Fine jewelry and timepieces can be very delicate and require a great deal of care and maintenance. When cared for properly your valuables can last beyond a lifetime and turn into heirlooms your family will cherish for generations. Here are a few helpful tips and techniques to help ensure your valuables maintain their luster and value.
Caring for Your Timepieces
Mechanical movements (manual wind or automatic) require some maintenance from time to time. Similar to how your car will need an oil change, the moving parts in your timepiece will need to be lubricated or even replaced, based on wear-and-tear. If left alone, the oils in your will solidify and adversely affect the power dispersion from the Mainspring. Depending on the manufacturer, and particular movement, most mechanical movements will require an overhaul every 3-4 years. If your watch is not keeping accurate time, it may be time for servicing.
For servicing, bring your timepiece to either Marshall Pierce & Company location. We will then send the watch back to the manufacture for a free assessment. Within 2-4 weeks we will receive an estimate as to what the cost for servicing will be. At this time you have the choice to go ahead with the repairs or have the watch sent back. Should you choose to go forward with the repairs please allow another 4 weeks for the watch to be serviced and returned.
Typically, a quartz timepiece will run 2-3 years before it will need a new battery. It is best to replace the battery immediately after it has expired. The torque available in the electric movement is able to overcome many of the problems associated with lack of servicing, for example thick oils, rust and dirt. What owners will notice is that a battery does not last as long as it did when the watch was new. This is the biggest indication there is too much friction in the movement and a cleaning is needed.
If the timekeeping of a mechanical movement watch appears to be suffering, running either fast or slow, even though it has not been subjected to a knock or fall, the fault may lie with one of most common problems in modern watch making: Magnetism.
The Earth is surrounded by a magnetic field. This natural field influences magnetic material like iron (steel, cast iron), nickel, cobalt and can vary from one place to the next. Watch parts made of one of these metals can be slightly magnetized under the influence of the Earth’s magnetic field. Watches with mechanical movements have very delicate components that are situated close together and demand that there be no magnetic fields in the watchcase. If a single part of the mechanism becomes magnetized, other parts of the movement will become attracted to it and this is very detrimental to timekeeping.
The fix is reasonably simple. Watchmakers can place the watch in a machine called a demagnetizer. The watch is placed in the machine until magnetic fields are completely removed. Common causes of magnetism are items with electric motors (especially children’s toys), speakers, photocopiers, refrigerators, radio equipment, and x-ray units. If a mechanical movement comes in contact with anything carrying a magnetic charge, the watch may become magnetized. Quartz watches have less of an issue with magnetic fields and as a rule should not be demagnetized due to their electric motors.
One of the most visually dramatic problems that can be experienced with a wristwatch is the appearance of condensation on the inside of the crystal. Assuming this is not due to a broken crystal, the moisture buildup can be caused by a shock or, most frequently, when case seals are past their prime. It is usually first noticed just after a watch has been in water, often after a swim. This can also occur at other times, for example when moving from cold to warm environments, but the net result is the same: the watch needs to be taken in to an authorized service center immediately. The watch must be dismantled and the moisture removed before it attacks any of the parts inside the watchcase and cause damage. New seals will therefore need to be fitted and other parts, like the crown and crystal, have to be checked for a tight seal. There may also be other damage, such as oxidation resulting from the extended exposure to moisture due to failed seals. Regular servicing and annual water-resistance testing should negate seal issues since a proper service will include new seals.
Storing your Timepiece
If you have invested in a high-end timepiece there is no better way to store your investment than in a watch box or winder. Simply placing your timepiece in a crowded drawer or jewelry box will not suffice. A watch box or winder provides a safe environment that will protect your timepiece from scratches and shocks.
Winders rotate a timepiece keeping the Oscillation Weight in your automatic watch in motion. This will guarantee your watch is ready to wear at a moment’s notice with no winding or setting. Most winders can accommodate unidirectional or bidirectional winding systems and can rotate at varying speeds based on your timepieces’ needs. There are also winders available for timepieces with Manual-Wind movements. A simple Crown attachment will rotate keeping the Mainspring wound.
While traveling, be sure to bring a portable case with a hard shell and soft interior.
Caring for Your Jewelry
Bring your Diamond ring to Marshall Pierce & Company for regular maintenance! We recommend having the prongs checked and tightened, at minimum, once a year!
FACT: Diamonds Are Not Indestructible. Diamond is considered to be the hardest materials on Earth, rated 10 on the Moh’s Scale or Hardness. However, Diamond is not considered to be a tough material. That is to say, Diamonds are resistant to surface scratching but vulnerable to fractures if hit or dropped on the right angle. This is due to Diamond’s crystalline structure, which contains four distinct directions of cleavage, Diamond’s single flaw.
Keeping Diamonds Clean
Diamonds have a natural affinity to attract oil and grease. Thus, lotion, hand sanitizer, and hand soap can get caught between diamonds and the setting. If the ring is not cleaned often, this causes diamonds to lose their brilliance and then become loose from the setting. To best prevent this, have your ring thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis. Marshall Pierce & Company offers complimentary ring cleaning.
You can clean your ring at home using a mild soap, warm water and a soft bristled brush to scrub.
*Tip – Use a hairdryer to dry your ring. This will ensure water spots, which inhibit a Diamond’s brilliance, are evaporated.
Ruby and Sapphire
Rubies and Sapphires are a variety of the mineral species corundum. They rate a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which means that it is a gemstone suitable for everyday wear. Still take caution when wearing a Ruby or Sapphire ring since it is still susceptible to chipping. It is advisable not to wear Ruby or Sapphire ring while working out, cleaning and doing housework or while lifting heavy items. It is best to clean this gemstone with warm water, dish soap (nothing containing too much lotion) and a soft bristled brush. Gently brushing the ruby will help to remove the coating that has built up on the stone. This will reveal the rich color that is prized and loved by so many!
The enchanting green color of an Emerald might tempt you to want to wear this gemstone everyday, but this is not recommended. Emerald is a variety of the mineral species Beryl. Emerald rates a 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which means that it is not suitable for everyday wear. Due to its natural growth process, Emerald is a gemstone that is brittle, so a small impact could break or chip the stone. We do not recommend wearing an Emerald ring while working out, cleaning and doing housework, or while lifting heavy items. It is best to clean this gemstone with warm water, dish soap (nothing containing too much lotion) and a soft bristled brush. Gently brushing the Emerald will help to remove the coating that has built up on the stone, leaving you with a gorgeous green color!
Opals require some humidity and moisture when storing. Do not store opals in a dry environment, such as a safety deposit box, because opals have a tendency to “craze” or acquire small cracks in the stone. Please keep in mind that opals are also sensitive to intense, sudden temperature change.
Pearls are the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off. Any hairspray, perfume, lotion, and natural oils from your body will interfere with the luster of pearls. Gently wipe your pearls with a damp jewelry cloth after wearing them. Please bring your strand of pearls in to Marshall Pierce & Company to be re-strung once a year, especially if worn frequently.
Organic gems are products of a living organism. Popular Organic Gems include Amber, Coral, Ivory, Pearl, Shell, and Tortoise Shell. Any pieces containing these organic gems should be stored in an environment with adequate moisture. Dry environments can damage Organic Gems. Regular maintenance should include cleaning with warm water and mild soap. Be sure to dry thoroughly.