Is service time based on running time?

Thread: Is service time based on running time?

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  1. #1
    Member Hillcrest's Avatar
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    Question Is service time based on running time?

    Just wondering about watch service times. Say it's every two years for example. Is that every two years of straight time or is it two years of watch running time? And if it is running time, how does one with a collection keep track of this generally? My apologies if this has been asked, I've been looking around and have never come across this. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Member cavallino33's Avatar
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    Re: Is service time based on running time?

    Oil still degrades while sitting which is why an NOS vintage watch needs to be serviced. That said newer oils are better and I might be inclined to stretch service intervals a bit on an watch that isn't run very often but it's not a direct 2 years = 2years of running time thing.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Is service time based on running time?

    Good question - often wondered myself

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  5. #4
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    Re: Is service time based on running time?

    It's based on the length of time the lubricants hold their viscosity. It's actually better to run a watch than leave it sit. Jewels are shaped to funnel the oils to where they're needed. If left idle, the oils can creep away from the axels and points where they are required. Newer synthetic oils will last longer than the old ones so you may go 7 - 8 years without a service instead of the old 4 - 5 that was recommended. The best advice is to pay attention to your watches timekeeping habits. When it starts to act erratic, take it in for service.


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    Re: Is service time based on running time?

    Quote Originally Posted by ulackfocus View Post
    It's based on the length of time the lubricants hold their viscosity. It's actually better to run a watch than leave it sit. Jewels are shaped to funnel the oils to where they're needed. If left idle, the oils can creep away from the axels and points where they are required. Newer synthetic oils will last longer than the old ones so you may go 7 - 8 years without a service instead of the old 4 - 5 that was recommended. The best advice is to pay attention to your watches timekeeping habits. When it starts to act erratic, take it in for service.


    This has been a pre-recorded public service announcement - #6 in the series.
    Enjoyed no 6 a lot, looking forward to announcement no7

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    Member Hillcrest's Avatar
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    Re: Is service time based on running time?

    Quote Originally Posted by ulackfocus View Post
    Newer synthetic oils will last longer than the old ones so you may go 7 - 8 years without a service instead of the old 4 - 5 that was recommended.
    Thanks for the good info. I didn't realise I could go this long without a service. My manual said to get it looked at in 2yrs. Perhaps that's all they would do is look? Perhaps they just want more money for more service? I think I'll just watch out for erratic behaviour as you mentioned.

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    Re: Is service time based on running time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillcrest View Post
    My manual said to get it looked at in 2yrs. Perhaps that's all they would do is look? Perhaps they just want more money for more service? I think I'll just watch out for erratic behaviour as you mentioned.
    A complete service every two years seems very excessive. I've heard every five years or so, but I personally would only have a watch serviced when I noticed that it wasn't running properly any more. I do try and wear all of my watches in rotation, but there are watches that may only be worn for a couple of weeks per year. I certainly wouldn't expect to have them serviced after only running for two or three months...

    However, it's probably a good idea to have the watch inspected periodically, especially if it's water resistant. The O-rings and other seals could dry out with time and compromise the watch's watch resistance. I personally pressure test all my watches yearly and before trip, especially one that will involve diving. Perhaps that's what your watch's manual was stating...

  9. #8
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    Re: Is service time based on running time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillcrest View Post
    Thanks for the good info. I didn't realise I could go this long without a service. My manual said to get it looked at in 2yrs. Perhaps that's all they would do is look? Perhaps they just want more money for more service? I think I'll just watch out for erratic behaviour as you mentioned.
    Yes, the company naturally wants to make a few $$$ in service fees. They probably mean pressure testing to ensure the water resistance rating is up to par. A complete strip down, cleaning, and relubrication of the movement is what I'm referring to. If water gets in the watch all bets are off though. Also, if your watch is a high beat movement (36.000 bph) it will require servicing a little more frequently, as in 4-ish years.

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    Re: Is service time based on running time?

    If this was 1925 service every two years would make sense. With modern synthetic lubricants make it 7.

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    Re: Is service time based on running time?

    I know someone is going to say something here. I own a Pulsar 100m quartz, which I've owned from new, bought in 1983. Its had 5 battery changes, the first being at a Seiko service centre. But every other battery change as been done at the "local mall watch battery service counter" we have here in Australia at almost every shopping centre, who also do a pressure test, and my watch has only had one service. I take it in the shower, to the beach, out in the rain, in the pool. And it works perfectly fine and it doesn't let in any moisture. It's not perfect with time and looses seconds every month, but not enough for me to concern myself over.

    Paul

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