotes.

One major thing you should not do when you sell gold jewelry is take it to a pawn shop. The only reason that you should take it to a pawn shop is if you intend on getting your gold back but of course to get your gold back you have to give the money back plus interest. If you are intending on selling your gold jewelry permanently than pawn shops are defiantly the worst way to go. These businesses usually get very desperate people and unfortunately criminals both of which they can buy gold extremely cheap from. Criminals that bring in stolen gold really have few other options as legitimate companies will not buy it if they can tell it has been stolen. And people desperate to get cash really quick, unfortunately think they do not have any other option but are not aware of other services that will offer much more and can you cash very quickly.

Jewelry stores are a respectable option and will most often give you a little more for your gold. However, quite frankly it is not much more. They also have the ability to get gold and wholesale prices and while most people do not expect to get retail price when they sell gold jewelry I am sure they would like to walk away feeling good about the amount. Jewelry stores can be used as a great point of reference as far as how much your gold is actually worth on the used gold market. I would not be a bad idea to take a quick trip to the local jewelry store and have them make you an offer, just be sure you don’t sell anything at that time. Like I said, jewelry stores are usually not the best place to sell gold jewelry but they are legitimate businesses and an appraisal from them is a good place to start. You’ll want an appraisal from a local jewelry store so you can know how much extra money you will be getting when you go with the best.

I can tell you that nine times out of ten you will get more “cash” for your gold if you sell it to an online service and there are some good reasons for this. For one the internet is a huge market place and there is no denying that competition is no laughing matter when it comes to hundreds of people basically competing for the same space, search engine front pages. These companies are competing by offering more than the other guy for your unwanted gold and jewelry as opposed to a local jewelry store monopolizing the local market. Imagine what would happen if you had 10 jewelry stores lined up right next to each other; things would really start to get interesting. Another main reason that online companies can and do offer you more money for your gold is due to the fact that online companies have a fraction of the operating cost that location business do. And to even stack onto that, the successful ones usually have much more business. So again it is really a simple equation, low operating cost, plus higher income, plus higher competition equals the means and the desire to offer you the more cash than any other type of gold buying business and there are no catches.

Tips On Buying Rings Online

When you buy rings online can be a tricky business just as buying anything else online can be a problem if you don’t know what you want, what questions to ask, and what sources to use. The first question deals with what you want.

Whether they be engagement rings, wedding rings, or class rings there are a whole lot of ring choices out there. Ask yourself is this arraignment will be worn for a lifetime or for an occasion or something will that will be worn from time to time.

Answer these questions and you will have determined whether it requires a certain quality and the price will follow.What questions to ask will depend upon knowing what you want. Do you want precious gems, do you want gold or silver.

Do you want a designer ring or just a simple band? Other questions might include: what kinds of rings do you stock, how are they made, and what’s the level of craftsmanship involved? Certainly the question of cost will come in there somewhere.

Nowadays we often ask if this ring is made overseas or is it made by an American crafts person? There are a lot of very reputable wholesale and retail jewelry stores that use online services these days.

These are the ones that we will want to deal with when we are buying something as important as a ring that will have sentimental value for a lifetime. At the same time, you probably want the rings to be affordable.

If you are going online, the assumption would be that you’re trying to save money. One can find rings throughout the spectrum of the price range from very very cheap to – name your limit.

So let’s look at wholesale, discount, cheap or free sources. Believe it or not there is a source one can use to find from, extremely good deals, all the way to free. Craigslist is the most famous site.

You might be surprised what you can find, (even jewelry), that has quite a value to it. When we say cheap rings, we are probably talking about cheap as in price and not cheap as in quality.

How Do You Choose A Mens Wedding Ring

So, you’ve just got engaged.

Whether you are a man or a woman you have an important decision to make (amongst the myriad of other decisions) about mens wedding rings. It’s this. Will the man in your relationship wear one?

