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Is it normal...?

  • Never normal, get the watch serviced/get a refund!

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone else ever noticed a faint metallic sort of rattling noise coming from their automatic watches in general? The sound can best be described, I think, as a tiny metal ball rolling around inside a tin can, usually more noticeable the closer you have the watch to your ear. Which is occasionally also accompanied by faint clicks coming from inside the case, often at the same time as the rattling noise.

I realise that being able to hear the rotor swinging and working it's magic in automatics is quite normal... but what about this rattle? And the clicking?

Has anyone else experienced anything like this with their automatics? Is this sort of thing normal in automatics, or cause for concern?
 

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Re: Faint, metallic 'ball rolling around inside tin can" noise coming from automatic watches...?

Yes. I know what you mean. One of my autos (Seiko 6R15) movement sounds like that, as does an Oris Cenote divers. Other watches (inc. 6R15 and other Oris) make a more 'whirring' sound normally associated with autos. All keep the same excellent time, so no issues. Same thing with same movement watches having different crown winding feel. Just minute manufacturing differences perhaps?
 

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Re: Faint, metallic 'ball rolling around inside tin can" noise coming from automatic watches...?

My 6R15 makes sounds too. Sort of a high pitched kling-klang metallic kind of sound...small and very faint, but it's there. My Orient Mako's 469 also makes a sort of 'whirring' sound; different from the 6R; more a vibrating sensation than sound, something that sounds and feels like something's rotating inside. Now, I have another Orient 46N that makes sounds that gets me worried. I can REALLY feel the rotor moving, and hear the sound of the rotor, even when my hands aren't anywhere near my ears. This one, I plan to take to a watchmaker soon.
 

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Re: Faint, metallic 'ball rolling around inside tin can" noise coming from automatic watches...?

Just happened to me.. Any solution to this?
 

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Re: Faint, metallic 'ball rolling around inside tin can" noise coming from automatic watches...?

my bulova 23 makes noise but its nothing out of the ordinary. Honnestly id be worried if it didnt make noise (its like baby sitting small children you really only have to worry when they get quiet hahaha);-)
 

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Re: Faint, metallic 'ball rolling around inside tin can" noise coming from automatic watches...?

My Longines Legend was noisy and rattled. Not the best sounding auto. Kinda tinny.
My Armida A2 spun like a top - I could hear it swinging around for seconds at a time. It had a smooth, precise sound.
My Nomos makes one or two 'swirly' sounding spins and stops. Can't really get it spinning at all.

I'm not surprised at all that yours makes a weird noise like that.
 

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Re: Faint, metallic 'ball rolling around inside tin can" noise coming from automatic watches...?

Well, clicking in an automatic isn't that uncommon - especially in ETA based watches :) The two wheels responsible for converting the two way spin of the rotor to unidirectional motion in those movements are in fact called the "click wheels" and may very well click audibly.
Furthermore, the ratchet that prevents the main barrel from rapidly unwinding might also click when it advances form one tooth on the barrel to the next, albeit not that loudly...

The source of the "balls in a tin" sound can originate from the ball bearings used on quite a few rotors - especially if the winding action is only in one direction (looking at you, Valjoux 7750!). If you are concerned because the noise shifts from "running" to "grinding" you can take the watch to a watchmaker to check on the lubrication of said ball bearings - usually it's no problem, but with old age and/or some oversight in manufacturing the bearings might run dry or need cleaning from dirt or tiny leftover metal scrapings...
 
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