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7 Little-known Tips to Maintain Your Bulova Mechanical Watch

When you purchased your Bulova mechanical watch, you likely already knew the basic dos and don’ts for taking care of it: don’t drop it, don’t let it near magnets, do set it outside of the danger zone. But there are several obscure tips you’ll only come across by speaking to a mechanical watch expert or learning them firsthand—or you could find out about them here.

Here are seven little-known steps you can take to ensure your Bulova mechanical watch remains in tip-top shape.

Tips to Maintain Your Bulova Mechanical Watch

1. Wind Your Watch Fully Every Time

You probably already know the importance of regularly winding your Bulova watch when it’s off your wrist to avoid putting strain on the crown and stem. You’re probably also in the habit of winding it daily, and you most likely know not to overwind it and risk breaking the mainspring.

But did you know that you should be winding it fully every day? A fully wound watch is more accurate than a partially wound watch due to the tension a wound watch produces.

You may be tempted to stop winding before you feel resistance, especially if you’ve made the mistake of overwinding your watch before. But this will cause your watch to gradually lose more and more time. For a fully accurate watch, make sure you’re winding your Bulova every day right to the point where you feel resistance (but no further).

2. Don’t Use the Chronograph to Time Your Dives

This one seems a bit counterintuitive. After all, if your Bulova dive watch has a chronograph (or stopwatch), shouldn’t you be able to use it to time your dives?

The answer is this: sometimes, yes, but most of the time, no.

Confusing, right? Unless your Bulova’s manual specifically says that you can use the chronograph underwater to time your dives—and most of them don’t say this—you shouldn’t do it. This is because when you press the pushers of the chronograph, the water around you will get into the watch’s movement and cause water damage and corrosion.

If you need to time your dives for the purpose of measuring your oxygen tank levels, use the unidirectional rotating bezel. This is the safer option anyway. Because it can only go one way, if you accidentally knock your watch bezel underwater, it can only push the timer forward and cause you to surface sooner than planned. That’s definitely better than running out of oxygen because of an errant hit to the watch.

3. Wipe Your Watch Every Time Before You Set It

Wiping off your watch with a soft cloth serves a larger purpose than just keeping it looking nice. When you open the crown of your watch to set it, you leave the movement vulnerable to dust, dirt, humidity, and anything else that could gum up the lubricant.

You likely won’t be setting your Bulova in the middle of a dust storm or underwater, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to be careful when setting it. There’s always dust on your watch, even if you can’t see it. To avoid getting dust inside your watch, wipe it off with a soft cloth every time before you set it.

4. Don’t Dive with an Older or Vintage Watch

You might have purchased a vintage Bulova dive watch and taken it out for a spin under the sea, only to find that it’s now severely damaged by water. Now, you have to shell out even more money to have your Bulova watch repaired. What a waste!

Even if you’ve done your due diligence and had your vintage dive watch serviced, it’s not a good idea to take it diving. Watchmakers will routinely pressure test watches, but there have still been many cases of vintage dive watches being ruined when they’re taken diving.

Unless you plan on replacing all the parts of a vintage watch—which we don’t recommend—leave the older Bulova’s at home when diving.

5. Don’t Shower with Your Bulova

Most watches, Bulova or otherwise, come with a level of water resistance that will allow them to take a splash during handwashing or something similar. But showering with your mechanical watch is a big no-no.

This is because there are more factors at play than just the water. The heat will cause the seals to expand and then contract again when you’re out of the shower. These extreme temperature changes cause the seals to deteriorate, allowing for water damage, rust, and dirt buildup.

The seals of your Bulova won’t be the only thing compromised, either. The metal will also expand and contract, degrading your watch’s ability to accurately keep time. To avoid having your Bulova watch repaired regularly, keep your wrist bare when showering.

6. Only Wind Your Watch at Room Temperature

Here’s a tip you’ve probably never considered. Because the components of your watch expand and contract in extreme temperatures, they’re especially susceptible to damage until your watch has returned to room temperature.

One surefire way to damage your mechanical Bulova watch is to wind it before it’s had a chance to return to room temperature. The damage this causes can be so extensive that your watch’s movement may need a complete overhaul. Remember to let your watch warm up or cool down slowly to avoid rapid expansion or contraction, and never wind it before the temperature has regulated.

7. Treat Your Bulova Like the Beautiful Piece It Is

When you own a luxury car, it’s common sense to keep it in prime condition—buff out any paint scratches, maintain the engine, and keep the interior pristine.

But for some reason, many watch owners don’t treat their watches the same way. They don’t take it in for routine servicing, or they try to conduct repairs on their own.

Watches are complex creations. There are whole academies dedicated to the art of watchmaking! Watches are not something you should attempt to fix unless you’re a trained watchmaker. The inner workings of a watch are so delicate that the slightest mishap can cause catastrophic damage.

Instead, make sure to have your Bulova watch repaired by a professional at the first sign of damage. Once fixed, have it regularly serviced to maintain its luxury quality.

If you follow the basics of maintaining your Bulova mechanical watch and pay attention to these little-known tips, you’ll have a beautiful timepiece to enjoy for decades to come.