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How To Manually Wind An Automatic or Mechanical Watch

November 9, 2018

Not all mechanical and automatic watches could me manually wound. But for those that can be, here is a quick guide on how to do so.

Step 1:

Make sure to remove your watch from your wrist and hold it on an upright position (with the watch face facing you). This will ensure that the watch movement and its components are not at an awkward or wrong state/angle when we start the manual winding process.

Step 2:

While holding the watch with your left hand, your right hand should now locate the watch crown. The watch crown is the extended part of the watch case where you would usually pull to adjust the time.

The watch crown is attached to the watch stem which internally turns the internal mechanism for winding.

Seiko 6515.jpg

Source: Here

Find the right position from pulling the crown out in different settings

Step 3:

Gently pull on the watch crown and stem and you would feel different levels or clicks that would indicate which mode of setting you are trying to change on your watch. These setting include and may not be limited to the following (time, calendar, time zone/GMT, etc.)

Note: Some watches, especially divers watches, have their crowns locked down to ensure water resistance. You may need to unlock these types of crowns first (usually by rotating counter clockwise) before you can successfully pull the crown.

Step 4:

As you pull out the watch crown, determine which one is the winding position. If you do not have your watch’s manual or handbook, you can do a check on each setting by turning the crown clockwise.

If you find the setting where you are not changing the time, date, or time zone on your watch and it feels you are winding something; then this is the right winding position setting for the crown.


Manual winding is usually done by turning the crown clockwise in position

Step 5:

After finding the correct winding setting pull, turn the crown clockwise for a good number of rotations until you feel resistance on the crown/stem. This would indicate that the mechanism has reached its full capacity and power reserve.

Note: It is important to not over manually wind a watch as this may incur internal mechanism damage to your movement.

You can now enjoy your fully wound watch and its fully charged power reserve!

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