A watch battery is one of the critical components of one’s timepiece. It holds the energy that powers the functions of your wristwatch, and if you don’t ensure it’s fully charged, some features won’t work.
So, how long does a watch battery last? The lifespan of a watch battery will differ based on how often you use it. However, if you recharge the battery at least twice a week and utilize it twice a month, it should last up to 2 years. But if you use your watch frequently, it might last only a short time.
In other scenarios, a weak or damaged battery might signal that your watch requires a replacement or repair. Therefore, checking if the watch battery requires a replacement before getting a new one is essential.
How long should watch batteries last?
The number of years a watch battery should last will depend on its capacity, voltage, type, and your watch’s age and features. On average, an initial quartz battery will last 3-5 years. All the subsequent replacement batteries will last 1-3 years.
Let’s assume watch batteries last up to 3 years on average. A quartz watch will last over 36 months, while old watches might need battery replacement after 18 months.
The lifespan of watch batteries depends on whether you have quartz or mechanical movement. Generally, mechanical watches feature an electro-mechanical system where the energy source is hosted within the case. On the other hand, quartz watches have batteries inside.
How you discharge and charge a watch battery impacts its lifespan. Charging watch batteries too fast may damage them, and discharging slowly helps preserve capacity.
Note that a battery can last up to 5 years, based on the watch and the energy it needs. As the second-hand skips in intervals of multiple seconds, it implies that your battery requires replacing.
Nevertheless, some lithium-iodine batteries have a theoretical lifecycle of over ten years. The energy amount a battery can store will determine how often you should recharge it. This is known as the battery capacity, and it’s measured in mAh (milliamp-hours)
Even though mechanical and automatic watches don’t have batteries, solar and kinetic watches have one. Kinetic watch batteries and capacitors require replacement compared to other types. Generally, kinetic watch batteries will last up to ten years and have a longer capacitor.
Solar watch batteries will last up to five decades. On the other hand, kinetic and solar batteries depend on winding, movement, and sunlight to hold their charge. If not wound, worn, or stored in sunlight, the watch battery will lose power, necessitating a replacement.
Types of watch batteries
Various quartz watches use various types of batteries. However, quartz watches aren’t limited to specific battery types. That means you might prolong the lifespan of a battery by replacing it with a different one.
Many quartz watches run on 1.55v silver oxide batteries. But, they might use solar-powered batteries or special lithium-ion batteries.
How long should a battery last in other watch types?
If you’re planning to buy a battery-powered watch that isn’t in the standard watches group, you’ll also need to know how long the battery will last. Or you have a smartwatch and don’t know when it might need a battery replacement.
Smartwatches use various sizes and types of batteries. Affordable smartwatch batteries will last 16 hours, and high-end ones will last for several months. Most advanced smartwatches feature Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to connect them to the phone through an app or synch info from the gadget. They have many advantages, such as checking weather forecasts, keeping track of your fitness goals, and even sending texts.
2. Kinetic watch
People are wrongly learning about kinetic pieces’ motion. While these watches have batteries, they should be worn or stored in the winder to keep working. Many kinetic pieces last for years if well maintained.
3. Solar watch
These watches use sunlight as a power source. They’re common among individuals residing on remote islands where electricity is unreachable.
They come with a rechargeable battery that might last many years, while other models recharge wirelessly.
Some models depend on solar panels that charge the watch batteries over time. Since this model doesn’t have moving components, it’s easy to maintain. They resemble traditional timepieces, and they’re made from metal or plastic instead of expensive materials like diamonds or gold.
What affects how long watch batteries should last?
Not all watches and batteries are made the same. So, different factors will affect how long the battery will last. The watch and battery type, age, features, and ambient temperature are some of these things.
1. Type of watch
Mechanical, quartz, automatic, solar, and kinetic are the leading watch types. Neither automatic nor mechanical watches use a battery, relying on natural motion and winding to recharge them. Kinetic watch batteries use the wearer’s motion (kinetic), while solar batteries charge using sunlight.
Quartz watches are the common replaceable battery-powered watches in digital and analog models. They use the electrical charge from the battery to vibrate the internal quartz crystals that give accurate time.
Analog watches aren’t power-hungry as they need the watch’s hand movements to indicate the time. Digital watches with additional features require more power. For this reason, they feature several powerful batteries to compensate.
2. Extra features
If your watch has an alarm, fitness monitor, compass, LED screen, GPS, and other modern features, expect the battery to have a shorter lifespan.
3. Age of the watch
The internal working and lubrication of the watch wear and dry with time. Old watches will require more energy for the components to move. For this reason, the watches require more power to function. That means every replacement battery will last less than the preceding one. Full service is essential as it will improve the accuracy and energy efficiency of old heirloom timepieces.
4. Ambient temperatures
Temperature and climate will affect how long a watch battery lasts. Silver-ion, alkaline, and lithium-ion batteries suffer performance problems in cold temperatures. The cold temp will reduce battery charge, which you can solve by wearing the watch. On the other hand, warmer temperatures will provide improved battery lifespan and capacity.
5. Battery capacity
It’s essential to determine the kind of battery your watch uses to infer how long it will last. A battery’s capacity, voltage, and active components are important. A high battery capacity means the battery will last long. However, this will depend on your watch’s energy needs and chemical and elemental composition.
- Silver oxide batteries are more powerful and in1.55v and 25 to 27 mAh
- Alkaline batteries are cheap but least powerful
- Lithium batteries are the most long-lasting, being 2.8v or 3v, and with a 30-225mAh capacity.
What makes a watch battery drain faster?
Watch batteries drain at a higher rate for different reasons:
- Dirty battery
- Electrolyte loss
- Lower voltage
Tips for extending the lifespan of your watch battery
Your battery’s life expectancy relies on its power requirement. Nevertheless, here are some of the measures that will help you extend the life of your battery.
- Keep the battery warm by putting it on or keeping it in a cozy environment
- Avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures since this can destroy the battery and break the seals
- Please take it to the watchmaker when you notice broken components or rattling parts
- Don’t dive with your watch if not waterproof
- Get old timepieces serviced frequently to make sure they are functioning efficiently.
- Use high-quality replacement batteries
How to know it’s time to replace a watch battery
Should you replace your battery? Unlike other electronic devices, most standard watches don’t have a battery indicator. If you are not sure, here are some warning signs that can help you know your battery requires a replacement: they include:
- The analog quartz watch shows inaccurate time, or its second-hand skips or remains frozen.
- The display might flicker for digital watches and appear sluggish when taking commands.
- For a kinetic watch, you might notice that the watch doesn’t work
- For solar energy, the timepiece might not start, even after recharging the battery in the sunlight for long hours
- Automatic and mechanical watches will stop running.
The watch stops due to battery issues. One of the obvious indicators is that your watch won’t work anymore. Digital watches can display text like “battery low.”
The watch battery lifespan varies between individual watches. Besides, people have different needs that don’t match up with others. If you’re experiencing regular battery changes in your watch, it might be time to consider the age of your timepiece.
Your battery might need a replacement. A watchmaker will use a battery tester to check its condition. You can replace the battery or have a professional do the work. Replacing the battery is a cost-effective fix and a process you can do at home.
As with every electronic device, watch battery lifespan and charge are huge concerns. You know how long your watch battery can last and when to have a replacement. Feel free to comment if you have any questions.