What happens to accuracy as an automatic watch ages?
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  1. #1
    XiL
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    What happens to accuracy as an automatic watch ages?

    Does anyone know in general, what tends to happen to the time keeping of an automatic movement as it ages? Say as it gets to 5-6 years old w/o servicing? And then say... at 20 years?
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    Member Cannonball's Avatar
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    Re: What happens to accuracy as an automatic watch ages?

    As a new addict, I'd like to know the same.

  3. #3
    Member SaoDavi's Avatar
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    Re: What happens to accuracy as an automatic watch ages?

    I had a 1970's manual wind that wouldn't make it through the day on a full wind. It also would lose a lot of time over the course of the day. I don't think it had ever been serviced.

    Got it cleaned and oiled and now it runs a lot better.

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  5. #4
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    Re: What happens to accuracy as an automatic watch ages?

    Depends on the effort make in regulating.

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    Member Toothbras's Avatar
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    Re: What happens to accuracy as an automatic watch ages?

    the oils that lubricate the movement dry up and you can start doing major damage since metal on metal can quickly lead to the demise of a good movement, though I'm under the school of thought of "if it ain't broke..."

    Many people will abide to manufacturer service intervals, which isn't a bad thing, but personally will only service a watch when it is off by >15 sec/day. No logic there, just what I've decided, so far it's worked out just fine.

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    Re: What happens to accuracy as an automatic watch ages?

    Could be better, could be worse than when originally purchased. Depends on the accuracy/regulation when new vs. how the movement settled in. Lots of variables but a 5 year old watch should not have a significant deviation from a new one.

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    Re: What happens to accuracy as an automatic watch ages?

    Now, will you take it in for servicing?
    Quote Originally Posted by SaoDavi View Post
    I had a 1970's manual wind that wouldn't make it through the day on a full wind. It also would lose a lot of time over the course of the day. I don't think it had ever been serviced.

    Got it cleaned and oiled and now it runs a lot better.

  9. #8
    XiL
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    Re: What happens to accuracy as an automatic watch ages?

    So would a watch end up gaining or losing time?

  10. #9
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: What happens to accuracy as an automatic watch ages?

    Quote Originally Posted by XiL View Post
    Does anyone know in general, what tends to happen to the time keeping of an automatic movement as it ages? Say as it gets to 5-6 years old w/o servicing? And then say... at 20 years?
    Likely nothing at the end of 5 or 20 years IF you take care of it with regular servicing. Servicing will clean out old dried oil and replace it with new. If servicing is ignored accuracy will drift off, power reserve will shorten, it will be increasingly difficult to hand wind and hand set and most importantly pivots and jewels will begin to wear.
    Last edited by John MS; August 29th, 2014 at 06:41.

  11. #10
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    Re: What happens to accuracy as an automatic watch ages?

    Quote Originally Posted by XiL View Post
    So would a watch end up gaining or losing time?
    It usually will gain time because the balance wheel slows and does not rotate as it should making it gain time. Yes I know, think about that, it will make sense.
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