Due to their usual high price tag, many have asked how long automatic watches last. In general, automatic timepieces can last several decades or more if used correctly and have regular maintenance.
Let’s check out the different topics associated with the longevity of this type of watch. Also, if you want to learn about automatic watch models, you can watch reviews on Time Machine Geek.
Factors Affecting Automatic Watch Lifespan
As mentioned earlier, automatic watches, especially the premium models, are built to last for generations. That’s why it is a popular heirloom choice for many, in addition to other pieces of jewelry. However, like with most mechanical devices, some elements will affect their functionality and even the service life.
Magnetization is among the most common root causes of inaccuracies in automatic watches. While being magnetized is not necessarily harmful, it may reduce your timepiece’s accuracy significantly. It allows the gear pieces to run slower or faster, interfering with their functionality and potential lifespan.
Magnetism-containing devices should be avoided, according to experts. If your automatic watch has prolonged exposure to a magnetic environment, a watch specialist can de-magnetize it.
While most top automatic watches are resistant to water and various forms of moisture, constant exposure could lead to repairs or worse. Over time, wear and tear could loosen the watertight seals of your watch, which will cause water to gain access inside.
When this happens, a cloudy clock face is the most noticeable sign of the moisture problem. If you let it get a continuous dose of moisture, the possibility of the sensitive components rusting and corroding will significantly rise.
Additionally, water can weaken the leather straps’ density or other cloth base straps. Even when you have a metal bracelet, the small links may get compromised if you let them get exposed to moisture regularly.
The timekeeping quality of an automatic watch could falter if it has fallen, banged, or got subjected to shock. Internal damage can also occur if the watch is continuously experiencing excessive movements from its wearer’s arms. Impacts to a hard surface may cause the small, sensitive components to move out of place or, worse, dislocations and damages.
Premium automatic watches may offer exceptional impact resistance, but it is never too much to be cautious of these prized possessions.
Certain situations necessitate winding the automatic watch. The most logical reason is when you need to set the time correctly.
That said, you should avoid doing it too frequently as it may weaken your automatic watch’s internal mechanism. If you don’t intend to sport your watch anytime soon, it’s pointless to keep winding it regularly to the accurate time.
A watch winder may be useful if you own multiple timepieces, but it would be unnecessary if you only wear one. Constant and careless use of the watch winder may cause some issues to the mechanism in the long run.
Maintenance Indications for Automatic Watches
Even if you don’t expose your watch to the factors we listed above, it doesn’t necessarily mean that no maintenance is required. Like any other mechanism, automatic watches need proper maintenance to keep them on their optimal functionality.
If you’re not sure when to do such maintenance, below are a few signs that will prompt you to schedule a trip to a watch specialist.
According to Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) standards, the margin of error for watches is about four seconds slow or six seconds fast. Some watches, such as Rolex models, may have a narrow margin of error.
If your automatic watch is operating slower or faster than the four-second or six-second error range, have it inspected by a watch specialist.
Usual possibilities are the watch was magnetized, or the lubrication has dried up and needs to be re-oiled. Impact damage could also be a reason for the inaccurate timekeeping.
Once you bring the defective watch to an expert, you’ll learn what is causing these inaccuracies.
Generally, an automatic watch comprises many small components that are prone to nudging. If the hands appear loose or you notice a faint, rattling noise inside, a spring or screw may be out of place.
You may also experience the crown becoming stiff or loose, making it more bothersome to configure the watch’s settings. When this happens, it may be that the stem has become stuck or has broken, in which case your automatic watch will need professional help.
When you see accumulated moisture underneath the glass, it could indicate that the inside components were exposed to excessive water or moisture. This issue may cause corrosion to the inside components. On the lighter side, it could also mean that your automatic watch is not resealed adequately after a recent service.
The Automatic Watch’s Lifespan
There’s no definite way to pinpoint the lifespan of automatic watches because they are built to last. Even the cheaper models could last decades, provided that they get regular maintenance from watch specialists.
Keep in mind that as long as you are careful about use and service with your automatic watch, rest assured that it will be functional for a very long time.