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For the last year, the display would slowly fade every few weeks, but pushing a button would bring it back to full contrast. I replaced the battery, and the problem started occurring again less than a month later. A few weeks ago, it turned off for about ten minutes, and then suddenly came back to life ten minutes slow.

This time, it's been half a day--any ideas? When I replaced the battery, I did the proper contact reset.
 

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Take the battery out and clean it with a DRY clean cloth. Even if it's new it could have a thin coating of oxide. I once built a brand new computer and it wouldn't start up until I reseated the RAM.

Are you sure you did AC right? What I do is lift the watch up and look at it and press the mode button. KEEP THE DISPLAY POINTING DOWN you don't want to loose the alarm spring. Short the AC or 3 seconds then raise the watch again to make sure it restarts in normal timekeeping mode at 12:00 AM January 1st.

Another possible problem is dirt on the circuit board. If cleaning the battery doesn't fix it. Take the module out, take the module apart, clean it with alcohol, and put it back together. You don't have a lot to loose, but you have a classic bad connection issue. I'm wondering if the original battery is even dead.
 
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