Time Is of the Essence

With the advent of the quartz movement in watches and clocks, having to worry about winding them and the concern about their stopping has almost been eliminated. We no longer have the problem of consequently missing an appointment because of that. However, batteries do not last forever. Most of them will last a year and a half to two years (some five years), but they can lose their energy and like the unwound watch, it will not give you a warning as to when it will die! It is advisable to set an anniversary date as to when to replace all the batteries in your watches and clocks and not be faced with that dilemma.

In addition, self-wind or automatically-wound watches can also experience the same fate. If this type of watch is set down for the weekend, there is a good chance it will stop or lose time, since the power reserve will not last more than 36 to 40 hours. It is a good practice to check the time on the watch and perhaps manually wind it a few turns before putting it on.

Although most currently manufactured watches are well-cased and will prevent moisture and dirt to infiltrate the movement, lubricants will only last an average of two to three years. Consequently, the moving parts will wear and not retain their ability to maintain precision time-keeping. Have your timepiece serviced at least once every three years.

Cos Altobelli is a third generation jeweler and president of Altobelli Jewelers in Burbank, previously located in North Hollywood for 60 years. His specialty is appraising for all functions and acting as an expert witness.

He holds a graduate degree from the Gemological Institute of America and the title of Certified Gemologist Appraiser, from the American Gem Society, is the author of three appraisal books, and has appeared on “Prime Time Live” several times.

Mr. Altobelli can be reached at (818) 763-5151.