Why Is It Important To Wind My Automatic Watch With The Crown?

Cory BerryWatch Knowledge, Watch Tips245 Comments

We had a gentleman come into the office today with a nice Breitling Navitimer for sale. Typically when people have a watch for sale, they are not wearing it so the first thing we do is wind the watch up fully via the crown to power it. After that, we put it on our timing machine to see how it is running in the 6 common positions.

Witschi showing poor timing marks on an unwound watch.

Witschi showing poor timing marks on running, but unwound watch.

Since he was wearing it, I assumed it was powered well. I timed it in all six positions, and the watch was averaging -25 seconds slow per day. That’s almost three minutes slow a week! It also recorded an average amplitude of 200, which is low. Amplitude is the measure of the amount of rotation in the swing of the balance wheel, in either direction. A low amplitude like this would typically indicate a weak mainspring which needs to be rewound or replaced, something done during a regular overhaul service.

After timing the watch he made a comment that clued me in that he had never wound the watch via the crown. I pulled the watch off the Witschi timing machine, wound it, and returned it to the timer. To our pleasant surprise, the watch was now averaging ZERO seconds gain/loss and had a healthy amplitude of 307. Over six positions, the watch deviated between five seconds slow and two seconds fast, so it wasn’t perfect in all positions, but you can’t argue with an average of zero.

This is evidence that, yes, many watches will run off wrist power alone, but winding it via the crown keeps the mainspring tight and the watch running at its optimal performance. The crown had never been wound by this man. This watch will keep great time if it is worn regularly now that it has been wound via crown.

 

245 Comments on “Why Is It Important To Wind My Automatic Watch With The Crown?”

  1. Thank you the information. I will make is a point to wind my mechanical automatics via the crown. Question. How often should this be done/

    1. Hi DeeDee. Yes, we believe this is true for all self-winding watches. Some watches will perform better than others without a wind via crown… But all watches will perform optimally if they are wound by the crown after they were idle.

  2. How many rotations of the crown are required? About ten full revolutions? Can you accidentaly over-wind the watch? I have an Omega Planet Ocean Seamaster Cal. 2500. Love the watch but always question the protocol. The Ops Manual didn’t say. Thx.

    1. Good question Patrick. 30-50 rotations is suggested for most automatic watches if the watch has wound down fully (stopped). If you wear the watch daily, you should not need to wind it.

      Most automatic movements (including the Omega 2500) use a slipping clutch device to prevent over-winding. Without this feature, the mainspring would break or malfunction in some way.

      When the clutch is activated, there is a faint click, but on a sturdy diver watch like the Planet Ocean, the case is so thick, you likely would not be able to hear when the watch is fully wound… but the clutch is there to protect you. Just don’t go winding it for 100+ seconds straight, and don’t wind it 40 times day.

      1. You can hear the “click” on almost any watch – if you hold it to your ear.

        When my Omega is near the point when I think it is fully wound, I hold it right up to my ear and continue winding, slowly and when i hear the “click” of the clutch slipping every 1/2 – 3/4 turn, I know it is fully wound.

  3. I had an Oris automatic a few years ago. It had a standard ETA 2824 auto movement in it. I hand wound it every time I wore it, a couple times a week. Big mistake. Apparently the gear chain from the crown to the spring barrel on that movement is fairly weak – I inadvertently turned the crown gear into a crown washer…over time. Don’t hand wind a 2824 movement too often…they don’t tolerate it well. This was confirmed by my local watchmaker.

    1. Scott, Yes, an automatic movement is not meant to be treated like a manual wind movement and I hope no one takes that message away from this article. If you are going to wear an automatic watch for only a couple days out of the week, it is best to get a movement based watchwinder than to wind the watch manually every time you pick it up.

  4. Cory – I have my automatics on watch winders. Should I periodically wind them by hand as well? Good information…thanks. Jim

    1. Hi Jim. In general, if your watches are properly wound when they are put on the winder, then a good winder will take care of keeping them properly powered and ready for your wrist.

      1. Cory – My watches are on winders, so they run constantly. I wonder if the chronographs should be operated in timing mode from time to time to keep the mechanism and dials/hands periodically in use? If so, how long should they operate to keep them in good shape? And, would that be true of non-mechanical movements as well?

        Many thanks. Jim

  5. Is there any harm if you dont wear or wind the watch for weeks/months? And just left sitting idle? I have several watches, and some I do not wear for months. By not wearing and no movements on the mechanicals, wont it reduce the wear on it?

    1. No harm! Except for watches with calendar complications or for people who really just don’t want to wind their watches, I personally do not recommend watch winders in most cases. Some people say “the oil settles and can gunk things up” if left alone in one position and not running, but we have not found any real evidence of that.

    1. Hi Charles. I made the comment about calendar complications as matter of convenience. If a watch just has a date, it’s easy enough to adjust that one piece of time… But if you were needing to adjust the month and day of the week (and moon?) on a regular basis, that’s much more of an annoyance that a winder would resolve.

  6. I have a fairly new TAG Aquaracer with a Calibre 5 movement. I wear it every single day and find it completely stopped every third morning. I sent it back to TAG with this complaint and the fact that it ran 15 seconds fast per day. I received it back after six weeks and it keeps much better time (+3 seconds a day). However, I still find it dead every third morning. I do sit at a desk most of the time but I’d think my hand movement would be enough to keep it powered.

    1. Hi Patrick. After finding the watch stopped in the morning, are you winding it by hand a good 30-40 times? I assume yes since it runs for nearly 2 days. If yes, and it’s still stopping after 35-48 hours, then it sounds like something is wrong with the auto winding mechanism and would need to be addressed by a watchmaker. +3 seconds/day is great timing for a Caliber 5 (which will be an ETA 2824 or Sellita SW 200).

      1. Hi Cory. Thanks so much for your reply. I do wind the watch 40 times when I find it stopped. It will actually run nearly 3 days. I find it stopped after 65-69 hours.

        1. Hello Patrick. I also have the same watch and the exact same problem! the watch stops on the third day/morning. I havent brought it to a watchmaker yet and was wondering whats the actual problem behind it. I do wear my watch for 8-10hours per day.

      2. Hi Cory,
        Great information, thank you. I also have the TAG Calibre5 and find it stopped when I wake. I’ve actually taken to sleeping with it on and still find that occasionally it stops. Sometimes if I don’t check the time when I pick it up after taking it off for sport, I’ll look an hour or so later and the watch is going but it had obviously stopped at some point.
        Mine is a year old.
        Many thanks, Rob

  7. Great comments. I’ve had a Breitling Super Avenger since 2006 and never hand wound it. I just bought a Transocean and noticed in the manual that it talked about hand winding it. Which lede me to this thread. My Avenger has been losing a little time more frequently do to some time off from work. After reading this thread it seems I can hand wind it as well. And I was about to send it in for an overhaul! Footnote: the Avenger made it 8 years with no manual winding and almost daily wear. I lost time occasionally when I didn’t wear it for a day or two but it otherwise has kept great time, much better than a Rolex Yacht Master that I had.. Thanks

  8. Cory, I think this advice that it’s a good idea to hand wind the watch from time to time is simply not correct (although hand winding it certainly won’t do any harm either). If an automatic watch is worn for 10 to 12 hours per day, it will become fully wound on its own. Hand winding it won’t do anything differently as far as the mainspring is concerned. In the case of your customer, he probably hadn’t worn the watch for many weeks, and then put it on just before coming to see you, so it was probably only about 5-10% wound. So yes, hand winding it to get a proper idea of its performance was the right thing to do, but that doesn’t extrapolate to “you ought to hand wind your watch from time to time”.

  9. Wow…do I feel dumb. My watch has a power indicator and I was never able to get it past 1/3 power. I didn’t know I could wind it!! I just wore it and would have to reset it if it went 8 hrs without movement. Read your article, pulled off and winded my watch and watched the power indicator go to full for the first time since I’ve had the watch. Auuggghh…but thank you!

  10. I have an Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 8500 and I was wondering how often I should manually wind it since I don’t wear it everyday (I might wear it two times a week). I think I’ve mistakenly left it stored in a watch box with the crown pulled out and manually wind it daily, except on the days I wear it. It’s also something I’ve been doing with a Rolex Explorer (which I also wear two or three times a week). I’m afraid now that leaving them stored with the crowns popped open for winding may lead to air intrusion and damaged them somehow…

    1. Hello Juan. Yes, keeping the crowns out does expose the watches to air, dust, and any moisture in the air. The practice does keep your watch power on pause, but due to opening it to the elements it is not advised. Since you like to swap your watches so often, it sounds like you could benefit from a watch winder for the convenience.

      The AquaTerra 8500 does have a 60 hour power reserve compared to the Rolex with about a 40 hour power reserve so the Omega can stand longer times off the wrist/winder while keeping time.

  11. Thanks for the great advice! I had never heard this before. I wear my SMP 2254.50 six days a week and usually don’t have to wind it. I’ll remember to keep it better charged. I assume the same is true for my wind-only PAM 111J? Of course, I have to fully wind this one every two days. I usually let it sit “dead” if not being worn for a while. Any problems with this?

