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can you overwind a watch

by Dylan Baker
Updated on

So, can you overwind a watch?

the answer to this question depends on the type of watch you own.

Usually, modern watches are designed in a way that protects them from overwinding.

But the answer can vary based on which type of what you are talking about, automatic or mechanical.

In this article, we will answer the question of whether you can overwind a watch or not.

can you over wind an Automatic Watch ?

To put it simply, You cannot overwind a modern automatic watch. If you are winding it manually, once the mainspring is wound completely the rotor will stop rotating thus making it impossible to overwind the watch.

Do keep in mind though some automatic movements are made with bare-bones manual winding parts, too frequent manual winding may wear them down and cause premature failure.

Use the manual winding in the automatic watch only to start the watch with a few turns after it runs down, then let the auto wind itself. 

can you over wind a mechanical Watch ?

You can overwind a mechanical watch! There is a possibility of overwinding a mechanical watch when you overlook the resistance of the spring. If you keep winding it the spring might break and stop working altogether.  

Though this is not true for all mechanical watches. especially if it’s a more recent model.

Many mechanical watches do come with a clutch-like mechanism that prevents overwinding but some older models can be damaged if you are not careful while winding them.

A watch that requires manual winding differs from an automatic watch. Unlike an automatic watch that has an automatic mechanism to wind, mechanical watches are required to be wound using hands.

A manual watch needs to be wound regularly in short intervals of time. The winding capacity of the watch differs from the power build of the watch and whether it requires more winding in short intervals or long intervals. 

Most of the regular manual watches have a built-in capacity and power lasting anywhere between 30 to 40 hours.

When it comes to high-end manual watches, they can last on a single winding for about 70 hours.

Correct Way to wind a Watch 

When it comes to an automatic watch, firstly use the manual winding only when the watch is dead and you need to start it and only give it a couple of turns until it starts running, and then you can leave it to wind itself automatically.

Even though automatic watches will probably not break but you should prevent overwinding them and applying a lot of pressure in order to not spoil or hamper the proper working of the automatic watch. 

Now if we talk about manual watches, we have to be careful with winding the watch as the spring can actually break and snap if we overwind it if it doesn’t have a safety mechanism in place.

It is best to stop winding a manual watch as soon as you feel pressure or resistance without taking further chances. In about 30 to 40 turns of the crown turning, you will feel the resistance so it is best to stop at that point, as simple as that! 

the bottom line:

It is not possible to overwind an automatic watch, as they have a mechanism which releases tension in the barrel in case of such a situation as resistance from the spring.

In the case of a mechanical watch, it is possible to overwind it and cause the watch to break especially if you have an older timepiece. So you should be a little careful and stop winding if you feel some resistance.

Now that you know if you can overwind a watch or not, here check this list of top watch brands that you should know about.

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About the author

Dylan Baker

Dylan is a Men's fashion and image consultant, He is also the man behind Dapperclan. He is extremely passionate about fashion and wants to help men style and look better.


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