This video will explain how to set the time on different types of analog watches. We will focus on time-only watches. If you have a time and date watch, please watch our “How To Set the Time and Date On A Watch” video.
Before setting the time on your watch, it’s a good idea to find out whether it is a quartz, manually-wound, or automatic watch.
For quartz watches, ensure that the watch’s battery is still running before you set the time. For mechanical watches—whether manually-wound or automatic—it’s best to fully wind the watch before setting the time. Winding and setting a watch is done by via the winding crown, which is typically located on the right-hand side of the watch case at 3 o’clock. However, there are some watches that have their winding crowns located at different positions such as 4 o’clock, 9 o’clock, or 12 o’clock.
Always make sure to remove the watch from your wrist before setting it. Adjusting the time on a watch while it is still on your wrist can apply too much pressure to the winding stem, which can cause it to bend or snap.
To set the time on a quartz watch, pull the crown out the last notch. If the watch has a screw-down crown, you will have to unscrew the crown until it pops out from the case before pulling it out to the last notch. Turn the crown either counterclockwise or clockwise to move the hands on the dial to the correct position. Once you have set the time, push or screw the winding crown back into place.
To set the time on a manually-wound watch, first, turn the winding crown clockwise until the movement is fully wound. Some hand-wound watches have to have the winding crown pulled or unscrewed to the first notch to wind it. When the watch is fully wound, pull the crown to the last notch. Turn the winding crown to move the hands on the dial to the correct position. Once you have set the time, push or screw the winding crown back into place.
To set the time on an automatic watch, pull the winding crown out to the first notch or unscrew the crown until it releases from the case. Turn the crown clockwise 20 to 40 times to fully wind the movement. An automatic movement cannot be overwound. Pull the winding crown to the last notch and turn it to move the hands on the dial to the correct position. Once you have set the time, push or screw the winding crown back into place.
Whenever possible, always refer to the official manufacturer’s instruction manual for more details on how to set the time on your specific watch model.