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How to Fix a Quartz Watch That Is Losing Time

Updated April 17, 2017

In today's world, where time means money, having a watch that loses time can mean loss of potential income. With their accuracy, easy maintenance and slimmer movements, quartz watches have established themselves as leaders in the realm of timekeeping technology. But every so often, when a quartz watch starts to lose time and becomes inaccurate, it usually means that the battery needs to be replaced. Occasionally, the watch movement itself may need service. Replacing the battery can be done in a few simple steps at home, but if the watch movement needs to be repaired, take it to an authorised dealer to ensure that the watch is fixed correctly.

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  1. Examine the watch carefully to see if there is any kind of damage around the outside of the watch. If the watch looks fine, lay it face down on a soft cloth and identify the type of watch backing you have. You will either have a pop style covering, which is identified by two grooves on the casing itself, or you might have a screw-cap backing in which case you will not see the two grooves.

  2. Pop open the back with a screwdriver if your watch has the two grooves on the casing. Alternatively, if the watch has a screw-cap backing you will need a watch case wrench to open it up.

  3. Remove the old battery. Add a new battery and check the face of the quartz watch to ensure that the second hand is moving.

  4. Place the back plate into position and secure it by snapping into place. Turn the watch over and check if it is working accurately. In most cases, the watch should be working fine, but in the scenario that your watch is still losing time, it could mean that the watch movement is a problem.

  5. Take the watch to an authorised dealer who will seal and protect the watch against air, dust, and moisture, which over time, can penetrate the watch case seal and prevent the watch movement from functioning properly.

  6. Tip

    Change the watch's battery every two years, even if it works fine. A quartz timepiece usually loses about 10 to 20 seconds a month. To ensure that your watch movement is optimal, get the case seals and gaskets inspected and serviced every few years.


    Take extreme care when removing the back plate of the watch to avoid scratches. Wear the watch daily to keep it accurate.

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Things You'll Need

  • Quartz watch
  • Soft cloth
  • Screwdriver
  • Watch case wrench
  • Replacement battery

About the Author

Prerna Dar has been a freelance content specialist since 2007. Haven written for global corporate clients, she is experienced in writing and editing content for newsletters, marketing collateral, press kits and online publications. Dar holds a master's degree in media and communications.

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