With being in existence for over a century, mechanical watches have a complicated mechanism, unlike regular quartz watches. To understand and appreciate them better here is all you need to know about why they lose or gain time:

When you notice your watch is losing time, don’t worry and rush off to the watchmaker as the problem could be quite an easy one to fix. Majority of the time, the reason why your watch is not accurate, is due to it not receiving enough power.

vintage automatic watch

A watch is said to be 99.9% accurate when it is off by 1 minute and 27 seconds per day which is not ideal. With automatic watches, people are under the impression that the watch will just keep time even though it isn’t worn enough. Completely false! If you’re leaving your watch in the cupboard, it won’t be wound and won’t keep accurate time as it will lose power. An automatic watch must be worn more than just a couple of hours a week as it is wound by movement. What this means is, when it is worn the movement of your wrist helps to generate movement to the rotor which stores the watch power. If you are sitting at a desk all day, that is not enough movement. However, some automatic watches can also be manually wound by turning the crown.

vintage bulova whale watch

How to manually wind your watch

Rotate the crown counterclockwise, which can be found at the 3 o’clock. This will pull the crown out, then you can start turning it clockwise. You will know once it is fully wound when you start to feel resistance. You should ideally be winding it from time to time to ensure accuracy.

vintage automatic watch

Here is another great tip. When storing your watch at night, it is recommended to adjust it’s position to the following methods to help compensate the time lost/gained:

Dial-Up
Crown Down
Dial Down
Crown Left
Crown Up
Crown Right
Half-way position crown up
Half-way position crown down

The accuracy of the watch is completely dependant on many variables but it also includes temperature. A watch can gain or lose from 1- 10 seconds depending on the temperature ( normally below 5 degrees Celsius or above 35 degrees Celsius), type of watch certification and mechanism. Temperature affects the mechanism in that it can expand or contract depending on fluctuations in temperature.

Mechanical watches can also be affected by magnetism. Magnetic items such as magnetic necklaces, mobile phones, tv’s, handbag clasps, hair-driers and electric razors, can all affect your watches time accuracy.

Don’t be shy, go have a look at our mechanical watches HERE.

Picture source: Malenkov in Exile

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