longevity of watches, quartz and automatic?

Thread: longevity of watches, quartz and automatic?

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  1. #1
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    longevity of watches, quartz and automatic?

    we all know someone with an automatic watch they have owned for 50 years and it still works.

    Im wondering:

    1. is there a limit on the quality of an automatic watch that will last? eg does it have to be an omega/rolex quality, or will a good, affordable seiko diver with an automatic movement ( such as monster) be ticking in 50 years given decent care, and the odd seiko service?
    2. What is the longevity of quartz watches? If the battery is changed regularly will they last 20+ years?

  2. #2
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    Re: longevity of watches, quartz and automatic?

    As long as the movement is fully Jewelled ( 17J ) it should last for many, many decades. Not sure what a seiko service is?
    Eventually something will break, but if spare parts are available, that can be replaced.
    The top manufacturers will be able to source the parts, or if out of stock, remanufacture one with relative ease.
    This can also be done by a skilled watchmaker, to a certain extent. But then it is not original, imo.

    Quartz? 20-25 years for the better ones, I have heard.
    The cheap non jewelled ones should last a shorter time.
    The expensive and high quality Quartz movments ( Rolex, Patek Phillipe, Jaeger leCoultre, Omega etc) should be fairly easy to have parts replaced on, the chepo stuff you just replace the whole movement.Or even better just chuck the whole watch.
    Last edited by Janne; February 12th, 2011 at 21:47.

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    Member Coffeeshopman's Avatar
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    Re: longevity of watches, quartz and automatic?

    I tend to think that its cheaper to run the watch till it stops working and swapping out the whole movement for a new one as opposed to servicing it when it comes to movements such as 7s26.

    I have several of these 7s26's and I've given this some thought and research.

    The movement costs about 65$. or cheaper if you source a cheap dress watch on ebay with the same movement.

    Servicing it once every 5 or 7 years(recommended) will probably cost more than this, some feel the movement could run for 20 years or more.

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  5. #4
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    Re: longevity of watches, quartz and automatic?

    An automatic should last a very long time as long as you service it every 5-10 years to prevent problems and take care of it.

    Quartz, well I really don't know. I have a 1980 Bulova Quartz and a 1987 Seiko Quartz that are both still going strong. No problems whatsoever.

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    Re: longevity of watches, quartz and automatic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coffeeshopman View Post
    I tend to think that its cheaper to run the watch till it stops working and swapping out the whole movement for a new one as opposed to servicing it when it comes to movements such as 7s26.

    I have several of these 7s26's and I've given this some thought and research.

    The movement costs about 65$. or cheaper if you source a cheap dress watch on ebay with the same movement.

    Servicing it once every 5 or 7 years(recommended) will probably cost more than this, some feel the movement could run for 20 years or more.
    That assumes that replacement movements will be available in the future. There are hundreds if not thousands of Seiko 6139 and 6138s that are junk now because they were not serviced and now parts and movements are scarce....

    The 7S series may not be so bad in this regard as there are so may more of them, but then who knows what the future holds.
    familiaritas parit contemptum; raritate admiratione wins.- Lucius Apuleius
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    iustum est horologium - Obscurus Genius

  7. #6
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: longevity of watches, quartz and automatic?

    I have a 1981 Omega quartz that still works fine. Automatics or windups that work for 50 years have received good service along the way.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

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    Member WIS_Chronomaster's Avatar
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    Re: longevity of watches, quartz and automatic?

    Ok here goes 1980's Seamaster

    (no problems ever with this one and its quartz)

    1940's Vintage Handwinding Chronograph

    (still good time and yet no problems)

    So if its quartz vs automatic on this occasion Auto is winning by a mile LOL




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    Re: longevity of watches, quartz and automatic?

    I have a Tudor Monarch that is 20 years old this year (purchased in 1991) & still running great.

    My oldest quartz watch is 28 years old and still going strong. Likewise my quartz clock which is a similar age.


  10. #9
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    Re: longevity of watches, quartz and automatic?

    Quote Originally Posted by wilson_smyth View Post
    [*]What is the longevity of quartz watches? If the battery is changed regularly will they last 20+ years?
    My quartz chronograph will be 15 yo soon and it still running strong without any service, so I don't see why they (quartz watches) couldn't last for 20+ years.

    But the problem is that most of quartz movements are unserviceable (maybe except high-end watches wth jewelled quartz movements), if they die for any reason (electronic components failed, magnetized, short-circuited, broken gears...) the hope of having them repaired is very thin because the repair cost may be equal or very close to a new quartz watch.
    Ball - Casio (G-shock) - HMT - Longines - Parnis - Seagull - Steinhart - Tissot - Victorinox - Yema

  11. #10
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    Re: longevity of watches, quartz and automatic?

    My oldest watch is from 1874 and runs beautifully. My oldest quartz is from the early 1980s and seems to be doing fine, although time keeping isn't as good as a good modern quartz. The quartz, a Citizen Crystron, has a 7 jewel movement and I believe it is serviceable to some extent.

    I have read that Grand Seiko specify the first service for their quartz movements at 50 years. But not every quartz is a Grand Seiko

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