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3 Reasons Your Automatic Watch is Not Keeping Time

It’s a little frustrating, isn’t it? You have a luxury automatic watch and after what seems like a short period of time, it is not keeping accurate time. But, it’s automatic. You specifically purchased it with that feature in mind so that you wouldn’t have to worry about it not keeping time. Why is this happening? Let’s look at three of the commons reasons why your automatic watch is not keeping time.

[Related: How to Take Care of Your Luxury Watch]

The Watch Becomes Magnetized

Magnetized watchWithin your watch are numerous tiny parts made of ferrous metals, meaning, they can become magnetized. One of the most susceptible is the hairspring. If the hairspring becomes magnetized, it won’t move the way it should, ultimately affecting the accuracy of the timekeeping.

How does it become magnetized? Good question. Large magnets like those found in MRI machines in hospitals will certainly affect the watch. However, not everyone is regularly exposed to an MRI. The more common culprits are as simple as the clasp on a purse or satchel, or the speakers in your cell phone. Think about it: How often do you take your watch off at night and set it next to your phone on your nightstand? That can do it.

Don’t worry, though, as the watch can easily be demagnetized. We have a machine that can demagnetize your timepiece and we’ll ensure it is performing at factory accuracy. You can check for magnetism yourself with a simple compass. If the compass needle moves in proximity to the watch, it’s magnetized.

Water Gets Inside

water in your watchYour automatic watch is water resistant to a specific depth, yet you know you aren’t going free diving down the equivalent of three football fields below the waves. Most people aren’t. Your watch has rubber gaskets to seal the case, crystal and crown. The problem usually arises from simply not having the crown screwed in all the way. Jumping into a pool, showering, or washing your hands can let some water into the case and then affect the movement. Over time, the gaskets will eventually wear out and water will leak in. We recommend that you regularly check the crown on your watch and bring it in yearly to have the gaskets and seals checked and replaced, if necessary. Also, some mechanical watches are not meant to around water at all, so be careful if yours is not water resistant.

It Hasn’t Been Wound in a Long Time

Yes, your mechanical watch is “self-winding” or automatic. You do, in fact, still need to wind an automatic mechanical watch. Normally, the main spring “recharges” simply by the movement of your wrist as you wear the watch. However, if the watch is left still for an extended period of time, say due to only wearing the watch for formal occasions, the main spring will lose its “charge” and the watch stops.

The solution is to wind the watch. Unscrew the crown, wind the watch 40-50 times, set the watch to the correct time and date and it should perform normally. If you simply put the watch on and let the movement of your wrist “charge” the main spring, the hands will move, but it won’t keep accurate time. Don’t worry about over-winding the watch. Automatic mechanicals have a safety mechanism incorporated so that you can’t over-wind the watch and damage it.

Windsor watch repairNot only are those some of the common reasons for your automatic watch not keeping accurate time, they’re also some of the easiest to remedy. At Windsor Jewelers, our watch repair service technicians are luxury watch repair and maintenance experts. We offer a minimum one-year warranty on all repair and service work so you can trust us to fix it properly and return it to a like-new condition. If your automatic watch is not keeping time, stop by either of our locations in Winston-Salem or Charlotte and have our team diagnose your timepiece. Many repairs can be done on site, but, occasionally, a watch may need to go back to the manufacturer for specific repairs.