If you're new to the world of mechanical watches, you're undoubtedly wondering how to use and care for your first automatic watch.
What should you do the first time you get your watch? What is the procedure for setting the time? Is it broken or not running?
On the surface, it may appear easy enough; after all, it is a watch, right? How difficult could it be?
An automatic watch, on the other hand, is a little more complicated than you may assume. If your watch has a day or date function and you don't know how to change the time properly, you can permanently harm it, even if you don't realize it.
Is my automatic watch broken because it stopped working?
When you initially receive your automatic watch, you will most likely realize that it is not operating at all. For someone who has never owned an automatic before, this can be frightening. You may even believe your watch is broken.
I can guarantee you that it is most likely not broken.
Automatic watches are driven by either the movement of the rotor inside the case, which powers the movement, or by manually winding the crown if it incorporates hand-winding features. Don't be concerned if your watch doesn't have handwinding.
Is my watch self-winding?
Reading the manual is generally the best way to determine whether or not your watch features handwinding.
If that isn't a possibility, and searching online yielded no results, you can try to manually feel if your watch has handwinding.
You can usually tell when you're winding your watch because it has a tiny resistance when you turn it.
How Do I Use Handwinding on My Watch?
If your watch has handwinding, crank the crown 30-40 times (typically clockwise) to wind the mainspring and fully power the watch. Depending on the watch, this will normally give it a power reserve charge of roughly 40 hours.
Depending on the watch, you may need to remove the crown out first. Dive watches with screw-down crowns must be unscrewed counterclockwise before being pulled out.
Is it Possible to Overwind an Automatic Watch?
No. An automated watch can never be overwound. The automatic mechanism has been disconnected from the remainder of the action. You can wind your automatic watch endlessly without worry of causing it any harm.
My Date Wheel Has Gone Nuts? Is my timepiece broken?
Some people believe that if your day or date wheel is misaligned between two separate days or dates, it is broken.
While this is a possibility, it is more likely that the day or date is changing and transferring over. Most timepieces, especially those that aren't high-end luxury items, require a few hours to entirely change over the day or date.
It's not uncommon to observe the day/date wheel in a "in-between" transition phase before switching over.
Some watches, particularly those with higher-quality mechanisms, have the day or date hop over instantly.