    Stumbled on this blog last week after a six-year hiatus of new watches to focus on career, marriage, house and cars. But picked up a Tudor Black Bay and am already looking forward to my next pickup. Maybe from Bernard!

    1. Your usage of your automatic Seamaster and manual wind Luminor Marina are fine. For the Seamaster I would just suggest winding anytime it’s been idle more than 24 hours, and definitely wind it if it’s stopped.

      The Panerai is perfectly fine sitting “dead”. If I was wearing any watch with the Panerai OP XI (base ETA 6497), I would wind it every day I wore the watch. On day 2, it will run smoother if wound and that will extend the life of the watch and increase the time needed between services.

  12. Cory, thanks for the always great advice ! I have consistently manually wound my Rolex GMT as well as my Omega Constellation, Seamaster, and Seamaster DeVille wristwatches throughout my ownership. I additionally have a 60’s vintage Seiko Chronograph that runs on arm motion only. The Seiko has almost always kept perfect time with respect to the fact that you can’t wind it by the crown. Any idea why some watchmakers elected to make a non crown wound movement ? I’ve serviced that particular watch on the average every 8-10 years based on use.

    1. Hi John. I actually just learned about the Seikos not being hand-wound a year or two ago. I don’t know of any Swiss or German watches that can not be wound via the crown. I can’t give a good answer on why Seiko does what it does or if any other brands can’t be manually wound.

      1. It simply costs less to leave out the manual winding components, and it’s one less thing to go wrong. The ETA 2824-2’s hand winding parts for instance tend to wear out fast if you hand wind them a lot.

  13. Very informational. I just recently pulled out my (I believe 1980)Seiko automatic with 17 jewels (as it says on the face of the watch). Do I follow the same instructions above, winding it 30-40 times. It’s been years since I’ve worn it and even now that I’m wearing it again, It won’t be a daily thing as I have several other watches I like.

    1. Hello Teri. I don’t know why, but many automatic Seiko watches can not be wound by crown and just rely on the rotor to wind it. Also, if the watch has not been serviced in 35 years, a COA (clean,oil,adjustment) would extend the life of the watch.

  14. Cory: I put on my Longines Hydroconquest L3’640’4 in 5 days in a week and never saw it sitting “dead”. And I have never wound it for a year now. Is there anything I can do or be it doing to protect and extend the life of my Longines?

    1. Hello Mawet. Longines makes good watch. All I would recommend based on your brief (but informative) description is to wind the watch on Monday (or whichever day it is when you put the watch back on) 20-30 times to give it a boost so it doesn’t struggle as much to power itself up again.

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  17. Hi Cory,

    I have several automatic watches that sat for more than a year in the box without wearing or winding. Now my IWC Portuguese automatic, after a difficult start is going very fast – precisely 1.5 times faster – 40 sec for a minute! The Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT Master II seems to go the right speed but stops permanently and starts again. Any suggestions?
    Thank you very much.
    Dan

    1. Hi Dan. Both of those issues sound like they could be from a sticky mainspring. Most watchmakers would recommend a full overhaul.

  18. Hi Patrick,

    I have a Breitling Chronomat which I bought 4 years ago at an authorized Breitling dealer. I was told that the watch had been completely refinished by Breitling.
    I don’t wear this watch very often and was advised by Breitling and by several watch makers to use a watch winder. I purchased a good quality watch winder and I am finding that the watch which works fine when I am wearing it, will stop working on the watch winder after about two or three days. I have tried setting the winder to clockwise and also tried counter clockwise direction with adjusting the turning speed from 900 TPD up to 2800 TPD but the watch will still stop after two or three days on the winder. Do you think that there is a problem with the self winding mechanism of the watch and that it only keeps good time while wearing because it is fully hand wound and working off of the reserve? I believe that this watch uses a Valjoux 7750 movement. I have been receiving conflicting opinions from various watch makers. Some say it is fine and others say there is a problem with the self winding mechanism. I appreciate your input. Thank you.

    Ed

    1. Hello Ed. If you have the Valjoux 7750, you should set your winder at CLOCKWISE and 900TPD. While most movements wind both directions, the 7750 is only clockwise.

      If the watch is stopping, you may need a service.

      Question, when you put it on the winder, do you wind it first? Winding it around 30 times before putting it on the winder may help.

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  20. Cory, I have 5 automatic watches and wish them all to retain accurate time (the Rolex Exp II and Steinhart Ocean Vintage military are 2 and 3 secs fast per day respectively) as I generally rotate between the two every day. I have 3 other watches that I wear after work, and they range between 5 secs fast per day and minus 3 and 5 secs per day.

    I wind all watches every morning. The Rolex, Steinhart and Zeno all have screw-down crowns. Should I not wind them all every day, or just let them stop and then re-wind them when I want to wear them?

    Thank you,

    Michael Anderson

    1. Personally I would just wind them as needed when worn. I think winding them daily like that is putting unneeded wear and stress on the winding mechanism and crown. At a minimum, the stem in the crown is getting more long term stress than they are designed for.

  21. My grandfather gave me an old Gruen automatic precision watch he bought 40 plus years ago but he doesn’t really know anything about it. He’s never wound it manually and I’m not even sure he’s ever had it serviced. I’m taking it in for service because the crown sticks and doesn’t want to come out far enough to adjust the date and day. Hoping it won’t cost an arm and a leg to have it fixed up. When I get it back (assuming I can even afford the repair), is there anything in particular I should do to keep it in good working order? Do I need a watch winder? The woman at the repair store said leaving it idle without a watch winder will damage it. I just really want to take care of my grandfathers watch, especially if I have to pay a boatload to restore it. Thanks.

    1. Automatic watches have been around 100 years. Prior to 2000, about the only people who had watch-winders were watchmakers. Winders are not a bad thing, but they are not a requirement. Leaving it idle will not damage the watch.

  22. Hi Cory,

    I have a Longines Conquest Heritage (L1.611.4.75.2) with a L633 calibre according to the manufacturer. I can’t find any information on how to hand-wind the watch or if it’s even possible. Would you know?

    Thanks,

    Joacim

    1. Hello Joacim. The Longines L633 is based on the ETA 2824 which can be wound via the crown in its neutral position. Just turn the crown clock-wise (even while it’s on your wrist) and it will wind. If that’s not working, something may be wrong with the watch.

    1. Hello Danvie. We do not have a lot of experience with winders to offer a very objective opinion. Avoid any winders that are refereed to as ‘spinners’ that wind it non-stop. That will damage the watch. You need a winder that has intervals of winding. None of us here at Bernard Watch own any winders for personal use. We do have some Orbita and Wolf winders in the office we use for monitoring and quality control.

      1. Hi corey berry and thanks for the reply Ii ur opinion whats the best wolf design u suggest for me to get for my watch

  23. I just bought a Rolex datejust and it was wound initially using the crown by the sales guy. It was bought from an authorized Rolex dealer. In the few days I am wearing it, it stop and go, and late for more than 30 mins. What is wrong.?Is it factory defect?

    1. Hello Andy. If you’ve been wearing it regularly and it did not have a period of over 24 hours of of inactivity, something may be wrong. I suggest you contact the Rolex authorized dealer and talk to them. You likely paid full retail, you deserve to get red carpet support from Rolex. …perhaps the sales guy didn’t wind it too much and it just never had a good wind? …

  24. Hello, I recently purchased a Tissot PRC Chrono auto. I have it on a watch winder and have wound it 20 or more times but it seems to stop after 2 days on the watch winder. Does this mean something is wrong with the auto winding mechanism ??

    1. Hello John. If you are correctly winding it, and your winder is set up properly, then yes, it sounds like something is wrong with the watch or the winder. The Tissot PRS516 we had in the past had a Valjoux 7750. For that movement you must set your winder at CLOCKWISE and 900TPD. While most movements wind both directions, the 7750 is only clockwise. Hopefully that will resolve your issue. How does it behave if you wear it everyday after giving it a good wind?

  25. Hi Cory, great work i must commend, i use a Rolex DateJust which i wound 30 to 40 revolutions when ever it stops.
    My problem wit the watch is that it doesnt have to stay idle for up to 5 hrs before it stops and it always stop somewhere between10:30pm to 10:35pm.
    Stopage happens almost every 24 to 36 hrs, I bought the watch on the 3 November and it wasn’t until 18th November before i learnt how to wound it.
    As at the time i havent learnt to wound it, the watch could stop anytime (even while on my wrist), but after learning how to wiound it, the watch only stops when idle to the time between between10:30pm to 10:35pm.
    Please what is wrong?

    1. Hello Christian. That’s unfortunate to hear about your Datejust. If it’s stopping in the same place, there could be several issues, but most likely it’s an easy fix for a qualified watchmaker and something is causing the stoppage. I would assume this is an older watch over 5 years. Depending on the terms of the company you bought it from, I suggest you contact them. All of the pre-owned watches Bernard Watch sells are covered by our 90-day warranty and we would definitely take care of you on something like this is if past by our quality control.

  26. Hi, I have my first automatic watch just a few days, it is Kenneth Cole automatic watch.it seems running fast 24 seconds a day. Should my watch need any repair or service?

    1. Hi Sam. We have zero experience with Kenneth Cole watches and do know know what type of accuracy you can expect from them. I suggest you contact Kenneth Cole or the store you bought it from.

