Why Do Some Watches Tick So Loudly?

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Have you ever noticed a watch that ticks unusually loud? Some watches tick significantly louder than others, which can be annoying if you have a very loud watch. Why do some watches tick so loudly? 

There are two main reasons why some watches tick so loudly. If the case has an echo effect, the ticking noise will be amplified. Another reason for loud ticking is poor maintenance, which results in a lack of lubrication inside the mechanism resulting in an audible tick. 

Can you make a clock tick quietly, and do pocket watches tick loudly? Keep reading to learn more about what makes watches tick. 

What Causes the Ticking Noise in a Watch? 

Quartz and electronic watches do not need to tick to work. If a quartz or radio watch ticks, this is intentionally added by the manufacturer for decoration. However, a mechanical watch does need to tick to function. 

A device causing the ticking sound in a mechanical watch is called an escapement. This releases the mechanical clock’s wheels to move forward in time with each swing of another component, known as a balance wheel, which results in the ticking sound.

Mechanical watches are not as accurate as other forms of watches like quartz and radio watches. The reason for this is the maintenance and care that mechanical watches require. As a result, mechanical watches are now primarily used in luxury watches for aesthetic purposes. 

The case on the back can amplify the ticking noise of a watch, which happens when thin cases are added to the back of the watch. Thin cases insulate sound poorly, which results in a loud ticking noise. 

The material of the case can also have a significant impact on the volume. 

Heavy metals will provide better sound insulation than plastics, which usually means the cheaper and less well-made a watch is, the louder it will be. Expensive watches made with heavy metals should be quieter.  

Ways To Make a Watch Tick Quieter

Many watches tick loudly because they are constructed with cheap and lightweight materials like plastics. If you have an affordable and lightweight watch that is loudly ticking, you can reduce the volume by doing the following:

  • Add weight to the watch’s case. A heavier casing can insulate the ticking sound and reduce the noise caused by your watch as thicker materials prevent sound waves from passing through as quickly. 
  • Get them cleaned and serviced by a trained professional. They will remove the case and clean the gears, then apply a new coating of grease. This allows the watch to run smoother, which in turn will reduce the volume of the tick. However, hiring a watchmaker to carry out work is often incredibly expensive. So unless the watch that you want quiet is worth a lot to you, this likely won’t be a viable option. 
  • The simplest way to eliminate the ticking noise of a watch is by purchasing a non-ticking one. Many watches do not need to tick to work, and buying a watch like this will eliminate noise and ticking sounds. There is a variety of high and low-end watches that you can purchase that will not tick. 

The majority of luxury watches will not tick loudly at all. 

A prime example of this is Rolex watches as they operate silently. However, this brand is out of budget for most shoppers, but you can opt for a quartz watch that can function without ticking. 

You can also purchase a watch that does not display seconds. These watches will tick much less frequently, so you will likely not notice it all. 

Digital watches are also an option if you desire a quiet watch. They are often inexpensive and accurate, but they often lack the aesthetic design and craftsmanship of an analog wristwatch. 

Brands of Watches That Tick the Loudest 

Many watch enthusiasts enjoy the sound of a loudly ticking watch. Some people find the ticking of a wristwatch to be a soothing and relaxing influence on their day. 

In contrast, others feel that a sound is a form of cruel and unusual punishment. 

If you fall into either of these categories, you may want to know which brands have the loudest ticking wristwatches. Check out the list below for a few examples of watches from brands notorious for loud-ticking.

Timex

Timex is a brand infamous for loudly ticking watches. They use low-cost materials within their watches as well as a plastic casing, which results in a thunderous ticking noise from the watch. Some Timex watches do not tick as loudly as others, but most of their wristwatches can be heard ticking from across the room. As a general rule with Timex watches, the louder the ticking sound, the lower the price. 

For example, a watch that costs $100 will likely tick louder than a watch worth $1000. 

Swatch

Swatch is another brand that is known for producing watches with a loud ticking sound.  Cheap materials like plastic are commonly used in low-end Swatch watches, which results in a louder tick. 

Seiko Sportsman

This watch is reported as a very loud watch that people can hear from a few feet away. It also uses inexpensive materials in production, which again poorly insulates the sound of the watch ticking. However, since the specific design is from the 1960s, it is bound to have a few idiosyncrasies to it.

Conclusion

Some watches tick significantly louder than others. Loud ticking is often a result of cheap materials used in the mechanisms and casing on the watch. 

Therefore, loud ticking in a wristwatch can sometimes be an indicator of a cheap watch. 

You have some options when you want to reduce the volume of a loud watch, which include adding weight to the case or hiring a master watchmaker to service the watch. However, the best way to have a quiet watch is by buying a quiet watch in the first place. 

You can find quiet watches for varied prices. 

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