Don't exercise with an mechanical? (How my Seiko 5 gained 20sec in 40 minutes)
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  1. #1
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    Don't exercise with an mechanical? (How my Seiko 5 gained 20sec in 40 minutes)

    My Seiko 5 gains 20 seconds each time I swim with it; it's a brand new SKN607, received and set its time accurate to the second this past Friday.

    I first noticed this on Monday when I took it for a swim, so I duplicated that workout today (500m each of front crawl, butterfly, breast + 200m back) but with a before-and-after-swim pic. (The gain seems to be exactly 20 seconds each time; I've been taking nightly pics to check the watch's precision since Friday.)

    I'd like to know:

    Is this normal for automatic, mechanical watches? Or
    Is this just a Seiko 5 issue and not applicable to the better-made automatic watches?

    TIA.

    Pre-swim: Atomic 14:21; Seiko 14:45; delta = 24 seconds


    After 40 minutes of swimming: Atomic 56:35; Seiko 5 57:19; delta = 44 seconds

  2. #2
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    Re: Don't exercise with an mechanical? (How my Seiko 5 gained 20sec in 40 minutes)

    I'm curious too. I went kayaking with me Lum-Tec 500 and my Shark Diver and I as curious if such repetitive motion could mess with the timekeeping.

  3. #3
    Faust_
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    Re: Don't exercise with an mechanical? (How my Seiko 5 gained 20sec in 40 minutes)

    Quote Originally Posted by ctt1760 View Post
    My Seiko 5 gains 20 seconds each time I swim with it; it's a brand new SKN607, received and set its time accurate to the second this past Friday.

    I first noticed this on Monday when I took it for a swim, so I duplicated that workout today (500m each of front crawl, butterfly, breast + 200m back) but with a before-and-after-swim pic. (The gain seems to be exactly 20 seconds each time; I've been taking nightly pics to check the watch's precision since Friday.)

    I'd like to know:

    Is this normal for automatic, mechanical watches? Or
    Is this just a Seiko 5 issue and not applicable to the better-made automatic watches?

    TIA.

    Pre-swim: Atomic 14:21; Seiko 14:45; delta = 24 seconds


    After 40 minutes of swimming: Atomic 56:35; Seiko 5 57:19; delta = 44 seconds
    No, not normal to gain that in such a short time.

    I have a 7S26 movement Seiko but I can't say I've done much vigorous activity with it. Mine loses a few a seconds day if I'm wearing it and gains a few seconds if it's wound and sitting face up.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Don't exercise with an mechanical? (How my Seiko 5 gained 20sec in 40 minutes)

    Quote Originally Posted by Faust_ View Post
    No, not normal to gain that in such a short time.

    I have a 7S26 movement Seiko but I can't say I've done much vigorous activity with it. Mine loses a few a seconds day if I'm wearing it and gains a few seconds if it's wound and sitting face up.
    Since this is a new watch, I've been taking nightly/daily pics against my atomic Casio. Here's the history:

    Fri Set to atomic time
    Sat atomic = 40:01; Seiko 5 = 40:02; delta = 1
    Sun atomic = 25:35; Seiko 5 = 25:37; delta = 2
    Mon atomic = 49:02; Seiko 5 = 49:24; delta = 22 (swim)
    Tue atomic = 18:54; Seiko 5 = 19:19; delta = 25
    Wed atomic = 56:35; Seiko 5 = 57:19; delta = 44 (swim)

    So, if I don't swim, the watch seems to gain 1 - 3 seconds a day, but I noticed the 20 sec. jump on the days I swim.

    This watch is only WR (and not WR-50m), but it hasn't leaked yet. Yes, I'm taking a risk swimming with it, but it is my experimental watch (it was only $60) to see if I might like a nice mechanical.


    Here's larger pics ; it gained 20 seconds between the 2 pics (the 40min swim took place between the pics):
    Attached Images Attached Images



    Last edited by ctt1760; October 31st, 2013 at 06:33.

  6. #5
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    Re: Don't exercise with an mechanical? (How my Seiko 5 gained 20sec in 40 minutes)

    This is because its an automatic watch. Imagine if you were walking with someone behind you pushing you to go that little bit faster. Its the same principal, the oscillating weight is winding the mainspring, although the mainspring has a built in slipping device its still recieveing the extra push from the weight. If the oscillating weight is consistantly winding then the watch will slightly gain. Also there needs to be enough lubrication on the barrel for it to slip properly, otherwise the mainspring can have a little to much friction causing a gain in amplitude resulting in a gain in time keeping... *takes breath* if not your watch is posessed :)

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  7. #6
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    Re: Don't exercise with an mechanical? (How my Seiko 5 gained 20sec in 40 minutes)

    Quote Originally Posted by jaket View Post
    This is because its an automatic watch. Imagine if you were walking with someone behind you pushing you to go that little bit faster. Its the same principal, the oscillating weight is winding the mainspring, although the mainspring has a built in slipping device its still recieveing the extra push from the weight. If the oscillating weight is consistantly winding then the watch will slightly gain. Also there needs to be enough lubrication on the barrel for it to slip properly, otherwise the mainspring can have a little to much friction causing a gain in amplitude resulting in a gain in time keeping... *takes breath* if not your watch is posessed :)

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
    Booooooooooogus! :) Well, sort of - if your watch has MAJOR isochronism problems (difference in rate from fully wound to fully empty), then yes, this could be a problem, but my guess is your regular motion keeps it fully wound, and you can't explain this difference based on that.

    It is more likely caused by the impact of each stroke entering the water. Mechanical watch accuracy is affected by impact/vibration etc, whether it is hand wind or automatic. The cheaper the watch, and the less positionally adjusted (like a Seiko 5), the more prone you are to seeing variance. Ball has invented "SpringLOCK" to eliminate (or at least greatly reduce) the problem.

    You could test this theory by doing your swim with a less impact stroke, like breaststroke.

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    Re: Don't exercise with an mechanical? (How my Seiko 5 gained 20sec in 40 minutes)

    How about Seiko 5 "Sport"?

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  9. #8
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    Re: Don't exercise with an mechanical? (How my Seiko 5 gained 20sec in 40 minutes)

    Those gains are certainly noteworthy, but you might want to just wear the watch normally for a while and see how it settles in. Constantly winding the watch shouldn;t make it run faster - if that were true, than everyone using a watch winder would have a pile of very fast watches.

    Some of these Seiko movements require a bit of a break-in period, and then after that see if you can identify a more predictable daily loss or gain, and then think about having it properly regulated. Which doesn't have to be expensive.
    Influence is like the wind...

  10. #9
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    Re: Don't exercise with an mechanical? (How my Seiko 5 gained 20sec in 40 minutes)

    Isn't this a rather notorious side affect of the Seiko movement, and the reason that Swiss fanboys opine about their properly adjusted movements? I don't know, I'm not an expert and I read too much here to properly digest any of it. :)

  11. #10
    Member Noam the Newt's Avatar
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    Re: Don't exercise with an mechanical? (How my Seiko 5 gained 20sec in 40 minutes)

    I've regularly been playing sports with my Seiko 5, since I bought it in 2007. No problems whatsoever. Maybe your piece is faulty?

    With that said, I would *NEVER* take a mechanical swimming. No matter how cheap, water resistant, or how little you appreciate the watch, I feel that it is a recipe for problems, that can be solved with a $10 Casio quartz.
    Last edited by Noam the Newt; October 31st, 2013 at 15:39.

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