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quartz watch question Answered

​I've always heard that quartz watches need an electric impulse to work.  I just bought a pocket watch that says Quartz on the face.  When I asked the seller how to open it to replace the battery, the answer was that it doesn't use a battery.  ????  It's running now. I didn't wind it.  Am I just not up to date (always possible),  or is the seller out to lunch? 


Maybe you could open the watch, and look inside? That way you could discover what is powering it.

Although, watches are delicate things, so maybe you don't want to open it, for fear of breaking it in the process of opening it.

If you can discover, by examining the outside of the watch, the manufacturer, and model, of this watch, then perhaps you could look up some documentation for to tell you how this watch is powered.

Just from the information you've given us, it is impossible to say. Most watches with quartz movement are powered by a battery, that lasts for a few years, typically.

However, quartz movement watches powered by ambient energy also exist. The one Iceng mentioned, the Citizen Eco-Drive, is one example.

However, I suspect the watch you have is powered by a battery.

Moreover I suspect the confusion on the part of the seller is simply due to the way he or she perceives time. That is to say, I think this person only thinks about time in the short term, just a few days or so into the future. Thus the lifetime of the a watch battery (years) is just a huge amount of time, practically forever from his or her viewpoint. Therefore the watch never needs to have its battery changed, practically speaking.

Or maybe the lifetime of the watch is expected to be shorter than the life of the battery. In that case you're sort of expected to throw the watch away when it stops working. Putting a new battery in it... that would be like cheating, defeating the planned obsolescence.

Anyway, it is hard for me to guess what your watch seller is thinking. But I suspect it is some kind of short term thinking.

All of you deserve best answer, but Jack A Lopez's literary effort wins.

And true, if I could figure out how, I could open the watch. I see no places for a tool or knife to be slipped in and no place to grip to unscrew the back off. I'm stuck for the moment - and really would like to see the insides.

"Or maybe the lifetime of the watch is expected to be shorter than the
life of the battery. In that case you're sort of expected to throw the
watch away when it stops working. Putting a new battery in it... that
would be like cheating, defeating the planned obsolescence."
Your comment speaks to a (minor) worry that it doesn't open at all without destruction, and I am indeed supposed to throw it away when it dies.

At a total cost of $3.51 I probably shouldn't complain if it only lasts a couple of years. But I'm spoiled by having some from great grandparents that open easily.


I guess now I have a better mental picture of what this watch is,


but I still don't know how to open it.

This page,


might help if the case of your watch matches one of the case types it shows how to open.

This looks like a watch that is new, but made to look old, erm "retro". Also, curiously, it is made to look Swiss-made, even though it's Chinese-made.

I'm not clairvoyant or anything like that, but I predict that once you discover how to open this watch, you'll find a battery inside.

Got it open! You and rickharris are absolutely right. There is a tiny battery in there. (Not sure I'll ever find a duplicate) Actually, the whole 'works' is about half the size of a penny - held in the center of the case by a plastic frame to take up the extra space. All the flowers and other stuff on the case give it enough texture that it isn't slippery. Thanks for all the input!

Yea ... its metal but the face is a solar cell and uses WWV...



Another good time fun to read soliloquy.....


3 years ago

I have a CITIZEN Eco-Drive that uses ambient light to charge an energy cell that powers a quartz crystal and hand movement for 5+ years thus far.

Never change any batteries.

The literature says it will run for 6 months in a drawer.

That would be really nice! The case is metal and covers everything... so I don't think it could run on light... unless the sensor is in the metal somehow.

Assuming you don't wind it, Then it needs some kind of power source; Does it make a noise if you rotate it? I have a Seiko kinetic watch where a weight rotates and drives a generator to charge a battery in the watch.

If not you may find that in a year or so the none battery needs changing!!

This is a very inexpensive Chinese watch. (ebay - buy it now - under $20) It was ticking when it arrived. I'm not aware of any additional sound when rotating it.

The stem is just for opening the front of the case and for setting time.

Betcha it's got a battery in it!

The one possibility is that its a Chinese watch and they've used quartz as the brand name.

Historically quartz always denoted battery driven, so if you cant manually wind it then the seller is missing a few hazel nut supreme's, ie not a full box of chocolates.

They are out to lunch if it is an electric watch.

Quarts crystal watches do come in several types, wind up where the quarts crystals is a bushing they come in self winding, and then there are quarts crystal used to create a frequency to run the motor at a specific speed in the watch, and last digital quarts crystal watches.

However all watches open no matter the make.