A manual-wind mechanical watch requires regularly winding, and is powered by the energy from a wound spring. This spring stores energy and transfers it through a series of gears and springs, regulating the release of energy to power the watch.

All mechanical watches have these five parts:
A mainspring
A gear train
A balance wheel
An escapement mechanism
An indicating dial

Did you know?

One of the earliest known wristwatches was gifted to Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1571 by Robert Dudley.  

It wasn’t until the late 19thCentury that wristwatches became popularized – they were preferred by military personnel over pocket watches which were deemed too impractical in the heat of battle.



Step 1 – Unscrew the Crown (If the watch doesn’t have a screw-down crown, skip to Step 2):

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.   

Step 2 – Wind the Crown

Wind the crown clockwise. There will be some small resistance, and a distinct mechanical sound as you wind. Wind the crown until you are met with firm resistance, and then stop. Do not force the winder any further.

Step 3 – Set the Time & Date

Pull the crown out a notch, 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. For quick-set models, pull the crown out a 2nd notch, and turn to adjust the date.

Step 4 – Closing the Crown

On models with a screw-down crown, push the crown back in towards the case, and turn clockwise simultaneously. The crown will ‘catch’ onto the screw thread, and after a few turns will not screw any further. Do not over tighten, and be careful not to cross-thread the crown. For models without a screw-down crown, simply push the crown back in towards the case.


  • Do not wind the watch or adjust the time on your watch while on your wrist, as there will be uneven pressure on the crown stem, which could cause harm to the movement. Always remove your watch prior to winding or adjusting.
  • 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. Simply adjust the time 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 mechanical 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.
  • 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.
  • Mechanical watches are particularly sensitive to heavy shocks, so avoid heavy duty tasks while wearing.
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.