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An Insightful Tips for Automatic Watch Maintenance

An Insightful Tips for Automatic Watch Maintenance

Although the watch can wind itself, automatic watch maintenance is a must to keep the watch performance. Find out more here!
Apr 22, 2024

The first purchase of a timepiece would mostly be filled with questions aside from the excitement starting a watch collection. The same goes for buying your first automatic watch that can wind itself to store energy and run the movement – but first of all congrats on your first purchase. Yet, there is definitely a responsibility to take care of it. Automatic watch maintenance might seem easier as you don’t need to regularly wind the watch. But as you delve deeper, you will find a moment where the dilemma comes in. 

How do you maintain an automatic watch? Is it okay to leave an automatic watch unwound? – these questions are just some frequently asked by the new wearers. Despite the ease of gaining energy automatically, every device should be taken care of properly. In the case of automatic watch maintenance, there are some things to pay attention to if the watch is not worn for quite a long time. 

Considering that issue, this article will discuss how to take care of an automatic watch so that it can last long. Without further ado, let’s get into the discussion.

How to Maintain an Automatic Timepiece?

Buying a watch also means giving proper care and maintenance to it. For me, automatic watch maintenance is actually quite easier than manual winding timepieces as the watch can store energy automatically. That invention brings so much ease to the wearer. 

In addition to that, proper care makes the watch last longer for years and even generations. The automatic watch maintenance cost would not cost you much if you regularly bring it for a service. 

Therefore, it’s your responsibility to make your automatic watch run smoothly and accurately. Below are some helpful and vital tips on what to do for automatic watch maintenance.

Wear the Watch

It’s the simplest yet mostly forgotten, wearing the watch is also part of automatic watch maintenance. I know that you might want to wear different timepieces for different occasions, especially if the watch design doesn’t interest you anymore. However, as an automatic watch gains energy from wrist movement, you need to wear the watch regularly.

The movement of the wearer would activate the rotor inside the system. That way, it will tighten the springs and thus make the watch wind itself. 

However, the watchmaking industry is way ahead with the invention of watch winders. This a device used to store automatic watches and wind the watch automatically. That way, you don’t need to worry about your automatic watch being left unwinding for a long time, especially if you don’t buy automatic timepieces to be everyday watches. 

Wearing Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 – Bracelet – 43.5mm
Wearing Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 - Bracelet - 43.5mm

The watch winder will gently rotate to make movements for the watch. As such, it keeps the mainspring wound and the power reserve topped up. In addition to that, a watch winder could be an elegant watch display to store and keep the performance of your automatic watch collections. 

However, still, putting a watch in a watch winder for a very long time or even years would damage your watch. The watch still needs regular service. So, don’t just leave them inside a watch winder as a timepiece is meant to be worn – it isn’t meant to die in style.

So, can you wear an automatic watch every day? Well, definitely yes as long as you give proper automatic watch maintenance. You can also put it in storage to change with other watches as the power reserve will keep it running. This might sound like a classic answer but will do the best for you.

Read also: How Long Do Automatic Watches Last? A Brief and How to Care

Set the Watch

The next thing to do for automatic watch maintenance is to set the watch or wind the movement manually. There is a common misconception among the watch community, especially newcomers who said automatic timepieces do not need to be wound. Most of them will question, “Do I need to wind my automatic watch?”

It is a wrong belief to think that automatic watches can gain energy only through wrist movement while they are worn. In fact, they do need to be manually wound, especially at the first time of wearing when the mainspring is fully unwound. Well, moving around your wrist with the watch on it does give energy to the mainspring but it will not be enough to fully tighten the mainspring that will lead you to the fullest capacity of power reserve.

Hamilton Khaki Pilot Day Date Automatic Vintage Brown
Hamilton Khaki Pilot Day Date Automatic Vintage Brown

With that being said, you need to wind the crown firstly about 30-40 times or until you feel resistance. Until the mainspring is fully wound, you can wear the watch and the rotor inside the movement will do its job to top off the power reserve. Now, let’s get into a clearer idea to break the misconception that automatic watches never need to be wound. 

You still need to wind automatic watches daily. It’s never enough for the mainspring to be fully wound only by wearing the watch. While it might give you enough power reserve here and there but you’ll face a shorter period for your watch to keep running once you put it off. 

On the other hand, a fully wound mainspring will give you an entire power reserve and even for an overnight. Therefore, it is very much suggested for you to regularly wind the watch crown while actively moving around your wrist. In addition to that, an automatic watch cannot be overwound as the gears will disengage once it’s fully wound.

In manually winding the watch, make sure to take it off the watch from your wrist. While it might be less hassle to wind while wearing it, that will put pressure on the winding system. Besides, avoid setting the watch between 9 pm and 3 am, especially if the watch has a day-date setting. 

During that time, the gears inside the movements are working to switch the date. Making any configuration and time setting during that period would cause you damage to precision and date gears.

Read also: Quartz vs Automatic Watches: Comparing the Key Movements

Be Careful of Magnetism 

Magnetism is an arch enemy to timepieces, especially the ones with mechanical movements. Many electronic devices contain magnets that emit electromagnetic fields. Although it’s not permanent damage, magnetism can damage the hairspring spirals. As such, the watch runs very fast which affects its accuracy.

Despite the fact that many watch brands have provided good resistance to magnetism, you still need to be mindful that the watch can last longer. This case is very much suggested to the affordable timepieces as their hairspring are most vulnerable. 

However, if suddenly your watch runs slower or faster as it should be, demagnetizing a watch can be done easily at home. But if you aren’t certain to do it alone, bringing it to the watch service is the best solution. Yet still, avoiding any source of magnetism will be much easier.

Read also: Best Anti-Magnetic Watches That Shield and Why They Matter

Give a Regular Service 

Last but not least thing to do for automatic watch maintenance is definitely the regular service. Your watch needs to have it checked by a professional for changes on some parts, especially the intricate parts inside the movements. 

Calibre 400 in Oris Aquis Date
Calibre 400 in Oris Aquis Date

We can’t deny that prolonged use will exhaust the machine and, thus, it needs to be changed. A complete watch servicing is suggested to be every three to five years.  

Besides bringing to the watch service, you still can give a proper service at home, such as cleaning the case or strap. Dirt and sweat can easily pile up in certain parts of the watch. Give a simple and gentle wipe on your watch and strap using a soft cloth to remove the dirt. That way, you can keep your watch shining.

Final Thought

In the end, taking proper care of the watch is part of the responsibility of purchasing a watch. The tips for automatic watch maintenance above might sound simple and easy to do but many fail to do so for a long-term period. After all, if you managed to do those vital things, your watch can be guaranteed last longer to accompany you. 

You might also read: Top 7 Swiss Automatic Watches: Luxury to the Affordable One

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