I thought it might be an idea to put a few blog posts which answer frequently asked questions and what is the best way to treat and maintain wood watches? as to be one of the most frequent.
We wanted to take this opportunity to write a manual on wood watch maintenance. Now that you have this new wood watch, or wood apple band, there are a few things that you should do to make sure that it ages to perfection. There are easy things that you can do, and doing this once a year should really be plenty, but if you find it therapeutic, as we do, once every 6 months (or even more is fine too). This is for everyone who has a wood watch, not just one of ours!
WHY WE TREAT WOOD?
Outside of industrial uses, rubbing in oil is the most common way to preserve wood. The right oil will soak into the wood’s pores, keeping the wood strong and slowing absorption of water that can cause rot. A couple coats of oil can protect wood for years, but this depends greatly on the oil and environment, so check regularly. If a dab of oil is rapidly absorbed, the wood has dried out.
If it requires regular cleaning or comes into close “people” contact, wood greatly benefits from the addition and maintenance of a finish. Wood is, after all, inherently resilient and can last a lifetime or more if properly maintained, gaining both familiarity and grace as it ages.
Oil will penetrate into the fibers of the wood, where it helps resist absorption—but is also semi-permeable, meaning that it will allow the wood to breathe (much better for the longevity of the wood and the finish as well). It’s easy to apply, easy to maintain, and the resulting healthy-looking sheen will only get better looking with age and use.
Keeping your wood watch from drying out is an important part of keeping it beautiful for years to come. Along the way, it will pick up amazing character, and really make it even more unique, and special as it ages.
OIL KEEPS WOOD MOISTURIZED.
Dry wood, not unlike a sponge, is absorbent by nature (think of how a tree moves water and nutrients up from the soil and into branches and leaves, up through the trunk). Wood’s purpose in this state is to be saturated with water, seasonally expanding and contracting; it only begins to dry out when the tree dies, or when we start to turn that wood into lumber.
Keeping the surface fibers saturated with oil helps to control wood’s natural fluctuation in moisture content, minimizing the likelihood of splitting and cracking while also helping the wood become more resistant to absorption.
SELECTING THE RIGHT OIL SOLUTION.
There are many available oils and wood preservation products suitable for home use. Follow this advice to select the best one for your wood.
- For watches, and apple bands, we like to use mineral oil, or coconut, walnut, or almond oil. Avoid the last two if nut allergies are an issue. Mix in ½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) melted beeswax for each cup (240 mL) oil for additional protection.
- Gather Supplies- We like to use a clean, dry cloth, and set a newspaper, or some sort of catch tray out to catch any excess oil.
- Mix your oil solution- We personally like a blend of Coconut oil, melted beeswax, and a squeeze of lemon.
- Apply your solution- Dip your cloth in your blend, and apply all over the watch, or band, meaning top, bottom, sides, etc. Just try to keep it to the wood, as adding anything to the glass or knobs would not do any good, and could potentially interfere with the movement if it gets inside the case.
- Allow to sit overnight- Letting it sit overnight, we like 12 full hours to ensure that all of the oil has a chance to fully permeate the wood, and it will result in much better protection, and even water resistance.
- Wipe off the excess oil- Take a dry cloth, rub away any remaining oil, and you did it! Your watch will look like new, and will be ready to be that stunning piece for years to come!