Tip & How-To about Watches

"Self-winding" Automatic mechanical watches that don't run.

Many questions are posted about watches that don't run or just run for a few seconds or minutes. If it's a quartz/digital watch you need to have the battery replaced. If it's a mechanical watch - even a high end "perpetual" watch like a Rolex, you'll need to manually wind it. Self-winding, or automatic, watches have a rotor in the case that spins as your arm/wrist moves throughout the day. The motion of the rotor winds the watch. When the watch is left unworn for a day or you spend your day just reading a book or otherwise remain inactive, the watch runs down. To restart it and provide a power reserve, simply wind the watch manually by turning the crown clockwise about 40 turns. It should run fine as long as you stay active. If you don't wear the watch everyday and don't want to have to wind and reset it every time you put it on, you can buy a watch winder to keep it moving. You can find them for under $100 on ebay for basic models and for more money you will see ones that wind multiple watches and have nice decorative cases.

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I have a fossil 1089 and the automatic machinery stops after being placed on a table within few minutes. Is it just for show or does it charge the quartz cell.


Fossil Twist watches are somewhat odd ducks; there is no connection between the automatic watch mechanism that powers the second hand and the rest of the watch, which is powered by a battery-operated quartz movement. Unlike a Citizen Eco-Drive or Seiko Kinetic, the automatic rotor does not power or charge the electronic side of the watch in any way.

May 11, 2011 | Fossil ME1020 watch

2 Answers

should i pull the crown to save battery if i store my quartz watch for a few months


I don't think storing a watch with the crown out accomplishes much. That I am aware of, pulling the crown out does not break the electrical connection between the battery and the watch. At least in looking at quartz movements, I don't see any electrical apparatus that insulates the crown in any way so that it could act as a switch. I think that in quartz watches that hack, pulling the crown out mechanically disengages or interferes with the drive train, but it doesn't stop the oscillator or stepper motor from running.
With quartz movements, at least those I have seen the internals of, (most ETA and ISA designs, some Rondas, a few Seikos), pulling the crown to the setting position does one of two things:
1) On better, jeweled movements - it breaks contact between the coil and battery, thus stopping the motor. The oscilator continues to be powered, but most of the current consumption is from the motor. These pulling the crown out does save battery life. Or,

2) On cheaper non-jeweled movements - it blocks the rotation of the second hand gear, and stalls the motor. These are observable by a "twitchy" second hand when the stem is out. This method actually kills the battery faster, as a stalled electric motor draws more current.

May 08, 2011 | Watches

2 Answers

second hand stops for a few seconds and then starts again over and over again


Try manually winding it (assuming it's not a quartz watch). If a mechanical watch is not worn daily it will run down and need to be manually wound to get going. Turn the crown clockwise about 40 turns.

Apr 25, 2010 | Tag Heuer WK1120.BB0314 Wristwatch

1 Answer

how does the swiss eta g10.211 quartz chronograph work


Hello,
I am not sure if I understand your question. Are you asking how this particular quartz movement operates?

All Quartz movements are pretty much the same operational wise. They can vary greatly in materials used for construction and number of jewels.

At it's basic a quartz watch uses a piece of quartz crystal called a transistor oscillator to vibrate a tuning fork. This vibration is a is brought down by micro processors to a meaningful number then converted into mechanical energy trough the movement and hands.

In the case of a chronograph it means more internal gears and jewels.
Although this is a good movement it is the low side of middle of the road.

The G10.211 is an analog display of hours and measured time. These include hours, minutes and a small jumping second as 6 o'clock. Mechanical date and counters for 1/10 second, 60 seconds and 30 minutes with "ADD" and 'SPLIT" functions. Operated by 2 push buttons.
It has 6 jewels.

If you want to know something more specific please just ask.
Hope this helps.

Dec 31, 2009 | Bulova Watch

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