The second most common problem that can affect your watches performance is an issue with the mainspring. The mainspring is your watches power source, which slowly unwinds releasing the right amount of energy to power the wheel train. It is the mainspring that is being wound when you turn the crown on a manual watch or when the oscillating weight in an automatic watch turns. If your crown is turning completely without any resistance this is most likely because your mainspring is broken and will need to be replaced. Without the mainspring performing at it’s optimal level your watches performance will suffer, so it is often replaced during repairs or services. You cannot however overwind a watch which is often what people believe to have happened when bringing in for repair.
Your watch has a number of moving parts all working together in unison. To stop each part wearing against each other specialist oil and lubricants are used to keep everything moving smoothly. These oils and lubricants only have a set shelf life and will dry up over time resulting in your watches parts grinding and wearing each other down. This causes dust and irritants to fill the movement and the level of accuracy to be diminished. Having your watch re-lubricated is very intricate work as there is a fine line between under and over oiling the movement and should always be carried out by an experienced watchmaker.
Nothing ruins a watch faster than water damage, causing rust throughout the movement. The only option available to repair if rust has set in is to replace the movement in it’s entirety. Although many watches are marketed as ‘water resistant’ this is only half true. The majority of watches are only splash proof and should never be submerged fully in water. Only specialist diving watches are designed to be worn under water. If in doubt you should always err on the side of caution and take your watch off if you plan on being anywhere near water as the damage to your water through water ingress could be substantial.
ust like other metals your watches movement can become magnetized when it comes into contact with certain levels of magnetic fields. These can be found near microwaves, large speakers or even the magnetic closure of purses and bags. A magnetized watch will run much faster than normal. Once magnetized you will have to take your watch into a professional watchmaker who will be able to check the movement and demagnetise using a special machine.
The older quartz movements become the higher their consumption can be which results in a new battery being needed more frequently. This can be due to dirt inside the movement, which is making the battery work harder to power the watch. It is often better value to replace the quartz movement in its entirety rather than service the watch as the replacement movement is cheaper than the value of the time it would take to strip and restore.