Watch conundrum

I have an electric watch that I really like:

T60105S02.jpg

But since the last battery change, it has behaved in a very unusual way. If I leave it on my dresser, it keeps perfect time for days on end. However, if I wear it, it starts losing time at a rapid rate beginning on day one. I've checked, and the watch stem is pushed all the way in, so wrist action on the watch stem is not a factor. I'm completely baffled by this behavior. Is it a sensitivity to body heat? It wasn't a problem before the new battery, so I don't think it's endemic to the watch movement itself. Are some watch batteries sensitive to heat?

The outermost hand is the second hand, and it is nowhere near the inner surface of the watch crystal, so I don't see an issue with interference there.

Any ideas?

Thanks,
-Phil
“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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Comments

  • 63 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • Maybe it is performing a temperature calibration when you insert a new battery. That would explain it I guess.
    How about putting it on your wrist for a while then remove the battery and reinsert while placing it back on your wrist.
    Maybe it is something that dumb.
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  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 19,729
    edited September 28 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Interesting. What could it be?

    Temperature, vibration, orientation, intermittent battery connection. Sounds like it calls for some experiments that can vary those parameters without you actually wearing the watch. Perhaps start with another new battery.

  • TorTor Posts: 1,791
    edited September 28 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I don't think it could be a calibration issue (re. putting in the battery with the clock at body heat). That would need a reference, and there isn't any.
  • Heater. wrote: »
    intermittent battery connection.

    This seems most plausible. Re-seat the battery and make sure the contacts are firmly touching?

  • Are you sure the battery is the right size?

    I was finding it impossible to close up a watch last year. Then I realized I had the wrong battery type. The right diameter but just a tad too high. If it were the other way around I could imagine a tad to low battery not making firm contact.

  • Battery holder got connection issue from a little bit of tarnish?
    304 Carbon Conductive Assembly Paste is an electrically conductive :
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  • Phil;

    Can you re-install the old battery, or is it totaled?

    Cheers,
    Peter (pjv)
  • The old battery is long gone. I've got to screw the back off now and check the seating of the old battery. The local RadioShack had the tool, which I should have bought from them when they closed. If I can't get it off with needle-nosed pliers, I guess I'll have to make a custom tool.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Might have to rewire it for 220. :)

    Hope you git her going again soon. My brother bought an Accutron (tuning fork) watch back ~1970 when $300 was a lot of money. It's still going strong.
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Made a tool on the laser cutter out of Delrin to get the back off. The battery seemed to be seated okay, but I popped it out and reseated it anyway:

    watch_apart.jpg

    Nothing else seems out of order, so I guess I'll just replace the back and see if it works.

    -Phil
    691 x 518 - 77K
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • erco wrote: »
    Might have to rewire it for 220. :)

    Hope you git her going again soon. My brother bought an Accutron (tuning fork) watch back ~1970 when $300 was a lot of money. It's still going strong.

    I actually went to school at the school the company name founded, for repairing computers.; Both instructors wore them. We use Dallas Semiconductor branded RTC (Real Time Clock) devices, as it happens they used the timing module that Bulova created for the Explorer project as their idea for the canned devices. Your brother's Accutron is a descendant of that module.

    Phil, is possible that it's the environment where you are that's doing it?

  • Fyi, every tool you need to open a watch is available on eBay cheap. I have a small box of all of them to deal with all the different types of watch backs we have.
    San Mateo, CA
  • Phil, is possible that it's the environment where you are that's doing it?

    No, the interior of the watch is O-ring sealed against dust and moisture. It's rated to 10 atm. depth in water. Of course, there's some humidity to consider when I open and close the back. But not enough to cause any problems.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Just a side note on the watch itself: what sold me was the so-called E6B circular slide rule around the bezel. (I'm a sucker for analog computation. I use it mostly for computing fuel economy when I fill up the car.) When I got the watch, I noticed that the fixed scale on the watch face and the rotating scale on the bezel were not perfectly concentric. This anomaly causes errors in the slide rule computations. When I complained to the manufacturer, they pointed out that the much more expensive Breitling pilot watches suffer the same problem. Skeptical, I went to the Breitling website and looked at a blow-up photo of one of their watch faces. Sure enough: same issue. 'Seems like it would be an easy thing to fix.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Just a side note on the watch itself: what sold me was the so-called E6B circular slide rule around the bezel. (I'm a sucker for analog computation. I use it mostly for computing fuel economy when I fill up the car.) When I got the watch, I noticed that the fixed scale on the watch face and the rotating scale on the bezel were not perfectly concentric. This anomaly causes errors in the slide rule computations. When I complained to the manufacturer, they pointed out that the much more expensive Breitling pilot watches suffer the same problem. Skeptical, I went to the Breitling website and looked at a blow-up photo of one of their watch faces. Sure enough: same issue. 'Seems like it would be an easy thing to fix.

    -Phil
    Ooh! Presume the Breitling is made by a different company. Is this an admission of copying ???

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  • In the 70s I bought a Sinclair DIY LED watch. Softish plastic housing made this a bit too flexible, but I think it kept good time. Perhaps this is a false memory as the batteries required regular replacement ;)
    My Prop boards: P8XBlade2, RamBlade, CpuBlade, TriBlade
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  • GordonMcCombGordonMcComb Posts: 3,122
    edited September 29 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned this: If the watch is keeping slower time when you wear it, clearly you're in an accelerated space-time continuum. Go the speed of light and your watch will stop!

    Er, um... I can think of two reasons, both empirically testable. You can determine if it's caused by your body heat by placing the watch near a lamp where the ambient temperature is close to your skin temperature (about 91-93 degrees F, according to multiple sources). If it's mechanical (vibration, poor contact, etc.), you could rig up any motorized platform and have it replicate normal body movements.

