Whether it’s your first serious timepiece or simply the latest addition to an all-star collection, your luxury watch deserves love. Alexa spoke with Melanie Charlton Fowler, founder of organizational design firm Clos-ette, to find out how to care for and store it properly. Charlton Fowler brings order to jewelry and apparel through million-dollar closets, including those of basketball icon Michael Jordan, whose watch obsession rivals his love of kicks.
“Luxury items are meant to be enjoyed, sure, but they’re also an investment and should be treated that way,” she says. “The sentimental value of your Blancpain or IWC may be way higher than your stock picks, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your research and keep an eye on it just the same.”
Start your relationship with your big-ticket purchase right, she says, by reading its manual and getting to know your timepiece. “Geeking out on materials and engineering excellence is probably what brought you to a brand and style in the first place, so arm yourself with all the information it has to teach you.”
Here are a handful of Charlton Fowler’s dos and don’ts for keeping your piece pristine.
Do: Rinse your watch after a dip in salt or chlorine water. Turn crowns and depress pushers delicately. Take off your watch every night and wipe the band with a soft dry cloth. Service your watch regularly (once a year for a water-resistance check and cleaning, once every two years for movement review and once every five years for a complete checkup).
And the don’ts? Skip setting time and date in the hours just before and after midnight when the springs are loaded. Don’t expose your watch to a banging good time — it’s better to leave it in your lockbox during boxing class. And avoid prolonged exposure to magnets and the sun.
As for where to stash your prize possession, “You can customize a closet or room to rival a bank vault, or you can invest in a safe specifically designed for watches. But whatever you do, make sure your mantra is ‘lock it up, lock it up, lock it up,’ ” Charlton Fowler says. “Keep your automatic watches on lush winders and your battery-operated timepieces on ultra-suede pillows or inserts, depending on what their shape requires. Orbita, Döttling and Wolf are the gold standard for safe storage.”
Serious connoisseurs curate their troves with catalogues, and don’t skimp on insurance. But even the casual collector ought to err on the side of complementary coverage and compulsive coordination because “attention to detail is the hallmark of your luxe watch, and it deserves to be celebrated.”