How to Tell Whether It’s Time to Service Your Watch

How to Tell Whether It’s Time to Service Your Watch

You’ve spent a lot of money on your watch, so maintaining and servicing it is essential if you want to enjoy it for many more years to come. Every watch is subject to wear and tear so there is no way around servicing it.

What’s more, being proactive about servicing your watch will help you avoid bigger problems that will only cost more money to correct.

But how do you know whether it’s time to service your watch?

Signs It’s Time to Service Your Watch

Whether you have a mechanical or a quartz watch, there are a few tell-tale signs to look out for that indicate it’s time for a service.

  • Your Watch Feels Different or Parts Feel Loose

When your watch is on your wrist, it’s always moving, which can cause some parts to loosen. On the plus side, if you wear your watch daily, you can easily tell whether it feels different. If it does or you feel that some parts have tightened or loosened, it’s time for a service. If your watch is making a noise or rattles when you move it, it’s important to take it in for repairs immediately.

  • There is Moisture Inside the Watch

Moisture inside a watch is never a good sign and without prompt service, the watch will begin to corrode. As you can imagine, this can cause further damage that will either be expensive to repair or can’t be repaired at all. Even the slightest bit of moisture is an indication that a service is necessary.

  • Your Watch is Running Too Fast or Slow

This is the third most common sign that your watch needs a service sooner rather than later. Watches will always have a margin of error, which means it might be a few seconds too fast or too slow. However, if your watch feels very out in terms of time accuracy, rather get it serviced.

Many people tend to put off a service believing it will be costly, but this isn’t always the case. Watch servicing and repairs only get expensive when a watch isn’t maintained on a regular basis.

Some watch services are quick and cost-effective, particularly when you’re dealing with professional horologists such as Martin’s of Glasgow.

Not sure whether we can service your specific watch? Contact us on 0141 946 6333 or to find out.

It’s best practice to service your watch every three to five years, especially if you wear it regularly.

What You Should Know If Your Watch Glass Breaks

What You Should Know If Your Watch Glass Breaks

A cracked watch glass is not ideal, especially when it’s one of your favourite watches, but it can be repaired. What many watch owners often wonder though is just how expensive this kind of repair will be, particularly if the watch glass is difficult to come by.

Since we often replace watch glass for our clients, we decided to take you through the basics of what you should know if your watch glass breaks.

Dealing with Watch Glass Damage

Watch glass is strong but simply knocking it against something or dropping it at a certain angle is enough to cause scratches and breaks.

Here’s how to deal with these two types of watch glass damage.

Acrylic Scratches

When you wear a watch often enough, small scratches are going to appear on the acrylic. However, if the scratches get bad enough, it’s not only difficult to read the time, but it can lead to cracked acrylic.

If the scratches are merely on the surface of the timepiece, they can sometimes be polished out. Deeper scratches require the acrylic to be replaced, which is generally inexpensive unless it’s anything other than a round shape.

Watch Mineral or Sapphire Glass Chips and Cracks

When watch glass is chipped or cracked, there is a much higher chance of it smashing completely. You want to avoid this because it places the internal mechanisms of your watch at risk.

If at any point you notice chips and cracks in your watch glass, it’s best to bring it in so that it can be replaced. Again, if you are dealing with flat round watch glass, it’s generally much more affordable to replace.

If your watch glass does get smashed before you can get it to Martin’s of Glasgow, and if your watch is quartz or has a hacking seconds hand, pull out the crown immediately. This will prevent any small shards of glass from permanently damaging the hands and internal mechanisms of the watch.

Since it’s difficult to stop a mechanical watch quickly if your watch doesn’t have a hacking seconds hand, all you can do is keep it as still as possible until it gradually stops. You can then bring it in to be repaired.

Replacing Watch Glass – What Types Are Available?

  • Mineral watch glass. This type of watch glass is found in most types of watches. It’s affordable and can be cut to fit most watch shapes. It’s not scratch resistant though.
  • Sapphire crystal. If you want something stronger and scratch resistant, sapphire crystal is a good option. Since it is created in a lab, it’s more expensive.
  • Acrylic watch “glass”. You can only use acrylic “glass” if your watch already has it. This is also a cost-effective option that can be cut into different shapes. It does scratch more easily though.