    Personally, I'd put in a new battery purchased at a different retailer, in case your other is marginal. Since batteries out of a box will likely be from the same batch, get the replacement at a different store. Remember to wipe off skin oils from the battery. Pop it in with a clean non-residue tissue.
  • ercoerco Posts: 18,416
    edited September 29 Vote Up0Vote Down
    It was only a matter of time...

    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • I was going to say at least the E6B works....

    If it's time for a new watch and you can do without the E6B I love the Casio Pathfinders. I've had the 3134 model for over 10 years. No batteries, no setting time :)
  • I have a fall-back watch: a Le Jour 17-jewel self-winder that I bought for $29 in 1972. The crystal is scratched, the bezel is worn, and it runs a little fast, but that can be adjusted. I just like the other one better. Anyway, reseating the battery seems to have helped -- so far. I'm not trusting it yet to keep appointments, though!

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • I have a fall-back watch ... and it runs a little fast ...

    Wear both and take the average! While you're at it, wear a Swatch too! :D
  • Seairth wrote:
    Wear both and take the average!
    Great idea! Even better: best two out of three!

    3_watches.jpg

    The Hopalong Cassidy watch fits like a tourniquet, though.

    -Phil
    691 x 518 - 61K
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • That reminds me of one of my favorite books - https://www.amazon.com/Clocks-More-Pat-Hutchins/dp/0689717695
  • I have not worn a watch in over 30 years. Doing so has increased my internal sense of time. I play a game where I'll guess at the time; even if I wake up in the middle of night, I'm seldom off more than 10 or 15 minutes. I'm almost never late for any appointment, and when I am, it's not because I started out late. I do have clocks in my house -- my Realistic LED clock with 3" numerals is intentionally 10 minutes fast. A few times a day I will look at the clock in the Windows taskbar during the work day, to "resync" my body clock to actual time.

    The benefits of shedding a wearable time piece are astounding, as in a more mindful life experience (if you're into that sort of thing). Few of us actually need a watch, a constant reminder of being a slave to the passage of time. In the rare instances of needing to keep appointments, there's now smart phones (I don't use one) with calendar and reminder functions that beep to get your attention. Otherwise, you don't actually need to look at the time. If the appointment is at 4:00, it does no good to look at your watch at 2:00, 2:30, 3:00, 3:15, 3:30, 3:45, and 3:55.

    When I was a kid I really wanted this divers' watch that had a rated depth of 30 atmospheres (far deeper than humans can safely go on air tanks). I didn't dive myself -- and in fact suffer form a block sinus that makes diving in more than five feet of pool water painful -- it just looked cool. The first time I showered with this watch, it got fogged up, then seized.
  • I haven't worn a watch since phones displayed the time.
    My Prop boards: P8XBlade2, RamBlade, CpuBlade, TriBlade
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  • I noticed when I was teaching that none of my students wore watches. They all relied upon their cellphones. But this seems to be returning to the days of pocket watches. You can't just glance at your wrist anymore. You've got to extract a device from your pocket and open it to see what time it is.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • A watch thread....wow, what timing!

    Just a few hours ago, :) , I was walking through our small town where I can't resist checking out the tiny pawn shop because I can often find Android devices for very little money. Today, I couldn't believe what I clocked....A Suunto D6 that looked like new but no price sticker on it. I asked the price and she wanted £39.99. These things go for £500+

    I prefer digital watches and have always liked the Suunto range....This thing appears to be fully functional and looks as new....bracing myself for a disappointment :lol:
    PropBASIC ROCKS!
  • Cluso99 wrote: »
    In the 70s I bought a Sinclair DIY LED watch. Softish plastic housing made this a bit too flexible, but I think it kept good time. Perhaps this is a false memory as the batteries required regular replacement ;)

    Ah, the Sinclair Blackwatch (?)

    Made that mistake myself. Built mine (flexible PCB was a PITA) and then all my buddies wanted me to build theirs.
    PropBASIC ROCKS!
  • You can't just glance at your wrist anymore.

    That's just it Phil, you don't. Glancing at one's watch in front of people is one of the most rude things in society. Imagine a class full of co-workers who keep looking at their watch while you're giving a presentation. A one hour meeting lasts an hour, watch or not. The habit of looking at a watch doesn't make the time go any faster, and for other people in the room, it's just a tacit reminder that they're not important.

    I'm certainly not criticising, and it does require throwing out old habits. After a bit of practice, it's not hard to refine one's internal clock. Besides, there's something more honest about clocks on smart phones, or pocket watches for that matter. There's no pretending with them. In my experience, people distrust those who keep looking at their watch.

    The last watch I wore was a gold Mickey Mouse watch. No, really! It was only available to Walt Disney Studio employees (my wife worked there in the 80s). It eventually stopped working (I still have it), but I've never used one since.

  • Glancing at one's watch in front of people is one of the most rude things in society.
    Unless, of course, you've mastered the skill of doing it surreptitiously -- or you're doing it on purpose as a social cue. (I guess you'd call it an antisocial cue, but sometimes nothing else works.) Barring that, it would be even more rude to pull out my cellphone to stare at the screen. IOW, the less body motion, the better. Let's face it, there are times, say in a meeting, when you have somewhere else you have to be before it's over that you need to know when to excuse yourself.

    Or -- good grief! -- it's three hours into the game, and it's only the bottom of the seventh inning?! I'm out of beer, and the store closes in fifteen minutes!

    But more to the point, if I need to see what time it is, and I'm not being rude by checking, it's much easier to glance at my wrist than to pull something out of my pocket -- especially if my hands are full, as they might be at the local market -- with a six pack in one hand and snacks in the other. :)

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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