  27. Can i ask one more question, my automatic self-winding watch run 20-25seconds fast a day. If I wound the crown of the watch, will it helpful to the problem?

    1. Again since we’re not familiar with KC watches, I don’t even know if you can wind them via the crown. If you can, and you have never done that, it would be a great place to start!

  28. Hello,

    Great webpage!

    I have a TAG – CAU2010.BA0874

    I need to understand the mechanism on my watch better.

    When I got it, I wound it manually 30 times on Monday around 1pm. I wore the watch on that day, Tuesday and Wednesday (12 hrs a day, most of the time in front of a PC as I have a desk job)
    On Thursday morning at 3am the watch stopped, and I wound it again when I got up.

    Is this normal?

    Thanks
    AS

    1. Hello AS. Based on the details you provided the watch should not have stopped when it did. ..unless your desk job is just incredibly sedentary. I feel that model hasn’t even been on the market for 2 years so it should not need a cleaning/service. Can you reach out to the company you bought it from?

      1. Hi, I didn’t buy it new, however yes I do spend most of the time on the keyboard, so watch is not getting much movement. Should I get a watchwinder?

        1. Basic movements like raising your hand to your chin help wind it. Even though we’re at a desk, we still move. You could try putting your watch on your right hand at work so that it gets the movement of moving your hand from keyboard to mouse.. A watchwinder would help, but it shouldn’t be needed. Next time your watch powers down, wind it a bit more than previous times.. You can also manually wind it via the crown 15-25 times once per day to keep it rolling. ..but if you’re wearing the watch 12 hours a day after it having a good wind… It should go indefinitely and never stop.

  29. I found an old Seiko automatic that I purchased in the late 70’s, put it away and forgot about it, picked it up recently and it works perfectly, so there goes the myth of automatics needing constant movement to work over time.

  30. Corey, thank you for the very insightful Blog. I have a Hamilton Jazzmaster Maestro that I purchased two years ago. I vaguely recall the sales clerk telling me to never manually wind the watch via the crown when the hands were between two specific points on the watch face, for instance between 10 and 2 (note: I’m only giving those points as an example because I can’t remember exactly what she had said). Since I was afraid to break the watch, I never wound via the crown and as a result the watch has been running slow after two years. I’ve never owned a self winding watch before so this may be common knowledge to those that have, but are you aware of any general guidelines about where the hands should be (or more importantly, where they shouldn’t be) when winding a watch manually using the crown? Thanks for any help.

    1. The advice we give is to never set the DATE (or any calendar function if it’s a more complicated watch) while the watch is between 9pm and 3am as that’s when the calendar function is engaging.

      Winding is technically okay at any time. You just run the very minor risk of accidentally pulling the crown into the date position while winding it. I’ve wound 1000s of watches and have only once or twice had a crown slip into another position. ..I think, can’t recall the last time that actually happened to me, but I’ve been working with watches since 1997.

      Setting and winding the watch between 9am and 3pm is perfectly fine (if you KNOW you’re near noon and not midnight).

  31. Hi, I have a Longines Hydroconquest. I only wear the watch at a weekend so when I get it out every Friday the watch needs winding as you would expect. Am I damaging anything by doing this? (E.g. The crown) or is it fine to be doing this every week?

    Or should I be investing in a winder so I don’t need to do this every week.

    1. A winder would be a good idea. Damage is a harsh word, though. The crown and winding train would experience more wear than normal when being operated as you describe.

  32. Hello All,

    I have Tag Heuer Aquaracer WAK-2110 (Calibre 5) almost 2 years.

    Question :
    1. I notice this watch some time faster +2 sec per day and other day it seem slow -2 sec. Is it normal?

    2. Also I found my watch was stop running after 3 days i put in watch winder.
    Because for daily i wear another watch.

    3. If I often I walk under Security Gate (ie. Metal Detector in the airport), is that magnetic field will effect to automatic watch?

    What do you think about this? Should I go to Tag Heuer Service Center to fix this or this just normal.

    Thanks

    Stanly

    1. Hello Stanly.
      1. +2 to -2 is EXCELLENT. That is within COSC specifications.
      2. That does not sound right. If your watch runs fine while you wear it, I would suspect the winder.
      3. Airport security gates do not expose your watch to magnetism so that is not an issue. If a watch does get magnetized, a demagnetizer costs $30 and will fix the issue in seconds.

  33. Great blog Cory, very helpful. Like many others I didn’t know about the hand winding. I have a 1971 (or thereabouts) Rolex submariner. Does it have the manual wind also.? It has kept poor time for years, and in the time it’s been in my family we didn’t know about manual winding. Cheers Brett

    1. Hello Brett. All Rolex Submariners can be wound manually. They can also be wound with some wrist movement, but as the above article points out, it won’t run as well if the power reserve is low.

      If the watch has not been serviced, that would likely explain the poor time keeping. Submariners are purely mechanical with zero electronics. While a 45 year old car MIGHT work if it’s never been serviced, it’s not going to be in the best running condition!

  34. 1) Actually i bought new automatic watch so if i take off watch at night and wear it in the morning again so do i need to set time again in every morning???
    2) And if i do not wear more than 2 days so it will running continuous or stop??
    thanks

    1. Hello Hiren. What watch did you buy? Most Swiss automatics have a power reserve of 38-44 hours so if you wear it daily you will not need to set or wind it in the morning. If you don’t wear it for 2 days, it will stop and need to be re-wound and re-set.

  35. Hi. I have Victorinox automatic watches 241508. Every 3 to 4 days they are late 25 seconds at least. I wear them every day. They are new watches. I have them for two weeks. Do you thing is something wrong with them?

    1. That timing sounds acceptable for a Swiss Army watch. 25 seconds divided by 3 is 8.3 seconds per day which is acceptable. To compare, it is acceptable for a brand new Rolex to lose 4 seconds per day (12 seconds over 3 days).

      1. When I bought them, they where stopped. I turned crown few times. Only few times and put them on my hand. I think they where running exact for first few days. Than I started to see 25 seconds late in three days or so. Should I turn the crown now for 30 – 40 times. maybe this will help? Or just do not do anything at all. And this is how it supposed to be. Thanks

        1. Hi Oleg. It would be unusual for the watch to run perfect for a few days, then start losing time suddenly. There are details I don’t know (such as how often the watch is being worn). Winding it would help if they are not getting enough movement.

          1. I wear watches every day from 7am till 7pm. I work in office. So I do not walk to much at all. I drive to work and home. First two or three days watches where working exactly in seconds even. On weekends, I do not wear them as much. As many hours as on working days. But I still wear them. Victorinox told me watches are on average -2 to +20 per day. Mine are -25 per three days or so. Again -2 to +20 is what Victorinox told me. And model I have is still on market. Mine was made last year in 2013. They told me that by the serial number. Probably there is nothing to be 100% perfect. So if you say that Rolex can give 4 seconds per day, than these watches are OK? Right? I did not understand Victorinox range -2 +20. Mine are, as you said, -8 seconds per day. Should I consider it normal?

          2. Again, it running EXCELLENT for 3 days, then losing ~8 seconds a day sounds unusual.

            If the watches are consistently running 6-9 seconds slow per day, you can try having them regulated. Regulating is a simple task for a watchmaker or someone trained in the task. I’m no watchmaker, but it’s basically speeding up the heartbeat of the watch to improve its timing.

  36. Great comments, and thank you Cory for answering them so consistently. I think I must have gotten lucky. I have a Tag Heuer Caf 2012 Day Day with the Caliber 16 movement. (eta7750, I believe). I wear it for 5 hours per day while using the computer (I’m a writer – so just typing and walking to get coffee) and it keeps excellent time and doesn’t need winding. However, If I skip a day of wear, then by the second day of sitting idle it has stopped (about 45 hours later). This seems like it is operating normally for me. I was amazed by the accuracy, and would definitely go for this caliber again. One question. Are the eta 7750 movements all made in the same factory or the same templates? It’s just that I see them in watches that range in price from $600 – $1000 (like the Invicta & Tissots ) and in watches of $5000 to $6000 (Chopard, Brietling, Graham etc.). I know many companies modify this movement slightly and add there own badge, but is there much variation in quality between an eta 7750 in a Tissot compared to an eta7750 in a Brietling? With the Brietling being a chronometer, it makes me think there must be different standards. Are there really?

    Are all 7750s created equal?

    Cheers

    1. Hello Shane. Good observations and good question. NO! They are not created equal. There are 3 different grades: Elaborated, top, and chronometer. From what I understand they are made in the same factory, just to different standards. Here’s some data ripped from ETA.

      The Valjoux/ETA 7550 movement is the most common chronograph movement. It’s cam operated unlike the traditional column wheel mechanism. The movement is an automatic self winding 25 jewel movement. It can support day/date/month/moon calendars. This movement is rated via three grades.

      Elaborated – Average variance of +/- 5 seconds per day. Maximum variance of +/- 15 seconds per day. Three adjustment positions.

      Top – Average variance of +/- 4 seconds per day. Maximum variance of +/- 10 seconds per day. Five adjustment positions. Upgraded pallet stones, balance wheel, hairspring, and regulator mechanism.

