Time is not only money but precious too. And with this in mind, many people ask whether a Quartz watch will run slowly in some instances. The answer is yes and the following are some reasons why:
1. Exposure to strong magnetism
The watch will run slower when near a strong magnetic field. Good examples include being near powerful speakers, laptops, tablet, phones, body scanners, and handbag or purses. This is because the unit features a motor/ coil that uses the power of magnetism.
The good news, however, is that this situation is temporary as the watch will operate normally when away from the magnetic forces. In fact, the Quartz movement performs much better than automatic and mechanical types in regards to resistance to magnetism.
2. Aging or faulty battery
It will start running slower than before when the battery loses charge or develops a fault. The battery delivers power to the coil or stepper motor. Nevertheless, it will lose charge over time or due to corrosion or degradation.
A good way to know if it’s the battery and not something else is by holding it vertically. If the chromo or second-hand struggle moving from the 6 to 12 o’clock position while they are okay from the 12 to 6 o’clock position, then it’s most likely the battery.
The general recommendation is to install high-quality batteries and also replace them after 2 years regardless of whether they are still functioning okay.
3. Presence of moisture, dirt, dust in the internal mechanism
Moisture, water, dirt, dust and other debris inside the mechanism will interfere with movement. Corrosion, dust particles, and stickiness will cause more friction and this will slow down movement. Also, it may interfere with the internal magnetic force due to blockage or increased resistance.
To avoid this, you shouldn’t expose the watch to a very dusty or wet environment. It’s also important to prevent mishandling (excessive abrasion, banging, knocking, falls….) or exceeding the recommended depth in case of waterproof/ water resistant pieces.
4. Internal Damage
Quartz movement features very delicate parts and mechanism. And while the top manufacturers try their best to provide good protection, poor operation or handling will still damage the watch. The hands will move slower if they are out of alignment, the contacts are broken, loose or rusty, or the magnetism is weak.
A quartz timepiece will last for a long time if handled properly. This entails regular cleaning, minimizing exposure to dirt, water, oils, grease, excessive vibrations, or dust, and also going for high quality and genuine battery replacement. It also pays to take the timepiece to a specialist rather than trying to do the service or repair yourself especially if you have limited skills and knowledge.