If you are unsure about which watch glass to choose, we will gladly assist you once you bring your watch in for repairs. It’s best to have your watch glass replaced sooner rather than later if you want to avoid further damage to your favourite timepiece.

You can contact us on 0141 946 6333 or to make an appointment.

The Basics of the Pearl Restringing Process – What You Should Know

The Basics of the Pearl Restringing Process – What You Should Know

There’s nothing quite as beautiful as a perfect string of pearls, which is why it’s such a tragedy when it breaks. Pearls are usually strung with nylon or silk, which are strong enough materials. However, with age or enough force, the string can break.

If you currently have unstrung pearls lying at the bottom of your jewellery box, it’s about time you restring them so you can enjoy them once again.

In case you’re worried about whether your pearls will be returned in the same condition, we thought it would be helpful to take you through the restringing process.

The Basics of the Pearl Restringing Process

Collecting Your Pearls

Before you can repair your pearl necklace, you will need to carefully collect all of the original pearls and place them in a secure box. Keep in mind that if you no longer have all the original pearls, your jeweller will need to source pearls to match your necklace. There is a slight chance the replacement pearls will look slightly different to the originals.

Knotting the String

Once your jeweller has your pearls, the restringing process can begin. Each pearl is carefully placed onto a new string, ensuring no damage occurs. Your jeweller can also either leave the string as is or place small knots in between each pearl, which is highly recommended. Not only does this prevent the pearls from rubbing against each other, but if the string ever breaks again, you won’t lose all the pearls.

Replacing the Clasp

If you still have your original clasp, your jeweller will simply replace it. However, if the clasp is old, you may want to consider replacing it to make the necklace more secure. If you have a multi-strand necklace, a strong clasp is recommended to support the extra weight.

The Finishing Touches

Once the pearls have been restrung and the clasp is in place, a soft cloth is used to clean and shine the pearls. If your necklace has natural pearls, ultrasonic and steam cleaning techniques cannot be used due to their fragile condition.

The pearl restringing process is simple and straightforward when you have a professional assisting you.

Caring for Your Pearl Necklace Going Forward

Now that you can enjoy your pearl necklace again, here are a few tips to help you care for them.

  • Store them correctly. To avoid placing any unnecessary strain on the string of the necklace, don’t hang it up. Rather lay it flat in a lined box and away from any other pieces that could scratch the pearls.
  • Take care during cleaning. Pearls should never be cleaned with water or chemical cleaning products. Wiping the necklace down with a soft cloth is enough to get them looking brand new again.
  • Schedule regular checkups. Lastly, let a professional take a look at the state of your pearl necklace once every two years to ensure you won’t end up with unnecessary breakages or lost pearls.

If you would like to start wearing your pearl necklace again, get in touch with us about our restringing services.

8 Factors That Determine the Value of Your Watch

8 Factors That Determine the Value of Your Watch

You should never consider selling a timepiece without understanding what it is worth first. Understand that if you want to sell your watch for its true value, you are going to need to spend a little time on research and practice a bit of patience.

Naturally, if you decide to have your watch professionally evaluated, it might speed the process up slightly, but it’s still recommended that you have some idea of the value yourself.

How to Determine the Value of Your Watch

Here are the main factors that you or an evaluator would focus on to determine how much your timepiece is worth.

  1. The Make and Model.

This is probably one of the most obvious factors that play a role in the value of your watch. There are certain brands that maintain their value regardless of how old they are – Rolex being one of them. Brands that are known for their limited edition watches or complex movements also tend to have higher values.

  1. Condition of the Timepiece

A brand will not mean much if your watch isn’t in a good condition. If the exterior is severely damaged or important components are missing, the value of the timepiece drops immediately. In some instances, even a minor scratch can affect the value. When your watch is evaluated, both the physical and functional condition is assessed. The end result is a condition grade, which will place your watch at a specific price point.

The exceptions to this are military watches and some vintage watches. A good example is the Rolex 1675 GMT Master 1275 – a 50-year-old watch with a faded bezel and marks on the case from daily wear. As long as the dial and hands are original, it is more valuable than a watch of the same age with a service dial and hands, and possibly a new bezel (Even if the bezel was fitted during a service by Rolex). Naturally, the watch still needs to be in good working condition.

