Do watches slow down as battery goes through its life cycle?
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  1. #1
    Member pl_gristle's Avatar
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    Do watches slow down as battery goes through its life cycle?

    I searched the boards for a definitive answer to this and couldn't find one. As batteries age while in use, does the watch slow down? I have a new to me MRG-100T that keeps pretty good time IMHO (+6 seconds in 2 weeks which I can certainly live with). The watch has a brand new battery in it. I'm curious if half way through the battery life the watch will be closer to perfect timekeeping and as the battery life reaches the down side of its lifespan, the watch will begin to lose time. Could the Casio engineers have designed this in or do the batteries and watch not work this way? I'm not sure but I think some long term non-atomic G owners might have some knowledge here. All of my other G's are atomic - solar.

  2. #2
    Member m1ckDELTA's Avatar
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    Re: Do watches slow down as battery goes through its life cycle?


    Here's one explanation:




    A mercury battery (also called mercuric oxide battery, or mercury cell) is a non-rechargeable electrochemical battery, a primary cell. Mercury batteries use a reaction between mercuric oxide and zinc electrodes in an alkaline electrolyte. The voltage during discharge remains practically constant at 1.35 volts, and the capacity is much greater than a similarly sized zinc carbon battery, From the time of World War II mercury batteries became a popular power source for portable electronic devices.

    This is the reason why watches do not slow down but in the earlier times when we used to have those winding mechanical clocks, the clocks did slow down and one had to rewind the spring mechanism, and if you notice the big wall clocks, they do slow down and show a difference in the time just when the battery is going to die out but continue moving forward but slowly.
    A man wearing a watch, outside of purely social functions (where, strictly speaking, a watch is not supposed to be worn), makes it clear to everyone in his purview that they are in the presence of a man who considers his time something of value, not something to be wasted.




    A man wearing an ostentatiously expensive watch makes it clear to everyone in his purview that they are in the presence of a man who considers little.



  3. #3
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    Re: Do watches slow down as battery goes through its life cycle?

    No, battery operated watches do not slow down gracefully and gradually as the battery "ages." Many quartz watches are designed to show distinctive behavior as the battery weakens [for instance, the second hand may jump two seconds at a time to indicate to the owner that the battery needs changing], but the watch is not going to slowly go from +6 to +5 to +4 and then stop.

    The designers could not reasonably have created that capability. The stepper motors that move the hands either receive a pulse, or they don't. It's a binary phenomenon.

    At least, this is how I understand it.
    /Forrest

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    Member WES51's Avatar
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    Re: Do watches slow down as battery goes through its life cycle?

    To me it was as if after a battery change of my battery operated watches, the watches time keeping would change as well. I felt as if the time keeping would be never as good as with the factory battery.

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    Member m1ckDELTA's Avatar
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    Re: Do watches slow down as battery goes through its life cycle?

    Quote Originally Posted by WES51 View Post
    To me it was as if after a battery change of my battery operated watches, the watches time keeping would change as well. I felt as if the time keeping would be never as good as with the factory battery.
    Stick with a name brand battery from a reputable vendor and your watch will be as good as new.
    A man wearing a watch, outside of purely social functions (where, strictly speaking, a watch is not supposed to be worn), makes it clear to everyone in his purview that they are in the presence of a man who considers his time something of value, not something to be wasted.




    A man wearing an ostentatiously expensive watch makes it clear to everyone in his purview that they are in the presence of a man who considers little.



  7. #6
    Member WES51's Avatar
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    Re: Do watches slow down as battery goes through its life cycle?

    Quote Originally Posted by m1ckDELTA View Post
    Stick with a name brand battery from a reputable vendor and your watch will be as good as new.
    I did. But lately I have done something even far better. I'll stick with Casio Solar at minimum or better Casio Solar Atomic.

    :D
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  8. #7
    lvt
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    Re: Do watches slow down as battery goes through its life cycle?

    I doubt that battery voltage has significant effect on a digital watch because the module uses very little of energy. Your body temperature might effect its accuracy much more than the battery's voltage does.

    Sent from my LG-H630 using Tapatalk
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    Ball - Casio (G-shock) - HMT - Longines - Parnis - Seagull - Steinhart - Tissot - Victorinox - Yema

  9. #8
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    Re: Do watches slow down as battery goes through its life cycle?

    Lets not forget to relate the potential difference of a watch going from 6+ to 6- in 14 days, over five to seven years, compared to a "good" automatic running at best -/+6 seconds a day.

    I'll take my chances with just a battery no solar. I'm also aware that G Shocks can be adjusted if getting out of hand. Mine is currently is running about +3 a month, or 36 seconds a year, so in five years I when I can't trust it's timekeeping because it's running 36 seconds a year slow I just might change the battery before I bother twisting potentiometers.

    The auto might be - um, 2190 seconds off? Of course not, but at minimum weekly corrections are required. A quartz working down a slight discharge curve over five years compared to a 50 year old spring drive design - no contest.

    Perspective.

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