Maybe that’s you, maybe not. But you both need to think about it.

You see it’s only since the second world war that modern men have started to publicly display their marital status by the wearing of a man wedding ring.

Prior to that it was rare for a man to wear a ring when he married. Men were able to hide their marital status behind the tradition that required a woman to wear a wedding ring, but not a man.

However during the war many US soldiers chose to wear mens wedding rings as a public symbol of their marital status whilst away at war and that has started a tradition for the modern man. Now it’s very common for a man to wear a mens wedding ring, perhaps the norm.

So, what decisions need to be made? Well the first is this. Will he wear one? That’s probably the hardest decision in the process.

For a woman there’s no decision. She’s engaged, she wants the ring. For her she needs an engagement ring as well as a wedding ring, and an expensive engagement ring at that. But for a man it’s not so straight forward.

So a very important part of the process is for both of you to talk about it. Do you both have strong feelings about the man wearing a man wedding ring, either one way or the other? Does the woman feel that if she is to publicly display her marital status then it’s only fair that he do the same? Does he have any reservations about wearing a ring and if so what are they? You both need to talk over your feelings about the wearing of a man wedding ring. Establish the groundwork.

Once and if you have made a decision that he will wear a ring then that’s just the start. It’s perfectly possible to buy a his and hers matching wedding ring set. These are rings designed as matching sets for you both so that both your wedding rings go well together. So are you going to look for matching rings, or just buy him a ring and focus on hers separately?

Next you have to decide what type of ring. There’s a whole world of designs for mens wedding rings out there. An enormous range of styles and materials. A man makes a statement about himself in selecting the ring he will wear for his wife, and she is a part of that statement if she is actively involved in the decision.

Think about his personality. Is he outgoing or shy? Is he outrageous or conservative? Is he flamboyant? Understated? When he buys clothes what does he select? Does he buy colourful flamboyant ties or ties which fit in with the style of the suit? Would he wear clothes which make him stand out from the crowd or does he prefer to meld in?

His men’s wedding ring needs to fit his personality. All these characteristics, as well as many others, bear on your choice of ring. A man with a strong flamboyant personality would be much more likely to prefer a ring which stands out. Which sets him apart from the crowd, which says “look at me”. On the other hand a man with a more conservative type of personality would probably prefer to say “I’m married but I’m not going to shout it from the rooftop” with his ring.

Similarly, think about his stature. Is he short or tall? Is he large or small? Does he have long slender fingers or short stubby fingers? These characteristics also bear on the style of ring selected.

So size up the man before making a decision on the style of ring for him.

One of the most common form of mens wedding ring is the simple band style. Often in gold or white gold, it is plain and unadorned. A simple statement of marital status and nothing else. But even amongst simple bands there are decisions to make. How wide? What colour? What type of material? New materials such as Titanium or Platinum have broadened the choices hugely. Mens black Titanium rings really catch the eye.

Or amongst the more traditional materials sterling silver men’s wedding rings look stunning. Or brushed mens white gold wedding rings. The range of choices now is enormous.

And it’s not necessary to decide on a single material. Mens two toned gold wedding rings, utilising white and yellow gold, are popular. Perhaps match the ring material with gemstones such as rubies or sapphires or even diamonds to create a stunning effect.

It’s perfectly possible to get custom made rings or even design them yourself. The internet offers a big range of choices and also offers rings and other jewelry dramatically cheaper than your traditional bricks and mortar stores. Several online jewellers offer a design your own mens wedding ring service so that you can design a ring that’s unique to you.

And if you want something really different why not consider celtic mens wedding bands?

The range of choices is endless, enough to satisfy even the most discriminating couple.

And remember that for a man this ring may be the only jewelry he will ever wear. The choice of man ring that you both make is a big one.

So, now you’re engaged, spend a little time thinking about what you are going to do about a men’s wedding ring. Start talking about it with your partner. The more time you spend on it the happier you will be with your final choice.