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Home / Jewellery Insurance / Watch Insurance / How to wind an Automatic Watch

How to wind an Automatic Watch

How to wind an Automatic Watch

Firstly, let’s consider what an automatic watch movement actually is. Mechanical watches can be “manual”- where you have to wind the watch up yourself, usually each day, or, self-winding (automatic). An automatic watch winds it’s spring purely through the movements of the wearer. The movement of the watch will consist of a weight (known as the rotor) which turns on a pivot. The rotor is usually fairly easy to spot inside the watch as it is semi-circular in shape and it is it’s back and forth movement which transfers energy via a series of gears thus enabling the main spring to be wound. During the course of the day, as the wearer moves around, the watch is kept “charged”. It will keep a “power reserve” so during the night, when it is not being worn it will keep working. An unworn automatic watch will probably run for two days without stopping.

A variant on the automatic self-winding movement is the “kinetic watch” which has less moving parts and transfers energy to a capacitor as the wearer moves. So why does an automatic watch have to be wound at all? In simple terms, it has to be wound to start it working in the first place, and there are times when it will be unworn, and thus the power reserve will run down. Before giving an explanation, I must point out that older style automatic movements can easily be over wound, this can lead to excessive tension on the mainspring which may cause inaccurate time keeping or worse, the spring to break. More modern automatic watches have a brake fitted to the mechanism to prevent over winding. If you are not sure if your movement has a brake, proceed with caution and do not overwind. In simple terms, you can wind an automatic watch by turning the crown (the small circular metal knob located on the side of a watchcase at the three o’clock position. Many people experience problems with this feature of an automatic watch but having an understanding the type of crown you have will really help.

Type of Automatic Watch Crown.

Basically there are two types.

1- Pull out and push in– This is the easiest and most common, you simply pull the crown out to the position corresponding to the alteration you want to make. Typical crown positions are 1- winds the watch 2- changes the date- 3- changes the time. When you have finished making your adjustment simply push the crown back in again to it’s original position.

2- The screw down crown- These types of crown are usually fitted to waterproof or diving watches to provide an extra degree of waterproofing around the vulnerable stem/crown area. You release the crown by turning in a Counterclockwise direction, then pulling out the crown and adjusting as per normal. Always remember to tighten the crown after adjustment or your watches waterproof capabilities may be compromised.

Most watches can be would by turning the crown clockwise, however, movements can be either unidirectional (can be wound clockwise or counter clockwise but not both) or bidirectional (can be wound in either direction) Always try to identify your watch movement and discover how it needs to be wound. Once you have identified the correct position for winding the watch, use your thumb and forefinger to turn the crown, although carrying out this function with the watch on your wrist is possible, many people find it awkward, you can wind your watch by holding it in your hands (about 20 or 30 winds should be sufficient). Wearing the watch immediately afterwards will start the automatic movement. Automatic Watch Winders. Although this might seem like the height of laziness, automatic watch winders can be obtained which will make sure your watch stays fully would when you are not wearing it. For some automatic watches with complications like moon phases, keeping the watch working can be preferable. The automatic watch winder is designed to mimic the action of a watch that is being worn. The watch is held at a precise angle whilst being rotated. Most come with a timer function, so the watch is never fully wound

Assetsure specialise in providing insurance for single items of jewellery. We can cover your watch without the need to insure the remainder of your home contents. For a watch insurance quote, contact us today on 0208 0033 190 or click here for our online watch insurance quote enquiry form.

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