The majority of watch makers do stipulate that their watches should be serviced at sustained, regular intervals. The standard time suggested for planned servicing is once every five years. The opinions on this can vary, however, from a suggested period of every four years to as seldom as every 10 years. Pundits and watch collectors do acknowledge that the service of a mechanical watch by an expert can be expensive, but consider it an investment in what is an intricately-made mechanical timepiece.
How the watch is worn is also a determining factor in how long one should wait between services. Florin Niculescu, the Vice President of product development at Parmigiani Fleurier, makes this point regarding automatic watches. He believes that it depends a lot on how often the watch is worn. The more the watch is worn, the better. This makes sense for an automatic watch, given that the more it is worn, the more likely the movement is being automatically ‘wound’ and thus functioning properly.
For Niculescu, another decisive factor too is how the watch is stored when not worn. Based on these factors, he believes that a watch should be serviced every four to five years. He concedes that an owner can wait longer if the watch has been worn regularly and properly stored.
According to experts, a specialist timepiece that greatly benefits from regular servicing is a dive watch. Water resistance testing is the prime focus of servicing these watches. This will ensure that O-ring sealing gaskets aren’t cracked or corroded due to exposure to water. A service will also check that screw-down threads aren’t compromised. As such, the maximum intervals between services of a dive watch should be five years, even as often as every two years.