How often should your watch be serviced? The simple answer is around every 5 years if you want to prolong the life of your timepiece and ensure it is always working correctly.  A regular maintenance service will involve stripping down the watch, ensuring all parts are working properly, determine if any parts need replacing, ultrasonic cleaning and more.

Avoiding a regular service means that dirt and oil may build up on the watch, causing it to stop telling the time accurately or to stop working all together.  When you buy a new car, you take it regularly to the garage to get it checked over – so why wouldn’t you do the same with your watch?  Prevention is always better than cure!

how often should you get your watch serviced

Get your watch serviced by a professional, ideally one who is a member of the British Watch and Clockmaker’s Guild, to ensure everything’s ticking over nicely. Even if your watch sits in its box for 20 days in a month, only brought out on special occasions, it will still need to be serviced.

There are other occasions when you should get your watch serviced.

“Emergency”  Servicing

1. Have you bumped your watch?

If you wear your watch regularly, you may inadvertently bump your watch on something whilst you are out and about and the face gets scratched – but that is superficial damage and you won’t necessarily be aware of the damage done to the inner mechanism.  If you know you’ve banged your watch, take it along for a check up.

2. Are the hands moving incorrectly or appear to be “jumping” at four second intervals?

Golly hasn’t time flown by – but if it’s a case of your watch gaining time (or indeed losing time), it’s a sure indicator that your watch needs a service.

If you’ve a battery operated quartz watch, hand issues often just indicate you need a new battery.  This can be easily replaced at little cost.

For non-battery operated watches, incorrect hand movements could signify that some inner movements need lubrication, a situation often found in older watches due to their use over long lengths of time.  A professional watchmaker will be able to confirm this

If you have a complex watches, like a chronograph, their intricate mechanisms will require the skill of a professional watch technician.

3. Is your watch making rattling sounds?

If your watch is making a funny noise, it couldn’t tell you more clearly that it needs at least a service!

Considering that some chronographs have over 250 parts, it’s not surprising that with time some things are bound to get a little creaky.  Quality watches are built to last but they do need regular tender, loving care.

In Between Servicing

4. Are you about to go on holiday?

Before you travel it’s best to get your watch looked over by an expert since changing atmospheric pressure and new climates can play havoc with your timepieces. And that’s not to mention what the airport scanners and magnetic machines do too – before you even reach your destination.

Having a thorough check will allow you to see for any potential issues that the watch might have abroad such as weak points for leaks.  Let’s face it we’ve all been there; we arrive at our location and can’t wait to jump into the pool – oops we’ve left our watches on. This can result in a costly repair if the watch has a weak point for leaks.

So get your watch serviced or at least looked at before you go, just in case.

5. Do you take your watch into water often? 

If you’re a keen water enthusiast, who likes a regular dip with your watch, you should have your watch checked for water resistance.

Although your watch might be water-resistant to a certain depth, it’s always good to keep a regular check on it because any moisture inside the case will affect the dial and hands, or worse, corrode parts.  Once parts are subjected to water damage, there is little that can be done, other than to replace all of those parts which could become expensive.

Far better to go down the frequent maintenance avenue and get a professional to maintain your watch so that you can dive with it to your heart’s content.


So if you’re wondering how often should your watch be serviced, the rule of thumb is every 5 years, or more frequently if you can answer yes to any of the 5 questions above.

If you’re interested in learning what we do when we service your watch, read our article here.