How do I wind an Automatic Watch?: A Step-by-Step Guide

por {{ author }} JUNJIE ZHANG sobre Jul 03, 2024

How do I wind an Automatic Watch?: A Step-by-Step Guide

Automatic watches, also known as self-winding watches, are marvels of engineering. Unlike their manual counterparts, they harness the motion of your wrist to keep running. However, even automatic watches need a little help sometimes, especially if they haven't been worn for a while. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to wind your automatic watch properly.

Understanding Your Automatic Watch

Before diving into the winding process, it's essential to understand how an automatic watch works. Inside the watch, a small rotor moves with your wrist's motion, transferring energy to the mainspring, which powers the watch. If the watch is worn regularly, this motion keeps it wound. If not, the watch will eventually stop and need manual winding.

Step-by-Step Guide to Winding Your Automatic Watch

Step 1: Identify the Crown

The crown is the small knob on the side of the watch case. It usually has three positions:
1. Pushed in (neutral position) – This is the position for regular wear.
2. First pull (date setting position) – This is used for setting the date.
3. Second pull (time setting position) – This is used for setting the time.

For winding the watch, you will use the crown in its neutral position.

Step 2: Unscrew the Crown (if applicable)

Some automatic watches have a screw-down crown to enhance water resistance. If your watch has this feature, gently unscrew the crown by turning it counterclockwise until it pops out to the neutral position.

Step 3: Wind the Watch

With the crown in the neutral position, begin turning it clockwise. You should feel a slight resistance. Turn the crown slowly and steadily. Typically, 20 to 40 turns are sufficient to fully wind the mainspring of an automatic watch.

Important: Do not overwind. Automatic watches have a mechanism that prevents overwinding, but it's always good to be cautious. If you feel increased resistance, stop winding.

Step 4: Set the Date and Time

If your watch has stopped, you’ll need to reset the date and time. Pull the crown to the first position to set the date and to the second position to set the time. Make sure to avoid setting the date between 9 PM and 3 AM as this can damage the date mechanism.

Step 5: Push Back and Secure the Crown

Once you’ve wound the watch and set the date and time, push the crown back to the neutral position. If your watch has a screw-down crown, ensure you screw it back in tightly to maintain its water resistance.

Tips for Maintaining Your Automatic Watch

1. Regular Wear: Wearing your watch regularly ensures it remains wound and maintains its accuracy.
2. Watch Winders: If you have multiple automatic watches, consider using a watch winder. This device mimics wrist movement, keeping your watches wound even when not worn.
3. Servicing: Like any precision instrument, automatic watches require regular servicing. Check with the manufacturer for recommended service intervals.
4. Storage: When not in use, store your watch in a clean, dry place away from extreme temperatures and magnetic fields.


Winding an automatic watch is a straightforward process that ensures your timepiece remains accurate and ready to wear. By following these simple steps and maintaining your watch properly, you can enjoy the beauty and functionality of your automatic watch for years to come. Whether you're a seasoned watch enthusiast or a novice, understanding how to care for your automatic watch is essential to preserving its longevity and performance.