If you are someone who gets the pleasure from wearing your watch out and around the place, it is only natural that over time your watch will gather a bit of dirt. The first time you try on your brand new watch and close the bracelet around your wrist, it can feel like rays of sunshine are radiating from the clean new watch. 5 months later you glance down at your wrist and maybe it hasn’t quite got that shine it once did before. Rest assured, the colour of your steel watch is not fading, it’s just gathered a layer of dirt on it. Watches are exposed to large amounts of dust and sweat which helps more dust and dirt stick to the watch, especially on the bracelet.

Submariner underwater

Because the bracelet gigs all the way round your wrist, whenever you sweat or get your hands dirty with work the sweat between your wrist and bracelet act as a glue for dirt. Hence without cleaning your watch bracelet your watch will slowly but surely start looking far more dirty than it did when you first purchased your watch. So to keep your bracelet from looking old, today we’re going to walk you through the steps to help clean your bracelet to bring your watch back to its former shiny self.

The first thing you want to do is gather all the right tools for the job. You’ll need a toothbrush (obviously a clean new one!), a towel, soap and ideally a microfibre cloth. Head over to your sink and lay out the towel on the surface next to you. This means when you set your watch down for any reason, you're setting it down on a soft surface that will not only help dry it but also avoid scratching it! If your watch has been completely submerged in mud and dirt and it’s really filthy, you might want to remove your watch bracelet from the case to clean everywhere.

Source : Time & TIde

ZEALANDE rubber straps

Source : Time & TIde

This is not necessary for almost all dirty watches but if you are going to remove your bracelet, make sure you cover the whole in your sink. By covering the whole in your sink you don’t need to worry about any links or pins falling down the drain never to be seen again! Run the tap until the water is neither hot or cold and then make sure to double check your screw down crown is screwed all the way down. Soak the watch under the running water and you can even use your fingers to try and rub off any noticeable bits of dirt away.

Now you’ve given your watch a light wash, it's time to get the toothbrush out and put some soad on top of it. Gently strat rubbing the toothbrush over the watch and bracelet in a circular motion allowing all the bristles of the toothbrush to work their way into all the gaps. Take extra time to go over the bracelet and this is where a lot of dirt can be found, especially in between the links. The small gaps between the links is a great place for dirt to hide in since it’s hidden away from view, but the fine hairs on your toothbrush will easily be able to wash it clean. 

Cleaning Submariner

Source : Monochrome

Once you’ve cleaned around the outside of the bracelet with the toothbrush, you need to then go around on the inside of the bracelet since that’s where most dirt will cling to the bracelet and watch. After that, the clasp is the next area to shift your attention to. If you look on the inside of a watch clasp, it is usually a very telling way to see how long someone has worn their watch since most forget to clean it out. Again, using the soapy toothbrush, rub all around the indie of the clasp to really lift off any dirt that's built up over time.

Rolex Datejust

Source : SJX

Depending on how dirty your watch is, you may want to go over the bracelet and watch a few times with the soapy toothbrush to get it as clean as new. Once you’re happy and feel that you’ve removed all the dirt, put the toothbrush down and rinse off all the soap. Now you can set your clean watch and bracelet down onto the towel and you can gently pat it dry. Alternatively you can let your watch sit on the towel for a few minutes and the water will naturally run off it and soak into the towel.

In case anyone was thinking of using a hair dryer, don’t, the high sudden heat exposure could cause any rubber gadgets to swell causing permanent damage. Whilst it’s not super likely to happen, it's best to avoid it happening so stick with a towel for now. For the final touch, rub a microfiber cloth over the watch and bracelet to get any dust off that may have stuck on whilst the watch was still wet.

Source : SJX

Now your watch and its bracelet should be sparkling like new! You’ll notice a big difference if you’ve got polished centre links or a finishing on the case, it’s shocking how a layer of dirt takes away the shine from polished metal. If you know you’re going to be doing an activity that could get your watch bracelet dirty like swimming or any jobs like gardening, changing the bracket out for a rubber strap is  a great option. ZEALANDE offers high quality Swiss-made rubber straps that are very carefree. Due to the smooth nature of rubber straps, less dirt can actually stick to it making it much less work to keep clean compared to your metal bracelet. So go and give our rubber straps a try, once you have your watch on the worst with our rubber strap on, you’ll be very glad you tried it out!