Common Wristwatch Problems and How to Fix Them

Have you ever experienced having problems with your watch and you just sit there wondering how you can fix it yourself? Or did you just decide to no longer use it when it suddenly stopped working? Don’t lose hope, because watch problems and issues are common and you can still do something to fix it, whether by yourself or by a watch-repair professional.

A lot of factors can affect how your watch functions and you need a professional to fix it up properly when it’s broken. If you are wondering why your watch suddenly stopped working, let us look at some common wristwatch problems and how you can fix them.

When Your Watch Has Stopped Ticking

This is the most common wristwatch problem. But you don’t have to panic when it happens because it’s just an indication that your watch needs a new battery. Most watch batteries usually last for about two years. So if your watch has stopped working, then you just have to replace the battery.

How to do it yourself

You have to remove the case and see where the battery is placed. You might need a small screwdriver for this, but you can easily install the batteries once you figure out where to place it. When removing the old battery, you can use tweezers. To avoid damaging your watch, you should know or have the right watch tools to use. Make sure that you set the new battery in the same way as the old one.

If doing it yourself doesn’t work

If after replacing the battery your watch still does not work, then you may have to take it to a watch repair shop to get it checked.  Whether you replace the watch battery by yourself or get it done by a professional, it is important to remember that it has to be done as soon as you notice that your watch has stopped running. A drained battery that sits could leak acid and can cause further damage to your watch.

However, if in case your watch stopped working due to more serious problems such as water damage or when you accidentally dropped it on the floor, then you definitely have to go to a watch-repair shop immediately. These incidents can break or damage delicate parts of your watch, causing it to stop working.

When the Second Hand is Skipping

Have you ever noticed the second hand of your wristwatch skipping? Again, this might be a sign that your battery needs a replacement. Or if it is locked in one spot or is just going back and forth, chances are there’s a problem with the movement and you can’t simply fix it by yourself.

The second hand of your wristwatch can skip ahead randomly or in a more measured skip. It may actually differ depending on the type of watch you have. Quartz watches are battery powered and would not usually have issues with accuracy. Automatic watches like the Chinese automatic watch movements, on the other hand, harvest energy from the natural movements of the wearer. Thus, battery replacement is not the way to fix it.

Also, there are cases when the second hand of a watch starts skipping because of water damage or impact damage like being dropped or banged against a surface. When this happens, go to a repair shop as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

When the Buttons Are Not Working Properly

In cases where the buttons of a watch are stuck, the most probable cause would be dirt or dust that has built up on the springs of the button. This can cause the button to cease from returning to its starting position. Even when your watch case is properly sealed, dirt can still accumulate over time and get stuck in the springs that make the buttons work.

To remove the dirt on the springs thoroughly, you can try using plastic tweezers and a piece of absorbent material. This is to make sure that you don’t touch the springs with your fingers because you can actually make the problem worse when the oil from your finger gets to the spring. If you can’t do it on your own though, better take it to a professional. They usually use ultrasonic cleaners to safely remove the dirt on the springs.

When Your Watch is Gaining/Losing Time

If you notice that your watch is gaining or losing time, it’s probably a sign that it needs cleaning and lubrication of the movement. Another reason why a watch doesn’t keep time correctly is that it may have been magnetized. Although it’s just another common problem, it can still be the worse thing that can happen in a watch.

Magnetization happens when your watch gets exposed to an electronic component that has a magnet in it. This includes powered speakers, tablets, laptops, and cell phones. You can fix it at home by using a watch demagnetizer or by doing some hacks. Or better yet, simply take it to a watch repair shop.


It is important to fix or get your watch repaired by a professional as soon as you notice any signs of problems. Even if your watch is in good condition, it is still ideal to have it checked and cleaned every 5-10 years to ensure that all parts are in good working condition.

Regular maintenance of your watch will save you from spending more money on buying a new one if it gets broken due to negligence. This will help to avoid further, costly damage caused by issues that can occur from dirt and dust build up over time.