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Hi There

I’m admittedly a new watch owner. I’ve attached a picture of the Omega Speedmaster I’ve had for a little over a year. I certainly didn’t know much about it’s functions this last year. I even left the chronograph running for a year thinking it was the second hand. I have two questions and any help would be greatly appreciated. First question, did I do any damage by leaving the chronograph running for over a year? Also I have pressed the reset on the watch a few times while the chronograph is in motion. Has that caused any damage that needs servicing? Again, I didn’t realize that was a stop watch function and thought it was the second hand. Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you.
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First question, did I do any damage by leaving the chronograph running for over a year?
No, the chronograph is designed to run. At worst you might have worn out the chronograph components a tiny bit earlier, but probably not so you would notice.

Also I have pressed the reset on the watch a few times while the chronograph is in motion. Has that caused any damage that needs servicing?
Pressing the reset button would do nothing as the function is locked out while the chronograph is running.
 

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As @arcadelt said, you should be fine. I sometimes do synchronize the chrono with seconds and let it run while I wear the watch. Not for a year, but they are pretty robust movements. Enjoy your watch journey 😀
 

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Doesn't it depend on what kind of "clutch" the chronograph uses? Some like to be run and some not so much and they also lower your power reserve...?
 

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It’s the coaxial movement, which in theory should be pretty robust. Even if you wore down a couple parts it’s nothing that can’t be replaced and returned to you like new at your next service. Nothing you did will permanently damage your watch is the key takeaway.
 

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Doesn't it depend on what kind of "clutch" the chronograph uses? Some like to be run and some not so much and they also lower your power reserve...?
Running the chronograph will not do any damage, regardless of the design (vertical clutch or horizontally coupled). In addition, running the chronograph does not “lower the power reserve”, but it does increase the frictional loads in the movement, causing the watch to stop sooner. However, when the chronograph is turned off, the watch will start running again.

Power reserve is a function of mainspring length and gear ratios...it doesn’t change unless one of those things change.

Cheers, Al
 

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Running the chronograph will not do any damage, regardless of the design (vertical clutch or horizontally coupled). In addition, running the chronograph does not “lower the power reserve”, but it does increase the frictional loads in the movement, causing the watch to stop sooner. However, when the chronograph is turned off, the watch will start running again.

Power reserve is a function of mainspring length and gear ratios...it doesn’t change unless one of those things change.

Cheers, Al
I disagree.

A chronograph is a mechanical complication that needs the energy to operate. ... This naturally means that if you do leave the chronograph running, the watch will run out of power faster

Personally I'd only run my chronograph as a sweeping seconds hand if I had a vertical clutch.


Cheers, Mickey®
 

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I disagree.

A chronograph is a mechanical complication that needs the energy to operate. ... This naturally means that if you do leave the chronograph running, the watch will run out of power faster


Cheers, Mickey®
You are incorrectly asserting that the rate of power usage in a mechanical watch can vary. It doesn’t.

The mainspring in a watch unwinds at a constant speed, and the torque delivered by the mainspring follows a curve, with the torque declining as the watch nears the end of the power reserve.

A watch will stop when the loads in the movement exceed the torque being delivered by the mainspring. A watch never truly unwinds fully when it stops...there is always some wind left on the mainspring that has to be let down before a watch is taken apart, or the sudden release of power can damage parts.

The frictional loads inside the movement can change, so when you run the chronograph it adds friction. With the loads being higher with the chronograph running, the point where the torque drops below what is required to keep the watch running comes sooner, but this does not equate to “running out of power faster” as you believe.

The mainspring is not a battery, where load can cause the battery to drain faster...
 

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You are incorrectly asserting that the rate of power usage in a mechanical watch can vary. It doesn’t.

The mainspring in a watch unwinds at a constant speed, and the torque delivered by the mainspring follows a curve, with the torque declining as the watch nears the end of the power reserve.

A watch will stop when the loads in the movement exceed the torque being delivered by the mainspring. A watch never truly unwinds fully when it stops...there is always some wind left on the mainspring that has to be let down before a watch is taken apart, or the sudden release of power can damage parts.

The frictional loads inside the movement can change, so when you run the chronograph it adds friction. With the loads being higher with the chronograph running, the point where the torque drops below what is required to keep the watch running comes sooner, but this does not equate to “running out of power faster” as you believe.

The mainspring is not a battery, where load can cause the battery to drain faster...
Whatever you say. I've just personally experienced and read for 25 years from pretty knowledgable folks that it does.
You're 100% right though. Topic closed. I gotta go correct the internet(s).

A follow up question...Does it affect time keeping then?
 

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Whatever you say. I've just personally experienced and read for 25 years from pretty knowledgable folks that it does.
You're 100% right though. Topic closed. I gotta go correct the internet(s).

A follow up question...Does it affect time keeping then?
Well, if you can explain how a mainspring unwinding at a constant rate gets “used up quicker” I’m all ears. I’m always willing to listen to any well reasoned argument on a technical subject, so if you would like to present one, I’ll certainly take a close look at it with an open mind.

Until then it appears that the knowledgeable folks you have been listening to for 25 years might not be so knowledgeable. If you are familiar with the Dunning-Kruger effect, it’s not uncommon for people to believe that they understand how something works, when they really don’t. It’s also common to not believe subject matter experts when they contradict your beliefs. Both are on display here.

Yes the internets often get things wrong, and I have explained this specific issue probably 100 times to people who don’t understand how a watch really works, so you are not alone in this regard.

