how to wind a watch

How To Wind A Watch: The Easiest Methods To Follow

Knowing how to wind a watch is an important skill for all watch owners. As manual watches need to be wound regularly, you must learn how to do it yourself if you want to avoid constant trips to the watch servicer. As for automatic watches, the winding will be more occasional, but it is still necessary.

This article will answer the question ‘how do you wind a watch?’ using specific examples such as pocket watches and Rolex watches. Stay tuned for everything you need to know.

How To Wind A Mechanical Watch

vintage gold watch on wooden floor

Before you start working on your mechanical watch, you need to place it on a flat surface. Not only will this make it easier to locate the watch parts, but it puts the watch at a better angle for winding.

Once the watch is in a good position, it’s time to find the watch stem. This is located on the right-hand side of the watch case. Grip the stem with your finger and thumb then pull it out. When it’s sticking out of the case, you can start to twist the stem in a clockwise direction until you cannot comfortably twist it any further.

The watch has now been wound! Simply push the stem back in and the job is done.

How To Wind An Automatic Watch

Oris automatic watch with bezel

Most people wanting to know how to wind a watch will be owners of mechanical timepieces. However, it is a common misconception that automatic watches do not need to be wound. You must wind an automatic watch every now and then, especially when you first purchase it. The more you wear it, the less it will need winding.

You have two options when it comes to winding automatic watches:

Option 1: The Manual Method

The exact same method can be used for automatic watches that is used for manual. Follow the previous steps of pulling out the stem, turning it clockwise, and pushing it back in.

Option 2: Watch Winder

You can purchase a watch winder that keeps your automatic timepiece wound when you aren’t wearing it. All you need to do is ensure it is fully wound before you put it into the winder, and then the winder will rock the watch to mimic wrist movement.

Some watch winders are as cheap as £30, so they’re an affordable addition to your watch collection. If you want to splash out, there are plenty of luxury options too.

How To Wind A Pocket Watch

vintage pocket watch surrounded by autumn leaves

There are two main types of vintage pocket watches – stem-wind and key-wind. The winding process is different for each one.

Type 1: Stem-Wind

To wind a stem-wind pocket watch, you follow the same process as you would for a mechanical watch (pulling out the crown, twisting it, and pushing it back in). If you hear a grinding noise during the winding process, stop immediately as this means there is a problem with the mechanism.

Type 2: Key-Wind

This type of pocket watch requires a key to wind the mechanism. Once you’ve got the key, simply insert it into the back of the watch case and turn the key clockwise until you feel resistance. Finally, take the key out of the back of the watch.

How To Wind A Rolex Watch

gold Rolex datejust

There are different methods of winding Rolex watches depending on which type of watch you’re dealing with. Some follow the same process as the average mechanical watch, whereas others feature screw-down cases.

If you are dealing with a screw-down Rolex, the first few steps are the same as normal. Place the watch on a table and locate the crown. Now you need to turn the crown anticlockwise to unscrew it. Then grip the stem with your thumb and finger and slowly wind it until you cannot wind it anymore.

Now You Know How To Wind A Watch

vintage Citizen watch

As you can see, there are many different methods for winding watches. This all depends on the watch movement (mechanical or automatic), the watch type (wrist watch or pocket watch) and the watch brand.

Despite these differences, watch winding is generally an easy process. If you follow our guide, you should have no problems keeping the timepieces in your collection sufficiently wound. However, there are also videos out there if you would prefer to see the process visually.

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