      Chronometer – Must meet COSC standards. Serial numbered. Highly decorative. Average variance of -4/+6 seconds per day. Maximum variance of +/- 5 seconds per day. Upgraded pallet stones, balance wheel, hairspring, and regulator mechanism.

  37. Hi Cory, first off I want to say this blog is awesome and I have learned a lot from you and the article.
    I have a quick question, I recently got a single watch winder (diplomat cheaper version) for Christmas.
    I have noticed when I place my watch on the winder and go back to wear it a couple days later, the time is usually behind anywhere around 2-3 hours.
    The winder description says it rotates for 1 hour then sits for 3 hours and I cannot adjust the amount of rotations.
    I have never wound it first before placing it on the winder and I just learned that might help but is it common for a winder not to keep up with the current time?
    And I have an option to rotate clockwise or counterclockwise, does it matter which one I chose?

    I have a Rolex Day Date in case you were wondering.

    Thanks!

    1. Hello Gerald. It sounds like something may be wrong with your watch. A winder should not create any issues with the watch…unless it’s not winding the watch properly. Personally, I do not have much actual hands-on experience with watch winders, and have zero experience with cheaper winders.

      Rolex movements can be wound clockwise or counter-clockwise so that aspect does not matter. The only thing I can think of that the winder could cause that loss of time is if it’s not winding enough.

      If you wear the watch every day does it keep time?

  38. Hi Cory I just got a Tudor Galapagos watch and I can’t find what exactly how many turns it takes to be fully wound.

    1. Hi Edwin. I assume you mean the Tudor Pelagos which has an ETA 2824. A minimum of 15 winds to get it rolling, but we recommend 30-40 winds for just about any automatic watch. You can not over-wind an automatic watch.

  39. Hi, Cory,

    Thank you for the privilege of your expertise!

    I just bought a Zenith Heritage Port Royal – a dream watch running perfectly!
    I will be able to wear the watch Saturday through Monday (12 hours a day) and Tuesday through Friday (about 5 hours a day intermitently).
    I prefer not to wear the watch at night.

    How would you keep the watch in optimal condition (for example: give it a few turns in the am, buy a watch winder)?

    Thank very much for your advice.

    Sorin.

    1. Hi Sorin. Personally if I had a single watch habit like you described, I would either likely just give the watch 10 or so winds on the days it’s not worn so much… or even just give the watch some extra movement by moving your arm in temperate swirling motions. I would not personally use a winder, not that I have anything against them, they’re just not for me. I feel I wear my 14 year old Omega Seamaster Pro (Omega 1120 (eta 2892 base)) less than you wear your Zenith and I hardly need to wind it.

      1. Your competent advice is greatly appreciated and will be followed religiously.
        Thank you,
        Sorin.

  40. Thanks for the great article! I recently purchased the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Master Co-Axial. I couldn’t be happier. I pretty much wear this 24/7! Do you recommend ever manually winding it if I plan on continuing to wear it like this? I couldn’t tell if I should or should not from the article and comments. Thank you!

    1. Hi Ben. If you wear the watch 24/7 you should NEVER need to wind the watch! …unless you lead an incredibly inactive lifestyle. I’m a desk jockey and have no issues keeping my watch powered with the automatic rotor.

  41. I have a TAGHeuer Carrera with calibre 5 automatic movement. I love it, but it keeps stopping! I will wind it according to instructions (30-40 times) – until I can feel resistance in the crown. I wear it all day and yet it will stop overnight after about 2 days. I tried winding a few times a day, but that hasn’t changed the problem much. Any suggestions? Has this been a problem with these watches? It worked for several months with no problems, but I can’t seem to get it to work more than 2-3 days without stopping now. It’s only 7 months old.

    1. Hi Kevin. It sounds like something is wrong with the watch. Either the crown or rotor isn’t operating correctly, or the mainspring isn’t holding its power. If it worked for months, and now doesn’t, sounds like a job for a watchmaker.

  42. Hi Cory, I have a Favre Leuba Alresist (circa 1960, I’m guessing, seems pre Sea King series, though I’m not sure). It’s an automatic and albeit I bought it at a thrift store for about 50 bones, but I love it and it seems that whenever I take it off for even a little while, it stops dead in its tracks. Otherwise it keeps time famously (a bit of disalignment between the hour and minute hands, but that’s acceptable). What can I do to remedy this problem? Will it be prohibitively expensive?

    1. Hi Ben. I am not familiar with the brand you mentioned. From the description, it sounds like the watch needs a service which will run you $200-$300. If I bought a watch like that for $50, I would just think of it as a manual wind watch.

      That said, as I don’t know what you have, it might be worth repairing. Your story sort-of makes me think of a recent Hodinkee article “Man Finds Original LeCoultre Deep Sea Alarm At Phoenix Goodwill Store For $5.99, Sells It For $35,000″ I know your watch won’t be worth anywhere near that, but if it’s valued at over $400 to collectors, I’d probably get it serviced.

  43. Hi Cory …. Great Blog !! it finally i found all the question that i needed regarding my Omega….
    Recently i just bought pre used Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph…
    usually i manually wind it for 10-15 times every morning… and it will stop around around 10-12 hours after i took it off,
    is it normal ? or should i wind it 30-40times like you said earlier ?
    i wore my Omega around 7-8 hours during my work hours, sometimes behind the desk sometime i when i do have sales visit ….
    need your advice….

    1. Hello AW. Based on your description, the watch should not be behaving like that. A routine service would likely fix the issue. The 30-40 winds is for when the watch is stopped (or perhaps hasn’t been worn in 30-40 hours but is still running).

  44. Just had a Rolex DayDate Presidential watch serviced worked fine for 2 weeks, got on airplane to travel from NY to ATL when I landed and looked at the time on the watch it seems to have stopped 30 minutes before we landed. I never manually wound the watch and when I went to pick it up after service I didnt see the watch servicer manually wind the watch when he set the day and date. Do you think a good manual wind (40 clockwise revolutions) would address this issue?

    1. Hi John. A good crown wind should get the watch running optimally if there is no issue with the movement. If you are still experience stopping, reach out to the company who had it serviced.

  45. I have about a dozen automatic watches and have had varying success with winders. From reading your posts it seems that a winder is merely convenience item not a device to keep these watches “healthy” by keeping them running. So is the oils pooling and coagulating a myth? All my watches are modern in that they are all less than 10 years old. Rolexes, Omega , Brietling and recently a Panerai Luminor 1950 Submersible . I generally pick one and wear if for about a week and then switch to another. I like the variety. Sometimes just pick one for the occasion i.e. a formal outing. I know you seem to take a neutral position on winders but can it harm these watches to sit idle for month or two or longer is some instances? None have complicated day/date. All just have a numerical date window. Any harm here?

    1. Hi Steve. I feel the way you are using and rotating your watches is perfectly fine. I can’t say it’s myth that oils pool and coagulate, but it’s often over-emphasized and less of a problem on modern watches. The oils they use are superior to what would have been found in watches from decades past.

      If I had 10 watches personally, I would likely have a habit just like yours. If I had some pieces with complicated calendars, I’d likely only put those calendars on a winder to avoid having to set the year, month, day of the week, and moon.

  46. HI there Cory,
    This thread is wonderful but I just need some clarification. I can leave my automatic watch idle, let it unwind, rewind it and wear it again correct?

  47. Hi Cory, I have just had my Rolex watch serviced as it had timing issues and also the watched seems to stop after 20 hours (being worn). So after I had the watched serviced the timing issue is fine but it still seems to not last longer than 20 hours, am I doing anything wrong? Louise

    1. Hi Louise. If Rolex just serviced the watch, you have a great warranty with them. Reach out to them and they’ll assist you. Under proper usage it should not be stopping.

  48. Hi Cory, I have 4 automatic watch (hamilton jazzmaster, tissot le locle, frederique constant classic, and longines moonphase. However I barely use them. Probably once or twice a month or sometimes even longer for one or two of the watch. Do i need to keep making them on every day or is it fine to just let it off and make it on when needeed (when i want to wear it?)do you have any recommendation for me?

    Thank you

  49. I had no idea automatic watches could be hand wound as well. I’ve got a 1990s Omega Dynamic, and a 1960s Geneve. Guessing I should be handwindg both of these as I don’t wear them every day?

  50. Hi Cory! I have recently acquired a Bvlgari automatic watch. I wear it every 4-5 days. The watch stops at some point after wearing so I have to manually wind it every time I get to wear it. Will it damage the watch? Also, do I need to pull out the crown to wind the watch? The watch only has the time (no date, etc) and 3 crown positions – closed, 1 click (not sure what it is for) and 2 clicks (where the time is set). Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Cat. Manually winding the watch will not harm it. I don’t know what model you have. Bulgari watches often have a model number on the back, like SD38S or LCV35SGD. Providing that would help me know the watch.

      I’d venture to guess the 0 position is a screwed down crown (to keep moisture and dust out), 1st is for winding, and 2nd for setting the time. When winding it, if you have decent hearing, you should be able to put it to your ear and hear a clicking or a sort of wheezing sound…something with the gear engaging.

      As for the watch stopping, your comment “I wear it every 4-5 days.” is not explicit. You wear it for 4 to 5 days, then take it off for 3? You wear it once every 4 or 5 days?

