I was curious what the most common damages were and how to avoid them, so I asked the /r/watches community on Reddit. Several repair experts gave their findings. Go here to read their in depth answers, or see my summary below.
Note: Watches are made to be worn, so don’t be afraid to do so. 🙂
1. General Neglect and Abuse
Never force anything. If the watch isn’t winding, or the crown won’t pull out, or something else isn’t working, have it looked at by a professional. Also, get periodic checkups or servicing to prevent excessive wear and to maintain water resistance (if the watch is water resistant).
2. Water Intrusion
Understand the specific water resistance rating of your watch. Just because a watch says “water resistant,” that doesn’t mean it’s always ok for swimming or showers.
3. Metal Bracelet Stretch
Keep it clean with an old toothbrush or ultrasonic cleaner, as dirt and grime can excellerate wear and stretch.
4. Quartz Battery Corrosion
Remove or replace the battery as soon as you notice it’s not working.
5. Worn Winding Wheel Teeth
Don’t wind your watch more than necessary; especially, the ETA 2824 which is a very common movement. After being run down, most automatic watches only need about 10 or 20 winds to get them going again.
6. Erratic Running or Stopped by Magnetism
Keep your watch away from magnets.
When putting on or taking off your watch, do it over a counter or your bed. This reduces the distance your watch will fall if you drop it.