This video will explain how to wind different types of mechanical watches.
There are two main types of mechanical watches that need winding: ones with manually-wound movements and ones with self-winding movements.
A manually-wound movement, also known as a hand-wound movement, must be wound regularly to keep the watch running. How often you have to wind a manual watch depends on its power reserve. You can think of a watch’s power reserve like a phone’s battery life. The power reserve of a watch can range anywhere from 36 hours to ten days—or even longer.
Winding a hand-wound watch is done by turning 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 on the left-hand side of the case at 9 o’clock or on top of the case at 12 o’clock.
Always make sure to remove the watch from your wrist before winding it. Winding 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.
How to wind a manual movement can differ from watch to watch. On some watches, you simply have to turn the winding crown clockwise 20 to 40 times until you feel some tension, which means the mainspring inside the watch is sufficiently wound. On some watches, you will have to pull out the crown one notch before winding it. And on some watches, you will have to unscrew the winding crown until it pops out before winding it.
Always make sure to put the winding crown back into place after you have wound the movement.
A self-winding movement, also known as automatic movement, has a rotor that swings back and forth thanks to the natural motion of one’s wrist. Therefore, automatic watches will keep on running as long as they are worn or kept inside a watch winder. However, it is a good idea to manually wind an automatic watch from time to time. This is especially true if the watch has been dormant for a while and has run out of power reserve.
To hand wind an automatic movement, pull the winding crown one notch or unscrew it from the case. Then turn the winding crown clockwise 20 to 40 times to fully wind it. An automatic movement cannot be overwound. Secure the winding crown back into place and the watch is now ready to be worn.
It is important to note that some automatic watches cannot be hand wound—turning the winding crown does nothing to the movement. In this case, you will need to swing the watch from side to side in a horizontal arc for about a minute or two to jump-start the movement. After that, wearing the watch will keep the self-winding movement going.
Whenever possible, always refer to the official manufacturer’s instruction manual for more details on how to wind your specific watch model.