My watch keeps stoping but my battery is new
If your watch keeps time for a while, then stops and starts erratically, you most likely have one of several common problems.
1. You might have a bad battery. Sounds silly, but watch batteries have a limited shelf life, and if you installed a battery that's already been in a blister pack for a few years, the battery itself could be the problem.
2. Your "set stem" is not completely pushed in. Quartz watches are designed to stop ticking when the set stem is pulled out. They'll start up again when you push the stem completely in. There's a little finger or spring-loaded prong to keep the stem in or out. Sometimes, that little prong can break off from natural use. When that happens, the stem will work itself out enough to stop the watch from ticking. Natural movement on your hand will push it back in, and the movement will take off again. Check to see that you feel a firm "click" when you push the stem all the way in. Sometimes, when changing a battery, the movement will shift inside the case just enough that the stem doesn't quite catch in the locked, "full-in" position.
3. Your battery has a bad connection. Make sure that the positive and negative terminals of the battery are in good contact with the appropriate surfaces. I have used a tiny piece of aluminum foil at times to increase pressure on the watch battery so that it makes better contact.
4. Your watch movement has dirt in it that is jamming the gears. Modern quartz watches are amazing devices--a tiny amount of force from the pulse motor operates an intricate gear system that moves all the watch hands and day/date wheels. Even a tiny speck of dust in the wrong place on a gear can gum up the works and cause a watch to start and stop. Usually this will happen at set time intervals or at the same time every day, because that's when a particular gear tooth comes into play.
Closely related to this is an actual bent or broken gear tooth. Same symptoms.
A watchmaker can test the gear train by placing your watch in a special testing machine that spins the gears much faster than usual. If the watch hangs up from time to time, it's suggestive of problems in the gear train. Sadly, fixing the problem by cleaning the watch may cost more than replacing the entire watch.
These are the most common causes for this behavior. Hands that rub up against one another, or a defective quartz crystal are two other potential causes, but this should serve as a fairly good checklist for obvious problems.
Mar 09, 2012 |