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How long can a spent battery be kept in a watch before it starts to decay and leak?

I ask this question because I have many quartz watches that I wear on rotation and it can be many months before I get to wear all of them. This means that their batteries could become spent in that time and I wouldn't know about it for many months. This means that those watches that have spent batteries in them would be vulnerable to the effects of battery decay and leakage.
 

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How long can a spent battery be kept in a watch before it starts to decay and leak?

I ask this question because I have many quartz watches that I wear on rotation and it can be many months before I get to wear all of them. This means that their batteries could become spent in that time and I wouldn't know about it for many months. This means that those watches that have spent batteries in them would be vulnerable to the effects of battery decay and leakage.
I check my quartz watches now and once they stop working I either change the battery or take out the battery.

Had a Gucci 3800m chrono get utterly destroyed due to the corrosion of the battery left in for a few years after it died. I'm trying to restore it now. Lesson learned.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
 

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How long can a spent battery be kept in a watch before it starts to decay and leak?

I ask this question because I have many quartz watches that I wear on rotation and it can be many months before I get to wear all of them. This means that their batteries could become spent in that time and I wouldn't know about it for many months. This means that those watches that have spent batteries in them would be vulnerable to the effects of battery decay and leakage.
Unfortunately there is no way to predict when a dead battery might leak.
It would be a good idea to check all your watches on a regular basis. Just put a reminder in your phone calendar to look at all your watches once a month or every other month. Then just swap the dead batteries out.

If there are some watches that never get worn just remove the battery.

If you haven't build an inventory of your watches that identifies the battery.
 

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Since the average cost for a battery change is $10-12, how much sense does it make to risk ruining your watches by not doing it right away?

Or, you could invest $15-20 for an assortment of case openers and do it yourself for an average battery bulk price of 10 to 50 cents.
 

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Like John says there’s no way of telling how quickly a battery will start to leak when its flat but generally speaking the better quality ones will last longest. If we’re only talking a few months with a potential flat battery you should be O.K. but hoik it out ASAP when you notice that it’s deceased.
 

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I've had them leaking before they even went flat and I had them remain integrity for well over a decade after they died, there's just no way to predict this I'm afraid.
 

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I've had them leaking before they even went flat and I had them remain integrity for well over a decade after they died, there's just no way to predict this I'm afraid.
This ^^^

I manage a decent-size collection of quartz. Leaks are rare but they DO happen. I've not had a leaker before it was dead (as posted above). The leaking I HAVE encountered was dead cells over a year from death. I've never seen a dead lithium cell leak.
 

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My biggest issue is finding a cool used watch that is 30+ years old and you have no idea how long the battery has been in the watch. If it is a dry environment it seems to be less of a concern.
 

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I'm a reliability engineer. The enemy of batteries is moisture and heat. If your watches have little or no water resistance, then they are more likely to corrode or leak. If the watch sits in a dry place, there's also a possibility that the o-ring or seal on the case may wear out, exposing the movement to moisture. The best advise has already been stated. Replace or remove your batteries when the watch stops. If it's been more than a few years, take it to a watchmaker and have them also replace the seal / o-ring / gasket.
 

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I've had them leaking before they even went flat, there's just no way to predict this I'm afraid.
This happened to my beloved 25yo Brietling Aerospace this month. Without any of the normal indicators for a dying battery it suddenly stopped and the factory installed battery was found to have leaked. My Bretling is dead.
 

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How long can a spent battery be kept in a watch before it starts to decay and leak?

I ask this question because I have many quartz watches that I wear on rotation and it can be many months before I get to wear all of them. This means that their batteries could become spent in that time and I wouldn't know about it for many months. This means that those watches that have spent batteries in them would be vulnerable to the effects of battery decay and leakage.
You might consider pulling out the crown on all the watches you aren’t wearing, which will usually stop the battery from being used. It won’t prevent leakage, but it will keep them from running down and certainly diminish the danger of leakage.

If you have a lot of watches, you might also want to keep a database of when you last changed the batteries in each and put them on a 3-5 yr battery change schedule. Most Batteries in bulk can be had for much less than a dollar, much cheaper than buying them individually locally or having them changed by a shop.

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It depends on the battery they use. My wife had a Tag Heur and she let the watch sit for two years. I recently Had the battery changed and the battery didnt leak. That battery came with the watch. I had a citizen watch and i let it sit for couple of months and later found the battery leaked.
 

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This happened to my beloved 25yo Brietling Aerospace this month. Without any of the normal indicators for a dying battery it suddenly stopped and the factory installed battery was found to have leaked. My Bretling is dead.
Wouldn’t replacing the movement solve this problem?


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Since the average cost for a battery change is $10-12, how much sense does it make to risk ruining your watches by not doing it right away?
Because they sometimes sit unused and you won't know that they've run down until it's too late.

Happened with me and my grandpa's watch -- it had probably run out of juice years before I tried to wear it again.
 

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This happened to my beloved 25yo Brietling Aerospace this month. Without any of the normal indicators for a dying battery it suddenly stopped and the factory installed battery was found to have leaked. My Bretling is dead.
You went 25 years on one battery? Breitling recommends changing the battery on their quartz watches every 2 years.
 

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You went 25 years on one battery? Breitling recommends changing the battery on their quartz watches every 2 years.
Maybe he meant that it didn't have an end-of-life indicator function (like 2-second jumps) because it was 25 years old, and the battery that died was installed during a factory service more recently.

Maybe?
 
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