Widespread problem with automatic watches?
 

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Thread: Widespread problem with automatic watches?

  1. #1
    New Member Art161's Avatar


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    Default Widespread problem with automatic watches?

    I purchased my watch on 2/18/15 and wore it until it stopped running on 4/19/15. It's now back at BALL for service. I wear a watch 24/7. One reason I purchased the BALL was because I do wear my watch 24/7 and like to know what time it is if I wake up in the middle of the night. Two months and one day old and it stops? WTF? It did start running again after I wound it manually, but I didn't buy an automatic watch so I could wind it. Is this a widespread problem?
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    WTF Veteran Magnetchief's Avatar


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    I assume not.


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    Please don't take this the wrong way, but are you positive the mainspring is wound up all the way when you wear it?
    You see, Ball's expectation is that the wearer first gets the watch fully wound and THEN MAINTAINS A LIFESTYLE ACTIVE ENOUGH TO AT LEAST COMPENSATE FOR THE MAINSPRING'S UNWINDING. And don't forget...when you sleep, that's a lot of being quite still! (I assume you sleep?)

    I have a Ball Fireman II and noticed that on some days I just haven't been active enough to keep it wound.
    My Ball uses the ETA 2824-2 movement. From the dead position the rotor has have roughly 700 full rotations to be considered fully wound.

    In other words: It is normal for the average person to have to manually wind his automatic watch once in a while. ANY watch...not just Ball.

    Here's a good experiment for you. Give your crown 60 or 70 full turns, or swirl the watch around in the air 700 times. Don't cheat! Then set it down somewhere, don't touch it, and just see how long it runs. A fully wound normal ETA movement should run for about 40 hours. If it stops after maybe 25 to 30 hours, that's an indication that something is wrong. If it runs 39+ hours, that means it's working fine and you need more action in your life. (And how you do that is your business, not ours! )
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    New Member Art161's Avatar


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    Well, I don't know if the watch stopped because of not enough wrist movement or a defect. Neither of my Rolexes nor my Croton ever stopped, unless I hadn't worn them for some time or they were overdue for service. The instruction manual for my BALL says to turn the watch crown clockwise 20 to 30 times if the watch has not been worn for a long period of time. That's what I did at the jeweler's when I purchased the watch. The manual also states that manual winding is only necessary if the watch has not been worn for a long period of time, or if it has stopped.

    Okay, I don't walk the high iron or use a jackhammer, but I think my wrist movement should be sufficient to keep it going. As to sleeping, I do, but I am sometimes restless. At times, I wake up in the morning only to find my teddy bear on the floor. At this point, I'll just have to wait and see what BALL says, since they have the watch.

    I was thinking the following, although I could be wrong. The watch could run okay if it is wound manually, but there could still be something wrong with the automatic function. If the watch doesn't pass the test you suggest, then there is definitely something wrong. If it passes that test, couldn't there still be something wrong with the automatic function? I guess a way to test that would be a watch winder, but I don't have one--never needed one.

    There was nothing to take the wrong way. I thank you for your comments.
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    Welcome to the Ball club! I've got mostly auto movement watches myself, including Ball Fireman models, with usually two in my daily rotation at any one time.

    I do not have a watch winder but do occasionally wind all of them. No problems here.

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    New Member Art161's Avatar


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    Update from OP. BALL in Florida received my watch on April 22. Today is June 1, and I still don't have the watch back. I telephoned them. All they could tell me is that the watch is in Switzerland and Florida doesn't know when I will get it back. Not happy.
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  7. #7

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    I know this is of little value, but I’ve got two Ball watches and have experienced no problems what them at all. I say this only in response to the title of this thread.

    In my limited experience, lead times for repair of 8-12 weeks are the industry norm. Try to take comfort in the knowledge that they’ve apparently sent it back to it’s Swiss creators who will definitely correct any problem with the movement.

    I don’t blame you a bit for being frustrated, but you’ve purchased a magnificent watch that will serve you well for the rest of your life. Try to be patient as any wait (no matter how painful) will be worth it in the end.
    Ball | Baume et Mercier | Christopher Ward | Elgin | Frederique Constant | Hamilton | Helson | Longines | Lum-Tec | Nomos Glashütte | Omega | Oris | Seiko | Tag Heuer | Tissot

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    Indeed. A couple of our members have sent their watches (we're talking Patek Philippe, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin) off to Switzerland and have had to wait well over a year for their return.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you won't see your Ball again until next Spring...just to have a little more patience.
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    New Member Art161's Avatar


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    I'm glad to know that my problem with the watch is not widespread.

    Thanks so much to all of you who have helped me put things into perspective. I exchanged emails with the Executive Vice President of BALL Watch USA. The reason the watch was sent to Switzerland was because it was so new, and Florida wanted to make sure there would be no delay in getting any needed parts. They asked Switzerland to expedite the service. The watch is now back in Florida where the Executive VP will personally give it the after-service inspection and QC. I should have the watch back next week.

    Then I'll be able to know what the time is when I'm in the dark. Gotta love that lume!
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