How Long Do Quartz Watches Last?

Quartz watch movements dominate the marketplace today as they are affordable and offer accurate timekeeping. However, how long do quartz watches last?

Unfortunately, a quartz watch movement does not last forever. But with proper care, a modern quartz watch will likely outlive its first owner. A quartz watch can last up to 30 years if properly maintained.

In the following sections, we will explain all you need to know about a watch with quartz movement: how long it lasts, why it stopped working, and how to maintain them. If you want to learn more, keep reading. 

So, How Long Does a Quartz Watch Last?

Watches with quartz movements are less complex than mechanical and automatic watches, making them more affordable, dependable, and accurate. Even the most precise mechanical movements are two to three seconds off daily.

As we stated above, most quartz watches can last up to 20-30 years because the electronic components of the timepiece will wear out in the end. 

However, you should also consider some factors, such as the watch brand or its materials. No two watches with a quartz movement are the same.

A mechanical watch will outlive its first owner if they maintain it well. Meanwhile, a quartz watch with hands will last forever unless you seriously overuse it, damage the battery contacts, or get them wet. 

Moreover, modern quartz watches use semiconductors to regulate the movement and brushless Lavet stepper engines to drive the hands through a gear train. These watches hardly show wear, and Swatches from 40 years ago are still functioning.

Quartz watches with older LCDs may show seepage after ten years or so, although they still function similarly. Even today, red LED quartz watches from the 1970s are still available.

The powertrains of mechanical watches are incredibly complicated, and the presence of hardening ointments can have a significant impact on running, precision, and power-saving.

What About Quartz Watches’ Battery?

An ordinary quartz watch battery will typically last for three years before needing to be replaced.

However, this will also depend on the manufacturer, model, and brand of a specific quartz watch. While some quartz watch batteries last up to 10 years, others must replace the timepieces every one to two years.

4 Reasons Why Your Quartz Watch Stopped Working

1. Physical Damage

When you use your hands often for almost everything, it is considered some damage to timepieces. 

This damage can happen from routine workouts you perform at work, which causes something inside the watch to become loose or break due to the redundant motion. Or it might even happen from accidentally dropping your timepiece while putting it on or taking it off. 

Depending on how badly damaged it is, the watch may be shipped back to the manufacturer after being taken to a gem specialist.

2. Water Damage

The most significant danger to your quartz watch is water damage. Electricity and water don’t mix, as we all know. 

Secondly, many quartz watches also include a lot of metal inside. This damage is another danger to the safety of your timepiece because metal is an excellent conductor of electricity.

Moreover, rain, swimming, bathing, or cooking steam can cause water damage. It’s disastrous if moisture gets inside the watch. 

Therefore, you must perform water-resistant services on watches to prevent moisture damage, and the crown and pushers must constantly be in the proper positions.

Here are the following actions to protect your watch from water and moisture damage:

  • Ensure the crown and pushers are always appropriately positioned.
  • Get a yearly water resistance check if the watch is worn close to water or in humid conditions.
    • If not, be careful where the timepiece is worn (don’t wear it in the pool).

3. Battery Issues

Another reason your quartz watch has stopped working is its battery, a common problem for quartz watches. 

The standard explanation is that batteries power quartz watches, which eventually run out of power. As a result, it might have become too old or broken and begun to leak.

A dead battery is the leading cause of a quartz watch ceasing the watch tick. However, purchasing a battery is a simple and inexpensive process. If you can do it yourself, replacing a battery takes only ten minutes. A watchmaker can change the battery for about $50.

Even though changing a battery yourself is simple, having a watch repair professional do it is also very affordable. Having a watch repair guy change the battery may prevent damage to your timepiece.

Another major cause of quartz watch failure is leaking batteries. A battery emits hydrogen gas upon discharge, raising internal pressure and the possibility of a leak. Therefore, removing the battery is crucial before storing the watch for a lengthy period.

4. Manufacturing Defect

If you’ve ever looked inside a high-end watch, you should know how many tiny cogwheels and parts are required to keep the timepiece running. 

But due to many little parts and because we are only human, sometimes the components may have needed to be assembled correctly. 

When this happens, the little components may become separated or relocated, which would cause the watch to stop functioning. Therefore, you should only make a quick trip back to the manufacturer to resolve this problem.

Do Quartz Watch Need Servicing?

Yes. The electronic components of a quartz watch movement are one of the factors that make it unlikely that it will outlive a mechanical or automatic movement. 

For instance, the step motor’s coil, which pushes the dial’s hands, is constructed of a wire no thicker than a hair. When changing the battery, watchmakers frequently bump the coil with a screwdriver or finger to cause damage.

Additionally, the maintenance of quartz watches is the same as that of a mechanical or automatic watch. Therefore, a quartz watch needs a new battery every two to five years. The components of a mechanical movement also require the necessary maintenance.

4 Tips to Maintain a Quartz Watch

how long do quartz watches last

1. Avoid magnetic objects

Since magnetism interferes with the internal mechanism, devices like an iPad or a TV can cause your watch to lose equilibrium. Therefore, avoid making direct touch when working with such gadgets.

2. Avoid extremes of temperature

We advise avoiding leaving quartz watches in your car when it’s chilly or hot outside since a quartz watch will be affected by extreme temperatures. These will undoubtedly affect the timepiece, even though they make some endure them.

A watch with a quartz movement can be slowed down or sped up depending on the temperature. Thermo Compensation functions, which work on accounting for fluctuating temperature extremes, are also included in several watches. 

In any case, protecting them against extreme temperature swings for an extended period is preferable.

3. Avoid exposure to water

Even though losing your quartz watch won’t be as bad as losing an expensive mechanical watch, you should still avoid activities like swimming or taking a shower while wearing it. 

It’s also not a good idea to test your watch’s seals while on vacation by diving into the nearest body of water if you still need to do so.

4. Avoid exposing your timepieces to chemicals 

Don’t put your watches in contact with chemicals like cleaning products, especially if they make the belt out of leather. Otherwise, the strap may become weaker and torn due to perfume. Instead, put the watch on your wrist once the perfume or cologne has dried completely.

Final Thoughts

how long do quartz watches last

We hope this information was helpful to you and that it has given you a better idea of basic quartz watch repairs and how you can preserve the quality.

Routine maintenance is required to maintain your watch functioning at its best. The internal movements, driven by a battery and quartz crystal, deteriorate with use and may eventually need to be serviced or lubricated.

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