How to Wind an Automatic Watch Under 2 minutes

How to wind an automatic watch

Have you bought your first automatic watch yet? If you did, you should be proud of yourself. If it’s your first time with an automatic watch or self winding automatic watch, you will notice that the watch is not powered in readiness.

You have to unwind the watch for it to run. Unlike mechanical watches, understanding the mechanics of an automatic watch is a bit tricky. Thus you have to familiarize yourself with the anatomy of the watch first.

Once you know all the parts, winding gets easier. So how to wind a self winding watch? Well, this is what you will learn in this article, so stay with me till the end.

What Is A Self Winding Watch?

These watches are also known as automatic watches. Self-winding watches are recognized worldwide because they are considered better than other types of mechanical watches, especially in terms of function and longevity. Automatic watches not only shows time, but they also complement other factors such as status, outfits, styles, and occasions. You can also checkout our recommended automatic watches.

Automatic wind watches had their first breakthrough in the late 20s, ever since they are booming in the marketplace. Every 3rd individual in today’s time owns an autowind watch, and the number still continues to grow.

Self Winding Watch

The reason why they are called auto winding watches is that these watches wind by themselves. Of course, they must be getting power from somewhere without the power or energy; the watch wouldn’t work at all. But, most people don’t know how does a self-winding watch works. The watch is practically powered by the wearer’s arm movement.

Whenever the wearer performs wrist activities, the watch gets automatically charged. That means you don’t have to wind it manually. But, in some cases, you have to wind up the wristwatch manually for some reason. Are you interested in knowing how to wind an automatic watch? Winding the watch is not rocket science; it’s easy, but you must know the correct way to do it. 

Do All Automatic Watches Be Wound?

Yes, most self-charging watches need to be wound. When you buy a new automatic watch, the mainspring of the watch is completely inactive, meaning ‘unwound.’ You have to first wound the mainspring.

How to keep an automatic watch wound? When you move the watch around or jiggle it a bit, the rotor will start spinning, which will ultimately start winding your watch. Well, this will keep your watch running, but it will not fully tighten the mainspring. To bring the watch to its maximum capacity, you have to tighten the mainspring.

All you have to do is turn or wind the crown about 20-30 times without stopping. This will help the motor and mainspring running while wearers put their watches on. Thus, almost all automatic watches need to be wound once in a while to retain your watch’s power.

Well, the question on how to wind an automatic watch still remains. There are various ways by which winding automatic watches can be done. Let’s quickly check them out one by one.

How To Wind An Automatic Watch?

Winding an automatic watch is crucial if you want your watch to last longer. New watches are usually unwound. It’s you who have to wound the watch to keep it running. 

Most quartz watches run on battery since self-winding mechanical watches are batteryless watches that need to get power from other components of the watch.

1) Automatic movement

The simplest and quickest way to wind up a watch is by giving it an automatic motion. Movement helps in winding a mechanical watch without the use of any external power.

When you move your wrist, a little movement occurs in the back of your watch. With a little movement, the watch gets powered, and the rotor starts spinning while tightening the mainspring of your manual winding watch.

When you do this, the mainspring slowly begins unwinding, delivering power to the rest of the components of the watch. Thus, a simple shake or a movement on your wrist will help power the watch.


Do keep in mind that this method is only applicable in automatic watches that stopped working or an automatic watch that’s newly purchased. As you already know, not all mechanical watches are automatic; thus, powering automatic watches externally is essential. A firm shake for 20 seconds is enough to charge the watch.


When your automatic watch keeps stopping, you must go for a manual hand winding. Hand wind watches are reliable because they do not require batteries to run; they can be easily charged by wrist motion or by rotating the crown. If wrist motion doesn’t work on your watch, then you can try turning the crown.

Not all perpetual motion watches allow hand-winding because they are auto-wind watches. Still, you can give the crown rotating a try, and it will not harm your watch in any matter.

  • Step 1: Force the crown towards the case.
  • Step 2: Bring the crown forward and rotate it 30-40 times in a stretch. If you feel a bit of resistance, it’s a good sign. That means you are tightening the mainspring and powering all the gears in your auto wristwatch.
  • Step 3: Rotate the crown daily, this will keep the watch running for a long time, even if you don’t wear it for a few days.


If your automatic watch stops overnight, the best option you can opt for is an automatic watch winder. An automatic watch winder is a small device where you can keep your watch overnight to wind constantly. To be honest, an automatic watch’s winder is more of a fancy accessory than a necessity. If you have a flexible budget, you can opt for this option.

If you have an automatic watches winder, you don’t have to wind it yourself. The winder box will keep your watch winding for 24 hours. Thus, if it’s convenient for you, this is a great option.


Also, note that automatic watches winder only works on automatic watches. Mechanical watches won’t wind on winders due to differences in working mechanisms.

Note: Some automatic watches are self-charging watches, so you don’t need a winder in that case as well.

When Do You Need To Wind Your Automatic Watch?

This portion of the article will answer your common doubts, such as how often should you wind a watch or how to fix a watch that stopped ticking?

All these doubts depend on just one factor: “Power reserve.” Any mechanical watch or self-winding wristwatch has its power reserve ratings. This is the factor that determines how long your watch will run on a full charge.

Some watches have a built-in power reserve indicator that will help you release how to keep the automatic watch running by either winding it or wearing it.


Yes, you can. There are no set rules on how many rotations you have to give. Generally, 30-40 full turns are good enough to keep your watch running throughout the day. Fortuitously, if you give extra turns, it will not cause any harm to the watch. So, there is nothing to worry about.


Vintage watches are prone to quick power drainage because they do not have high-tech mechanisms like automatic watches. You can either use a winder, or you can perform everyday crown rotations to keep it running.

Manual Watch Vs Automatic Watch

I am sure you must have heard these terms being used interchangeably when it comes to categorizing watches. Let me tell you both manual, and automatic watches are categorized under mechanical watches, yet people tend to get doubts about them.

There is just one factor that differentiates them, i.e., the amount of winding. Winding automatic watches are a type of watch that wind themselves, whereas winding mechanical watches are watches that need to be winded externally.

Self-Winding Vs Automatic Winding Watches

Self-winding vs automatic winding is different as well. In automatic winding watches, you have to keep the watch on the wrist for it to run, whereas self-winding watches can work even if you don’t wear them for a day.

Automatic watches depend on the wearer’s wrist to function, so whenever the watch is on the moving wrist, it will wind automatically. Some automatic watches allow hand-winding.

In that case, you can wind it yourself. Watch winders can be used on automatic watches, thus highly recommended.

Manual watches compulsorily require manual winding. If your mechanical watch keeps stopping, you cannot do anything else than to rotate the crown forward 20-30 times in a row. Watch winders do not have any effect on manual watches, thus using them is not recommended.


How to wind an automatic watch

An automatic watch not winding properly tells or indicates that it’s time to wind it again. Rotate the crown 30-40 times once a day to keep your watch running efficiently.

I believe now you know how to hand-wind a watch or how to wind an automatic watch. Besides moving and rotating the crown, make sure you also make a date and time adjustments.

In case your mechanical watch stopped working, your previously set date and time will pause as well. Hence, this step is important.

Now that you know how amazing automatic watches could be, it’s time for you to get a watch that complements your requirements.

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