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Going battery free

Discussion in 'Watches' started by edjo69, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. Soosh

    Soosh Loaded Pockets

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    Service frequency is a topic of constant debate on watchuseek. I've seen enough photos of watches that people let run until they were broken to want to know I don't want to do it to mine. That said, I'll probably never service my Seiko 5 either before or after it breaks, and I'll service my MKII every 4-5 years because I actually dive with it. I'm disinclined to take the word of a jeweler in whose best interest it is to maximize service fees on whether servicing should be done before or after a fault is developed. After all, I'm sure the Mini dealer would love to tell me the same thing, given the relative costs of oil vs. engine replacement.
     
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  2. amacman
    • In Omnia Paratus

    amacman Loaded Pockets

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    disassembly, inspection, cleaning, oiling, reassembly, 3 position regulation. Includes, gaskets/seals.

    Covers the ETA 2824(and a few others) and the Seiko 7s26/36/25 and 6R15
     
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  3. JonSidneyB
    • Administrator

    JonSidneyB Uber Prepared
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    Watches have batteries? The last watch I had you had to wind a spring every once in awhile. :)
     
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  4. PageDetroit

    PageDetroit Loaded Pockets

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    Sorry to jump in so late. I have (re)discovered that I have a 1970's Synchronar Sunwatch by Ragen. It used to work. I'm afraid to try to charge it now. When I purchased it, I recall writing to the manufacturer (long since gone) and asking if the batteries truly last a "lifetime" since NiCad's usually degrade over a time period significantly shorter than that. They wrote me some explanation about -- I think it was "Vartan" batteries-- using the same batteries used in space satellites, designed indeed to last decades. I still have that letter somewhere.

    Do you think I can safely lay this thing in a window to charge, and see what happens?

    To give you a sense of the age, I recall purchasing it right after I took a date to the then-new James Bond movie "The Spy Who Loved Me".

    (Daily rotation: Seiko SKX / Seiko Vintage BellMatic / Rolex Datejust / Vintage Bucherer manual / Vintage Gruen Orange 1500 Feet Diver / assorted digital crap)
     
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  5. Sarky

    Sarky Loaded Pockets

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    There's very little in it between solars and ordinary (lithium) batteries for me. At one time I was up to around 60 G-Shocks and thought it a good idea to DIY. It takes about 20 minutes to change a G-Shock battery, and costs maybe a little over £1 for a decent battery and a smear of silicone grease. The batteries last me about 4 to 10 years depending on model/battery capacity. Unless you have screw-backs there's little chance of damaging or displacing the gasket if you're careful. Just wipe it and lube it with silicone.
     
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  6. Sarky

    Sarky Loaded Pockets

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    Yes, as long as your windowsill isn't like an oven! Generally speaking though, solar watches will charge significantly faster in direct sunlight rather than through a window.
     
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  7. Wolfman

    Wolfman Loaded Pockets

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    Did anybody mention the Seiko Kinetics? I have a BFK that's pretty awesome.
     
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  8. crankyfart

    crankyfart Loaded Pockets

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    Check out Steinhard for really great looking automatic/winding watches at a pretty affordable price. German engineering so you are pretty safe. Else check out Seiko Diver series. They are amazing and very rugged watch! My dad had one and wore it for 23 years without servicing it often. Very hardy watch!
     
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  9. thatotherguy

    thatotherguy EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I admit to liking mechanical watches for their own sake. The quartz watches I own (with a possible exception of the DW5600) are not dive watches, and therefore I have no problems with popping the caseback off and switching out the battery myself. That is infinitely cheaper than servicing a mechanical watch, since the only real cost is the cost of the battery (I modified a Leatherman Micra to have some usable watch tools). That said, I own more than one automatic because they're cool to me. I like the sweep second hand, the sound of the tick, the knowledge that my movement powers my timepiece, and the tradition of it. I'm glad to see that there are more people like me out there.
    Also, I'm glad to see another ham on the forum.
     
