Why Has My Watch Quit Working?
There are several factors that could explain why a watch has stopped ticking. First off, if your watch is an heirloom or has some years under its strap, the working parts could have become dry and/or worn down, requiring repair or replacement.
However, if you have recently purchased a watch and it’s stopped working, here are a few of the main culprits:
The most common reason quartz watches stop working is because the battery is dead. Not all fine watches use batteries, but whey they do, they should last for at least 2 years. However, there are a few factors that could shorten the life of your battery:
- If your watch is digital or not
- The size of the battery
- What functions your watch has and how often you use them
- How often you use the chronograph function (Leaving it running will cause the battery life to decrease rapidly)
- Exposure to extreme temperatures
Although it is the most common reason, we don’t advise you to try to replace the battery on your own. The reason your watch stopped might not be the battery, and removing the battery might damage other functions of your watch.
Did you know that even a single drop of water inside of the watch will completely affect how the watch works? The tiny parts of the watch gears will become rusted when exposed to the water and will stop working over a short period of time, so much so that the gears and parts will not be able to be repaired but will need to be replaced. This is sometimes due to seals within the watch failing and can even happen from contact with
dampness or moisture.
Physical Damage (aka Impact Damage)
When you use your hands daily and for almost everything, some physical damage can be expected with watches. Repetitive movement or bumping could cause something inside the watch to become loose or broken, and/or dropping or hitting the watch could cause the internal wheels or gears to break. When taken to a jeweler, the watch may need to be sent to the manufacturer, depending on the extent of the physical damage.
If you have ever seen the inside of a luxury timepiece, you know that there are several different pieces that work together to make your watch tick. These tiny pieces must intricately be put together using tools and tweezers and can become very arduous and tedious, making it difficult to see if something has become awry in the process. When this happens, the small pieces may become detached or moved around, causing the watch to stop working.
High Electrical Currents
If you have ever read through the Internet after searching “Why did my watch stop working?” you will notice that you come across these obscure-sounding stories of people who are convinced that they can’t wear watches because every watch they try to
wear just dies instantly. In some very rare cases, people will put on a watch and it will just stop ticking. This phenomenon, as weird as it sounds, is due to high electrical
currents in a person’s body. Depending on the level of electrical currents in your body, or if you have ever been exposed to electricity, you may affect the battery life of your
watch and whether it works. It could also be a mechanical movement, which charges based on the movement of
your wrist. When you stop wearing your watch, the movement unwinds (runs) and then it stops when it’s fully unwound.
For more information on general watch care and repair, visit our Watch Repair Page.
We recommend you have your watch inspected every 3-5 years to maintain the integrity and catch any issues before they become irreversible. If your watch has stopped working, any of our technically-trained horologists can inspect your timepiece and tell you what the problem is and what it will take to fix it—all in house!
Don’t let time stand still on your watch. Bring it in for service today!
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