What Could Be Causing Your Watch to Keep Time Poorly?

Quartz watches range quite widely in price and overall quality, but the one thing they have in common is that the mechanism should keep reliable time. Unfortunately, things sometimes don't work quite as they should.

You might have noticed that your quartz watch has begun to lose or gain time. It's easier to spot inaccuracy nowadays, with phones and computers having clock displays everywhere you go, frequently updated online to keep their time correct.

In most cases, a watch that's stopped keeping time as accurately as it used to doesn't need to be totally replaced. The cause is normally something that's easy to fix, so take a look at the possible reasons below and find out what's behind your timekeeping issue.

Low battery

Watch batteries don't often run out suddenly, completely stopping without warning. If you've noticed your watch beginning to keep time poorly, it could be an early sign that your battery is running low and simply needs replacing.

It's worth trying a new battery even if you think your current one isn't old enough to be running low. Battery life can vary quite a bit from one battery to the next, depending on the condition and age of the watch, the age of the battery when inserted, and the temperature.

Some watches have a feature where the second hand skips ahead two or more seconds at a time to alert you to a low battery. This will cause the time to be inaccurate, but should be very noticeable when it happens.

Wrong temperature

With the delicate mechanism of a watch being so sensitive to temperature changes, watches need to be designed to work optimally when they're in contact with a warm wrist. This ensures that they will keep time best while they're worn.

If your watch has been in storage and you don't often wear it, this can be the cause of poor timekeeping, especially if it's somewhere cold. Try wearing it constantly for a day or two and checking to see if the problem is resolved.

Time for a service

There are two gradual issues that occur with watches as they age. Firstly, tiny amounts of dirt and debris can sometimes build up inside the watch. Secondly, the lubrication can wear thin.

Both of these occurrences cause the watch mechanism to struggle slightly, which leads to a very gradual loss of time. A qualified watch repair centre will be able to fix either issue easily, and your timepiece should go back to working like new.