How Do Watches Last So Long


It is often said that a watch is a purchase that will last you a lifetime. But how do watches actually last so long?

Watches are made of durable materials and are incredibly low drain devices. On top of that, the batteries used in watches are extremely long-lasting and paired with the low drain, makes for a device that will last extremely long.

But not every watch contains a battery. So what about those? In this article, we’ll discuss all the in’s and out’s of why watches last so long.

What Makes A Watch Last So Long

Watches are known for their incredible durability, being able to last generations. This durability pretty much comes down to one simple thing:

Watches are compact, made of strong and sturdy materials. Pair the small size with the sturdy materials and you have an object that will simply be incredibly difficult to break.

It should also be noted that a new, freshly made watch will be much sturdier than an older watch that has been roughed up a few times. Still, with proper care, any watch can last you for generations. This also explains why watches are such popular heirlooms.

Is There A Difference Between Different Types Of Watches

Besides being made from sturdy material, the amount of time a watch lasts is also measured in how long it will continue working. After all, a broken watch is, well, pretty useless.

We briefly talked about watches in general, but there are several types of watches. The durability of an automatic watch will of course be different from that of a watch that uses a battery.

An automatic watch, also called a self-winding watch, will last as long as there’s movement. An automatic watch will automatically wind from the movement of the wearer’s wrist.

As you can imagine, a watch like this will be able to stick around for an extremely long time. And aside from just powering the watch, it will also be able to store some energy, allowing it to continue working for up to 2 days after wearing.

You might have to reset the time and date after a long time of not wearing it, but the fact that this watch winds itself ensures that it will always be working. Unless the mechanism inside is broken, of course, in which case you’ll have to get it fixed.

A watch that uses a battery will last as long as the battery is alive. The battery of a watch is extremely long-lasting, ensuring a long lifetime. However, once the battery is empty, you can easily let it be replaced by a new one.

A watch that uses a battery is much simpler to keep around for a long while. The battery will always be working as long as it’s full, so even after not wearing the watch for a long time, the time and date should display correctly.

Added to that is the fact that watches are low drain devices. Pairing a low drain device with a long-lasting battery will, of course, ensure a long lifetime.

How A Watch Battery Will Stick Around For A Long Time

As mentioned before, a watch is a very low-draining device. In order for the watch to work properly, a small electrical signal has to be sent through the watch.

This is called the centripetal force, the amount of energy needed to power the watch. This signal doesn’t need to be overly strong, leading to very low drainage.

Besides the low drainage, the battery itself is extremely durable. The batteries have a high energy density, giving them a generally long shelf life.

To put it simply, a watch drains very little energy from a rather large energy source. If you put two and two together, you’re left with a little device that will simply be able to last for a very, very long time.

What Is The Average Lifetime Of A Watch

When we look at the average lifetime of a watch, there are many things to consider. The quality of the watch comes to mind, but so does the way you wear and use it.

Generally speaking, it takes about three to five years for a watch to be in need of maintenance. The average watch will usually be able to last you a good few years, but after a while, it will require some proper care.

When we consider the lifetime of a watch, there are two aspects to take into account. The outside of the watch, the part we all see, will have a much different lifetime than the inside.

The inside of a watch is carefully crafted, literally designed to last forever. It is made with such precision, using sturdy materials, that it’s almost a guarantee that it will last an extremely long time, provided you take proper care and aren’t reckless with it.

The outside of a watch, however, has a bit of a harder time. The outside will show signs of wear after a while. This is inevitable. One stumble here, one drop there. It’s simply something that happens and you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it.

In fact, signs of wear are part of the charm of a watch. It’s almost a show of character and people that buy watches as investments always advocate to not polish your watch, as every little scratch is valuable.

However, if you just bought the watch for yourself or you’d like to gift it to someone later on, there’s always the option to polish the outside. And seeing as the inside rarely breaks, a nice polish of the outside will almost be the same as a new watch.

Also, let’s not forget the fact that a high-quality watch, such as a Rolex, will probably last you a whole lot longer than a cheaper, more accessible watch.

Tips For Proper Watch Care

Polishing your watch is definitely an option, but taking good care of the watch should always come first. Preventing is better than curing, after all.

First off, you want to make sure to not drop your watch, or at least minimize the number of times you drop your watch.

A watch is small and the inside is made up of small parts. The hard impact of dropping your watch can misalling the inside mechanism and sometimes, it can even break it. By not dropping your watch, you’re preventing one of the most common causes of a watch breaking.

And despite most watches saying they’re waterproof, there’s always a chance that water seeps through. However, this is pretty much entirely attributed to the wearer’s mistake, as the only time water will spill through is when the wearer is adjusting something underwater.

When water gets inside, it can cause corrosion, breaking the inside mechanism. On the other hand, extreme heat can take away the inner lubrication, once again breaking the mechanism.

And lastly, make sure to not expose your watch to extreme heat or cold. A watch is made of metals, and metals have the ability to expand or contract when exposed to extreme temperatures. This, once again, screws with the inner mechanism.

Closing Words

On average, the outside of a watch will last you around three to five years before showing signs of needed maintenance. Proper care, however, can prolong this time. And don’t forget that this is just an estimate, your watch can easily last as long as 10 years, while another watch may show signs of wear after just 2 years.

The inside of a watch is a whole different story. The inside is often made to last a lifetime, and guess what, it often will last that long!

Especially if you take proper care of your watch, the inside will last you forever. And even if the in or outside breaks, there’s always the option to fix it.

Due to the long lifetime of a watch, it makes for a great heirloom. A watch can easily be passed down through the generations, making sure there’s always a part of you present.

Jasper Pieterse

Hi all! My name is Jasper and I'm an avid watch fan. On this site, I'd like to share my experiences!

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