What Would Happen If You Expose Your Watch To Freezing Cold Climates?

When heading to cold climates, we usually make sure that we carry enough layers to keep warm.

Or make sure we have access to hot water to make sure we stay warm for the whole duration of the stay and we usually just bring our daily watch with no mind of the climate and temperature’s effects on the watch.

But weather and temperature do affect your watch!

Luckily, there are things we can do to make sure our watches are fine even in the coldest weather.

Origin of the Watch

Omega says that their mechanical watches use oils that allow their watches to function at temperatures between -20 to +70C, while Baume & Mercier warns not to expose the watch to temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius.

The point is that there is no standard for what temperatures a watch should be able to withstand, so the first step would be to do some research on the temperatures your watch can handle.

Because while the watch probably won’t literally freeze, your watch may start to malfunction at extremely low temperatures.

Since most mechanical watch parts are metal, they will slightly expand and contract depending on the temperature which is just the nature of metals. Because of this, the accuracy of a mechanical watch can be influenced by temperature.

Mechanical watches tend to gain time in cold weather, so that is something you need to pay attention to.

As for Quartz watches, they should be able to function in cold climates or hot climates. However, extremely cold temperatures may influence the electronic circuit of the watch and cause it to stop working.

But that isn’t something you have to worry about unless you plan on taking the watch with you on an Arctic expedition.

The bottom line is, your watch won’t freeze and will probably work fine if you bring to a cold climate (as long as it isn’t extremely cold) but precaution never hurts anyone.

So make sure to read up on your watch’s limits with temperature to avoid a broken watch while in cold climates.