Dear Rick, For the most part the watchmaker is right. It depends on
the watch. On some watches such as the Accutron tuning fork, pulling
the stem out stops the gear trains or ‘hacks’. Yet the tuning fork
remains humming. On quartz watches, pulling the stem out disengages
the gears trains and takes little load off the power required to run
it, however, the amount is too little to make the difference. There
are some vintage watches such as the electric watch ( i.e. Hamilton
Ventura, Benrus Electric Mark IV) that will continue to run
regardless of stem position.
Any contact with the battery in some electronic devices such as cell
phones, hearing aids, etc. , even when ‘powered off’ will 'trickle’
the battery’s energy due to impedance over a long term. That is one
of the few reasons why some manufacture supplies batteries separately
with the appliances. I wear hearing aids and remove the batteries
from the case when retiring for the night and this habit does give me
an extra day or two of use. Sometime none. Depends on factors such as
The bottom line is, it is better to leave the gears running so that
it will maintain distribution of the lubrication and not dry up and
get ‘sticky’ thus freezing up the gears. Taking the battery out for
the purpose of long term storage (3 years or more) is recommended.
This is to ensure the the seal of the battery will not start to give
way due to age thus leaking and corroding the interior.