Step 1: Inspect the watch
Take a closer look.
Cleaning your watch is a good time to get up close (preferably with a simple magnifying glass) and take a look at the condition of your watch. Look for damage that could allow moisture ingress. Pay particular attention to the condition of the crown or other moving parts. Also, look at the edge of the glass (where it mounts to the case). If your crystal has a chip or even a visible area where it's not firmly connected to the case, your watch needs to be professionally inspected and serviced (then cleaned).
Step 2: Remove your bracelet or strap
Remove the strap to access those hard-to-reach areas.
If this works for you, remove the band from your watch using a suitable spring tool. This will allow you to access one of the dirtiest parts of your watch, namely the inner side of the lugs and the terminal link of the bracelet. We'll talk about cleaning and caring for strapless options in a future post, but removing your strap will make the watch and strap much easier to clean. Whichever mount you prefer, take it off and put it aside for a while.
Step 3: Wipe the watch
Take one of the wipes and carefully wipe down every facet, nook, etch and edge. A single operation shouldn't take more than a minute or two, and since the watch is mostly clean, you'll be able to see more stubborn dirt collections better.
Step 4: Teeth Picking (or Brushing) Time
Always dirty? Work the cleaning wipe with the flat edge of a toothpick.
If you have sticky dirt that didn't come off with the wipe, take a toothpick and cut off the sticky tip. Then wrap the toothpick around the edge of the wipe and gently work the harder edge into the problem areas (making sure the toothpick doesn't tear the wipe). If the cleaning disturbed some watchmaking detritus, brush it gently with the stain brush (or your soft-bristled toothbrush). Remember (again, know your watch) that soft metals can be scratched by something like a toothpick, so it's best to be as thorough with the cloth as possible, especially on metal cases precious. If you're not sure, don't get scratched. Just call your AD and have your special watch professionally cleaned.
Step 5: A microfiber finish
Finish cleaning with a fresh microfiber.
Finish the cleaning with a soft, clean microfiber that can quickly absorb any excess moisture (and help remove oils from your skin when you're holding the watch). Wrap the cloth around your finger and use your fingernail to make sure the cloth gets into all the hard-to-reach places like the bezel edge, glass edge, interior nubs, and caseback seam.
You now have a watch, which we hope will be very clean. For those who have removed their bracelet, the steps above are largely similar for cleaning a bracelet, but you can start by bathing the bracelet in warm soapy water, brushing it with the toothbrush, then lay it in the crease of a paper towel and pat the water (and dirt) off the bracelet when it lays flat.
It's okay, you're clean. Wind up the bracelet or strap of your choice and wear this sparkling watch everywhere.
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