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A Simple and Practical Guide on How to Wind a Watch

A Simple and Practical Guide on How to Wind a Watch

A comprehensive guide to winding a watch, offering easy-to-follow steps and tips for maintaining your timepiece's precision and longevity
Apr 17, 2024

Knowing how to wind a watch properly is important wisdom in the world of horology. Whether you own a traditional mechanical or a savvy automatic one, timepieces that do not run on quartz require a winding every now and then to keep showing the time. This is usually done when the movement has come to a halt.

Winding your precious movement will also keep your timepiece in tip-top shape so you can always rely on it to know the time and elevate your look. Without further ado, read on to figure out simply how to wind a watch.

How to Wind a Watch a Manual Watch 

This first guide is to show you how to wind a watch with a manual movement. This particular mechanism requires a turning of a specific part of a timepiece to make sure it runs. These timekeepers usually last at a minimum of 38 hours per wind.

1. Place the wristwatch on a table

The initial step on how to wind a watch for the first time is that if you are wearing it on your wrist or it is placed for storage, take it out and gently lay it on a flat surface. Winding them while it is still worn may reduce the motions’ effectiveness. This is due to the stem and the angle on your arm which causes a strain on the mechanics.

After that, find the stem to be used to wind the watch. It is usually shaped like a small dial located to the side of your manual movement watch.

2. Hold the watch in one of your hands

Next on how to wind a watch is to gently hold the timekeeper facing up in your left hand if you are right-handed and vice versa. The settings on the watch are controlled by the stem. This includes controlling the time, calendar, and the more sophisticated, alarm or timezone.

Try it out several times to figure out which winding position controls which setting. This is done by locating “clicks” when pushing in or pulling out the stem.

3. Pull out the stem of your watch

The stem would then be pulled out by using your thumb and index finger to slowly pull it out of its top or crown. Be careful not to overwind the movement.

4. Winding the watch

Continuing on how to wind a watch manually, the next step is to turn the stem clockwise until you feel resistance. Be careful, when you feel a little bit of resistance, it is best not to continue winding as it can damage the timepiece.

Leading to resistance should require around 20 – 40 forward turns depending on the watch’s size. Overturning them has the potential to break or stain the mechanism.

If you find that the watch runs out of time faster than you like, this is a sign that you did not manage to hit the maximum tension.

5. Return watch to original position

The last step on how to wind a watch manually is to press the top or crown to return the stem to its normal state. A reminder to do it as gently as possible to prevent damage and return the components to their original position. Always remember to never force or shove the stem or crown back to its place as it can result in damage.

Read also: 7 of the Best and Mesmerising Mechanical Watches for Men

How to Wind an Automatic Watch

Differing from a manual watch which owns a power reserve, an automatic timepiece runs on the movement supported when worn on the wrist and being moved around. These types usually last for a longer time. Albeit so, minimal frequency in wearing them can reduce its wind. To wind an automatic watch, follow the guide below:

1. Research the model

When doing a how to wind watch for the first time, it is best to research the specifics or model of your timepiece first. 

2. Prepare your timepiece

Next, make sure to take the watch off your wrist or out of its storage. Be careful when handling the stem of the automatic timepiece as it connects to significant mechanisms inside.

Also, you do not want to move around the stem whilst on your wrist as it can bend, or in a more horrifying situation, cause damage.

3. Locate the crown

Following the next step on how to wind a watch is to locate the crown. Usually, it is located on the side of the timepiece. On an automatic movement, the mechanism involves a rotor used to retrieve the energy used to power the timepiece. To test what each level of stem functions for, you can try each one. 

This is because the winding level is not as distinctive when observed from the outside. Furthermore, the crown also allows you to control time, calendar along with other features of your watch. Similar to the manual watch, the crown must be pulled to show the stem.

4. Wind the crown

You can start to wind the crown once you have found the level at which the stem controls the winding function. To begin, turn the crown clockwise until you encounter resistance. 

A heed of warning not to use too much force or overturn when winding as there are mechanical parts that can be damaged. When you think that you have done so, visit your trusted watch professional to look into it.

5. Assemble the watch to its normal state

The final step on how to wind a watch is to set the time and other features. This can be done by checking the face of your watch simultaneously as you turn the crown. As a result, you can be more certain as to which functions are affected when you twist the crown.

Using a Watch Winder

The last technique on how to wind a watch if you are into a less fussy guide is to use a watch winder. This is more fitted towards the timepieces with automatic mechanisms. The machine can imitate the movements of a human’s wrist to keep the workings moving. Depending on the quality and brand, a watch winder can range from $50 – $500.

The convenience of a watch winder is its main attractiveness, here are a few points to look out for before investing in one:

s and choose the watch winder you need.

For the watch collectors, determine the number of timepieces that need to be wound.

Pick the winder’s direction.

That is the way to go on how to wind a watch with either manual or automatic movements. Alongside that, it is best to also take care of the precious timepiece appropriately to maintain its quality and long-lastingness. Stay tuned to our Gnomon blog for more tips, information, and wisdom around the world of horology.

Read also: Watch 101: Do We Need a Watch Winder for Automatic Movements

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