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Watches today are crafted with extreme precision and care, not only to ensure their performance but to guarantee accuracy. In other words, all the gears, screws, and tiny aspects of a watch work in tandem to maintain time as consistently as possible. That said, a watch’s accuracy is also dependent on multiple other factors, and not only the movement or other mechanisms inside the watch itself.
This article will talk about the different factors that can affect a watch’s accuracy to help you understand how a watch may “lose” its accuracy over time.
1. Gravity and position
One of the most significant factors that can affect a watch’s accuracy is gravity itself. Depending on how it is positioned for a specific amount of time, a watch can fall behind or speed up. Fortunately, many watches come with a balance wheel that compensates for any time lost or gained depending on the watch’s position. However, it can only do so much to keep the watch accurate.
When you remove it at night, it is crucial to identify the right position that will compensate for any drift it has experienced throughout the day.
2. External temperatures
Temperatures also affect a watch’s accuracy. Temperature causes materials to expand or contract, and this movement can cause changes inside the watch that causes it to lose accuracy. For instance, warm temperatures can expand the balance wheel and hairspring, affecting the watch’s accuracy.
Watches of today generally already take this factor into account, and minor temperature changes should not affect the watch. However, extreme temperatures will make a difference, but you can still correct them regardless.
3. Frequency of service
Over time, a watch’s internal mechanisms will experience wear and tear that needs maintenance to fix up. This includes replacing lubricants, readjusting different parts, and replacing certain components. Sometimes, the watch may need a complete overhaul if it is old enough. Regardless, these activities ensure that all the parts work efficiently and maintain an accurate time.
A good rule of thumb to know when to have your watch serviced is to have it sent to a watch repair shop at least once every five years. Some will also recommend once every two or three years. However, if you do notice problems with the watch, do not hesitate to send it in for repairs immediately.
Note that an inaccurate watch can either be consistently too fast or too slow. It can even be a watch that is not consistent at all. Different reasons cause both issues, and there are different ways to fix these problems.
In many cases, you should let your watch go through its break-in period of a month or two. This way, the watch will start to become much more consistent, giving it more time to correct itself. However, if a watch still shows inaccuracies after a few months of the break-in, send it to a watchmaker. They will carry out the necessary repairs to ensure the time is as accurate and consistent as possible.
SeikoMods is a crystal specialist offering various Seiko mod parts from case backs and bezels to crowns and dials. If you are looking for mod parts in the UK to repair your watch, check out what we have to offer!