How Long Do Watch Batteries Last?

So you want to know how long watch batteries last? That simple question can have a variety of answers depending on what type of watch you are talking about. A blanket answer to the statement would be: Watch batteries can last between 1 to 5 years. Now, assuming we are talking about the typical quartz watch, then the battery life would be about 3 to 5 years.

So that is the basic answer to the question. But, in this day and age there are many different types of watches, each having their own battery life. Furthermore, when we start getting into smartwatches, or solar powered watches then you could also be talking about how long the batteries last before they need to be recharged.

In the remainder of this article, we will get into all of the fine details about how long watch batteries last. To do this, we will need to examine the different types of watches, and the batteries that they use.

Types Of Watches, And How Long Their Batteries Last

In this part, we will be looking at several different watch types: analog quartz, digital quartz, solar powered, kinetic, and smartwatches. Each of these types of watches have different features, and use batteries in different ways. Let’s start with the old school!

How Long Do Analog Quartz Watch Batteries Last?

As stated earlier, quartz watch batteries can last from 3 to 5 years. This is in an analog quartz watch that uses the old minute, hour, and seconds hand formula. This is the simplest form of a watch with batteries.

You may have different variations such as chronographs, or gmt, but the basic battery life you will get out of these will be about the same.

How Long Do Digital Quartz Batteries Last?

The battery life on a digital quartz watch will actually be a bit longer than an analog quartz watch. Digital quartz watch batteries will usually last around 4 to 6 years. Why is this? Why would a digital quartz watch last longer than an analog quartz watch?

The reason why digital quartz watches last longer than their analog counterparts has to do with the fact that the digital watch has no moving parts. Where the analog watch has the constant motion of the hour, minute, and seconds hands, all of which require power to move, the digital watch is just a simple display.

Even when accounting for the occasional use of a backlight, maintaining a digital display uses less energy overall than the moving parts found in analog quartz watches. Of course, overuse of backlight and alarm features can significantly impact the lifespan of a digital quartz watch.

How Long Do Solar Powered Watch Batteries Last?

Solar powered watches are very low maintenance for the most part. The batteries in solar powered watches can last for over a decade. It is a common misconception that solar powered watches need to be exposed to actual sunlight to be charged.

The truth is that most solar powered watches these days can be charged by artificial light, and not just sunlight. With that in mind, as long as the watch is worn regularly, you probably wouldn’t need to go out of your way to manually charge one.

How Long Do Kinetic Watch Batteries Last?

Seiko first introduced the world to kinetic watches in 1986. Kinetic watches have the longest battery life, boasting anywhere from 10 to 20 years on a single battery!

Kinetic watches can be though of as a hybrid between a mechanical watch and a quartz watch. To put it simply, energy is gathered from the movements of a person’s arm just like in a mechanical watch.

The difference, is that this energy is then stored in a battery. With these combined features, a kinetic watch’s battery is able to far exceed that of a mere quartz watch.

How Long Do Smartwatch Batteries Last?

Smartwatches are a more recent technological phenomenon. Most often, smartwatches are paired with a smartphone via Bluetooth. There is a difference in the batteries used in smartwatches compared to the batteries used in the other watches we’ve covered.

Smartwatches use lithium ion batteries that need to be recharged quite often. That being said, with daily use, and charging/recharging cycles, the batteries in a smartwatch can last from 3 to 5 years.

Additionally, the daily battery life of smartwatches will vary based on the model, or usage. For example, a smartwatch in time only mode can have a battery life that lasts for weeks. That same watch, however may only have a battery life of a day or two when additional functions are used. Such functions include GPS usage, as well as various apps or fitness and sport tracking features.

Now that you have an idea of how long different types of watch batteries may last, there are several additional factors that can affect the battery life of a watch.

Factors That Can Affect Battery Life Of A Watch


Temperature extremes can have an impact on the battery life of a watch. Being consistently exposed to too hot/too cold temperatures can shorten a watch’s battery life. So keep that in mind if you spend a lot of time in below zero temperatures, or in extremely hot deserts.

Exposure To Moisture

Exposure to moisture is another factor that can reduce the battery life of a watch. Even if a watch is water resistant, it is best to make sure it is still fully sealed. For more expensive watches you should get the water resistance seals checked during servicing every couple of years.

This is especially true if you spend a significant amount of time with it in the water. A general rule of thumb is that if the watch lens gets foggy on the inside, then moisture is getting inside of the watch. this can damage both the watch and the battery.


The age of the watch is another factor that can affect its battery life. The first battery in a watch will usually be the one that lasts the longest. As a watch ages, and parts degrade over time, it takes more energy to power its functions.

Final Thoughts

It is true that nothing lasts forever. But with proper care and maintenance watch batteries can last for a very long time.

That pretty much wraps up our look into watch battery life. If you liked this informative article, we have written many more articles which contain interesting facts about watches. You can feel free to browse through some of them here

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