  1. Watch Patina

Patina refers to a watch’s natural ageing process, which alters the appearance of the hands or dials of the timepiece. Believe it or not, patina is a good thing because collectors believe it adds character. If signs of ageing have affected the functioning of the watch in any way though, it will not be worth as much.

  1. Watch Box and Paperwork

If you still have the original box and paperwork that came with the watch, this will have a positive effect on its value. This includes the warranty card and any certification cards. The importance of the box and paperwork also depends on the watch brand and age.

  1. Rarity

Watches that are difficult to come by may be worth more. If you have a limited edition or production run from a renowned brand, it will more than likely increase the value quite dramatically. Naturally, the watch should still be in good condition and meet the other above-mentioned criteria.

  1. Demand

The higher the demand, the more a timepiece is worth. Authentic watches that still have their original markings and serial numbers are also more valuable. With a bit of research on watch trading sites, you can easily find out which watches are currently in high demand.

  1. The Celebrity Factor

Own a watch that was worn in a movie or by a well-known celebrity, this could end up increasing its value. Watches such as those worn by characters such as James Bond are particularly popular.

  1. Market Value

Lastly, one of the final factors that determine how much your watch is currently worth is the market. Spending some time on auction or reseller sites can tell you a lot about what your watch, or similar watches, are currently selling for.  Even sites such as eBay can be a valuable source of information.

Now that you have a better idea of the factors that determine the value of your watch, you can decide whether selling it would be worth your while. If you would prefer to also get a professional opinion, contact Martins of Glasgow about an evaluation.

Should I Invest in a Limited Edition Watch?

Should I Invest in a Limited Edition Watch?

Many watch enthusiasts dream of owning a limited edition watch but if you don’t own one yet, should you look at purchasing one? Or is this more a gimmick than anything else?

Let’s start with the definition of a limited edition watch.

What Does Limited Edition Watch Really Mean?

Manufacturers release limited edition watches to commemorate an event or to create a more memorable model.

Limited edition doesn’t mean there is a similar standard version available either. In many instances, a limited edition may be completely new and unique.

You may have also heard about special edition watches. While limited edition means only a certain number of those watches are made, special edition generally means the watch is only produced for a limited amount of time. It can also indicate the watch is an unusual model.

Many watch enthusiasts feel that limited and special edition labels are simply a marketing ploy. However, there are instances when they can be a worthwhile purchase.

Is a Limited Edition Watch Worth It?

Whether or not a limited edition watch is a good purchase is dependent on three factors.

  1. The Brand

How often a brand launches limited edition watches determines how unique and worthwhile the purchase would be. For example, Omega is one brand that is renowned for its limited edition watches. Unfortunately, this has watered down the exclusivity of these releases. Then there are brands such as Patek Philippe, which hardly ever releases limited edition timepieces. Finding one of these watches would be an investment and a worthwhile purchase.

Rolex is the only brand that has never officially released a limited edition watch.

Limited edition watches that are launched by lesser-known brands generally fall under the marketing-ploy umbrella and won’t hold much value in the future.

  1. The Model

The watch model also makes a difference to whether or not you should purchase a limited edition timepiece. History dictates that specific models become sought-after by collectors, while others don’t gain any traction at all.

Look into the history of the brand you are considering to see how the different models have faired over the years. If you happen to pick up on a trend, one of their limited editions might be a worthwhile purchase.

  1. What It Means to You

Since many limited edition watches are linked to special events and anniversaries, you may want to purchase one because of what the event, movie or release year means to you. Some examples of watches like this include the Ford Mustang 50th anniversary watch that was produced by Shinola and the Grand Seiko Godzilla 65th anniversary limited edition.

In Closing

Whether or not you purchase a limited edition watch is a personal choice, but it is highly recommended that you take the above-mentioned factors into consideration before you decide. Don’t purchase the watch because it seems to be a trend, purchase it because it means something to you or because you know it would be a worthwhile investment.

What Every Enthusiast Should Know about Watch Auctions

What Enthusiasts Should Know about Watch Auctions

Watch auctions have reached a new level of popularity and many new enthusiasts are joining fellow bidders. If you are thinking about doing the same in 2021, there are a few things you should know.

