Is it possible to overwind an automatic watch? Like many other consumers, you’ve probably asked yourself this question. I mean, you don’t want to lose ruining your expensive watch because of over tightening the spring mechanism. You also don’t want to glance at a watch that has stood still because of lack of winding.
So, can it really be overwound?
The simple answer is “No.”
The reason is that the winding mechanism automatically disengages itself from the loaded spring when fully tightened. For easier understanding, picture two moving parents adjacent to each other. During winding, they are joined together and this allows direct transfer of motion from one plate to another, just like a clutch system.
However, when the watch is fully wound, the two pieces disconnect leaving a gap between them. While turning the crown, you’ll only be moving one part while the other part, the mainspring, won’t be moving.
Although the watch’s spring automatically winds itself during movement, you will at times require to manually do the winding. For instance, after the initial purchase, it’s always recommended that you turn/rotate the crown about 30-40 times. This allows it to achieve the full Power Reserve that should provide you 36-42 hours.
Once wound and you wear it daily and take off at night while sleeping, the watch should require no manual winding. However, people who don’t wear it occasionally or don’t move around too often may need to wind it after some time. A good example is the individuals who spend a considerable amount of time at their desk.
You can choose to either turn the crown using your fingers or use a watch winder. This is a device that is attached to the watch and it mimics the motions made by the hand during use. After a short period, it should have the watch fully wind. The device is most suited for people who own several automatic watches and desire convenience.
With the above information, you can rest easy now knowing that you won’t damage the spring mechanism of your watch since it can’t be over wound.