  51. Hi Cory, Thanks for all the useful info. I have a Heuer Silverstone (anniversary edition) with a calibre 11 movement. Currently it’s running anywhere from +23 to +35 seconds per day. Is this an acceptable tolerance for this movement (ETA 2892A2)? I have a Breitling automatic that runs in the -3/+5 per day range, so I’m starting to think there might be something wrong with the TAG. The watch is only 3 months old. Should I send it in to have them adjust it, or am I expecting too much from this movement? Thanks!

    1. Hi Augie. Your Silverstone can run better than that and probably could be “fixed” with just a simple regulation. If the watch is under TAG’s warranty, definitely communicate your experience to them and request they regulate it.

      If the watch is not under TAG’s warranty, the regulation procedure is simple and only involves removing the caseback and making an adjustment with a small screwdriver. Here’s a discussion on regulating the 2892 at watchuseek.com.

  52. Thank you. I recently purchased a used but apparently perfect condition Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer. The timepiece was not running when unwrapped so I read the manual (so basic) and it indicated that if the watch had not been worn for more than 24 hours, that I should wind it manually to get the movement started. I wound it to 3/4 and set the time. This was Friday 02/20/2015 at 20:21. I have not taken it off since then and have been relatively active for 19 hours per day since initial manual winding. The wind indicator (which I have never had on any watch prior to this one) now indicates midway between 1/2 1nd 1/4. I would have thought that my daily activity would have kept the spring up to or beyond 1/2. Is this normal operating condition for this watch?

    1. Hello Fred. Based on your description, the power reserve should be showing over half power. I wore a UN Marine Chronometer myself recently for a week and had no issue getting it from a 1/4 power (after having it off overnight) to 3/4 power just from wrist movement (~15 minute commute to work and working at a desk job, although we do move more than a typical office worker).

  53. Hi Cory,I recently bought a Tag Auqaracer calibre 5 automatic. I sleep with my watch on and every third morning I wake up to it flat and I wind it 30-40 times to get it going. I have read the whole thread and understnad a little bit know – as it is my first automatic watch, but I am concerned about one thing. It has a glass back so you can see the mechanism – sometimes you can see the movement swinging upon moving the watch other times not. When it does swing I cannot however get it to do a full circle – it would stop (or get stuck) then I shake the watch and it starts swinging again. Is this normal? I purchased the watch from an authorised Tag retail store (I checked the Tag website)

    1. The rotor does not free wheel, and can appear to get stuck, so that might be normal. But a rotor can actually be stuck, but that will occasionally be from a loose screw.

      If the watch is stopping on you on the 3rd day, reach out to the authorized dealer or TAG Heuer directly and have them look at it under warranty.

  54. I own a Blvgari BB 38 SL Auto that is less than a year old. I usually wear it for 15 hours each day M-F and wear another watch during the weekend. It stops running after ~ 15 hours. Is this the normal reserve life for this watch? Do I need to manually wind it (after it stops) or simply put it on my wrist? Also, I just received a Wolf watch winder. Do you know which setting is appropriate (A, B, or C)? In other words, is it clock wise or counter clockwise? Thank you for your sage advice. Charles

    1. I believe your Bulgari has an ETA 2892 and can be wound in either direction. I don’t know the settings on a Wolf winder.

      A good running 2892 should stop after 24-38 hours if it was wound to begin with and receives a moderate amount of daily activity.

  55. I have Omega Seamaster Cal. 501. Recently serviced. I don’t want to wear it often. Is it ok to just leave it in drawer for extended time without winding it?

    1. Hi Dreg. I think it’s fine to leave your watch in a drawer for an extended time… Assuming the temperature in the house doesn’t go through extreme swings or hit extreme highs and lows.

  56. Hi Cory, I have just bought my first mechanical watch. A Tag Heuer MX2006 ceramic F1 Auto. I got it from Beaverbrooks. Within the first week I realised it was running about 12 seconds a day fast! Beaverbrooks say that is within the Tag tolerances which they tell me are 20 seconds fast per day. Is that normal? they refuse to let me return it as I have worn it for a few days.

    1. TAG and the dealer are correct. While not ideal, 12 seconds fast per day is in their tolerance range. I would be amazed at any dealer who would accept the return of a worn watch that meets the accepted specifcations.

      That said, you can get the watch regulated and you MIGHT get it closer to a 4-8 seconds fast/day.

  57. I have a Gruen precision 21 jewel and want to know which direction is actually winding the watch when I turn the crown. when I rotate it towards me there is almost no resistance and I hear a “normal” watch gear clicking, and when I attempt to wind it away, there seems like it may be too much resistance and I hear a rapid “spin-down-like noise.” It’s more like buzz. I have just done this a tiny bit as I am unsure.

    1. Hi, Leo. I would assume winding the watch clockwise will wind the watch. Winding most watches counter-clockwise does nothing. I have not handled a Gruen automatic since 1997 and can’t say if what you describe is normal for your watch. You might want to have the checked out by a watchmaker.. although a comprehensive service will likely cost more than the watch is worth, so maybe not unless there’s significant sentimental value to it.

  58. Hello, Kasteer. Something is not right. From your description I think one of two things is going on:
    1. The watch has problems and needs to be repaired by a watchmaker.
    2. You’re not winding it right.

  59. Hi Cory, I just got this pre-owned Cartier Roadster black face W62041V3 that I bought from a 2nd hand shop in Bangkok. It’s in mint condition and I got it for $2,800 with no box and paper. I don’t have any issue with the power reserve but my concern is its running 48 secs advance per day. Is there something wrong with the watch? Do you have any suggestions on how to correct it aside from of course bringing it to a watchmaker. Thank you!

    1. Best case, it just needs to be demagnetized or regulated; worst case, it needs a full overhaul service, but either way, it needs to go to a watchmaker for a diagnosis. Sorry.

  60. Hi, I wear it 10 to 12 hours a day from Monday to Friday and around 4 hours on weekend. So far except for the +48 secs, no other issues were identified. One more thing since I don’t have any paper for this watch, how would I know what year is this watch released? Do you have any idea? This is my first automatic and second luxury watch. Thank you!

  61. Hi Cory, I have a watch that is very accurate (+1s per day) in the first two days after it has been fully wound. however, it starts losing time dramatically when it has a few hours left in the power reserve, like about 3-5s per hour. the watch was recently serviced, like two weeks ago. Is there a cause for concern?

    1. Watches don’t run so hot when they are at the end of their power reserve. This is even more true for mechanical watches that are not self-winding.

      That said, if the watch did not act like that before the service, I would bring it up with the watchmaker.

  62. Hi
    Every time I put on my self winding watch it stops within 5 minutes and starts when I take it off . It has never been on a crown

    1. Something does not sound right. No watch should behave like that. If it is a Swiss or German self-winding watch, we suggest you wind it by the crown & stem. If it still not working right, you might want to have a watchmaker take a look at it.

  63. Question for you Cory. I just had my Rolex GMT-II Master serviced and dial replaced and it is running 5-6 seconds slow. I know these watches are not as accurate as a quartz watch but it has only been a month after the service. Is this acceptable in your opinion? Thanks

    1. Hi Andy. The COSC standard calls for an Average daily rate of −4/+6. So your freshly serviced watch is just on the cusp of what’s expected of a brand new Rolex. If I had the watch serviced locally, I would likely request that watchmaker speed-up the watch with regulation… Better to be a minute early than a minute late! ..If I would have to pay for the shipping of the watch back to the service center, I may just live with the 5-6 seconds slow. ..also, if the watch is 20+ years old, I’d be more than satisfied with -6.

      Watches run different depending on how they are positioned. If you take the watch off to sleep or any other extended period, I suggest laying the watch in a different position for a week and see if that helps average the time out. The position we (and most companies) time our watches in:
      Face Up, 12 down, crown down, 12 up, face down, crown up.

      Hope that helps!

  64. I have a Longines Master LR2 purchased twenty months ago (new) and it gains around 20 seconds in 24 hours.

    Last week it gained two and a half minutes over four days. I had it sent back to Longines who say this is ‘within normal tolerance’ Is that true or should I send it back again

    It kept good time for a year and cost £1,240. I have emailed Longines UK but get no reply to my emails

    1. Hi David. That’s a great question I doubt anyone has an answer for. About the only published count I am aware of is for COSC certifications and that’s just a fraction of movements made.

      Over a million official chronometer certificates are delivered each year, representing only 3% of the Swiss watch production. To earn chronometer certification, a movement must not only be made from the highest quality components, but also be the object of special care on part of the finest watchmakers and timers during assembly.

      That data includes quartz watches as well, so it’s not much help.

  65. Hello Cory, I just received my first, and most likely my only (can’t afford them), Breitling watch (Super Avenger II) as a gift! So am I understanding this correctly? I have not worn my watch yet, on the third day after receiving this watch I found that it had stopped. After reading the winding instructions, very carefully, and actually winding it it started up. Again though, on the third day of non-use I found that is had stopped again. Is this normal? Again, I have not worn the watch yet, will on special occasions.

