How to properly test watch precision?
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  1. #1
    Member justinloos88's Avatar
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    How to properly test watch precision?

    Hello,

    I'm new to the watch world. I recently purchased a Bell & Ross 03-92 Steel. I hear on podcasts people saying, "my watch keeps great time." How do I properly test a watche's precision? Is this done generally over a 24 hour period or longer?
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  2. #2
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    Re: How to properly test watch precision?

    I'd say the most readily accessible way would be to download the WatchCheck app for your phone and use it to build a daily log of how your watch keeps time against NTP servers.
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  3. #3
    Member justinloos88's Avatar
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    Re: How to properly test watch precision?

    Thank you, I will try this.

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  5. #4
    Member rfortson's Avatar
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    Re: How to properly test watch precision?

    I just go to time.is and set my watch according to this. Then something the next day (around 24 hours later), I compare it again. That's as much as I worry about, but then I change watches every day and by the time I get back around to the first watch, it's long since run down/needs resetting. Hence, I don't worry about accuracy or precision.

    BTW, welcome to the madness. You and your wallet are in for a treat. ;)
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  6. #5
    Member OfficerCamp's Avatar
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    Re: How to properly test watch precision?

    Find an accurate time source, I like the “Emerald and Sequoia” time app. Wait until the second hand on your watch reaches 12oclock and pull out the crown. Set the correct time and wait for the app’s seconds to reach “0”, now push in the crown. Now your watch is perfectly synchronized with an atomic time source.

    Check your watch against the same app in 24 hours and see how much time it’s gained or lost.

    Enjoy!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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  7. #6
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    Re: How to properly test watch precision?

    I recently went through the same process. I checked the watch against my atomic clock app once daily for seven days. I found that the difference was little on the weekdays when I wore it more than on the weekend . I averaged out over the 7 days.


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  8. #7
    Member ffritz's Avatar
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    Re: How to properly test watch precision?

    Quote Originally Posted by justinloos88 View Post
    I hear on podcasts people saying, "my watch keeps great time." How do I properly test a watche's precision?
    I often wonder exactly the same thing. What does that statement actually mean?

    Depending on how they measured, there is quite a range of possibilities what it actually means. Most often, poeple either compare their watch to an atomic clock or time.is after 24h, or they wear the same watch for some weeks and compare the total offset after a week or month.

    However, all mechanical watches are subjected to differences in temperature, their position in earth's gravity field (-> positional variance), differing main spring torque (-> isochronism), etc. So the accuracy can vary depending on use time, summer/winter, how the watch is stored over night, etc. Once we take all that into account, the answer gets more complicated. Since the industry had the same problem, the Swiss standardized the testing proceduce as the COSC chronometer certification process. But other standards are also used for non-Swiss watches or by some manufacturers to go beyond COSC requirements.
    Last edited by ffritz; May 14th, 2018 at 14:33.
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  9. #8
    Member justinloos88's Avatar
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    Re: How to properly test watch precision?

    Thanks for all the responses, it is much appreciated.

  10. #9
    Member I_am_Ned's Avatar
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    Re: How to properly test watch precision?

    I enjoy using Watchtracker ($5) on iphone. I typically check "worn" rate, vs "overnight" rate to come up with daily accuracy. It's easy to use and helps me keep my current watches regulated. For example, the current watch I've been wearing the past two weeks loses time while I wear it at a rate of about -6 seconds per day. Dial up, over night, it gains at approximately +4 seconds per day. Just checking those two conditions, which is very easy to do, it provides appropriate graphs and stats. Depending on how long I wear the watch affects it's 24 hour accuracy.
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  11. #10
    Member ffritz's Avatar
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    Re: How to properly test watch precision?

    In fact, I'm always surprised how few people here seem to own a timegrapher. These devices don't cost a fortune ($150) and measure the precision in all positions within a few minutes. In addition, they inform about beat error and balance amplitude. Since I do buy grey market / used watches, it's a huge advantage being able to check all this straight away whenever I get a "new" (= possibly old and unserviced) watch. It saves a lot of money to own one.
    I_am_Ned, CMTFR, chuasam and 2 others like this.

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