Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: Mechanical Watch Basics – How To Wind & Set

Mechanical Watch Basics – How To Wind & Set

Mechanical Watch Basics – How To Wind & Set

While it is not difficult to set a watch, some mechanical watches have quirks that make it vary from watch to watch. Here is a brief explanation of how to set and wind a mechanical watch to help you become more comfortable with the process.

How to Wind a Mechanical Watch?

We recommend winding your watch while it’s not on your wrist. Remove the watch and use one hand to wind the crown upward. The inner tube of the crown is a relatively fragile component that bends easily, so winding while the watch is off can help with longevity. Start winding the crown away from you while holding it between your thumb and index finger. You don’t need to exercise extraordinary caution, but don’t use excessive force. Depending on the movement, wind it up until you feel the slightest bit of resistance. Be cautious not to overwind. If you look up your specific movement’s specs, it’s easy to find how many turns the manufacturer recommends.

How To Set Your Watch

Here is how to set your watch. Each watch is different – some have a day function, others have a date function, and some only have the time function.

Set the Date

The mechanical timepiece crown typically has three places, each with a specific winding function. The first position is where the crown is pushed all the way in and is used to wind your watch manually. Change the date on the watch quickly by pulling the crown back to the second position. Until you reach the correct date, turn the crown clockwise.

Set the Time

Pull the crown out from the watch base to set the time on your watch. Some watches allow second hand setting as well as minute and hour hand setting.

Until the right time is set, slowly move the crown in a clockwise direction. We’d recommend turning the crown only one direction, so turn clockwise until you reach the right time again if you miss it.

Push the Crown Back In

Once your day/date/time are set, firmly press the crown back into the “zero” position to wear. To ensure it is pressurized and water-tight, screw the crown down next if needed.

Rotate Watches sells all-in-one kits to build a mechanical watch. Visit our selection to learn about how all of these settings work!

Next Post

Reasons to Pair a Watch With Every Outfit

Reasons to Pair a Watch With Every Outfit

A person’s watch can reflect their personality, and so much more. Some may wear watches for business presentations, while others wear them to show off a sense of style. The best wristwatches are ve...

Read more
How to Begin Watchmaking: Your Starting Point

How to Begin Watchmaking: Your Starting Point

Have you ever been captivated by the intricate beauty of mechanical watches? Do you find yourself wondering about the gears and mechanisms that power these elegant timepieces? Embarking on the jour...

Read more