A common misconception amongst new owners of automatic timepieces is that they would not require any winding. Indeed when the word automatic is associated with something, one would assume it can operate without assistance. An example which we see fitting and relevant to understand the movement behind an automatic watch is that of an automatic motor vehicle. Although these types of vehicles come with an automatic transmission fitted, they still require the driver to manually select the correct gear in order to activate movement of the car to go either forward or backwards. Similarly, an automatic self-winding timepiece requires to be manually wound in order to activate its mechanism.
Firstly, we need to understand in more detail how an automatic timepiece works for this to make sense.
The difference between a manually wound quartz movement and an automatic self-wound movement is the use of a winding rotor in the latter. An automatic watch simply converts the wearer's wrist movement into the mechanical framework in order for it to operate.
As one would expect, once they take off their watch and do not wear it for a few days, the loss of movement would then cause the mechanism to eventually stop after reaching the end of its running cycle. The timepiece would then need to be manually wound to activate the movement once again. This form of movement is very sophisticated, both in its intricate construction, and also its aesthetic appeal as it is an absolute pleasure to observe when ticking away.
How do I wind my timepiece?
To wind your automatic timepiece, you must slightly pull the crown away from the case so that it is able to rotate freely. Once in the correct position, you simply rotate the crown clockwise until you feel a resistance in the turn, which at that point would mean the watch is fully wound and ready to use.
The number of rotations required can vary, however, generally an automatic wristwatch requires between 30-45 rotations for it to be fully wound.
Please Note: You must take extra care when winding your automatic timepiece and ensure it is not wound over the recommended guidelines, as this could affect the performance of the mechanism in the long term.