As for timekeeping, added loads will affect the balance amplitude, which can affect timekeeping. What it may do is very much related to the specifics of the watch.

Cheers, Al
 

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If it affects timekeeping it affects power reserve...just my opinion. I know you have yours.

It's like I'm Catholic (which I am) and you ring my doorbell (which they do here in the South) and tell me if I'm not "born again" or whatever I'm going to hell...well I'm Catholic and that's not true. 😂

Good talk though...
 

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You are incorrectly asserting that the rate of power usage in a mechanical watch can vary. It doesn’t.

The mainspring in a watch unwinds at a constant speed, and the torque delivered by the mainspring follows a curve, with the torque declining as the watch nears the end of the power reserve.

A watch will stop when the loads in the movement exceed the torque being delivered by the mainspring. A watch never truly unwinds fully when it stops...there is always some wind left on the mainspring that has to be let down before a watch is taken apart, or the sudden release of power can damage parts.

The frictional loads inside the movement can change, so when you run the chronograph it adds friction. With the loads being higher with the chronograph running, the point where the torque drops below what is required to keep the watch running comes sooner, but this does not equate to “running out of power faster” as you believe.

The mainspring is not a battery, where load can cause the battery to drain faster...
Seems unlikely to me based on the laws of thermodynamics. In effect, you are saying the chronograph is getting a free ride..energy at no cost...which of course is impossible as far as we know.
 

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If it affects timekeeping it affects power reserve...just my opinion. I know you have yours.

It's like I'm Catholic (which I am) and you ring my doorbell (which they do here in the South) and tell me if I'm not "born again" or whatever I'm going to hell...well I'm Catholic and that's not true. 😂

Good talk though...
Opinions are not facts. As an atheist, facts are what matters to me, not fairytales.

As I’ve said, the added loads will cause the watch to stop sooner with the chronograph on, but the idea that this uses energy more quickly, is simply not correct.

If you have a chronograph, you can test this easily. Fully wind it, set the time, and let it run until it stops without the chronograph running. Note how long it runs for.

Then repeat but this time run the chronograph until it stops. Note the run time, then stop the chronograph, and the watch will start running again. Let it run down from that point until it stops, note that run time and add it to the time it ran when the chronograph was on.

The overall run time in both scenarios will be the same.

Or, you can keep believing incorrect information. Up to you mate...
 

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Opinions are not facts. As an atheist, facts are what matters to me, not fairytales.

As I’ve said, the added loads will cause the watch to stop sooner with the chronograph on, but the idea that this uses energy more quickly, is simply not correct.

If you have a chronograph, you can test this easily. Fully wind it, set the time, and let it run until it stops without the chronograph running. Note how long it runs for.

Then repeat but this time run the chronograph until it stops. Note the run time, then stop the chronograph, and the watch will start running again. Let it run down from that point until it stops, note that run time and add it to the time it ran when the chronograph was on.

The overall run time in both scenarios will be the same.

Or, you can keep believing incorrect information. Up to you mate...
Okeedokee but...

"...Does not lower the power reserve; that's a myth. No, it's not a myth. When the chrono is running, the mainspring has more work to do. Sure, it won't run down any faster, but it will reach a point where there's not enough strength left to keep the movement going..."

Sooooooo....
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Discussion Starter #17
No, the chronograph is designed to run. At worst you might have worn out the chronograph components a tiny bit earlier, but probably not so you would notice.



Pressing the reset button would do nothing as the function is locked out while the chronograph is running.
Thank you so much for the information! I truly appreciate you taking the time to respond.
 

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Seems unlikely to me based on the laws of thermodynamics. In effect, you are saying the chronograph is getting a free ride..energy at no cost...which of course is impossible as far as we know.
Free ride? No, not all all. As I’ve said the added loads will cause an amplitude drop, and will cause the watch to stop sooner, until that load is removed.

If you have a chronograph, try the test I’ve outlined above. It’s pretty obvious once you do that test that nothing is being “used up quicker” or any such thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It’s the coaxial movement, which in theory should be pretty robust. Even if you wore down a couple parts it’s nothing that can’t be replaced and returned to you like new at your next service. Nothing you did will permanently damage your watch is the key takeaway.
Thank you for your response Paul. Great info. How often do you recommend I have the watch serviced? It’s really only a weekend watch for me. Not an everyday. I also keep it on a watch winder. Not sure if that makes a difference in service time. I’ve seen mixed articles on if you’re watch should always be wound and running or if it should wind down when not being used. I personally keep it on the winder so it keeps time and I don’t have to set it each time it’s worn.
 

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Thank you for your response Paul. Great info. How often do you recommend I have the watch serviced? It’s really only a weekend watch for me. Not an everyday. I also keep it on a watch winder. Not sure if that makes a difference in service time. I’ve seen mixed articles on if you’re watch should always be wound and running or if it should wind down when not being used. I personally keep it on the winder so it keeps time and I don’t have to set it each time it’s worn.
If it’s a recently acquired new watch and you’ve only had for over a year it won’t need to be serviced anytime soon. At least not for another 4 years or more. Omega claims that coaxial technology cuts down on movement wear and therefore frequency of service. I would just go by the timekeeping. If the watch is keeping good time and all functions work properly then no need to service it. Why fix it if it ain’t broke? If it starts losing time significantly or the chrono functions stop working as they should then it’s different story.
 
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