A fully wound mechanical watch has a power reserve of about 36 hours but it can be up to 42 hours in some timepieces. Check the manufacturer’s spec sheet to find out how long your watch is expected to run.
While moving the watch around helps move the mainspring to power up your watch, you’ll still want to wind the watch when you first get it and also on days when you’re not wearing the watch. If you’re sitting at a computer all day, it’s a good idea to wind the watch automatically.
The crown is a small dial-like screw on the side of the watch dial. You’ll need to unscrew it slightly to wind the watch or use a watch winder.
Automatic watches are designed to run without you having to wind them every day (like a manual watch). However, not wearing the watch all day or being very sedentary all day won’t give the watch enough power to run on its own. If you’ve had the watch for a few years and it suddenly stops running like usual, it could be a sign the mainspring needs to be replaced.
If you accidentally dropped your watch or your watch was knocked around, the axle inside the watch could break. The axle of the wheel is what causes that ticking sound so if it stops ticking, you might need to replace a few parts.
If you’ve had your auto for a few years and it suddenly stops running, it’s not necessarily broken — it could just need some maintenance.
Most automatic watches can run for about 36 to 42 hours without being manually wound or moving around for power. If you find your watch is running slower than normal after being fully wound, it could be a maintenance issue.
Even water resistant watches are vulnerable to the occasional leak or moisture damage. If your watch hasn’t been serviced in a while or it’s a vintage watch, you might need to replace the components that seal the watch.
Many auto watches have a chronograph second hand that’s supposed to reset to the 12 o’clock position. If this isn’t happening, you can manually reset it or take it in for service to make sure there’s not a mechanical issue.
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