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Problems with wind up mechanical watches

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Newboy, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. Newboy

    Newboy pfm Member

    I can’t keep my watches going for 24 hours; yes that’s watches plural; I wind four every day.

    Now a watch has a power reserve when fully wound, usually of about thirty hours – but not for me!

    I take the watches to the horologist and ask for a service; they are returned and for about two days they work as they should & I wind once every morning. Then they stop in the night & if I don’t wind morning & night they stop.

    ALL my watches, without exception, including a pocket watch. And yes I do wind them completely!

    Now I have heard of those who cannot wear a quartz watch as something to do with their body’s electricity makes the watch stop but I have NO problem with a quartz watch.

    Wind up clocks – no problem.

    I have never owned an automatic wrist watch so have no idea if that would do the same thing.

    Anybody out there who has the same problem/ has heard of this problem? My horologist is stumped.

    I feel it must be something to do with me

    Any ideas gratefully received

  2. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    When I was a kid, I was given a watch from a relative. It had always worked perfectly for them, but constantly stopped when I wore it. I’ve no idea what the underlying cause was. When I was bought my own watch, new, it worked perfectly for me for years.
  3. scotty38

    scotty38 pfm Member

    My only thought, despite you saying otherwise, is you're probably not winding it fully which also explains why it runs a bit longer when back from the dealer?????
  4. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    They are simple machines. Either you aren't winding them fully or they are jamming in use, do you knock them about more than most? Motorcyclists sometimes report problems because of engine vibration.
  5. Newboy

    Newboy pfm Member

    I am most careful to wind to the end; if I do not do this they stop earlier, sometimes when I am wearing them
  6. Newboy

    Newboy pfm Member

    No Steve; I am very careful with my watches; if I am doing something strenuous (not often at 75 with Parkinson's) I wear a cheap quartz watch
  7. Barrymagrec

    Barrymagrec pfm Member

    Give him time.

    Does this happen only when you are wearing the watch or when you are not?

    If the watch is stopped and you leave it for a day or so will it restart with a shake or with a partial wind?
  8. Tony Lockhart

    Tony Lockhart Avoiding Stress, at Every Opportunity

    I’d be giving up winding four watches up every single day, especially as they’ll need the time putting right as well. Surely you only wear one, maybe two each day?
  9. Newboy

    Newboy pfm Member

    Barry; usually when not being worn & yes they will restart and run for a few minutes, but not longer.

    Tony; I wear them day and day about. Part of the getting up process after shaving is chosing which one to wear.
    Tony Lockhart likes this.
  10. bor

    bor queue jumper

    What springs to mind, is that you may be coming into contact with a strong magnetic field - a loudspeaker for example, which is magnetising the mainspring.

    This could cause the reduction in power reserve.

    De-magnetising the watch takes 30 secs and involves swiping it over a demagnetiser.

    Any watch place will have one, so could be worth a try before doing anything else.

    If that is the cause then a demagnetiser is not expensive to buy.
  11. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Any mechanical watch will restart with a shake because the spring doesn't wind down to absolutely zero when it is allowed to run down and stop. It will however only run for a few minutes as (obviously) it's not wound. Likewise partial winding, as soon as you put some, any, tension on the spring the thing will start again.
  12. Barrymagrec

    Barrymagrec pfm Member

    Yes, obviously. I was trying to ascertain whether the watches stopped because of some external effect which went away after they had been left awhile or if they appeared to have just run down prematurely.

    My Dad has always maintained that he can`t wear a watch with a leather strap because they just stop but he probably hasn`t checked for over seventy years.
    Tony Lockhart likes this.
  13. Newboy

    Newboy pfm Member

    Thanks for all the replies; I will certainly try the demagnetising. it occurs to me that I use a magnetic 'pen' with my ipad although I wouldn't have thought it was strong enough. Anyway I usually use it with my RH and wear the watch on the left wrist.
  14. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    I'd not fret, and just make a habit of winding them twice a day. After shaving and at bed time.
  15. Dozey

    Dozey Air guitar member

    It might be temperature related. Wearing a watch keeps it warm, and reduces the viscosity of any lubricant present.
  16. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    I'm guessing, but there are very few pure mechanical watches around now, most being 'automatics'. Are they all very old? Or Swiss from well known makers? I ask since the former may well have springs that were designed to last 24 hours but not much more, but the latter mostly claim over 36 hours on a full wind, some double that, in which case something IS odd if all 4 do the same thing, and not odd if all 4 are old (as in pre 1970) since 50 year old springs are unlikely to be 100%. Just my 2p.
  17. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    Organised old git. :)
    I have one I forget to wind and it has a daft Perspex glass that scratches if you look at it the wrong way. In practical terms it’s the dumbest watch purchase I’ve made apart from the Apple Watch which I kept forgetting to charge.
    Rockmeister likes this.
  18. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    If I don't organise, I just wander round the house shouting 'Honey...what was I supposed to be doing?' o_O
  19. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    still quite a few manual winders about that are new.
  20. Newboy

    Newboy pfm Member

    They are all old! a 1950s gold Omega; 2 Jaegers of about the 60s; a Longines , unnamed but in a silver case hallmarked for 1917 and B & Co. for Alfred Baume the UK
    importer of Longines at the time (my father's first watch)! An 1890 gold pocket watch by Nicole Neislon for Dent & Co.

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