The History of the Loud Watch
Timex watches have a long history. They were cool in the post-war era until the 70s, with many celebrities endorsing the timepieces. Rocky Marciano, Mickey Mantle, Ben Hogan, even jazz legend Louis Armstrong to name a few. It was common to find Timex watches with Life Savers and comic books in the newsstand of JFK-era America.
Even after the “quartz crisis” and cheap mechanical watch invasion from the far east, Timex still has its strong foothold in home soil, owing to its “Toyota of the watch world” philosophy, which is laid on rock-solid durability and resale value. The Timexes have been extremely accurate, dependable, and hardwearing. This wristwatch accuracy for the price range is mindblowing, to say the least.
But no land without stones, One of the quirks it has is the infamous loud ticks sound. One watch enthusiast could argue that you don’t get a Timex or Swatch if you don’t want a loud tick noise. Many sizeable portions also saying it’s the deal-breaker in buying a Timex, and they’ve given up because of the dreaded sound.
But What if You Can Make Your Timex Watch Quieter?
To get down to the business, one must understand what makes the loud noise and why watches like Orient or Grand Seiko can be completely silent? Not two watches are the same in the maker of ticking sound. And some make louder sounds than others.
The volume is more likely a side effect of the total build of the watch; the otherwise small vibration brought on by the escapement “echo” inside the watch and establishing considerable vibrations with other parts, leading to sound amplification effect. The noise can also get louder/quieter depending on the overall temperature and atmospheric pressure; this goes to the same issue: various parts of the watch resonate with the escapement based upon modifications in their size and atmospheric pressure.
Another possibility is the small cases that aren’t insulating the sounds from behind multiple millimeters of stainless steel or sapphire glass. Some of the cheaper movements are also allegedly making more noise, depending on their made, material thickness, etc. They have particularly roomy or dissonant cases that are not too frequency-aligned with other parts. They also tune up the torque to make a louder tick to living up to their motto, “Takes a licking, and keeps on ticking!”.
The design of the movement also brings advantages in low power consumption, robustness, and longevity of the watch. In the 70s, they had a TV show where a Timex was attached to an arrowhead and shot to break a glass window. The impact scratched the watch and broke the glass, but the movement was intact and still ran perfectly.
Before You Open Your Watch, Consider This:
- Check your Timex type and materials. Generally, a plastic-made watch will be louder than brass. Between them, there are aluminum and steel. They, in general, utilize the same movement – so in a bigger case, there’s a bigger plastic motion holder to insulate the ticking. Also, they have this small-seconds (seconds sub-dial) on some newer Waterbury models. They are quieter than older models.
- Get a chronograph model. They’re quieter because more components are packed inside of the chamber to make smaller room for resonance. A Timex with a chronograph will also be quieter because the second hand is in the small dial at six o’clock.
- Timex IQ models are also dependable for their quiet movement and have smooth second hands.
- The bulkier and newer Timex models will be quieter in general than the hollower and older ones. Certain models like Timex Weekender are also famously loud.
- Going digital will eliminate the ticking sound if you prefer this route. Check out their Ironman and Metropolitan smartwatches model.
Get a Repairman if You Don’t Know What You’re Doing.
You can find a Timex repair service listed on their official website. However, because this is not repaired, you need to find a “modder” service instead. When you find the watch technician in your area, ask them if they can make the Timex sound quieter. This is a popular demand, and any reputable technician will already be aware of this watch’s peculiarity.
They might do one or more of the following:
- Drop watch oil to lubricate the movement. This is especially true for old watches as they need to get disassembled, deep cleaned and lubricated of all internal components. The “ticking” is triggered (at its source) by the effect of parts of the escapement knocking against each other. Light oils and greases are used in numerous places to reduce wear and friction, and when that oil dries up (which can take place fairly quickly in cases like the pallet stones), the effects will begin to sound louder.
- Only use watch oil to lubricate, not any other (like WD-40), your watch needs a specific amount of oil viscosity, even for its different parts (better call an expert for this). Today, most watches are oiled with artificial oil since they won’t gum up like natural oils. When synthetic oil is past its lifespan, it will simply vaporize. It is always suggested to oil to the specific watchmaker requirements.
- Source a replacement movement, get it running, and see if it’s loud if you can solve the sound with the movement before you even take your current watch apart.
- Hydro-mod your watch, which is filling your watch case with silicon oil like Sinn UX.
- Removing and replacing dial and hands.
- Replacing your watch cases might causing the wrong frequency with the rest of the parts.
- Trim the second hand, remove some of the counterweights from the back, cut the tip-off, or obliterate the second hand. This will greatly reduce the noise.
Timex watches, especially the older ones come with the trademarked loud ticking sound. Some people dislike it, and some others swear by it. If you want to reduce the volume, you can mod your watch yourself or use a technician. The easiest way is to get your watch overhauled. After that, they will analyze where the sound is coming from. Also, removing or trimming the second hand, though not really a viable solution, can help to reduce the volume.
Because Timex is Timex, it’s their signature, along with inexpensive but accurate movement. One could argue, it’s best to look at their pros. The time precision to the price point is also one area that doesn’t get spoken about enough. Constantly glossed over.
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