One needs to be very careful while cleaning and oiling a vintage mechanical wristwatch. This is a job in which a certain amount of deftness and tact is involved. It should not be taken on by clumsy people or those who wish to do the job in a bit of a hurry. Take your time over it and come out with a watch which is nicely oiled and cleaned up. Be very careful when you are dealing with brands like Braun,Triwa, Mondaine and Olivia Burton Wristwatch since these are bit on the upscale side.
Also, cleaning and oiling a mechanical watch is something which needs to be done every now and then, pretty much on a regular basis. Or else, one may end up with a piece which is not working well. Make sure that before you get into this task, your hands are very clean and free of dust. Then, and only then, can you be sure of cleaning up something properly. One speck of dust, even a tiny stand of hair or lint or a piece of dead skin can spoil the full machinery of the unit.
Your tool kit should be totally clean
Before you get into this task, make sure that you have all the tools ready and in place. They should be cleaned up properly themselves before you delve into the actual cleaning of the watch unit. It is also a good idea, especially if you are a beginner in this type of work, that you take on the bigger and the less expensive models of watches first. Do not start off with something very expensive or delicate since the machinery in these units is very complicated. One wrong move here or there can spoil the entire exercise and may even make the unit become defective. Thus, perfect your skills on pieces which are not all that costly.
Familiarize yourself with the piece parts of the mechanical watch. It basically constitutes a train bridge, a third wheel, set lever, transmission wheel, barrel bridge, winding pinion, clutch wheel, stem, crown, yoke spring, setting lever, yoke, set wheel, lower barrel arbor pivot, minute wheel, mainspring barrel, center shaft and cannon pinion, hole jewel, et al. You should know what each of these looks like and what the individual function of each is.
Follow the steps from a book of rules, and you are sorted
Make it a point to get a good book to start your watch cleaning odyssey with. Begin your work with opening the watch. Then take it apart, piece by piece. Do follow a method to this madness since there is a way to do it. Follow instructions from a good book. Clean the watch cover which is usually made of glass with a lot of care. Then get onto the clock face or the dial of the watch. Clean the piece parts carefully and make sure to use a soft cloth which does not tear easily or which is made of flannel or any other material which can leave behind some fuzz or wool. Reassemble the watch parts.