Yes, campers, your Rollie gets dirty, just like your kids. And just like those youngsters, you need to give it a bath every once in a while.
But you don’t want to just dump the whole thing in a tub of hot water and soap and start scrubbing away. There are a few things to consider.
Start with removing the bracelet or strap from the watch. That exposes the key areas between the lugs. That’s a favorite place for watch poop (that’s what watchmakers call it, and it’s not far from literal truth – NASTY stuff in there…).
If you sweat a lot while wearing your watch on a bracelet, there’s going to be a lot of that crud between the links too. Start there.
Get a bowl of the aforementioned hot water and soap. Dish soap works well. You don’t want anything too strong. And find your old toothbrush. Yeah, the old one. You’re not want to use it for its intended purpose after we’re done here.
Dip the bracelet in the hot soapy water and get to work with the toothbrush. Get in between each pair of links and gently scrub away. Pay particular attention to the end links – especially if they’re the fabricated sheet metal kind. And get inside the clasp – another area notorious for harboring the nastys. By now, you’ll notice little flecks of the nastys starting to appear in your soapy water bath as you go along.
Note, you can follow this same procedure with Everest’s rubber straps.
Once the bracelet is clean, run warm to hot water and rinse the thing thoroughly. While soap is your friend during the cleaning process, it’s the enemy afterwards. Left to its own devices, it’ll attract dirt faster than fast. Once it’s rinsed, pat it down with a dry washcloth or towel and set it aside to dry.
Now, the watch case. Here you need to be careful. NO WAY do you want any water inside there. But we’re talking about Rolex watches here, which all have screw-down crowns and case backs. Just make sure that crown is indeed screwed down.
Make sure your soapy water isn’t too hot. Hot water will soften the gasket and increase the odds of water getting inside the case. (That’s why you should never wear your Rolex in a hot tub.)
Start with that nasty area between each set of lugs. Work it well with that toothbrush and warm soapy water. Then work your way around the back of the watch, making sure to get the stuff that’s lodged in the grooves. Be careful around the (still screwed down) crown, but make sure you get any nastys that have lodged there.
Special note if you have a diamond bezel. Diamonds have a unique attraction for grease, so be sure to work the stones in the bezel as best you can with the toothbrush and soapy water. The soap will handle any skin oils or lotion that may have gotten in there.
When you’re done, thoroughly rinse the case in warm running water, pat it down with a dry washcloth or towel, just like you did with the bracelet, and set it aside to dry along with the bracelet.
When everything’s dry, reassemble the bracelet to the watch case and you’re ready to go out and play again!