Even though the smartwatch industry is thriving, a new mentality surrounding the high-end luxury and vintage watch market is emerging.

Not only is this increasing the frequency of watch auctions, but more businesses are focusing on bringing watches to auctions. This means that enthusiasts looking to purchase their next timepiece at an auction can look forward to having a larger variety of unique watches to choose from.

Traditional vs. Online Watch Auctions

Online auctions are very similar to traditional auctions, however, you won’t be able to physically view and touch a timepiece before purchasing it.

Besides the existing pandemic, it seems that online auctions are becoming the preferred option for a number of reasons.

Online auctions take place more frequently, giving bidders more opportunities to find a timepiece they love. The fact that you can also attend an auction taking place almost anywhere in the world means bidders are more likely to stumble upon rare and unique watches.

Naturally, if you do choose to attend an online auction, make sure it’s connected to a trusted auction house.

The Best Time to Attend a Watch Auction

There are different opinions about the best time to attend a watch auction.

If it’s vintage watches you are after, experts recommend attending the major auctions that occur in autumn and spring. These auction seasons are standard across the globe and since most of the auction houses are now hosting virtual events, it’s possible for bidders to attend auctions in different cities.

In terms of the weekly auctions that take place, it’s difficult to predict which events you should attend. Researching auction houses that are renowned for their watch auctions is your best bet at finding unique timepieces to invest in.

Sotheby’s and Christies are two of the most popular sites to keep an eye on if you are looking to attend more watch auctions this year.

The Art of Investing in a Watch

Before attending any kind of watch auction, it’s important to set a budget. It’s also essential that you outline what you are looking for, at least some basic requirements anyway, particularly if you want to sell the watch in the future.

Don’t purchase a watch for the sake of doing so, rather wait for a timepiece that speaks to you.

In terms of what to look for when looking at watches to bid on, don’t focus too much on the brand name. The size, shape and style of a watch should also play a significant role in your decision.

Once you have a watch in mind, pay attention to the condition report as well as any images that are available. Why is it being auctioned? What does the watch currently look like in comparison to a new version?

If you are purchasing the watch for your own personal use, the finer details aren’t too significant. However, if you plan to resell it later on, the small details make all the difference.

In doubt about any of the details? Don’t hesitate to ask the auction house staff who have been briefed on each of the items.

It should also be noted that all auction houses charge the successful bidder a percentage of the final winning bid. This can be as low as 15% but may be as high as 35%? Plus, there are also VAT and mailing/courier costs.

Once you attend your first auction, whether it’s in person or online, you will soon get a feel for the process and what you can expect going forward.

For any watch servicing and repairs post-auction, don’t hesitate to contact Martins of Glasgow.

Turning Old Jewellery Into Something New

Turning Old Jewellery Into Something New – Is It Possible?

Not every piece of jewellery is timeless and not every piece you inherit will suit your unique style. Does this mean you should try and sell some of your jewellery or is there another option?

Jewellery remodeling has become increasingly popular.

In the hands of the right jeweller, you can turn an older piece into something unique that you will want to wear all the time.

Let’s get into the specifics.

Why Remodel Older Jewellery?

There are a number of great reasons to remodel a pre-loved piece of jewellery.

For one, remodelling is the ideal way to update your collection without having to pay for brand new jewellery.

If you happened to inherit the piece, remodelling ensures you can hang onto the memories and still enjoy wearing jewellery suited to your taste. The same applies to jewellery you received as a gift. If you don’t love the style or the memories are ones you would care to forget, remodelling is the perfect solution.

Lastly, updating jewellery instead of buying something new is sustainable and eco-friendly. If this is important to you, remodelling is right for you.

Inspiration for Updating Your Jewellery

If you are ready to remodel your jewellery, here are some ideas to inspire you:

  • Merge several older pieces of jewellery to create one unique piece.
  • Increase the sparkle of an engagement or wedding ring by adding clear diamonds or colourful gems.
  • Reset stones by turning a necklace into earrings or vice versa.
  • Upgrade rings by opting for a different coloured metal for the band.

You might also want to decide whether repairing a piece of jewellery could turn it around instead of remodelling it completely. It all depends on the design you have in mind.

