This guide provides easy-to-follow steps for caring and maintaining an aviation watch. It covers important aspects such as regular cleaning, checking for water resistance, maintaining accurate timekeeping, and storing the watch properly. By following these steps, you can ensure that your aviation watch remains in top condition and serves you well for a long time.

Top Selling Aviation Timepieces


Clean the watch regularly

To clean your watch regularly, start by using a soft, lint-free cloth to carefully wipe the watch case, strap, and crystal. Avoid using any harsh chemicals such as bleach or ammonia, as they can cause damage to the watch’s surface. Additionally, refrain from using abrasive materials like scrub brushes or steel wool, as they can scratch or dull the watch’s finish. Instead, gently wipe the watch in a circular motion to remove any dirt or fingerprints. For stubborn stains or dirt, you can slightly dampen the cloth with water, but ensure it is not soaking wet. By following these simple steps, you can keep your watch looking clean and well-maintained.


Avoid extreme temperatures

  • Do not expose the watch to extreme heat or cold: Extreme temperatures can have a negative impact on the performance of your watch. Excessive heat can damage the delicate internal components, while extreme cold can cause the watch’s mechanism to slow down or even stop.
  • Remove the watch before taking a hot shower or entering a sauna: High temperatures and steam can create a hostile environment for your watch. To protect it from potential damage, it is crucial to take off your watch before exposing it to these conditions. This simple step will help maintain the longevity and accuracy of your timepiece.

Store the watch properly

  1. Keep the watch in a cool, dry place: When your watch is not in use, ensure it is stored in an environment with a moderate temperature and low humidity. Avoid exposing it to extreme heat or moisture, as this can cause damage to its internal components over time.
  2. Protect it from direct sunlight: Find a suitable spot away from direct sunlight to store your watch. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can lead to fading or discoloration of the watch, particularly for leather straps or dials with UV-sensitive materials.
  3. Use a watch box or pouch: If possible, store your watch in a dedicated watch box or pouch. A watch box provides additional protection by keeping it safe from dust and potential scratches. Make sure to clean the watch before placing it inside the box to prevent any dirt or residue from accumulating.

Remember, properly storing your watch when not in use helps maintain its longevity and keeps it looking its best for years to come.


Regularly wind the watch

To ensure the accuracy of your mechanical aviation watch, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to wind it regularly. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Find the winding crown: Locate the small knob on the side of your watch, known as the winding crown.Example: The winding crown is usually positioned at the 3 o’clock mark on most mechanical aviation watches.
  • Rotate the winding crown: Gently rotate the winding crown clockwise to wind the watch.Example: Turn the winding crown approximately 20-30 times until you feel slight resistance. Be careful not to overwind the watch.
  • Keep track of winding frequency: Check the manufacturer’s recommendation for how often you should wind your watch. Some mechanical watches require daily winding, while others may need it only every few days.Example: If your watch’s manual suggests daily winding, make it a habit to wind it at the same time every day.
  • Avoid excessive winding: Be cautious not to apply excessive force when winding your watch, as it could damage the internal mechanisms.Example: Apply a steady and gentle pressure while rotating the winding crown to avoid any unnecessary strain on the watch.

By following these simple steps and winding your mechanical aviation watch regularly, you can ensure its movement stays accurate, allowing you to rely on its precise timekeeping capabilities.


Service the watch periodically

  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation. Regular servicing is highly recommended for aviation watches to ensure their accuracy and longevity. Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, schedule a service every few years.
  • Contact an authorized service center. Find a reputable service center that specializes in aviation watches. The manufacturer’s website or customer service can provide information about authorized service centers near you.
  • Submit your watch for servicing. Bring or ship your watch to the authorized service center. Include all necessary documents, such as warranty cards or proof of purchase, to ensure a smooth process.
  • Discuss the required services. Speak with the service representative to discuss the specific services needed for your watch. This may include cleaning, lubrication, adjustment of the movement, and replacement of any worn parts.
  • Ensure the watch is handled by professionals. Verify that the service center employs experienced watchmakers who are knowledgeable about aviation watches. This ensures the quality of their work and prevents any damage to your valuable timepiece.
  • Follow any additional instructions. If the service center provides any recommendations or instructions, heed them carefully. These may include tips for maintaining the watch’s water resistance or reminders for future services.
  • Keep track of service records. Maintain a record of all services performed on your aviation watch. This helps to establish a service history and provides valuable information for future maintenance or potential warranty claims.
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Avoid magnetic fields

  • Keep your aviation watch away from strong magnetic fields to prevent any disruption to the watch’s movement and accuracy. Exposure to these fields can cause the internal components of the watch to misalign, leading to timekeeping errors.
  • Avoid placing your watch near speakers, refrigerators, or other magnetic objects that emit strong magnetic fields. These objects can create a magnetic force that may interfere with the proper functioning of your watch.
  • Store your aviation watch in a safe location away from any devices or objects known to produce magnetic fields. This will help maintain the accuracy and reliability of your timepiece.
  • If you suspect your watch has been exposed to a strong magnetic field, take it to a professional watchmaker or service center for inspection and possible demagnetization. They have the necessary tools and expertise to restore your watch’s original performance.

Protect the watch from water

To protect your watch from water damage, make sure it is water-resistant and follow the recommended water resistance rating. Only submerge the watch in water if it is specifically designed for diving.


