Thread: Do I have a bad automatic watch?

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  1. #1
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    Do I have a bad automatic watch?

    So I got an automatic Bulova watch not even a month ago. I noticed that if I go one day without wearing it, it stops. I winded it last Sunday and wore it to work every day until Friday. I checked it out this Saturday afternoon and it stopped.

    I can't imagine an automatic watch has to be worn every single day for it to keep ticking, so I'm assuming maybe mine is bad? Or is this normal?

  2. #2
    Member midshipman01's Avatar
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    Re: Do I have a bad automatic watch?

    Not out of bounds for normal operation unless there are some other issues. Not sure what movement you've got but full power reserve is usually something around 35-40 hours and there's no gaurantee you'll get it all the way there during a day without winding it manually. I find that I generally can't skip a day and expect my autos to still be running. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't.

    Anyway, you could just test it by giving it a full handwind. Maybe 40 turns, or whatever feels comfortable. If it lasts around that 35 to 40 hour mark without wearing then it should be fine. The automatic mechanism just taps into the same gear set as the handwind, so as long as you're sure the rotor is actually able to wind the watch, then the handwind test will be sufficient. Testing the power reserve purely from the automatic mechanism can be problematic because it's difficult to be sure how much winding you're really doing.
    Last edited by midshipman01; January 24th, 2011 at 05:34.
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    lvt
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    Re: Do I have a bad automatic watch?

    You can make a simple test to see if your watch's mainspring is OK or not, give it a full winding at around midnight and let it run until it stops, you should be able to know how many hours have passed based on the watch's time and date. If your watch doesn't have a date window you must keep an eye on it from time to time. If the watch has ran for at least 35-40H you should reconsider your wearing habit, if it stopped ealier like 30H or less the mainspring is a bit weak.

    That's how I test my automatic watches's mainspring every 3 or 4 months, my Tissot (ETA-2836/2) scored 50H of power reserve during the last test.
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    Re: Do I have a bad automatic watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by G2man View Post
    So I got an automatic Bulova watch not even a month ago. I noticed that if I go one day without wearing it, it stops. I winded it last Sunday and wore it to work every day until Friday. I checked it out this Saturday afternoon and it stopped.

    I can't imagine an automatic watch has to be worn every single day for it to keep ticking, so I'm assuming maybe mine is bad? Or is this normal?
    Did the manual mention how long the reserve is on your watch? I know that with some automatics, if you take the watch off on a Friday night; it'll have stopped by the time you put it back up on Monday morning. (This assumes you spent the weekend at home relaxing, and not wearing the watch.) Generally though, a good automatic shouldn't stop after just being off your wrist for a day.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity here and there. Not the other way around." ~ John Cleese.

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    Re: Do I have a bad automatic watch?

    Since Bulova is owned by Citizen, your watch probably has a Miyota automatic movement. They are very reliable and can be very accurate, especially if they've been regulated. When fully wound, Miyota movements will run 30 - 36 hours off the wrist. If you wore your watch through Thursday and left it off your wrist all day Friday, it would in fact stop sometime Saturday afternoon. No matter how many days you wear your watch, you can't get more than 30 - 36 hours of power reserve once the watch is off your wrist. If you're looking for a watch that will always be ready to wear at a moment's notice, you'll be happier with a quartz watch.
    Nighthawk

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    With my Bulova I get about 35 hours power reserve. So that sounds normal to me.

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    Re: Do I have a bad automatic watch?

    There are still lots of Bulova's around with ETA movements from before the Citizen acquisition. Do you know what this one is? If it is "Swiss Made", then it could very well have been sitting on a store shelf for years and need servicing.
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