Vintage watches have survived for many decades by being treated well. Taking care of a watch would require cleaning inside and out on a regular period of about two to three years. Dirt will wear the parts of the watches much faster and gummy oil will restrict it, and prevent it from running altogether. After the watch has been cleaned, it should be stored in a cool and dry place.
A watch is a delicate instrument but if it is given proper care, will provide many years of quality service and a quality heirloom to pass to another generation.