Avoid impacts and shocks

  • Avoid activities that involve rough handling, such as sports or heavy physical work, as they can cause impacts and shocks to your watch.
  • Before engaging in any such activities, make sure to remove your aviation watch and keep it in a safe place to prevent any accidental damage.
  • For example, if you are planning to play basketball, take off your watch and store it securely in your bag or locker to avoid any potential impacts from the ball or rough contact.

Following these precautions will help ensure the longevity and functionality of your aviation watch by minimizing the risk of impacts and shocks it may encounter.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, taking proper care of your aviation watch is crucial for its longevity and accuracy. By implementing the maintenance tips discussed in this blog post, you can enjoy the benefits of a well-maintained timepiece that will serve you reliably for years to come. Remember, a little effort in caring for your watch today will go a long way in preserving its functionality and aesthetics for tomorrow.

Essential Tools

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Watch cleaning solution
  • Soft brush
  • Watch storage case
  • Watch winder
  • Watch servicing kit
  • Anti-magnetic watch case
  • Water-resistant watch case
  • Watch shock absorber

Expert Timepiece Care

  • Familiarize yourself with the specific features and functionalities of your aviation watch
  • Clean your watch regularly using a soft cloth and mild soap or watch cleaning solution
  • Avoid exposing your watch to extreme temperatures or sudden temperature changes
  • Avoid wearing your aviation watch while engaging in activities that could cause excessive shocks or vibrations
  • Protect your watch from water and moisture by ensuring it is water-resistant and keeping the crown properly screwed down
  • If your watch is equipped with a rotating bezel, handle it gently and avoid turning it forcefully
  • Avoid exposing your watch to chemicals, such as perfumes, oils, solvents, or cleaning agents
  • Store your aviation watch in a safe and dry place when not in use, preferably in its original box or a cushioned watch case
  • Invest in a watch winder if your aviation watch has an automatic movement to keep it properly wound when not in use
  • Regularly check the accuracy of your watch using a reliable time source and adjust it accordingly if necessary
  • Have your aviation watch serviced regularly by an authorized watch technician to ensure proper maintenance and longevity
  • Take extra precautions when traveling with your aviation watch, such as using a protective travel case and avoiding magnetic fields
  • Make sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations for your specific aviation watch model
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Functions and Care of the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII IW3270-01

Using Aviation Watches for Pilots and Aviation Enthusiasts

  • Familiarize yourself with the various features: Start by understanding the different functions and features that aviation watches offer, such as chronographs, GMT hand, tachymeter, and flight computer functions. Read the user manual or research online to gain a thorough understanding
  • Set up the watch according to your preferences: Aviation watches often come with customizable settings. Set the time, date, and any additional features according to your local time zone and personal preferences. Ensure that the watch is accurately synchronized with the time provided by aviation authorities
  • Learn to read and interpret the watch dials: Aviation watches come with specific dial layouts that facilitate easy interpretation of flight-related information. Familiarize yourself with the different scales, subdials, and hands, as they provide crucial data like airspeed, altitude, distance, and time elapsed
  • Practice using the chronograph function: The chronograph feature on aviation watches allows you to measure elapsed time. Practice using it by starting, stopping, and resetting the chronograph hand. This skill can be helpful when timing flight maneuvers or calculating fuel efficiency
  • Understand the use of the aviation bezel: Many aviation watches include a rotating bezel that can be used for various calculations. Learn how to utilize it for tasks like calculating fuel consumption, time and distance calculations, and creating estimated arrival times
  • (Optional) Explore additional features: Some aviation watches offer additional features like multiple time zones, flight planning tools, and alarms. If your watch has these functions, take the time to explore and learn how they can enhance your flying experience
  • Remember, always consult the instruction manual specific to your watch model for detailed instructions and guidance

Frequently Asked Questions about Aviation Watches

How do aviation watches incorporate legibility and readability, especially in low light conditions?

Aviation watches are specifically designed to ensure legibility and readability, even in low light conditions. They achieve this through several features:

  1. Luminescent Coatings: Aviation watches often use luminescent coatings on their hands, hour markers, and sometimes even the bezel. These coatings are typically made from a phosphorescent compound that absorbs light during the day and emits it slowly over time. This allows the watch to remain visible in low light conditions.
  2. High-Contrast Dials: Aviation watches usually feature high-contrast dials with large, easy-to-read numerals and markers. The contrast between the dial and the hour markers/hands ensures that the time can be quickly read at a glance, even under limited lighting.
  3. Anti-Reflective Coatings: Many aviation watches incorporate anti-reflective coatings on the watch crystal. These coatings minimize glare and reflections, enhancing visibility in bright sunlight or well-lit environments.
  4. Backlight Functions: Some aviation watches have built-in backlight functions. These backlights are usually activated by pushing a button or twisting the crown, and they illuminate the watch dial uniformly for a limited time. Backlights are extremely useful in poorly lit environments and especially during nighttime flights.
  5. Chronograph Features: Aviation watches often include chronograph functions, such as elapsed time measurement and countdown timers. These features typically involve additional sub-dials and indicators on the watch face, providing pilots with precise timekeeping capabilities.
  6. Pilot-specific Functions: Certain aviation watches also incorporate specialized features catering to pilots’ needs, such as slide rule bezels or GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) hands. These additional functions provide pilots with quick access to essential flight calculations or the ability to track multiple time zones.

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