How to take care of your watch

What is a good way to store your watch? Where should it be stored? Is it detrimental to keep it for a long time? In the vast majority of cases, these questions nag at people who own several watches and who, of necessity, have to 'park' unused ones in a safe place. Most often, these are wall safes placed in the walls of the house. In this case, it frequently happens that when one goes to pick up one of the clocks, after long periods of 'parking', one finds it in poor condition. The problem is in fact that safes are usually placed in external walls, often in positions that create high humidity inside the safes themselves, with very bad consequences for the object stored there. Evident traces of mould and oxidation can therefore appear on the outside of the watches, on the dials, and often on the inside of the mechanism, especially if the watch is of an old type, perhaps with a gold case, a plastic glass with no gaskets, and a crown that is not even dustproof. The unpleasant consequences are obvious: the watch will need less than ordinary maintenance... The advice, therefore, is to measure the humidity in the safe with a hygrometer (there are very practical ones, even pocket-sized) and check that the relative humidity does not exceed 40%-60%. If, on the other hand, you do not keep your watches in a safe, but simply in your home, there are other precautions to be taken. Avoid exposing them to direct sources of heat, such as near a radiator, or places where the low temperatures are constant (in houses unoccupied for long periods, for example), avoid exposing them to temperature fluctuations and, last but not least, to magnetic fields (such as those produced by loudspeaker magnets). In the time that watches remain unworn, then, it is a good rule to wind them periodically: keeping them stationary for months is not good for them at all. As for self-winding watches, a good solution is to store them in a special box with a rotor to keep them running constantly. Don't be like those people who mistakenly think they are preserving their timepiece by not keeping it running. I have heard so many times: "look it's strange that it needs an overhaul, I've never used it!". With these people, I often use a comparison: do you have any idea what would happen when starting a car that has been sitting in the garage for months or, worse, years? In addition to not starting, there would be many risks to the engine itself, not to mention out-of-round tyres... Similarly, a mechanical watch, made up of 180, 200 or more parts, habitually kept stationary or even unused for years, with the ageing of the lubricants that goes with it, may reasonably not 'start'. And if it does run, it certainly cannot be expected to do so accurately.