October 9, 2009

Watch FAQs

Posted in jeweler, jewelry, jewelry repair, rose diamonds, watch, watch batteries, watches tagged , , , , , , , at 4:50 pm by rosediamonds

Watch RepairFor this post, I’m going to answer some commonly asked client questions regarding watches. The answers are rather generalized since all watches are different.

Q. How long do watch batteries last?

A. Usually a year. Watches are similar to cars, so each model gets a slightly different gas mileage.

Q. What are all these buttons for? (referring to a chronograph style watch)

A. A chronograph is a fancy version of a stopwatch. A lot of dive watches have this feature because divers have to carefully time their decent in the water.

Q. Why is my second hand not moving? (referring to a chronograph style watch)

A. If the small second hand is moving, the watch is still running. To get the big one to move, you need to push the top button.

Q. The battery was replaced and it’s still not running. Now what?

A. Probably, the movement is malfunctioning. Our first step is to do a quick clean of the watch movement. There are tons of tiny parts in a watch that all have to work together to make it run. Many times it is simply build-up in the watch. Worst case scenario? We replace the movement.

Q. Why is my watch turnig gray/green?

A. It is most likely a base metal watch. The green tarnish is usually a chemical reaction to your persiration. Same is true for the gray (not shiny) reaction. To minimize this, try to dry under your watch after washing your hands, after exercising, etc.

Q. I was told my watch is rusted inside. What caused that?

A. Most likely, it got moisture inside through the crown (the knob where you set the watch). Less likely is the back case seal is not tight enough. Humidity can get in quite easily, so try not to store your watch in the kitchen or bathroom, where steam gathers. Dress watches have a different kind of seal than sport watches, so exercise more caution with them, regardless of the brand.

Q. What is the best type of watch for people in the medical field?

A. This comes up a lot. I usually recommend a dive watch with large numbers and a large second hand. A screw-down crown is the most secure agains leaks. Handy for those who wash their hands a zillion times a day.

Q. I can’t get my crown out to set the time/date. Now What?

A. If it’s a screw down crown, unscrew it (turning it towards you). then, GENTLY pull the crown out to adjust the time/date. If it’s not a screw down crown. take to a pro. It’s not worth breaking this teeny part to pry it open. This could signal a rust problem inside the watch.

Q. Can I leave my crown pulled out to save the battery?

A. Yes, but it comes at a cost. Moisture can then have free reign to enter your watch. So, people end up saving $5 on the battery and have to pay $40 for a new movement. If you insist, keep them in a sealed ziplock to prevent the moisture from getting in.

Q. My Crown fell off. Can this be fixed?

A. Yes. It’s usually replaceable. The crown and stem are cut to fit your watch exactly. Usually both pieces have to be replaced (the stem breaks off inside the crown. Keep the pieces you find (if any). Understand that this replacement process can take time. Just like you can’t put Ford parts in a Honda, you can’t underestimate the importance of getting the right part for the job. Watch manufacturers are notorious for not stocking parts regularly. Yes, we hate it too.

Q. My vintage winder watch doesn’t wind. Can this be fixed?

A. Yes. It has most likely ben overwound. The mainspring will usually have to be replaced. It can take time to find vintage parts. Another option is a quartz retrofit. You can put a battery movement in the watch and not have to worry about winding again.

Q. I have an automatic watch. It runs slow. Why?

A. Automatic watches are “in” again. They run on “people power,” This means your regular movements power the watch. They build up a power reserve like solar garden lights, but it takes about a day of regular wear to build this up. Most automatic watches have a power reserve of 24-36 hours. This means if you don’t wear it every day, it will start to run slower until it stops completely. A watch winder case can fix this problem if you like to switch a lot.

Q. My watch band is too short/long. Can I get it extended?

A. Usually yes. Leather straps come in 3 lengths (like jeansS, R, and L) Metal bands can be extended or watchbands can be swithced out. Occasionally, we have extra links for popular styles. Don’t count on it though as watch bands come in thousands of styles. Gold watches can have new parts made for them, but it can get pricey quickly. If you have scrap gold, we will trade-in the metal towards the new part and labor.

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