What can I do when my watch gains / loses too much time?

Posted by Phoibos on 18th Oct 2023

What can I do when my watch gains / loses too much time?

Have you ever experienced the frustration of your watch gaining or losing too much time? It can be quite inconvenient, especially if you rely on your watch for important appointments or time-sensitive tasks. But don't worry, there are a few things you can do to address this issue. In this blog post, we will explore some possible solutions to help you when your watch gains or loses too much time. 

To get started, let's take a quick look at the normal error range of several movements: 

NH35/NH35a: -20 to +40 seconds per day 

Miyota 9015: -10 to +30 seconds per day 

ETA 2824-2: +/-12 seconds per day 

SW 200-1: +/-12 seconds per day 

So when the timekeeping of our watch significantly exceeds the above corresponding range, what can we do? 

If a fresh watch off the shelf is running too fast, it may need a break-in period. The rotor inside the watch, which does the reciprocating motion in high frequency, may be influenced under shipment. The shake and bump would make the reciprocating motion over its normal peak. When encountering this, you can put the watch still on the table for one or two days to let it run out the power reservation. And then wind the watch fully to observe. This allows the watch to find its beat and distribute the lubricants evenly. 

If it is a daily used watch, there's a good chance that it's being affected by the magnetic fields in our modern life. The watch can be easily magnetized by smartphones, handbag clasps or electronic devices of all kinds. So how can we tell if a watch is magnetized? Get a compass, and put the watch close to the compass. If the needle moves a lot, then the watch is magnetized. The solution is likewise very simple. Find a local watch repair shop, without opening the case, directly demagnetize the watch with a demagnetizer. In less than three seconds, the watch will be back to normal. 

Conversely, if your watch is running too slow or stops working, it may be caused by an insufficient power reserve. All we need to do is manually wind the watch. When winding the watch, remember to turn the crown 50/40-50 times (NH35/Miyota 9015) completely round. Every round is 360 degrees and the speed would be one round every second. So it usually needs 50-55/40-50 seconds to finish the process. Coupled with the power reserve coming from the daily wear, the watch will function normally. 

The above is basically the most common solutions for the problem. One another thing that may sometimes be overlooked is the battery of the watch. If your watch is battery-powered, a dying or weak battery can cause time inconsistencies. A simple solution--replace the battery. Don't forget to make sure the correct battery type and follow the proper replacement procedure. 

Finally, if none of the provided methods solves the problem, getting your watch serviced would be a straightforward approach. If your watch consistently gains or loses too much time, it may be a sign that it needs professional servicing. Over time, the internal mechanisms of a watch can become worn or damaged, affecting its accuracy. Taking your watch to a certified watchmaker or jeweler for servicing can help identify and rectify the issue. They will clean, lubricate, and calibrate the watch to ensure it keeps accurate time. 

In conclusion, when your watch gains or loses too much time, there are several steps you can take to address the issue. From setting the watch aside to winding the watch or replacing the battery, these solutions can help restore the accuracy of your watch. Remember, maintaining proper care and avoiding extreme temperature changes can also contribute to better timekeeping.