What About Remounting?

Remounting is also an option but not for all jewellery. Before you consider resetting your rings, evaluate the damage of any stones. Due to the various hardness ratings, some stones require extra care and attention to repair any scratches or dents.

Whether or not a stone will be difficult to remove should also be considered. If removal is complicated, it increases the cost and risk of damage. You should decide whether it’s worth it.

If you are unsure about what to do with a pre-loved piece, rather get a professional jeweller to evaluate it.

Overall, though, there is no need to throw away old pieces because the style is outdated or it’s slightly damaged. There is almost always a way to turn an old piece into something brand new that you can enjoy for years to come.

Watch Hacking – A Beginners Guide

Watch Hacking – A Beginners Guide

Movements and mechanical timepiece mechanisms are common topics of conversation amongst watch enthusiasts. If mechanical watches are your preference, you have more than likely heard about winding, but what about hacking?

Here is what you should know.

Watch Hacking Explained

When you have a mechanical watch, one of the standard features is time adjustment. However, it is not always easy to get the seconds right. This changes when you have a watch that can stop the second hand.

In a nutshell, watch hacking is when you have the ability to set a watch’s second hand as well as the hour and minute hands.

This functionality first surfaced in the 20th century in order to improve mechanical watch synchronization.

Watch hacking will not impact the timekeeping element of a timepiece. All that happens is the hands are temporarily detached to allow for accurate time setting.

You should also know that a non-hacking watch isn’t less accurate.

How to Hack a Movement

To hack a movement, you would start by pulling out the crown to the time-setting position. Pulling the crown causes the movement level to touch the balance wheel, bringing the movement to a stop.

You can now use another watch as a reference to accurately set the time of your mechanical timepiece.

Once you are done, push the crown back to resume movement.

Is It Possible to Hack a Non-Hack Watch?

Not all mechanical watches have hacking capabilities, which is perfectly fine. If precise time is critical for you, you may want to consider a quartz movement timepiece instead.

The good news is there are a few mechanical non-hack watches that can be hacked using a trick called back-hacking.

Here are the steps you would take:

  • Pull the crown out to the last click, which is when you can adjust the time. If your timepiece has day or date wheels, make sure the crown position isn’t set to adjust those. ‘
  • Next, you are going to turn the crown counterclockwise very slowly. Basically, you want to make several micro-adjustments. This is how you will back-hack the watch. If you do this too quickly, it won’t work, so take your time.
  • You will know this technique worked when the second hand freezes. If it hasn’t, repeat the above step again until you see the second hand stop.
  • You now have the ability to set your time down to the second.

If you don’t feel comfortable back-hacking a watch yourself, rather contact a watch specialist. If your watch is due for a service, ask for the time to be adjusted at the same time.


How to Care for an Automatic Watch

10 Tips to Help You Better Care for Your Automatic Watch

Like any other device, you need to care for your automatic timepiece if you want it to look good and work correctly for years to come.

We have put together a few tips to help you take better care of your watch.

10 Ways to Better Care for Your Automatic Watch

  1. Service Your Automatic Watch Regularly

To keep your watch running smoothly, it needs to be serviced and cleaned regularly. This includes oiling and potentially replacing various parts. Servicing your watch every 3 to 5 years is recommended. However, this differs between brands so rather service your watch according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

  1. Avoid Dropping or Bumping the Timepiece

An automatic watch is made up of hundreds of parts, so any external shock can result in internal damage. Not dropping or bumping a watch can help you avoid unnecessary repairs. If the movement is damaged, this can result in a very costly repair, so it is best to be as careful as possible. Over and above this, you also want to avoid bumps to protect the appearance of the watch.

  1. Keep the Watch Away from Moisture

Mechanical devices and water should never mix. This doesn’t mean your watch can’t come into contact with water, it simply means you shouldn’t immerse it in water. Exposing the watch to rain for a prolonged period is also not recommended. Basically, limiting how often your watch is exposed to water will prevent rust. Even the steel bracelet can start rusting if it is not dried correctly. Have a cloth or leather strap? Moisture will reduce the strength of the material over time.

