You might be wondering how to wind a watch. There are a couple of steps to winding a watch manually. First, you must turn the crown to move the mainspring. After that, you must set the time on the watch. It is best to wind your watch every day, so it will run at its best.

Chronograph Watch with brown strap

How you wind your watches depends on the type and it also requires different methods depending on calibers. Watches you need wind have mechanical movements both manual and automatic. A spring is generated either by twisting it as opposed to by a rotor disc for automatic forces. Automatic watches are in manual or automatic mode with manual or automatic windings. It is best to wind your watch every day, so it will run at its best.

Winding an automatic watch

Automatic watches can be automatically winded when worn. The wearer's wrist movements trigger a vibrating motor that powers the mainspring. Though they're “automatic”, these watches lose their ability if not worn frequently. 

Please exercise caution since the edgings for automatic watches may be connected to many mechanisms which could be corrosive over time. Usually, the power reserve lasts approximately 48 hours like manual watches and should last as much as 48 hours per person

Why auto-winding wristwatches are cheaper than manual watches is it does not require the same daily care. This backup should extend for 48 hours.

Detail of the watch dial

A manual watch winding

Manual watches have power backups of at least 48 hours but can last longer or less. It is best to not wait until the watch stops but wind it every two days to ensure optimal performance. Different stem settings have different stem settings so it is necessary to know the winding position. 

Wind clockwise until resistance is felt and stop when tension is high. Gently press the stem back to its original positioning and turn the watch at 20 to 40 turns. 

The number of turns differs slightly from watch to watch but anywhere from 20-40 turns should suffice to wind the clockwise way to wind it up.

Chronograph watch with black dial

Manual winding a watch is a good way to prevent a watch from running out of energy. This helps keep the watch's timekeeping consistent

However, it is important to note that manual winding does not have a rotor and does not have a slipping clutch. A good rule of thumb is to stop winding when there is a slight resistance. 

As you wind the watch, the applied force is stored in the mainspring and transmitted through the train to the escapement wheel. The escapement wheel then connects to the oscillating balance wheel.

Manual winding a watch requires light pressure and a light touch to ensure proper threading. A light touch will also ensure minimal wear and tear to the watch crown. 

A watch must be wound at least every couple of days. The winding process can be done by hand or by using a watch winding tool. Manual winding is not a complicated process. It is recommended that you follow the instructions of the watch manufacturer.

Turning the crown

  1. The crown on a watch is the winding mechanism that allows it to run. However, if a watch has not been worn for more than 48 hours, it will start to die. The following steps can help keep the watch running. When winding a watch, make sure you do not over-wind it, and ensure that the crown is pushed in all the way.

  2. When manually winding a watch, make sure you use your thumb and forefinger to hold the crown. The crown has a number of settings and is not always the same on every watch. When winding a watch, it is important to turn it clockwise so that tension is applied to the mainspring. Otherwise, you risk damaging the watch.

  3. Manually winding a watch involves turning the crown clockwise. Unlike automatic movements, manual winding requires the watch to be carefully adjusted. The crown is held in place by a stem, which is not easy to remove. Care must be taken not to overwind the watch as this can harm the movement.

  4. Most watches require that the crown be turned about 30-40 times before the mainspring has enough power to run. This method helps maintain the tightness of the mainspring and ensures that the watch keeps a steady time. Most watches also have a rotor that winds the mainspring automatically.

  5. The process of manually winding a watch can be both relaxing and therapeutic. It is not hard work and won't take long. Unlike automatic watches, hand winding a watch is an extra step. Turning the crown too much can damage the mainspring. In fact, excessive turning of the crown can result in premature wear of the seal, which may compromise the water-resistance rating of the watch.

  6. After winding your watch, make sure you set the time. Pull the crown out of the watch's base until you see the second hand. This will help you set the time for the P.M. hour. Do not attempt to turn the hands backward, because doing so can cause damage to the movement.

Setting the time on a watch

  • If you need to set the time on a watch, you should first understand how the dial works. The dials are usually large and easy to read. The buttons are also usually big enough for you to use one hand at a time. Pressing the button two or three times will change the display and give you the time. Depending on the model, it may take a couple of attempts to get it right.

  • When you are setting the time on a watch, you must keep in mind the date. Some watches have a date window at three o'clock, while others have the date window in the middle. If you're setting the time in the wrong position, you can end up damaging the date wheel.

  • To set the time on a watch, you need to know how the hands turn. Turning the hands clockwise will set the time. Likewise, turning the crown clockwise will set the date. Once you've made this adjustment, you need to start the watch by pressing the crown.

  • To set the time on a watch, make sure that you have the correct position of the crown. The crown should point down, and the hands should line up perfectly on the 12/24 o'clock positions. Make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions manual to make sure your watch is properly set. In 99% of cases, you will no longer have to worry about setting the time on a watch if you follow these steps.

  • Setting the time on a watch can seem complex, but it's actually really very simple. If you want to set the date and the day of the week, you simply turn the crown in the clockwise direction, or you can also use a push-down crown. Be sure to reseal the crown after you've set the time. This will keep your watch clean and prevent it from getting dirty.


If you're a watch newbie, you should be aware of the health guidelines and how to care for your watch. These guidelines are not just for beginners, but also for long-time watch lovers. For instance, some watch manufacturers recommend pulling the crown in the second position and waiting until the second hand reaches zero before setting the time. This process can be difficult if you aren't careful, as it could damage the watch's movement.