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  10. Mr Doode

    Mr Doode Loaded Pockets

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    My daily beater is a Sinn U2. The cost of the service never really bothered me that much, the annoying part was being without my watch for 5 months. But that gives me an excuse to break out my grandfather's Blancpain. I much prefer the real vintage look compared the faux vintage Bathyscape I picked up a while back.

    I've never been a believer in the idea that mechanical movements are super delicate. My dad's watch bounced around the planet for 40 years and still works. It looks like a bear cub played with it though.
     
  11. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    Love my mechanicals, love my auto's, theres also a place in my heart for good ol fashioned quartz watches (wearing my T-Touch right now) and there's pros and cons to just about everything. If its pure 'i just want a watch that always works and runs on time' ill slap on my casio GW-M5600BC. Atomic + Solar + backlight + tough..... absolute no-brainer.

    But there's just something about the precision and craftsmanship of a good mechanical watch that always keeps luring me back in. The best watch in the world is one for at least every day of the week ;)
     
  12. Sarky

    Sarky Loaded Pockets

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    Five months! :eek: Is that the norm for mechanical watch servicing?
     
  13. amacman
    • In Omnia Paratus

    amacman Loaded Pockets

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    I'm assuming thats a return to factory service.
     
  14. Fabregas485
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Fabregas485 Loaded Pockets

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    I like my citizen eco drive :D
     
  15. Karmakanic

    Karmakanic Loaded Pockets

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    I changed the battery for the first time in my G shock in 2011 , I bought the watch in 2000. It takes the same battery as my car key, so just 2 quid.
    I bought my Rolex new in 1971, I've not used it much in recent years. Each of the services I've had done at Rolex were more than the original purchase price.
    When I bought the Rolex there wasn't much that came close in terms of timekeeping, these days a 10 quid Casio is as accurate.
     
  16. Narcosynthesis

    Narcosynthesis Loaded Pockets

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    I moved to an eco-drive watch after having my previous watch catch me out a couple of times by having the battery die an an inopportune moment - the worst being two days into a fortnight long scout camp (needing to know the time to get to activities and keep everything running smoothly, and being without a phone or any horological alternative) - I ended up buying the cheapest watch I could find locally to tide me over until I could get the battery swapped.

    So the nice part about the eco-drive isn't the fact that I shouldn't need to replace the battery in it for 20+ years, but that it shouldn't die on me as regularly (yes, there is always the chance it will go, but that is the same for any item you own). That watch has now been happily running for four years, and I expect it to be running a long time from now...

    More recently I have bought a couple of automatic watches which the logical part of me knows is idiotic - the eco-drive loses less time in a month than they do in a day, and the service costs will be far greater (roughly 5-10 years down the road) than switching the battery every few years, but even then there is just something appealing in them - the sweeping second hand and the knowledge of the beautiful mechanical mechanism ticking away on your wrist (rather than an electronic circuit).

    If you want a basic, reliable watch then I can't recommend the Citizen eco-drives highly enough.
    If you want something more interesting and are not so anal on the timekeeping, then a nice auto is a beautiful thing to behold.
     
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  17. MixMasterEs

    MixMasterEs Empty Pockets

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    Sounds good bro I most of mine are Solar and built like tanks exhibit A: The GX-56 [​IMG]


    Dj-MixMasterEs-
     
  18. MixMasterEs

    MixMasterEs Empty Pockets

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    Sounds good bro I most of mine are Solar and built like tanks exhibit A: The GX-56


    Dj-MixMasterEs-
     
  19. KillaSkill

    KillaSkill Empty Pockets

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    [​IMG][​IMG] I love the GX/GXW 56s!
     
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  20. Handa

    Handa Empty Pockets

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    +1 on the Seiko 5. Get it, wear it, enjoy it and get it repaired only when something goes wrong with it.

    DV1ZZ