An automatic or self-winding watch is a mechanical watch in which the mainspring is wound automatically as a result of natural motion of the wearer's arm. As long as there is sufficient kinetic energy to spin the movement’s rotor, the watch will continue to operate.

Did you know?

The first automatic wristwatch was invented by British watchmaker John Harwood in 1923 and went into production in Switzerland in 1928.

In 1930 Rolex invented the Oyster Perpetual, which improved upon John Harwood’s design and became the basis for their modern movements.



 Step 1 – Unscrew the Crown:

Remove the watch from your wrist and unscrew the crown (button on the right side of the case) by turning it anti-clockwise. After a few revolutions of the crown, it will ‘pop’ out a notch, at which point the crown can be turned clockwise freely.

 Step 2 – Set the Date (quick-set models only):

Pull the crown out one notch, and turn clockwise. Keep rotating until you reach the desired date.

 Step 3 – Set the Time (and date on non-quick-set models):

Pull the crown out a 2ndnotch, and turn to adjust the time. For models with a non-quick-set date, continue turning the hands around manually until reaching the desired date. For models with a date feature, make sure to correctly set the time to AM or PM.

 Step 4 – Closing the Crown

When the time and date have been set, push the crown back in towards the case, and screw in clockwise simultaneously. The crown will ‘catch’ onto the screw thread, and after a few revolutions will not screw any further. Do not over tighten, and be careful not to cross-thread the crown.



  • On models with a quick-set date feature, do not adjust the date if the watch is between 9pm-3am. As the movement is preparing to automatically adjust the date, any manual switching of the date could disrupt this process and damage internal elements. Try adjusting the time to 6 o’clock and then set the date.
  • Do not adjust the time and date by going backwards with the hands. Always go forwards, even if it takes longer to adjust.
  • With most automatic models, the watch can typically hold a ‘charge’ of approximately 24-48 hours without being worn – meaning the watch hands will stop moving after a day or so of not being worn. If a watch is worn infrequently, the wearer will likely have to adjust the time and date before each use.
  • It is very important to screw the crown in correctly prior to any exposure to water. Failure to do so can result in damage to the movement, dial and hands.


Below is an image indicating the most common watch parts
Tempvs Parts of a Watch
Watches with 'complications' such as a chronograph, helium escape valve,
minute-repeater (among others) will have additional elements.