22 Comments

  1. First of all, thank you for your excellent reviews.

    Last month I purchased a Hamilton Jazzmaster Spirit of Liberty and during the first 30 days, it was spot-on accurate, however now it’s losing a minute per day.

    Any suggestions before I send it back?

    1. Author

      Hi Roberto. You’re definitely onto something here as a new automatic watch should not be that off so soon after purchase. I’d first try to wind the watch and see if there’s any difference in accuracy.

      If the accuracy is still off, then I’d try to think of any changes or what happened to the watch in the past 30 days:
      1- Have you dropped it hard on the floor?
      2- Did you used it for any physical activities e.g gym, swimming, jogging etc.?
      3- Any wild temperature changes right now compared to when you first bought it?
      4- Any exposure to strong magnetic field?

      If you answer yes to all the above, there’s a good chance the watch’s internal movement was compromised. But even if you can’t think of anything, there might be a trigger factor that caused its accuracy to decline so soon. You can try to ask for a replacement watch (assuming you have warranty from the seller and you like the watch) or ask for a full refund (and get the money to buy a different watch yeah!).

  2. I have an automatic skeleton swatch and it was working fine for years.. now I lived for some time in a place that is very cold few times.. I am not sure if this affected the watch
    Now even if at midnight I adjust de watch, after 8 hours it will be like 1 hour delayed
    I tried to wind everyday but still it gets delayed big time
    I also tried not using few days and manually wind it.. but still the same..
    Is my watch broken for good?
    Was it because of the cold weather?
    Btw I use it everyday all the time for the past 6 years

    1. Author

      Hi Ismael. Based on my personal experience, cold environment will only affect automatic watch as long as it’s cold. That is if you’re out from the cold environment to normal temperature, your watch should regain back its accuracy. For your case, there might be a magnetization problem or a movement issue inside it. Either way, it’s best if you bring your watch to a watchmaker to have it checked.

  3. Very thorough information about these self-wind watches! I want to thank you for that!
    The most helpful information I needed was to learn that you should not simply rely on the auto-wind aspect of the watch and it’s okay to manually wind it for maximum efficiency. I was under the obviously mistaken assumption that manually winding it was basically unnecessary and to do so would harm the watch, so I was hesitant to wanna do that. I bought a new rather inexpensive mechanical auto-wind watch, and I wear it every day for 10 hours a day, but when I put it down to go to bed, every morning when I wake up, it’s stopped! Giving it a little shake gets it going and changing the time makes things good to go, but I’m a retired guy, and I don’t move around as much as I used to I guess, so it may not get enough winding as I wear it during the day to last all night and still be working. I was trying to swing my arm for a couple of minutes before putting it down for the night, but it seems it still wants to stop after 8 or 10 hours of inactivity. Now I wind it at night 30 or 40 times and I can see the spring inside is tight, and in the morning it’s good to go, so I think this might be the routine I need every day! As long as manually winding is okay and this isn’t something that means I should return the thing because there’s something wrong with it, I’m good to go! Just wondering what you think about this!
    Thanks again for the informative post on mechanical self-winding watches! 👍

    1. Author

      Hi Randy. Yes, I’d say in most cases (especially if you’re not wearing the watch all day) some manual wind is definitely needed to give the power reserve a boost. To wind the watch before bed is a good method to do that though I’d advise to wind it once every week or 4/5 days instead of winding it everyday to minimize chances of breaking the winding mechanism. Thanks for reading buddy! =)

  4. I never knew there are so many factors that affect a watch! Just wondering is these same thing will affect a normal watch?

    1. Author

      Hi Kit. Quartz watch don’t suffer from these issues as far as I know. While most quartz watches will be more resistant to impact, it also depends on the brand and how they manufacture the watches. I’ve owned a normal quartz watch that stop moving after a drop to the floor, presumably due to some of its gear fall off. But spend a little bit more and you’ll be getting a better quartz watch that can survive impacts that no automatics can handle.

      Another thing that can affect quartz watch is extreme temperature as it can cause problems with the electronics and the quartz timekeeping.

  5. This is a great informative post. It may sound silly but I didn’t know I could wind my watch. I have had problem #1 many times. And the double watch winder is a great idea. It’s not that expensive for me. And it will solve my problem. thank you so much for all of this info. It will come in very handy in the future.