  66. hi corry i have a breitling chronomat evolution breitling 13 movement will the wolf design meridian winder work for it coz i only wear the watch once or twice a week

  67. Corry I just purchased a Tag Heuer Carrera 1887 Chronograph Automatic…How accurate should this watch keep time?…+/- how many seconds a day would be expected?

    1. I wasn’t able to find a reference from TAG Heuer. Generally speaking, I expect any modern Swiss made movement to keep time within 10 seconds/day unless it is under a stricter standard (e.g. COSC, Master Control.)

  68. Hi Cory, My Tag Aquaracer 500, eta 2841, stops overnight unless wound every three days or so even though I wear it nearly always except in bed (that being by far the best way to get lots of scratches on the watch) but it also stopped in the afternoon the other day while I was driving. Am I right in thinking it should never stop while I am actually wearing it? And does a higher end movement require less movement from the wearer to keep it going? Kind Regards,

    1. Sean, I can’t say wearing a watch to bed sounds appealing to me either. It sounds like you need to have it looked at by a watchmaker. An automatic watch isn’t designed to be manually wound that frequently. A higher end movement is not necessarily going to require less time on the wrist to keep it going.

  69. Hi Cory, great blog. I have a question or two if I may. I have a Zenith El Primero chronmaster grande date. It recently stopped, and I have never used the crown to wind it. The Zenith manual diagram is somewhat inconclusive as to the direction clockwise or counter-clockwise to wind the crown.

    When I wind it clockwise the crown feels stiff and makes a crunch like sound, whilst when I wind it counter-clockwise there is less resistance and makes clicking sounds (sounds more natural than the crunching sound).

    Is there a correct way?

    1. Pietro, The watch does not wind in the anti-clockwise rotation of the crown. This is why it is moving freely and clicking. There should be some resistance in the clockwise rotation, but it should not be grinding or crunching. – P.J.

  70. Hi Cory, thank you for all the great insights. I recently picked up a new Hamilton Khaki Navy Pioneer Auto and only seem to get about 26 hours out of the power reserve. Everything I’ve read tells me I should get about 42 hours. I have only had it for two weeks so is there any kind of a break-in period or do you think something is wrong with it? After reading this article and posts I wound it more (50x) until it’s very tight and that gets me to 26 hours. Previously when I wound it 30x I could only get 20 hours. Thanks!

    1. Tim, There is no break-in period with regards to power reserve. If you have wound it fully and it does not run for 40 hours there is something wrong; it could be as simple as a sticky mainspring. – P.J.

  71. I bought a Breitling Navitimer 01 46mm with see through case back 2 months ago, brand new from AD. I had noticed the time is running fast, about +1 minute per week. I have timed this at +7/8 seconds per 24 hours. This watch has Breitling’s in house movement and claims to run -4/+6 seconds, so is out of that range. Is it worth returning to Breitling? I wear the watch every day and have been winding the crown 40 times before resetting the time once or twice a week. Is it necessary to wind the watch if I am wearing it most days? Or can I simply pull out the crown and set the time? Will it weaken the watch if I do this twice a week?

    1. Adam, You do not need to be winding it 40 turns twice a week if you are wearing the watch daily. Every two months is a good ‘break-in’ period for timekeeping of a new watch. Since it has been out of spec for that long, I would have the timekeeping regulated under warranty. – P.J.

  72. Hi Corry I have just recently bought a date just 2 and Rolex Daytona. I intend to wear both alternative days during the week but worried about them stopping. I was looking at buying a watch winder but after reading these comments I am now in two minds. My Daytona has a longer power reserve than the datejust but I’ve found already after a week of alternating them my datejust stopped which really surprised me. My question is are watch winders worthwhile? Some of the major brands are so expensive so are they any better than the cheaper models at £50 to £80? I hear the cheaper models can magnetise your watch and affect the components? Do I need a watch winder? Instead would it matter if I just wound my date just every other day or a couple of times a week? What I’m generally trying to find out is will it harm. Y watch to manually wind it a few times a week to stop it being idle?

    Thanks

    1. Lewis, the watches are not designed to be manually wound with such frequency. Yes, I would recommend purchasing a winder from a reputable brand like Orbita or Wolf. I don’t think you need to break the bank on a winder, but we are talking about five to six figure watches here, don’t just get the cheapest winder, do a little research on the winder company.

  73. Hi Cory , every weekend I wind my Tissot prs 516 by hand via the crown, because I don’t wearing it at home. Some guys say that it’s ETA 2836-2 movement can’t withstand the manual winding, is it true that the manual winding will damage the movement?. I’m confused about it !.

    1. Winding by the crown once a week is perfectly fine and normal. Winding the watch EVERY DAY might be extra wear and stress on the movement, but it should not damage it.

  74. Hi, I have a Tudor Black Bay and it’s my first automatic watch, so I have a stupid question. Just wondering if you could tell me which direction should I wind the watch? towards me, or away from me? Thanks

  75. Fascinating and helpful. Thank you. I have no experience of automatic watches and recently purchased a new Hamilton Khaki Field 38mm Auto. This has a transparent back so I can see the movement. My question: how freely should the rotor move? Mine seems a bit sticky – it will move but not easily, requiring a slight shake to shift it. I saw a YouTube videa of the 2824 movement in which the rotor seemed to move at the slightest tilt – but this was the raw movement not fitted in a watchcase. If I hold my watch vertical, with the rotor at the top, it does not swing to the bottom without a slight shake. Is this normal?

    1. Craig, Yes it is normal for the rotor to ‘stick’ a little bit as you describe. Some rotors will move more freely than others; it is not necessarily indicative of an issue. If you hear grinding or clanking when the rotor moves, then you would have cause for concern. – P.J.

  76. So if I understand you correctly, when I wake up in the morning and put on my watch (I just take it off when I come from work in the evening and put it in in the morning) I should wind it? Its a Breitling Navitimer GMT

    1. Hi Ronald. If you wear the watch daily (8-10 hours), you should not need to wind it.

      If you take it Friday, and put it on Monday morning, then that’s the right time to wind it.

  77. Hi Cory,

    I have a Tissot 1853 which I wear 3 to 4 days a week and always take it off at night. I find that my watch stops after not wearing for a couple of days (no great surprise there!) and am interested in buying an automatic watch winder. Are there any you would or wouldn’t recommend for my watch? And also which settings should I use? clockwise or anticlockwise? what turning speed?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide,
    Steve

  78. Hi Cory. I have a Tissot PR50 automatic that I brought a few years back. Like six years back I broke its crown accidentally and has to repair and service it. It’s been working fine until recently I noticed that when I try to hand wind it the crown is somewhat smooth for like 8-10turns and then it becomes really rough all of a sudden, as if it’s really hard to turn. I took it to a watchmaker who said it’s fine and nothing’s wrong. But I’m still not convinced. Should I get it checked? Should I be worried? I don’t want to damage it and spend on an expensive repair again. I usually wear it for like 5-6 hours for five days and hand wind it everyday because it would stop otherwise and i have to set the time and date everyday.
    Thank you.

    1. Hello Rahul. That does not sound right. ..but the cost of servicing it is about, or beyond the cost of getting another PR50. Considering it’s been about 6 years since a watchmaker was in the watch, it may just be time for a routine service. The movement in that watch, while Swiss ETA, is going to be one of the lowest grades available.

  79. Hi Cory. I purchased a Tissot PR50 Automatic a few years back. Five years back I accidently broke of its crown and had it replaced & serviced. Everything was working fine until recently I noticed that whenever I try to winding the watch manually after 5-6 turns the crown shows kinda resistance to turn. I wasnt if there was a problem so I took it to a watchmaker who said its Ok and there is nothing to worry. But still I’m not convinced. Should I take it too the official dealer and get it checked? Is something wrong with the watch? I usually wear it 5 days a week for about 5-6 hours and manual wind it on weekends.
    Thank You.

    1. Rahul, The crown should not be hard to turn. If the watch is keeping good time and otherwise running fine, then it is probably cost prohibitive to service for just the crown issue. This may be why the watchmaker told you not to worry about it. – P.J.

  80. Hi Cory;

    I’ve just recently bought an Armani automatic winding watch as an anniversary gift for my partner. I wanted to present it to him wound. After turning the crown [while pushed in] 50+ times… Nothing has happened. I’m concerned as it was an expensive watch =/ What should I do? Is this normal at the time of purchase, ever?

    1. Chloe, Manual winding is not possible on all automatic winding movements. I’m not specifically familiar with the movements used in all Armani watches, but I think it is likely that they are using a Japanese or Chinese movement which cannot be manually wound. Our article is applicable to Swiss or German made automatic movements. – P.J.

  81. Hi Cory,

    I have bought my longines watch recently and the at 24 hour mark the the date is not changing. I have tried to adjust the p.m and a.m by rotating the hour counter one full cycle, it is not changing at mid-might. Any help?

  82. So, I have an Orient automatic watch. It has a power reserve of 40 hours, and it also has the power reserve indicator which is very convenient. From what I read from many online sources, they recommend to wind the watch daily at a fixed time, for eg in the morning before putting the watch on and going to work. Should I wind the watch daily like they suggest, even if the power reserve is not low, for eg 30 hours in the morning when I wake up? And everytime I wind, should I make sure to wind it fully, i.e. to 40 hours reserve?

