Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,016
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Gossip watches....yay or nay??

Several topics here.... I'll give you my thoughts.   I have lots of watches,  that span cost/quality from low end to very high end.


1-  Don't pull the stem out on a watch to attempt to save battery life.  You might or might not get a small increase in battery life,  but the risk of moisture and dust damaging the movement isn't worth the negligible savings.  


Also,  the stem is a very delecate part of the watch,  if the watch is stored with the stem out and the stem is damaged,  you are looking at an expensive repair and/or a stem that doesn't work anymore.  Battery replacement is not very expensive.  Think of it as insurance.


My information on this subject comes from experienced watch makers.... not just jewelry store owners or sales people.  I can't prove they are right,  but I'd rather pay for a battery replacement than an expensive watch repair.


I've also had batteries leak and ruin a watch movement.

(And it was on an expensive watch with a good movement).    This can happen once the battery stops working.  If the stem is pulled out you are less likely to see that the watch isn't working because the battery has stopped   The longer a watch sits with a dead battery,  the higher the risk the battery will leak.


2- Regarding watches that stop working as they get older.  Many watch movements today are made with plastic parts.   This is true especially in inexpensive watches,  but also watches with lower end Swiss movements.  Over time,  the plastic parts are more likely to wear out than if the movement were made of all metal components.   Manufacturers expect and accept a certain failure rate as part of the design/cost analysis. 


On an expensive watch it might be worth replacing the movement.   On an inexpensive watch,  once the movement starts to go,  just toss the watch.   If you have gotten a few years use from it,  then don't stress.   And it doesn't matter if the watch sat in your jewelry box unused or was on your wrist over the time.   When the movement fails,  it fails.   It's not something you can control.


My watch maker can replace a movement in a watch.  If it's a good watch with a Swiss movement,  and I love the watch,  it's worth the investment.   But if it's a movement from the Far East or an inexpensive watch,  then the cost of the labor far exceeds the cost of the movement and often is more than the original cost of the watch.


3-  I've had very inexpensive watches run perfectly for many years and some high end expensive watches need new movements after just 3 or 4 years.   I've also had inexpensive watches fail within the first year.


4- The watch warranty on an inexpensive watch makes you think you have some form of insurance.   But in reality, the watch usually keeps working long enough for the warranty to expire.   Also,  when you add the cost of shipping to the company and any S&H on the return to you,  even if the watch is under warranty it often doesn't make any sense to send it in for service.  By the time you ship and insure the watch (for both trips),  it's often as much as you paid for an inexpensive watch when it was new.