    1. Author

      Hi Laura. I’m glad that the info helped you. Cheers!

  6. I have a fake watch. It was given to me from a family member. It says Patek Philippe on it, but the model is not on the official website. It’s a skeleton automatic watch with a day/night dial and a second clock face that can be set rotating the mechanism backwards when in the set mode. I used to wear the watch maybe twice a week on non-consecutive days. Then one week I wore it 4 days in a row. Looking back, I have a feeling my watch doesn’t have a clutch being an fake watch. Because I wore it for so long, the watch overtightened. Now it stops ticking when I wear it. When flat, the watch is perfectly fine, but on a wrist it slows down until it comes to a stop, even with a good power supply. Is it possible the coil spring is over stretched? What all can cause this issue? I tried having it repaired, but they sent it back because they “don’t work on replicas.”

    1. Author

      Hi Aaron. Your issue is very weird and unfortunately I never experience such issues. I think the only way is to bring the watch to other watchmakers that is willing to work on it as it’s not a normal watch with that day/night indicator. But try to find a cheap watchmaker and get the quotation before having him repair it as spending a lot of money to get the watch fixed might not worth it for a fake (just my 2 cents..).

  7. I have a question about the date function for an automatic watch. For my new watch I think that I changed the date after 8:00PM. The date didn’t change after midnight. However when I change time with the minute and hour hands the date changes around midnight if I wind the srew head. Is this a sign that my automatic date function still works or is this a separate proces?

    1. Author

      HI buddy. I think you’ve not set the internal AM/PM of the watch correctly. You can use the method I’ve included in Point No.8. The updated method seems to be easier to understand. Let me know if you still have problem.

  8. Ive got the watch collecting bug. After several years of having nothing but a G Shock to my name which was my go everywhere watch, I have started to build a collection of automatics and quartz watches. Just when I think I’ve got enough , I want one more 🙂 As my collection is new and to be honest, sufficient, should I let my head rule my heart? I am specifically thinking 3-5 years down the line when they may all require a service at the same time? What do you think? Ignore the servicing issue and crack on or stagger my purchases over years? Nothing I own has cost more than £400.

    1. Author

      Well Nigel, you’re not alone in this. To be honest, if you got the money, you can buy as much watch as you like. What I mean is if you’re earning above your expenses, buying a new watch is totally fine.

      But it’s a totally different case if you’re not earning much. My personal rule is to only buy watches with my excess monies – not my investment money, not my emergency savings fund money, and definitely NOT on credit. I only buy a new watch when the situation permits. With that, I can still ensure my financial statement is still healthy despite my collection of watches.

      In terms of servicing, I think it’s okay to defer services for some watches – it’s not like it will get totally broken without any service. You can time the service of your watches over consecutive months (not at the exact same week/month) so as not to burden you financially.

      Lastly, you can always sell off your old watches on Ebay or other sites. It’s perfectly normal to have favorites among our watches so you can always sell the least liked watch in your collection. That way, you can still balance the total number of watches when you’re buying a new one.

    1. Author

      Thanks for the compliment buddy!

      Cheers!

  9. I have been looking for a good automatic watch, but wanted to check if there were any common problems to look out for.

    I didn’t know that you can buy watches with a power reserve indicator or that there was wide variation in the amount of wrist movement needed to power one of these watches.

    Thanks for your coverage of these issues.

    1. Author

      Hi Kristian. These issues are small, but can be quite major if you are not aware of them. The power reserve indicator is one of the most useful thing that any automatic watches can have.

      And somehow, Orient make the cheapest automatic watches with them. Check out the Orient Star Retrograde and Orient M-Force for watches with the power reserve indicator.

      Cheers!

  10. A lot of great info here. I own a silver analog watch and since it’s rather new I haven’t had many issues with it. I was surprised by the way auto watches run on kinetic energy. I know you said that temperature affects the accuracy of a watch, but do you know by how much?i would expect the amount to be negligible. Thanks for the post.

    1. Author

      Hi Juan. Thanks for visiting by! The amount of accuracy lost due to temperature will depends on the movements itself, but from my experience with my Seiko, it can be up to a few minutes. Another effect that temperature can have is reducing its power reserve.

      Due to these issues, it’s better to use an electronic watch (like G-Shock etc.) if you are thinking of going to cold places. As much as I love automatic watches, I have to admit this is one of its critical flaws.

      Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *