Can You Overwind an Automatic Watch? (You Bet!)

Overwind an Automatic Watch

The watch, for most people, is an essential part of a wardrobe. Watches are not only functional objects; they also serve as accessories to complete our look.

Lots of watch collectors and enthusiasts often prefer the best automatic watches because they’re not only stylish pieces, they’re also nifty little works of art made from premium materials and built into one complicated machinery.

There are many questions though about proper maintenance of automatic watches, but the most queries revolve around overwinding an automatic model.

Is this really possible with automatic watches? Read the rest of the article to find out.

How Does an Automatic Watch Work?

Can You Overwind an Automatic Watch

The automatic watch, also known as the perpetual watch or self-winding watch works together with the human body.

The movement that our wrists make leads the rotor, the metal weight which is fastened to a winding mechanism on the watch, to turn freely on its rod in the middle of this movement.

Even the faintest motion of the wrist facilitates the rotor to spin back and forth in a circular motion.

As the rotor budges, it also winds the mainspring. This action happening on the mainspring then powers the watch and enables it to operate.

This means that if you wear your watch the whole day, take it off before sleeping then put it on once again in the morning, the automatic watch will operate without needing your input.

This is due to the power reserve of the automatic watch, which is often slated at 36 hours or more.

What is the Power Reserve of a Watch?

Power reserve in watches refers to the energy that is stored in the mainspring of the watch. The mainspring unwinds gradually whenever the watch runs until all energy is used and the watch requires to be wound.

Majority of mechanical watches have power reserves ranging from 36-42 hours. This means that these watches can operate for those durations if wound completely.

There are automatic watch models that have a power reserve feature which allows users to see how much time is left before the watch stops running. You can also check the specification of the watch and see the power reserve duration that you can expect from the model.

Does an Automatic Watch Need to be Wound Manually?

Girl running with an auto wrist watch

One of the many reasons why people prefer automatic watches is because they’re not fussy; they can wear it and disregard it. However, you still need to manually wind automatic watches. The whole process will allow the watch’s mainspring to make the most out of the power reserve to its maximum capacity.

Thus, it is essential to wind the crown of the watch around 30 to 40 times which is sufficient to wind the mainspring on the majority of watch models. As soon as this part is wound completely and the watch is placed on an active wrist, the rotor can then function by winding the mainspring constantly and charge the watch’s power reserve.

Winding the watch manually is also crucial, particularly if you haven’t worn the item for the majority of the power reserve’s duration. Individuals who aren’t that active and do not move their wrists frequently to wind a watch completely may also need to do the procedure with their automatic watches every so often.

Can an Automatic Watch be Overwind?

Automatic watches feature a mechanism that winds the mainspring each time its wearer moves about. However, this is only possible if it is not completely wound.

Whenever the mainspring is wound completely, the rotor will stop turning in the course where the mainspring is wound. Thus, overwinding an automatic watch is not possible.

Automatic watches run in conjunction with our active bodies, meaning it operates when we move. Thus manufacturers, of course, need to discover a way to stop watch-wearers from overwinding their watch’s mainspring accidentally.

Overwinding the watch manually is impossible as well. In case the watch’s mainspring is not wound completely, simply turning its crown will wind the mainspring as it should be.

When the mainspring is fully wound, turning the crown of the watch will have no drastic effects on its functionality. This mechanism will, in fact, undo the winding motion happening on the mainspring, thereby keeping the watch’s functionality intact.

How Do You Wind an Automatic Watch?

automatic wreist watch

To keep your automatic watch’s functionality, its mainspring should have ample power reserve. As explained earlier, the automatic watch must be wound manually first before it automatically functions.

To top off the power reserve, you must turn the winding crown at a 3 o’clock position in a clockwise direction for roughly 40 rotations. This is basically enough for a majority of automatic watches.

As soon as this step is completed, the watch will wind itself mechanically, reconstituting the power reserve through vacillating weight which changes each time the position of the watch is changed through arm and wrist movement.

To maximize the power reserve, the automatic watch should be worn at least up to 8 hours a day. However, if the watch has not been worn for over 15 to 20 hours, users must perform manual winding of the watch.

Another way to wind automatic watches is by using a winder. The watch winder is a device that is fastened on the watch for times when you are not using it. This device moves the watch all over, imitating arm and wrist motions.

Watch winders are convenient for automatic watch collectors or for users who own more intricate models; watches with perpetual calendar features usually require additional time to set.

The digital age is present on most modern watches, and lots of people prefer such pieces over older models. However, nothing can compare to the classics.

A timeless automatic watch not only helps us to be on time, but it also adds class and elegance to our entire look; it’s an accessory that completes the wardrobe of stylish men and women.

Winding an automatic watch is an essential step in proper watch care. If you want to retain your automatic watch’s functionality, make sure to have it rewound every so often.

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1 comment

AbslomRob January 20, 2021 - 3:25 pm

Automatic watches use a slipping bridle design in the mainspring, so they NEVER stop winding; if you wind it to nearly full, it will actually unwind a bit . Any automatic watch that “Stops” winding is either really bad, broken, or hacked. Also, manually winding an automatic watch will (in many cases) create strain on the winding parts that interact with the autowind pieces, increasing the risk of damage. It’s not huge, but it’s more then a bit.

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