    1. Hello Hieu. I have never handled an Orient watch and am not familiar with what movements they use. I know many (most?) Seiko watches can not be wound by the crown and don’t know if that’s Orient’s case. I suggest finding a watch forum dedicated to Orient watches.

  83. Hello Cory,
    I have really enjoyed reading your blog but forgive me if my problem has been answered and my knowledge lacking.

    I bought my tag carrera calibre 8 last Oct (14) and I was having similar problems to those reporting. Sometimes it would stop and other times it would run fast.

    I had it serviced and the authorised dealer mentioned a couple of things:

    Self wind every week with c. 30 rotations
    Being left handed means it may impact on the action and it might need recalibration

    I received it back from Tag and it is now running much better and consistently. I also self wind most mornings. It hasn’t stopped. My concern is it now runs c. 1 minute fast. When you say +4 secs is good for the guidelines do you mean +4 secs per day or consistently 4 secs +. I don’t mind if it’s always +/- 4 secs but a minute is a bit fast.

    I wear it every day and only take it off to sleep. I’m not the most active and work from home at the computer.

    Thanks,

    Will

  84. Hi Cory,
    My 1988 Submariner 16610 was serviced 6 months ago and is 6 sec. fast per day, just barely within COSC standards.
    However even after a full 40 turn wind it will stop after about 32 hours in the drawer. Could it need a new mainspring or can a good Rolex man fix it so it can go more than 36 hours?

    Thanks,
    Pete

  85. Question on winders. I have a Tag with a Calibrate5 movement. Tag tells me to use a winder with automatic reversing. The winder I have and like is either clockwise or counter clockwise in operation and not automatic reversing. Can I wind my watch for several days in one direction and then the opposite for another couple of days with out harm? Tag would not answer this question.

  86. Hi Cory,

    Two questions please.
    In am travelling a lot and change the time zones on a weekly basis. Could that affect/damage the stem / crown strength and add wear and stress due to frequent pull in and out? If yes what would be your advise. I am asking in particular for an Oris Aquis small second, but it is good to know in general for all watches.
    On a Bulgari Ergon EG40S swiss made automatic movement, is it recommended to be winded before starting it ?

    Thanks,
    Victor

    1. It’s okay to change the hour ever week. Just be aware when you’re doing it to not bend it. It WILL add wear and stress. The main bad thing I could see happening is the stem (part that connects crown the movement) breaking, which is not the end of the world. A watchmaker could fix that.

      I’d assume the Bulgari has an ETA 2892 based movement. Not knowing exactly what’s in it, yes, I recommend winding it get it rolling.

  87. Hi Cory.

    Your blog is very helpfull!

    I hope you can help me with my new Tudor style. When I tried winding the watch I am already feeling the resistance on the first turn it is very stiff, feels like there is something that gonna break inside if i continue. But the watch is running perfectly after 30 turns but its really stiff from first to last turning of the crown. Is this normal? My Tudot is just 2 months old. TIA

    1. Thanks Archie. Apologies for the delayed reply. There is going to be some resistance on every watch that needs to be wound. What’s correct is subjective. I can’t answer this question without getting my fingers on the crown. I suggest asking other people with mechanical watches to give it a wind to check their opinion. You could also visit a jeweler with Swiss watches and compare how those wind.

  88. I just got a Omega cal-2500 about two weeks from a online shop and encountered power reserve issue. it stops about 25 hours even I manually wound it about 60 times (the number of winding told by customer support)

    my questions is:
    1. will it be over wound? (customer support said NO)
    2. is it a common issue seen on a brand new watch like Omega? I’m thinking to get a replacement, but not sure if they will honor it, the online stop seems have very restrict terms for exchange/replacement.

    thanks in advance. and your blog is very informative. thanks again.

    Max

    1. Hi Max. You can not overwind an automatic watch! Thanks to the slipping spring or “bridle”, an extra energy is released. That said, we don’t recommend winding the watch for hours on end =P. That will wear the movement out prematurely.

      I’ll assume you are wearing the watch. If it’s stopping in 25ish hours while wearing it, after a full wind, then the rotor is not working properly. Either way, it should run for more than 25 hours if properly maintained and serviced.

  89. Hi Cory,

    My Tag is an automatic one. The problem is that when it stops I kick start by hand winding (30-40 times) And then if i dont wear it, i can run for more than 30 hours. It is ok in this situation. However, if i wear it for around 6 or 7 hours per day, it still stops after nearly one week. As far as i know, if it is worn regularly, it will never stops. It is 6 years old. What is wrong for my Tag? Could you please help me to figure out the problem? Thank you so much.

  90. thanks for your reply, I got about 33 hours after fully wound (one 30 winds and one for 40 winds), so it seems not working well :(((
    I think I need to return it to the seller for service at least :((

  91. just update to people who may concern: it’s ok to wind 75 – 100 turns on Omega cal-2500. hope it’s true. will test it out.

  92. Hi Cory
    I recently purchased a Breitling Superocean. Outta the box the watch stopped a few times even when wearing it 24/7. Everytime it stopped I manually wound it 40 turns. The issue was intermittant and now a few weeks has past and everything seems to be fine. I am wondering if a new automatic watch may have a breakin period or whether I should be concerned that there might be something wrong.
    Thx

  93. Hello,

    Great blog, very informative.

    I have a Breitling Chronomat 47mm that is supposed to have a 72-hour power reserve. Watch is brand new and I wear it every day (12-14 hrs). The watch usually stops overnight around 6am. I can simply set the time, wind it and the watch keeps perfect time all day long. Two questions: 1. Should I be concerned that the power reserve isn’t what it should be and have it repaired?? 2. Am I adding unnecessary wear and tear on the watch by winding it (~20 turns) every other day or so?

    Thanks,
    Mike

    1. It sounds like the watch is not getting power from the rotor. Sounds like the watch needs some watchmaker attention.

      It’s not ideal to be winding the watch several times a week on a constant basis. I think it’s mainly adding stress to the small stem that connects the crown to the movement.

  94. Such an amazing & super informative page, thanks A LOT Cory!
    I just got a Tissot Le Locle Automatic using the ETA 2824-2.I just adjusted the date at 12:45(right after midnight) during the date function engagement time, but only skipped two days. Later on, I discovered the “forbidden time” thing and found an advice which is test the date function by advancing the time(hour-minute hands) and fortunately it’s working.
    I just need to know how bad it is that mistake, and might there be any damage?Also, I would be grateful if you can give me the crucial advice to a newbie with ETA 2824-2(The manual is 3 pages only!)
    Thanks & Best regards.

  95. Hi Cory, thanks for the outstanding tips and the super informative article(and replies).

    I just got a Tissot Le Locle with ETA 2824-2 movement and I’m new to automatic watches.After finishing adjusting my date at 12:45(I skipped 2 days), I found out all the warnings about the forbidden time from 9-3(10-2 as per the manual).I tested the date function using the time winding(hour & minute hands winding) and fortunately it’s working.I just need to know how bad it is to do this mistake and could the life of the movement get affected with one mistake like this?

    Thanks and best regards.

    1. I’ve never hurt a watch by setting the date mechanism, so I don’t have first-hand experience with that.

      Your watch sounds fine. My understanding is it COULD damage the movement if things are lined up just wrong. On many watches it’s likely just a few minutes where things can go bad. The 9 and 3 rule is to CYA (Cover Your Ass).

      I’ve asked watchmakers if this is a real issue and they have told me “yes, people regularly damage their watch by setting the date around midnight.

  96. Hi Cory,

    I just purchased a MIDO Multifort Chronograph running on a ETA Valjoux 7750 a year ago and I noticed it was running late. I synchronized it with my cellphone’s time and I found out that it was running approximately 15 seconds a day late. I wear it daily even when I go to sleep so most of the time I dont really wind the crown. Is this acceptable or should I have it checked especially since its still under warranty?

    Many thanks,
    Anton

    1. 15 seconds a day for any Mido is good.

      * There are 3 flavors of the 7750: Info from Wikipedia
      * Elaborated grade is adjusted in three positions with an average rate of +/−5 seconds/day with a maximum daily variation of +/−15 seconds/day;
      * Top grade is adjusted in five positions with an average rate of +/−4 seconds/day with a maximum daily variation of +/−15 seconds/day.
      Chronometer grade must meet strict standards prescribed by the COSC: an average rate of −4/+6 with a maximum daily variation of +/−5 seconds/day

  97. Hi Cory, thanks for your enormous input! I have a quick question, I bought a new Glycine Airman Seven and it looks like it stops every morning after staying without movement overnight (i. e. after 10-11 hours). I do not wind it manually though. I just grab it and wear it for 10-12 hours a day. My work is very inactive – I spend all my time in front of a PC. The accuracy of the watch is about -16 sec per 24h. How do you think, should I return this watch?
    As a side comment, I did wind the watch manually once with 35-40. After thqt the watch kept moving for 40 hours non stop.

    1. If you are hardly wearing the watch and your wrist is inactive, you should be winding the watch.

      Glycine makes a nice watch, but they do not have the quality control of a company like Rolex or Omega.

