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It’s a dangerous world out there, especially if you happen to be a wrist watch.

Alright, so maybe it’s not that dramatic, but there certainly are many things that can negatively affect the performance of your timepiece. We hope this list of the 5 things you need to look out for when dealing with a broken watch gives you some insight and “timely” advice to help diagnose your malfunctioning timekeeper. 

1: Dead battery

Dead batteries are the most common reason for a watch to stop working. Not all watches have batteries, but for those that do, you can expect them to last 1-1.5  years with a new timepiece and around a year if your watch is a replacement. 

Have you noticed your watch skipping time and counting in two second increments rather than one second at a time? 

This is a common indicator that your battery is running low and needs to be replaced soon. Battery replacements are relatively simple procedures and better yet, they can be done in-store while you wait in most cases.  
  

2: Water damage

Another common reason for a watch not to work as it should is water damage. There are risks to wearing a watch in the water, especially ones that are not rated as water resistant or waterproof such as the Seiko Men’s Automatic Analogue Waterproof Watch which is certified as a timepiece for divers. In fact, industry news site WatchPaper warns about the dangers of water damage on watches

, explaining that “a single drop of water in the movement of a watch could ruin it”. 

If a watch’s seal is broken, the gaskets may need replacing, and the repairs can intensify depending on the watch’s condition. To avoid this, we recommend taking a water resistant watch on excursions, or even another one so you can leave your favorite timepiece at home.  

3: Extreme Temperatures

Not only can rain damage your watch if put to the extreme, but so can temperatures. The temperatures that are considered “extreme” for each watch brand is different, so it is important to look up the recommendations for your particular watch. For example, Omega says on their website that their mechanical watches can function at temperatures as low as -20 degrees Celsius (-4°F), while Baume & Mercier, a luxury Swiss watch brand, warns not to expose their watches to temperatures lower than 0 degrees Celsius (32°F). 

Although watches with quartz and automatic movements can be affected by extreme temperatures, the effects are most in mechanical watches, whose internal workings expand and contract depending upon the temperature, causing them to “gain time” in frigid weather and “lose time” in arid weather.

4: Impact Damage

We use our hands everyday, and if you’re like us, so do your watches! With the wear and tear of everyday life, it can be expected to have an impact on your timepieces. Most often, the wear on watches in minimal, but whether it be from work, play, or even a simple accident or drop when taking off or putting on a watch, impacts can scratch or break the cases of watches or affect the internal mechanisms of a timepiece. 

This results in inconsistent or inaccurate time keeping, and in some events, a watch that stops ticking all together. In these cases, it is recommended to have the watch examined by a professional watch technician who can not only assess the cosmetic and functional needs of your watch, but give you a free on-site estimate.     

5: Manufacturer Error

One of the most beautiful things about analog or traditional timepieces is that their anatomy is a complex and meticulously designed, built to harness the illusive construct of time itself. This inherent complexity is often the greatest source of awe for anyone who has seen the internal workings of a watch, but it can also be the Achilles heel. 

This is because as brilliant as watchmakers are, they are as human as you are, and mistakes can happen. In the event of an undiagnosable problem with your timepiece, you can generally contact the manufacturer or see a watch technician for a repair or next steps.

BONUS:

6: Lacks Pressure Testing

Did you know that the very act of getting your watch repaired can potentially cause issues with your it if you miss this one step? 

A critical step in the watch repair process that is often overlooked is a pressure test, which is the two-step process of testing the seals of the watch in a dry and wet setting to assure that the watch retains its original water resistance. 

If this is not done, or done by someone who isn’t a certified watch technician with the proper equipment and training, it could result in debris, such as moisture or dust getting into the watch. This is why it is essential to get a pressure test performed by a certified watch technician whenever you have batteries changed, or perform any alterations on a watch that involves removing the casing. Pressure tests are quick and inexpensive procedures which can unfortunately cost you a lot more if you don’t have them done right.  


In conclusion:

As you’ve read, from a dead battery, to water damage, extreme temperatures, impacts, and simple human error upon assembly, there are a lot of possible reasons for a malfunctioning watch. Luckily though, there are even more reasons to be optimistic, as for every problem that arises exists someone to help you find a solution. 

If you are interested in finding out exactly why your watch stopped working, 

click here to schedule an appointment and have one of our certified watch technicians

ready to look at your timepiece.

Before you go, we’d love to know: 

Have you experienced any of these when your watch stopped working and how’d you fix it?