So you’ve finally treated yourself to that automatic watch you have always wanted but now you’re wondering how to look after it. One of the most important things to grasp when owning an automatic watch is learning how and when to wind it.
There are two ways you can wind an automatic watch:
- You can either manually wind it by turning the crown situated on the side of the case
- You can simply wear your watch and allow your movements to spin the oscillating rotor on the inside.
How does an automatic watch work?
Inside an automatic watch, there are several key components that help keep the watch powered and it is important to know about these in order to understand how winding your watch works.
Step 1 – As you wear the watch and begin to make movement, a component called the oscillating rotor begins to spin around inside the watch. As this spins, it begins to wind something called the mainspring. The mainspring can also be wound by turning the crown.
Step 2 – The energy collected into the mainspring is then passed through a set of gears into the escapement
Step 3 – The escapement is the component which provides energy at regularly intervals to the balance wheel
Step 4 – The balance wheel oscillates at a set pace which then allows the hands begin to move around the dial.
How often do I need to wind my automatic watch?
Now that you know how an automatic watch works, it is easier to explain how often you need to wind an automatic watch. The answer to this question is fairly simple, but it does depend largely on the type of watch you have and how often you wear it.
Every automatic watch has a set power reserve which is usually between 38 and 240 hours. This gives you an idea of how often you need to power your watch. If you are someone who wears their watch daily, your watch will remain fully wound since your movements throughout the day will keep the oscillating rotor moving and the mainspring fully wound.
If you are someone who only wears their watch on certain occasions, it is highly likely that you will need to wind the watch back up every time you wear it. You can do this by turning the crown 30-40 times or you can shake the watch and let the oscillating rotor spin. If you choose to power the watch by wearing it, you can expect the watch to reach full power after wearing it for around 8-10 hours.
Some automatic watches are equipped with power reserve indicators so you can see how much power you have left through a handy feature on the dial. Others choose to purchase watch winders to keep their watches wound when they are not wearing them. If you are someone who wears their watch every day then this wouldn’t interest you, however if you don’t want the hassle of winding your watch every time you wear it then we highly recommend purchasing a watch winder. You can find some highly reputable watch winders here that suit almost any type of automatic timepiece.