Setting and winding a mechanical watch is one of the delights of owing one. Whether it’s the delicate ratchet-like sound of winding by hand, or knowing that the motion of your body is self-winding an automatic movement, the steps in winding and setting your watch connect you to centuries-old technology that makes owning a mechanical watch so fascinating.
Firstly, wind your watch by turning the crown clockwise. Avoid setting the watch during the hours of approximately 10 pm to 2 am – adjusting the time or date between these hours may damage the movement. This is especially true for watches with calendar complications. It’s also wise to set the time by moving the hands forward (clockwise) rather than backwards, as moving the hands backwards may also hurt the movement.When you wind the watch or reset the time, turn the crown carefully using even pressure with the thumb and index finger. Avoid applying unbalanced pressure on the crown, which could damage the winding stem. If your watch has a screw-down crown, always ensure it is screwed closed after having opened it to set the watch. In the case of a hand-wound mechanical movement, avoid over-winding. When these movements are fully wound the crown will offer resistance to further winding, which indicates the watch is fully wound.