Until it breaks.
Steel bearings - need lubrication, without that they self destruct fairly rapidly.
Ceramic ball bearings - lasts longer, but you find those only on a few high end watches.
Well my Seamaster Auto has just died on me after 12 years.
Was fine up until a couple of weeks ago. I was told it simply needs a service (something it's never had), but Janne's first reply above now has me slightly concerned that I've left it too long...
Like cars and other mechanical stuff, watch movements will need to pay a visit to the "Watch Doctor" eventually as well... perhaps not full servicing, but minor lubrication will do. It's just a matter of time. Need not to be specifically 5yrs period or 10... some watches, will need to be serviced once in 15yrs.
Be it Japanese, SWISS or even Chinese, all mechanicals won't last, un-serviced, that long.
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