Watch care tips for automatic watches

Watch care – the basic care for automatic watches

Automatic mechanical watches, or those that rely on gear and mechanics to operate, have seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years after a boom of quartz watches. Also knows as self-winding or perpetual, automatic watches wind themselves using an internal moving weight that winds or rotates when the wearer moves their arm, transferring energy to a power reserve and keeping the watch working. These watches for men require no batteries and can be considered clean energy powered by humans. While they do not require daily winding, it is a good idea to wind an automatic watch every so often to ensure that they keep accurate time and enjoy a long life.

Watch care – How to wind your automatic wristwatch

The automatic watch is built with an oscillating metal weight or rotor that tracks movement. The oscillating rotor is attached to gears inside the watch that are in turn attached to the mainspring. When the rotor moves, it moves the gears which in turn wind the mainspring. This stores energy in the mainspring so that the watch continues ticking.

Watch care – understanding the mainspring

If the watch is not being moved in regular, everyday motion, the mainspring’s energy winds down. If you wear your watch and keep your arm in regular movement, this should be enough to keep the rotor moving and winding up the mainspring. This doesn’t mean, however, that your arm needs to be in constant motion.

Watch care – Automatic watches are built to respond to average, everyday movement in order to keep them working.

  • Typically automatic wristwatches store energy up to 48 hours so that they can continue working without needing additional winding.
  • People who are not very active, such as elderly people or those confined to bed, may need to wind their automatic watch with more frequency. If you are sick and lay up in bed, your watch may wind down since it’s not getting regular everyday movement.
  • Avoid wearing a watch when playing sports that require continues hand or arm movements such as tennis, squash or basketball. This will interfere with the automatic winding mechanisms, which are built for regular, every arm movements.

Watch care tip #1Take off your wristwatch

Watch care - Automatic watches are built to respond to average, everyday movement in order to keep them working.

While an automatic watch is intended to restore its energy by the rotor winding the mainspring through the motion of your arm, it does also require periodic manual winding to keep the mainspring tight. In order to ensure that the crown is not overly strained when you pull it out and wind it, you should take it off your wrist. Then you will be able to have the right leverage and angle to carefully pull the crown out.

Watch care tip #2 – Locate the crown

The crown is the little dial knob usually on the right side of the watch. This knob can be pulled out to set the time and date on the watch. It does not need to be pulled out, however, in order to engage the winding mechanism.

Watch care – The crown usually has three positions or settings that engage certain functions.

  • The First option – is when it is pushed all the way in and the watch operates normally.
  • Second option – is when the crown is pulled out halfway. This is the position for setting the time or date.
  • The third option – is when the crown is pulled out all the way, this is the position for setting the time or date.

If the watch is waterproof, the crown may be screwed down to provide added waterproofing. You may need to unscrew this crown by turning carefully 4 to 5 times. When you wind the watch, you will push down on the crown at the same time, which will screw it back into place.

Watch care tip #3 – Turn the crown clockwise

Gripping the crown with your forefinger and thumb, twist it gently in a clockwise manner. Turn it approximately 30 to 40 times or until the second-hand start moving in order to fully wind the watch. Winding keeps the mainspring tight and at full energy reserve, which is also supplemented by keeping your watch in motion. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot typically over-wind an automatic watch. Modern automatic watches are constructed to protect against this possibility. You should still be very gentle when turning the crown and stop winding when you feel resistance.

Watch care tip #4- Always set the time by moving forward

When winding your watch, you may accidentally move the watch if you pull the crown out. If this happens, reset the time by moving the watch hand forward in time to reach the correct time again. Your watch is built to move its hands forward, not backward, so it is better to keep the gears and interior mechanisms in their intended manner.

Watch care tip – Understanding your watch

Watch care final tip is to read your manual thoroughly before you make any self-repair on your watch or purchase a watch maintenance kit. These steps will most likely apply to the care of every watch. However, there are certain things that are specific to each watch and these tips will most likely be listed in the watch manual.