  98. Hi. I have an Oris Propilot GMT Chronograph. I bought it only a month ago and I’ve noticed it’s been running almost 45 secs fast. And as more days pass it’ll increase by 3-5 secs. Is there anything wrong with it? Would servicing it fix
    problem?

    1. Something is not right. Contact the company you bought it from. If they can’t help, contact a watchmaker.

      All of the watches Bernard Watch sells include a 90-day warranty that would take care of something like this. We do carefully time all the watches we sell to avoid such surprises. We package our watches for shipping very carefully, but on some rare occasions, something can happen in shipment.

  99. Hello, I recently purchased a Tissot T41148333 auto from Amazon. I wound 10 rotations then left it wound down fully . It only can worked properly for 9-12hours after that. Does this mean something is wrong with the auto winding mechanism

  100. Hello there. I recently bought a pre-owned Ebel 1911 – which I am quite in love with. After a couple of weeks it was stopping and starting. I took it back the shop I had purchased it from. When I collected it I was told it been completely serviced by thier watch repairer. And now, three weeks, later it has stopped again. It was working fine and then when I adjusted the time the crown and stem came out completely even thought I was super careful. I replaced the crown and stem withought difficulty; it just snapped back, in but now wont work at all. Any ideas? Thank you!

  101. Hi Cory, I’ve been told that I should pull out the crown if I’m not using my automatic watch for a long period of time. Is this true? Thank you.

    1. Hi, Maxime. We have never heard that, and advise mechanical/automatic watches to be stored with the crown in (closed) to prevent dust and moisture from entering the watch.

  102. Hello guys, I have a Breitling Super Avenger 2, but every last day of the month I need to change the date from 31 to 1, of course when the month has only 30 days. Is this normal?

    Thanks for your help

    1. Hello, Ricky. That is normal behavior for your watch.

      Most watches do not know what month it is, so they can not know when to advance an extra day (or several days in Feb) when it is appropriate.

  103. Outstanding Q&A – read them all and learned a huge amount about caring for my new Oris Big Crown ProPilot GMT.
    Cory and P.J. are the most helpful, patient and responsive gentlemen I think I’ve ever seen on any blog or forum. Thanks to you both!

  104. Hi Cory. Great blog and big help! My wife bought me a Navitimer 46mm (01 movement) in December. Had issues with accuracy and date turn over (3mins early). Been back to Breitling twice, as the Navitimer bracelet wouldn’t stay on either (turned out to be faulty Spring bars). When it came back, it was racing, but I had given up and wore it anyway. After a few days, noticed it was getting more and more accurate, until it was virtually perfect (I calibrate it to a radio-controlled Edifice watch every few days). It’s barely been off my wrist since – until the other day. It’s been off for 2 days and has LOST 10 seconds in that time. Could you possibly explain why this has occurred, and how these watches seem to ‘learn’ the user’s movement habits etc? Baffling. I love the watch, btw. Thanks again! John 🙂

  105. Pingback: Flieger Klassik 40 no logo no date (ETA 2824-2)- is it ok to hand wind? - Page 2

  106. Hi Corey,

    I have an ingersol Georgia automatic without instructions. Should I wind clockwise or counter clockwise?

  107. Hi, i have bought a speedmaster as a present but need to keep it hidden for about 6 months- will it damage the watch if not wound up in that time? Or is it ok to leave it? Thanks!!

  108. Hi Cory,

    Ive had a brand new Breitling Galactic 41 watch for about 2 weeks now. I took it to a local jeweler when getting it fitted who also set the time and date for me. I wear the watch 4-6 times a week and find that it’s losing about 10-15 seconds over night and stops after not wearing it for 36-48 hours.

    My questions are:

    I am not sure if the jeweler ever wound the watch a full 40 times so could that be why it is losing more time and stopping early sometimes? The watch has a 42 hr reserve

    My other question is, is it okay to change the watch time everyday by stopping the seconds hand, then adjusting the time by a minute or so, and start the seconds hand back up to ensure that the time is more precise?

    This is my first automatic piece so I’m a bit of a rookie, would appreciate any feedback on how to ensure the watch will stay within the COSC range and how to make sure I am not adding any unnecessary stress on the piece.

    Thanks,

    Tim

    1. Hi, Tim. If you are wearing it 4-6 times a week, I would suggest winding it 20-30 times on the days you do not wear it and see how it runs then. Many movements will lose time more quickly if it has not been worn/touched in over 24 hours (closer to 32+ hours).

      Your 4-6/week habit makes your watch a good candidate for a watch winder (which I don’t often recommend). Setting the watch 5-10 times a month is fine for a little while, but over 2 years of that is a lot of extra wear and tear that I advise avoiding. The Breitling Galactic (with ETA 2895) is a tough watch, but no watch is invincible! -Cory

  109. I have a 2011 Omega planet ocean that was gaining 5 seconds a day. I sent it to Omega for inspection & was told it required a major service, which was agreed. I have had it back for 5 days & find it gains about 3 seconds a day if not worn & upwards of 6 seconds a day if worn. Can you explain why the variance between worn & not worn? Also should I return it for rectification?
    Thank you.

    1. Watches perform differently depending on their positions, such as face up, crown down, 12 down, etc. Your answer for why it runs differently when wearing vs not probably lies in that logic.

      COSC standards state your watch should run -4 to +6 / seconds / day accuracy, which your watch is doing. I’m a bit surprised that you were told it needed a major service since it was keeping good time (+5/day). Normally, I’d likely suggest not worrying about its new timing, but since you just paid for that service that they say it required, and it now performs less reliably, I think I wold ask them to improve its performance. That said, even a best case, I doubt your watch will ever be within 2/sec/day.

  110. Hi Cory,
    Thanks for this informative post which I found while searching for a problem that my Cartier Ballon Bleu 42mm showed a few days back.
    Since I have 6 watches I’d wear this one, once a week, otherwise it sits in my cupboard. Last week when I took it out and tried to adjust the date manually, it didn’t work even after moving the crown several times so I had to move the hands in order to move it 5 days forward.
    Later in the day I read your blog and winded it manually and repeated the activity and it worked like a charm.
    Do you think it could be related to the fact that I never winded my watch in the past one year or it is an issue that I should bring to the manufacturer?

    1. Good question. While winding and setting the date are both activated using the crown and stem, the are separate in most other ways. I think your experience might have been a coincidence. I know sometimes getting a crown to the middle date position can be tricky and easy to jump over. That’d be my guess. If you can quick-set the date regularly now, then it sounds fine.

  111. Hi there, my husband has a kinetic Seiko that is just over a year old and seems to have lost 5mins this week. I understand you can’t wind this watch via the crown, so I was wondering if it had lost time due him not been as active due to it been Christmas and been off work, as he is usually a lot busier? Also he takes it off for bed, could this cause the watch to loose time? Many thanks

  112. Cory,

    Received a Steinhart Ocean 1 Bronze for Christmas. Automatic, manual wind and hacking. This being said I wound the watch about 25-30 turns the first time it came out of the box. Upon attempting the screw the crown back in I felt a resistance as though the watch was being over wound or that it was not liking the act of the crown being screwed back in.

    Do you know if this watch has a mechanism to stop it from being over wound? Could the resistance I was feeling be the watch preventing itself from being wound any further?

    Just seems like a vert odd feeling while returning the crown to its locked position.

    Thanks for any insight.

  113. Hi Cory. I have recently purchase an omega memomatic which runs a cal.980 movement. I have tried fully charging the movement and keep it on a wolf winder set at 850 tpd bidirectional but still it keeps stoping after 3 days or so and also stopped while I was wearing it but we were out for the evening. Should I get it service or am missing something. Thanks Simon

    1. Hi Simon. We are not familiar with that caliber so would not know the appropriate winding settings. If those settings are ideal for your watch, then yes, it sounds like it could use a service.

  114. Hi Cory, I spoke with Swatch service lady who told me it’s good to handwind my ETA 7750 abt 10 revolutions/day to keep it running smoothly even if I wear it daily at my desk. Do u agree with her?

    1. That’s fair advice. However, if you wear it enough and it’s in good order, that’s not necessary. Just make sure it’s well wound if it has stopped.

  115. Quick question-if I were rotate out an auto chrono every two weeks or so would it better served to wind it or put it on a winder?
    Thanks!

    1. I’d wind it. I wear about 3-5 different automatic watches a month. I have no auto-winders. Winding and setting watches helps me connect with the pieces I wear.

      As far as I know, the 1st consumer-level watch winder (Orbita) didn’t start making winders until 1996! Prior to that, only watchmakers had winders.

      If someone knows of an earlier consumer winder, please share 🙂

  116. Cory, I have two Tag Carrera watches and both seem to start to run slow after a few days on my watch winder. I am using a wolf winder and have my carerra 1887 set to bi-directional at 450 winds in each direction. My Carrera calibre 7 twin time is set at bi-directional at 350 winds in each direction. They never stop running but run slow, could the settings on my winder be incorrect or is this normal operation?

  117. Hello,
    I have an Omega Dynamic 5240.50.00. which until recently kept good time. Then I read(not here) that I should hand wind it. I began doing that and now it gains 1 hour every 12. I have read that it cannot be overwound , so what on earth is going on with it? Should I have it serviced or is it something serious?

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