Skip navigation

Monday Myths – the battery

by J.Peter

Tags: , , , ,

As long as I am aware of myths which need to be dispelled I will do so on Mondays.

“If I pull out the crown on my watch will the battery last longer?” – I can’t tell you how often I hear that. Well I’m here to clear up the myth.

The short answer is yes, but is that what you really want? On most modern quartz watches there is a switch which turns off the motor when you pull out the crown to the setting position. The quartz oscillator continues to vibrate and the total drain on the battery is generally about 15% what it is when the crown is in. On some really low end watches however, the motor continues to use up just as much energy – or more. But this saving of energy comes at a cost.

Sure, the battery may last longer but is it worth the risk. First, when the crown is out the watch is much more open to water, dust & humidity. Depending on the design of the watch this may be significant, or it may not, but no matter what if you pick up that watch, forget to set it and put the crown in and go wash your hands you may be risking destroying it for good. A little water in a watch can do a lot of damage in just 24 hours. Second, The battery is designed to last a certain amount of time. The longer it sits around (being used or not) the more likely it is to leak. By prolonging the length of the battery you are increasing the risk that it leak and do significant and often irreparable damage to the watch. Third, when your watchmaker changes the battery it gives him/her a chance to examine the seals of the watch case and the condition of the movement and recommend any preventative maintenance which will help you prolong the life of your watch. Is it worth the risk? Probably not, those little power cells aren’t very expensive, even when installed by a professional.

So, how long should my battery last? That depends on a lot of things, how big is the battery, how new is the watch, how many functions does it have and how often do you use them? If your watch has only hour and minute hands the power cell should probably last 5 years of more. If it has a second hand as well, 2 to 3 years probably. If it is digital maybe 10 years or more, if it has a chronograph and you use it 1 to 2 years, if it has a light you could probably use the power cell up in a couple of weeks if you live in a cave and it is your primary source of light. Here is the important part. If your first power cell lasts you 5 years and your second one last you 4 years but your third only lasts a year, you have a problem. It could be you got a bad power cell – it happens, or (more likely) your watch needs to be serviced. As the oils dry up the motor has to work harder to turn the gears and it uses up more energy; draining the battery more quickly.

If you like what you read here, please feel free to donate.

Be Sociable, Share!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *