Is It Worth Changing Batteries On Wrist Watches?
There is no disputing the fact that modern life makes it necessary for us to have a collection of devices displaying the time; synchronizing all of them can be a problem. This leads many people to wonder: is it worth changing batteries on wrist watches? The answer to this is examined in detail in the following guide.
Lithium Ion Batteries
When you buy a digital wrist watch, it will come equipped with a pretty efficient lithium ion battery. Though this battery is pretty efficient and primed to work well for a number of years, its power will soon dissipate and it may start to lag behind the official time. This is barely noticeable over a few days but this can accumulate over a number of weeks and months to throw your schedules into complete disarray.
The first thing to do before replacing your wrist watch battery is to identify its type and size. According to the IEC (International Electrochemical Commission) the standards body that regulates specifications in the industry, there are 6 broad classification of replaceable wrist watch batteries. Informally these are classified into four categories: Button cell batteries, Coin cell batteries, Alkaline batteries and Silver oxide batteries.
Button Watch Batteries
Button watch batteries are the smallest in the grouping and are made of a single cell. They are the most commonly used for powering watches because of their size. They are also pretty common in such other devices like hearing aids and some pocket calculators. Typically, they are manufactured to last up to at least one year. They are mainly manufactured from lithium but some have zinc as the main component.
The earliest versions of button cells had mercury oxide as a component but this was banned when mercury was established as a highly toxic substance. Instead, they are manufactured currently with such compounds as cupric oxide, carbon monofluoride, manganese dioxide as well as silver oxide.
Coin Cell Batteries
Coin cells are slightly larger than button cells and are whimsically named because they have the size and appearance of a small coin. They are almost exclusively composed of lithium as the main component and are therefore known as lithium cells. The most common power rating for this group of cells is 3.0 volts.
There are some distinct advantages associated with coin cells. To begin, with they are more reliable and a new one can last up to five years without requiring any replacement in a watch. They have a shelf life of up to 10 years. They also pose a lower risk of harming the environment as they do not contain materials considered toxic.
Alkaline watches are almost similar in size and appearance to button cells. The difference is that alkalines have a greatly reduced capacity and are quite unstable in the way they generate power. For these reasons, they are normally found on inexpensive digital wrist watches.
S, L & C Alkaline Batteries
There are three common variants of alkaline batteries: S, L and C type. The L variety contains manganese dioxide and zinc. The S type have silver dioxide with zinc components. The C variety is made of lithium and manganese dioxide. They are very popular with watches belonging to the Quartz movement.
The power rating given on most alkaline cells is about 1.5 volts. Like lithium cell varieties, they do not contain any materials considered as harmful to the environment. The manufacturing process is relatively inexpensive and it does not pose a danger to the environment.
Due to their short life spans, these cells are not recommended for watch models such as Accutron. In fact, consumers are only advised to buy them if a more reliable alternative is for some reason not available.
Silver Oxide Batteries
The last form of watch cells is the silver oxide variety. These rose to prominence in the years when mercury oxide was being withdrawn as a component in common electronics due its toxic nature. As they followed the same design, they are almost identical to the old fashioned mercury cells.
The default rating for silver cells is around 1.55 volts. They are considered environmentally friendly in their manufacture and common applications. However, they have a distinct disadvantage: they have a much lower lifespan compared to the mercury oxide based cells that they replaced!
In the modern age, when everyone has a smartphone, the need to use a wrist watch as a device for keeping time may seem old fashioned…but there are still many who truly cherish these devices.
If you’re a true lover of wrist watches, the answer to the question of, “Is It Worth Changing Batteries On Wrist Watches?” must be a resounding yes.
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