You are currently viewing Shielding Your Watch from Cold Weather Effects
(Pixabay / AntonEkengren)

Shielding Your Watch from Cold Weather Effects

While sitting in your air-conditioned office, filling out reports on the effectiveness of the plans for the past quarter, you check your watch. It’s a beautiful piece of art with its gold case, your initials etched into the back. You still have time. It’s only 10:30. The meeting doesn’t start for another 30 minutes. That leaves plenty of leeway for you to finish here and get to the conference room, with time to spare.

Shielding Your Watch from Cold Weather Effects
(Pixabay / AntonEkengren)

As you complete your reports, you gather your supplies and move toward your meeting. You see a few co-workers on the way and stop for a quick catch up. How’s the wife? The kids? Any holiday plans? Christmas shopping underway? But enough of the small talk. You have a meeting to attend, and you should be right on time.

But wait! When you reach the meeting room, you see everyone already seated. It has started! Did you not get the memo that it was earlier than usual?

As you open the door and take your seat, everyone stares at you and your tomato red face. You cast a glance at your boss who appears to barely contain his anger as his jowls quiver. You glance at the clock in the room. At your watch. At the clock. What? Something’s wrong. The clock is a full 30 minutes ahead. Oh no.

The cause

One prominent reason for your watch getting off kilter would be the climate. So, if you decide to travel to the Bahamas for your winter break, or go skiing at a resort, you need to be careful about how you treat your watch at these times. Extreme temperatures can be a huge risk to your wrist-borne timekeeper. Especially when you go from one extreme to the other, like from a ski slope to a hot tub. (Avoid hot tubs with your watch at all costs.) Or vice-versa. And come to think of it, you were sledding with your kids last night, then came inside and chilled in the bathroom with the heat fan running. Uh oh!

The reason temperature matters is that the metal inside can and will expand or contract due to these temperature fluctuations, and that can cause the lubricants inside to change in viscosity. As a general rule, colder temperatures can cause your watch to be faster than it should be, while warmer temperatures can do the opposite.

Where quartz watches are concerned, in extremely cold temperatures, electronic circuits can actually stop operating. However, you’d have to be out in the cold for quite a long time for this to occur.

One thing you need to note, however, is that the temperature will really only affect the pace of your watch if the insides get changed, so if you’re in the cold, your body heat should help out there, even if it’s just a little bit.

Another reason to be careful about these temperature changes is that the warmth can damage the seals or just cause them to contract, thus letting in water which can greatly damage the inner mechanics. If that happens, do not try to fix it yourself. Hire someone that specializes in watch repair.

While many watches will be sensitive to temperature swings, however, some are more resistant—at least for a time. Some watches are made for certain temperatures and certain activities, like diving watches. But the problem with these is that, eventually, the seals will wear thin and the salt water will get in. So, it is best to take care of these just like the other types.

The cure

If you really care for your watch and want it to be operational in the future, you need to make sure that temperature changes don’t ruin it. If you’re planning outdoor activities in extreme temperatures—such as skiing, it may be best to leave it inside. As for hot tubbing or sitting in the sauna, leave your watch out of it. Manufacturers warn that both of these activities can harm your watch.

Above all, remember that each watch is different, and each manufacturer is different. So, before doing or deciding anything, check the manual that came with it, or check the internet if you can’t find the information you need. Most manufacturers make details available on the web these days so a search with the right keywords can usually take you right where you need to go.

And if you find yourself in a bind because you arrive at your super important meeting due to your damaged watch and get the stink eye from your boss, we’re here to help. We bring our 37 years of watch repair experience to bear to find the heart of the problem and get things ticking along like new. Whether you’re looking at an Armani, Harley Davidson or Disney watch repair, we’ve seen it all, and we have you covered.