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Have you ever asked yourself, “How long do quartz batteries last?” Ninety-five percent of battery-powered watch users have asked about the battery life of their watch. However, the battery’s lifespan depends on the movement used.
Generally, most quartz batteries last about two years before requiring a battery change. Sometimes, it may last longer than this, but you should know that the battery of your watch is not immortal.
This article will explain how quartz batteries work and their lifespan. If you’re interested to learn more, keep reading.
The Rise of Quartz Watches
Seiko was the first watch brand to introduce the quartz mechanism in 1960, now one of the market’s most popular forms of the watch movement.
Automatic watches that use quartz movements are usually meticulous in timekeeping, accurate, reliable, and easy navigation with little maintenance.
Quartz Movement Vs. Automatic Watches
Automatic watches run on their internal clockwork and require less battery energy. A small motor that turns the gear train and, in turn, spins the hands and powers the watches.
Meanwhile, a watch with mechanical movement has to be wound manually; therefore, it needs more energy from the battery. Additionally, an automatic watch contains additional parts such as escapements, springs, gears, and so on; hence, they are heavier than quartz watches.
On the other hand, most quartz watches have a self-winding feature that winds the mainspring automatically even when you’re not wearing the watch. Moreover, it uses a more accessible and electronically integrated mechanism.
In short, quartz and automatic watches share the same look on the outside, but the inner workings of the timepieces are different.
Classification of Quartz Watch Batteries
1. Lithium Quartz Watch
Metallic lithium is utilized as the negative electrode, characterized by high voltage, low self-discharge rate, and extended durability.
2. Silver Oxide Quartz Watch
It is the most commonly used battery in quartz watches, and the voltage is 1.55V. It is reputed to have high physical density and stability and is free of environmental pollution.
3. Solar Cells For Quartz Watch
This battery type converts light energy into electrical energy. The solar panel, usually located behind the watch’s dial, captures solar and ambient light. In short, solar watches last as long as you expose them to sunlight.
4. Mercury Oxide Quartz Watch
The battery has a voltage of 1.35V. However, it is not free from environmental pollution. Additionally, it is the earliest developed battery of a watch used in an automatic movement watch but has currently gone into extinction.
How Often Should Quartz Watch Batteries Be Replaced?
The replacement of a quartz watch battery often depends on the watch brand, but there are still rules guiding it. In addition, the maintenance determines how often you will need to replace it.
The watch will give you signals when it is time for a replacement. It is likely to start functioning less than it should as soon as the battery deteriorates.
Furthermore, the deterioration of the battery then results in zero energy for its workings, an increase in the internal resistance of the quartz battery, and a voltage drop.
In summary, when it is time to replace the watch’s battery, it will die, and your timepiece will go blank.
How Accurate Are Quartz Watches?
A significant advantage of quartz watches is their accuracy. It is incredibly accurate, even up to the cheapest ones. Unlike a timepiece with mechanical movements, it only loses a few seconds for the year.
Moreover, quartz timepieces keep constant time regardless of accuracy. Unlike traditional mechanical watches, accuracy depends on factors like lubricants, tolerances, and gravity. Quartz watches are typically accurate to +/-1 second per day.
Still, specific environments like dental practices, medical practices with X-ray machines, and so on can cause them to lose accuracy.
Unlike mechanical and automatic watches, modern quartz watches have a reputation for passing the COSC requirements.
A separate test has been developed requiring the watch to remain accurate to an incredible 0.02 seconds per day, which it has also passed.
Do Quartz Watches Need Regular Servicing?
Quartz watches require servicing but not regularly. The interval needed for servicing it is long, about ten years or so.
Unlike the automatic watch, it has fewer moving parts; hence it does not need frequent servicing. You may also want general servicing to ensure it is running in optimal condition, especially if the watch is expensive and you want to keep it for inheritance purposes.
Additionally, other issues may arise which might cause you to take the watch to the repair house constantly.
Causes of Quartz Battery Failure
1. Low Voltage
A low voltage level retracts the energy the battery needs to maintain the movement of the watch’s hands.
2. Dirty Batteries
If your quartz watch constantly comes in contact with water and the water enters through the watch’s plastic casing, there tends to be dirt inside the battery of a timepiece.
Once the battery becomes dirty, it won’t be able to hold a charge properly. We advise you to always keep a spare battery clean at all times.
3. Electrolyte Loss
We advise replacing a watch’s battery every year or two as, over time, the electrolyte leaks out of the battery, causing it to become weaker and weaker.
If you wear your watch daily, the battery drains quicker and faster than expected.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to replace a quartz battery?
Quartz battery change price ranges from about $10 to $60 depending on the brand of the watch. Meanwhile, changing the battery of a simple quartz watch costs $10 or less, and a water-resistant watch changes price ranges between $45 to $60.
However, in complicated issues, be ready to spend between $65 to $95 for a battery change. Battery change prices are not static.
How to change quartz batteries?
Avoid using your hands as oil and salt from your fingers might corrode the watch. Do well not to touch any part of the watch movement except the battery, screws, and scraps.
Therefore, only use tweezers when touching the battery and thin metal tweezers for the retainer strap and metal tweezers.
When should you change the battery in your quartz watch?
Once your watch starts to misbehave or falls dead, the next thing you should do is to change the battery.
A quartz battery can last for about two years without requiring a change, but if it’s not maintained correctly. It is likely to run down before that time; hence you have to change it.
Quartz watches are one of the finest timepieces you can ever own, and if treated and maintained with the utmost care, the battery will likely last longer.
If you found this article resourceful, check out other watch-related articles on EvesWatch.com.
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My name is Eve Acosta and I’m the person behind this site. Watches are what get me ticking ;).
No, but seriously, I just love watches, I have over 30 myself. It’s an obsession of mine, which is why my husband recommended me to put my hobby into some good use and build this site – so I did.
My passion for timepieces came from the fact that my parents own a small chain of shops selling timepieces. I’ve worked at the shop since I was 11 and fell in love with the merchandise.