Watch Accuracy: The Shortest Explanation Ever

how to check the accuracy of your watch

Sometimes you just want a quick answer to a question, without opening a giant (and exhausting) can of watch nerd. After Googling “how to measure watch accuracy,” I decided some people needed saving. I learned as much as I could without falling asleep, then summarized it here. No offense to those who love diving deep into the details of watches. To each their own. 🙂

What is Watch Accuracy?

The daily loss or gain in seconds beyond atomic time. If the watch is being worn, it’s best to average the daily loss or gain over the course of 7 to 10 days (due to changing variables).

What Affects The Accuracy of a Watch?

Temperature, magnetism, shock, and resting position (due to gravity).

What Kind of Accuracy Can You Expect?

(for mechanical watches)

    • Great + or – 3 seconds per day
    • Good + or – 5 seconds per day
    • Mediocre + or – 10 seconds per day

How to Measure Watch Accuracy

Go to, set your watch as close as possible to atomic time, then average the daily loss or gain in seconds over the course of 7 to 10 days.

How to Optimize The Accuracy of Your Watch

    • Avoid the previously mentioned variables that can affect accuracy.
    • Service according to the manufacture’s recommended time frame.
    • Bring it to a watch maker for adjustment/regulation.