  1. Stay Away from Strong Magnets

Electronics and magnets are also not something that should come into constant contact with an automatic watch. If a watch is magnetised, it loses accuracy. It is not always possible to keep your watch away from electronics completely but limiting exposure can make a difference.

  1. Don’t Wind on the Wrist

If you don’t want to break the crown stem, don’t make a habit of winding your watch while it is on your wrist. Winding it this way places too much strain on the stem, which is why it is easier to break.

  1. Use Your Watch

Not using an automatic watch for long periods of time can cause the lubricants to coagulate. This causes inaccuracy or it will bring the watch to a standstill completely. There’s no need to wear one watch too often but find a way to rotate your collection evenly.

  1. Take Care When Changing the Strap

It is always nice to add a new strap to your favourite watch, but it is important to be careful when doing so. If you haven’t changed a strap before, it is really easy to scratch the watch. Rather get a professional to show you how to do it the first time, ensuring you do it correctly in the future. Keep in mind that you also need the right tools for separating the spring bar from the lugs. Using the incorrect tools makes scratches far more likely.

  1. Keep Manual Winding to a Minimum

Even though manual winding will power up your watch quickly, it is best not to do it too regularly. Remember, your automatic watch has self-winding capabilities, so it is not designed for manual winding. If you go the manual route, stick to 5 to 10 revolutions.

  1. Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Automatic watches aren’t designed for extreme heat or cold. By exposing the watch to extreme temperatures, the internal parts expand and contract, causing functionality issues. The temperatures will also cause oil and condensation-related issues.

  1. Don’t Use the Crowns or Pushers in Water

Using the crowns or pushers inside the watch will expose the internal parts to water, so avoid this at all costs. Even if your watch is water resistant, parts such as the crown protrude out, meaning water can pass through when pulled out.

When you correctly care for an automatic watch, it will last for years to come. When you aren’t wearing it, keep it in a watch box for extra protection.

Official vs Independent Watch Repair Centres

Official vs. Independent Watch Repair Centre: Is One Better Than the Other?

If you want to extend the life of your favourite timepiece, it is going to require regular maintenance. During routine maintenance, a watchmaker can test the movement’s performance and watch’s water resistance and replace or repair any components.

Where should you take your watch for servicing and repairs though? Is an official watch repair centre better than an independent facility?

The answer is, not necessarily.

Both facilities are able to service your watch, ensuring it ticks over for many more years to come. However, whether or not you take your timepiece to an official facility has no bearing on how well your watch is serviced or repaired.

Here is why independent centres are often favoured over official facilities.

The Personalised Service

Unlike official repair centres in major cities that receive countless watches every day, independent centres work on a much smaller scale. Independent centres are renowned for building long-term relationships and offering a more personalised experience. An independent horologist takes the time to better understand your maintenance and repair preferences, resulting in a more positive experience.

The Cost Effectiveness

While this does depend on the type of repairs you require, overall, independent centres are far more affordable. Too many watch owners hold off on sending their watches in for routine maintenance because official centres charge such high rates. Unfortunately, this lack of service will ultimately lead to additional problems, which attract higher fees. Independent centres are able to offer lower prices because their overheads are generally much lower. Over and above this, independent repair centres have fewer specialists working on your timepiece, which means less labour costs.

The Wider Variety of Repairs

In most instances, official repair centres won’t take on a timepiece that has been modified – this is not the case with independent watchmakers. If you have added a specialised coating or gems to your timepiece, an independent watch repair centre is the ideal choice. An independent horologist is also more likely to specialise in a larger variety of brands. This means if you own multiple watch brands, you can send them to the same place. Just make sure the centre you have in mind specialises in your specific watch brands before you take them in.

The Faster Turnaround Times

The sooner you can get your watch back, the better. Unfortunately, since official repair centres are inundated with work, the turnaround times are often far longer. The fact that different repairmen are responsible for different parts of the maintenance process also extends the turnaround time. Independent maintenance and repair centres are typically able to service a watch in a shorter amount of time. Again, this is dependent on the work that needs to be done though.

Now that you have a better understanding of why independent watch repair centres are the preferred choice for many watch owners, you can decide which option is right for you. The most important thing is that you don’t skip out on routine maintenance and essential repairs.

Contact Martin’s of Glasgow to discuss your watch maintenance and repair needs.