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How to Clean a Movado Watch

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Cleaning a Movado watch requires little effort and few tools. Wristwatches are magnets for perspiration, grime, dust and grit that can eventually work its way inside the case. This can affect the watch’s operation and shorten its life. A monthly cleaning of the exterior of the watch is recommended to ensure a long life. Do not attempt to remove the watch case back and clean inside the case or the movement, which is the electronic or spring mechanism that powers the timepiece. Leave this task to a watchmaker.

The Bracelet

Remove the bracelet from the watch if possible. Many Movados have spring-loaded pins to hold the bracelet. Use the end of a paper lip or sewing needle to press the tip of pin that holds the bracelet between the lugs and remove it.

Place the bracelet in a bowl of warm water and mild dish soap. Allow it to soak for a few hours. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush to occasionally scrub the bracelet while soaking.

Rinse the bracelet with warm water. Dry with an absorbent, lint-free cloth. Set the bracelet aside.

The Strap

Pour a small amount of white vinegar into a bowl. Dilute the vinegar 50/50 with warm water. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush dipped in the solution to gently scrub the leather strap. Do not soak the strap.

Concentrate the scrubbing on the inside of the strap where it has constant contact with the skin. Do not excessively scrub the stitching because that will loosen it.

Use the cloth to soak up excess water and set the strap aside to allow it to dry.

The Watch

Gently dampen the Movado watch crystal, case, case back and lugs. Do not soak the watch in water or place it under running water. Contemporary watches are water resistant but not 100 percent waterproof. Minimize the contact with water as a precautionary measure. Vintage watches are even more vulnerable to moisture, so exercise extreme care.

Use the toothbrush dipped in warm water and dish soap to gently scrub the entire watch. Use your fingers to constantly wipe away excess water. Take special care around the crown, the most vulnerable area where moisture can seep inside the case.

Use a damp paper towel to clean the watch of soap residue. Dry the watch with a cloth.

Inspect the Movado watch and bracelet or strap to ensure they are dry. Reattach the bracelet or strap.

Things You'll Need:

  • Paper clip or sewing needle
  • Mild dishwashing soap
  • Small bowl
  • Toothbrush
  • Absorbent, lint-free cloth
  • White vinegar
  • Warm water
  • Paper towel


More expensive Movado models generally require special watchmaker’s tools to remove the bracelet or strap. Do not attempt to do this yourself. It’s not necessary to remove the bracelet or strap from the watch, but a matter of convenience.


  • Cleaning products are sold to clean watches, but Movado watches use different types of metals. Some cleaning products could damage the case. Err on the side of caution and use liquid dishwashing soap.
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