Servicing Quartz Watches

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Servicing Quartz Watches

Post by 3flushes on 2013-02-27, 22:23

I like really complicated quartz movements, especially chronos. The ETA 251.xxx series are fun chronos with split times, lap times, flyback, alarms, etc. The Ronda 700 series has great complications like complete calendars and moon phase, while the Ronda StarTech (50xx)movements are terrific chronos. Seiko and Citizen-Miyota make durable and accurte quartz movements and the G-Shock is legendary for durability and useful complications.

While quartz requires considerably less maintenance than mech/auto movements, there are a couple of things that require regular attention to insure their longevity. The most important thing is to maintain a quartz watches' water and dust resistance. I live in a hot and humid area and spend a great deal of time at the beach. I spalsh my watches when I cook and do dishes, wash up, or while processing film or printing pictures. I sweat when I swim, I swim and scuba dive in my divers, and frequently work in bad weather or wet environments. The average life of the batteries in my watches is 3-4 years, so, I have the gaskets (case back, pushers and stem) changed at every battery change. I think it's a good idea regardless of the climate where you live, or your activities. At a minimum, they should be refreshed, i.e., at least inspected and lubricated at every battery change. The gaskets are your first line of defense and it pays big dividends to maintain them. This means having your batteries changed by a watchmaker; there are several advantages to doing so.

A watchmaker has the expertise to tell if a gasket needs replacing. If it does, they will use Viton or Nitril gaskets, (If your watch doesn't require/specify Viton, don't bother with it) and they will handle, lubricate and replace them properly. The cheapo places often don’t know how to properly evaluate, lubricate, or install gaskets and often use jippo-strippos made from inferior materials. My watchmaker also pressure tests my watches, so the seal at the crystal always gets checked along with everything else. The jewels and other points that require oiling can also be taken care of during battery changes as needed, so it’s really worth the extra $10 or $15 to go to a watchmaker.

Other than water and dust, the biggest enemy of a quartz watch is corrosion. Make sure and replace the battery as soon after it dies as possible. If you don't intend on wearing the watch, have the battery removed. Don't store a quartz watch with the stem out to save on wear and tear or battery life as doing so exposes it to dust and moisture.

Good quartz movements, if properly cared for, can easily last 25 -30 years. If you keep the watch well maintained, the dials, hands, shock devices, etc. will stay in good shape and should you manage to wear a quartz movement out, they are reasonably priced and easy to replace.
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Re: Servicing Quartz Watches

Post by eddiea on 2013-02-27, 22:25

True, service is something I always keep in mind and or add to the price of the watch regardless if it is a mechanical/auto or a quartz.....great read!

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