For many first-time watch owners, learning how to set a watch can be quite tricky and confusing. Since analog watches are one of the most commonly-used types of watches, they also rank as the most popular choice amongst first-time watch owners and collectors.
Whether you own an analog timepiece that is driven by a quartz movement, a self-winding watch, or a hand-wound piece, the process of how to set a watch is more or less the same for all. The vast majority of analog watches are also equipped with screw-down crowns. Not only is this watch part vital for keeping the watch’s inner mechanisms safe from moisture and dust, but it is also used to operate many functions of the timepiece, including setting the time.
So, if you are in need of a guide on how to set a watch, this article has got you covered. Scroll down as we walk you through the entire process on how to set a watch with our helpful, step-by-step guide.
How To Set A Watch: A Detailed Guide
Let us look at this dive piece from TAG Heuer. Like most analog watches, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WBP2111.BA0627 comes with a steel screw-down crown and a compact date feature at 6 o’clock.
1. Hold the crown tightly and unscrew it by rotating it in a counterclockwise direction
Since a screw-down crown is tightly sealed, unscrew it slightly by holding the crown with a firm grip and rotating it in a counterclockwise direction or towards you. This is the part where the grooved edges of a crown are important, because it provides you with a better grip when operating the crown.
2. Continue rotating the crown until it gets to the first position
Continue rotating the crown towards you until it reaches the first position. This is also called the winding position. For automatic and hand-wound watches, when in this position, the crown can be used to wind and start up the timepiece’s mechanisms.
3. When the crown is set in the first position, pull the crown out so it gets to the second position
From the first or winding position, pull the crown out once more to get to the second position. This position allows you to control the watch’s date function.
4. Pull the crown out once more to get to the third position
For the last time, pull the crown out again until it gets into the third and final position. Once the crown is in the third position it can be pulled to, you can now use it to set the time.
5. To set the time, rotate the crown in a clockwise direction
To begin setting the time, rotate the crown in a clockwise direction or away from you. This will cause the minutes hand to move in a clockwise manner, which will then be followed by the hours hand.
6. Align the hours and minutes hands with the current and accurate time
Continue to turn the crown clockwise as you align both the hours and minutes hands with the current, accurate time. Make sure you turn the crown clockwise – many watch experts do not recommend turning the watch’s hands in a counter-clockwise direction as doing so may damage the gears of the watch’s movement in the long run. Indeed, it is better to be safe than sorry.
7. Once you have set the time on your watch, push the crown until it reaches its very first position
If you have already set your watch so that the hours and minutes hands are aligned with the correct time, you can now return the crown to its first position. All you have to do is push the crown in until it reaches the first winding position.
8. Screw the crown tightly in a clockwise direction to ensure that it is sealed
Once the crown is back to the first position, screw it forward or in a clockwise direction. This will ensure that it is tightly sealed again, so that no moisture or dust can get in.
As you can see, the entire process of how to set a watch is straightforward and not difficult to follow. If it is your first time learning how to set a watch, or you need to adjust your watch’s time to a new timezone, you will find this guide very convenient and easy to remember. We hope that through our brief guide, you now remember just how to set a watch.
Featured image courtesy of Sean Paul Kinnear on Unsplash.
Need a guide on opening pocket watches? Our piece on How to Open Pocket Watches might help you!
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