Question about Watches

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Wound it up to tight

Worked for 3months after got from grandmas funeral... was hers wound it up more cause would stop in middle of night before i would wake...

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  • Watches Master
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Have a repair shop look before real damage happens to this.

Posted on Dec 10, 2012

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I have wound muy omega speedmaster automatic to tightly at the bezel and it has stopped working. Can you tell me if there is something inside that can be released tostart it again?


There's a misconception that mechanical watches can be "overwound." Mainsprings in old watches can indeed set in place and freeze up if they are wound tightly and not permitted to unwind, but the steel used in modern mainsprings used in the past 50 years or so is an alloy that's much less likely to bind up compared to 19th century pocket watches. In addition, the winding mechanism in an automatic (aka, self-winding) watch is designed to slip once the spring has been fully wound so that the rotor and winding parts aren't damaged by suddenly binding up. In a manual wind watch, once the mainspring is fully wound, it's simply not possible to wind the watch further unless the mainspring snaps or comes loose from its anchoring--in which case, you'd be able to wind the watch forever without ever storing power in the mainspring to drive the movement. While it is possible for a watchmaker to open your watch and release tension on the mainspring, it's overwhelmingly likely that something entirely different is keeping your watch from ticking and keeping time.

Mechanical watches generally stop running for two reasons: (1) lack of power to the movement; or (2) something in the movement that is preventing the movement from running. If your mainspring is fully wound, you have power to drive the movement. It's time to think about what could be causing #2.

Problems in the movement are usually caused by dust or dirt that preventing a delicate movement part from working properly (e.g., dirt at the pivots can freeze up a gear, stopping a movement). However, it's also possible to have a mechanical failure, such as a bent tooth on a gear in the train. A further possibility is so-called "overbanking," which some believe is the origin of the myth of overwinding. A mechanical watch's balance assembly drives a tiny little forked lever back and forth to control the escapement and the rate at which the watch keeps time. If the watch receives a physical shock or if the parts are worn, it's possible for this tiny lever to get bumped out of its tiny pivot and jammed in place. When that happens, the watch will stop, even though a superficial check will seem to indicate that the balance is still moving freely. At the same time, because the watch isn't ticking, the mainspring isn't unwinding, and so the watch cannot be wound further.

In my experience, watches usually stop running due to dirt at the pivots or on one or more gear teeth. I generally see overbanking in older watches or mechanical watches that have been less precisely made and not routinely cleaned over their working lives--though I have seen it also occur in a few newer watches that were dropped. Better designed watches--and I would include Omega in this category--have escapement levers with built-in guards to make it more difficult for them to overbank.

As for how dirt gets into a watch that's supposed to be water-resistant and generally sealed against exactly that problem--well, as odd as it sounds, watches "breathe," and this process draws in dust and dirt over time. Worn against the body, a watch warms up and expands the air inside it, pushing some of it out of the case; upon cooling, some air is drawn back into the case. This process is obviously reduced in watches designed with a significant degree of water resistance (aka 50 meters or more), but the process is accelerated when you pull the stem out to set the time or even wind the watch via the stem--there's some degree of air gap between the stem and the stem tube, or else it wouldn't be possible to turn the stem. This microscopic dust--in minute quantities--mixes with the lubricating oils inside a mechanical watch and increase the friction in some of the key pivots. Over time, the combination of naturally solidifying oils that are thickening and a minute amount of dust can turn lubricating oil into glue. The watch cleaning process flushes the old oil and accumulated dirt from the pivot bushings so that fresh, uncontaminated oil can be used to re-lubricate these key gear axles.

Bottom line: if your mechanical watch has stopped working, it's much more likely that something is interrupting the intricate gears in the watch movement rather than a problem with the mainspring. A competent watchmaker or watch repair technician should be able to identify the problem relatively quickly and give you a definitive answer as to the true cause of--and cost to fix--your watch.

Jun 11, 2011 | Watches

1 Answer

How do i fix a watch thats wound too tight


Well, you begin with the correct premise. Your watch isn't wound too tight. It just isn't running so you made the 'assumption' it was because it is fully wound. Your actual problem is the watch isn't running and therefore the spring is not running down. It may be not running for many reasons. Suggest you take it to a watchmaker and he/she may be able to help you.

Mar 14, 2011 | Watches

1 Answer

My watch stops in the night.But works fine when i wear it.any ideas?


Yes, the Movado is a self winder, and it was designed for the sports active wearer, of which the motion of the wearer's arm provides the power to keep the watch wound. Apparently you are not active enough for the watch to be fully wound, so when you take it off, it will use up all of the stored energy in the spring and stop. many self winders will only store enough energy for 8-12 hours of use and will require constant wearing. You could try wearing it to sleep and see if this is enough to keep it wound.

If you feel that this is not the case for your watch, then you may want to have it looked at by a watch maker

Jan 23, 2011 | Movado 800 Performance watch

1 Answer

Watch will not wind. Wound too tight. How do you fix a watch that is wound too tight?


The best solution is to lightly tap on the watch, this will keep it running until the spring is unwound enough to run on it's own.

Jan 08, 2011 | Watches

1 Answer

I don't know how to wind the watch....can you help?


WIND AT THE SAME TIME EVERY DAY. This is extremely important. In order to ensure that your watch keeps good time it must be wound at the same time every day. Most people like to do this at night before bed.
WIND ALL THE WAY. The watch must be wound all the way, or it will slowly lose the proper time and require constant resetting. Also, if not wound all the way, the watch may stop keeping time earlier than expected.
WIND IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. Most European watches wind clockwise when the face of the watch is pointing towards you. Determine which way your watch winds, and stick to that direction. To figure this out, try to turn it both ways. The wrong way will either be extremely loose, or extremely tight.
Tips & Warnings
Keeping your watch clean and free of dust and dirt will also add to its longevity.
Contact the watch's manufacturer for any special and/or specific care methods.
Don't under or over wind you watch. When you start to feel resistance, STOP.

Aug 17, 2010 | Watches

2 Answers

If the watch is not worn for a day, is it normal for it to stop or slow down? Vintage SS mens datejust, oyster perpetual.


mcdevito75 here, Yes it is normal, especially if your Rolex is an automatic watch. The motion of your Wrist / Hand keeps your watch wound thru the Counter balance on the movement, as the counter balance turns it winds the mainspring little by little, thus keeping your watch wound. Once you take off your watch, if long enough the mainspring simply un-winds and slows and will eventually stop your watch completely. You can keep your Rolex wound even when you take it off by means of a watch winder, a small machine that will keep your watch in motion, or by hand, by rocking the watch back and firth in your hand for about 30 seconds, say before you gpo to bed at night, this way there is always some wind to your watch.

Aug 15, 2010 | Rolex Datejust SS

2 Answers

Tag Heuer Tiger Wood Golf WAE1111.FT6004 Watch stops when not worn. Is there a problem


Hi,

An automatic watch needs to be worn, wound daily or placed on a watch winder to keep it going. It is not like a quartz watch that has a battery and can keep going when not worn. A modern automatic watch will run for about 36 - 48 hours on a full wind.

A quartz watch that stops like you describe is in need of a cleaning by a professional watchmaker. When this stopping occurs it is an indication the oils have dried out and the warmth from your body heats them so they are semi liquid again and the watch runs. but when the watch cools again the oils harden and the watch stops.

Hope this helps,

Ken
Yellowstone Watch, Inc.
www.yellowstonewatch.com

May 21, 2010 | Tag Heuer Tiger Wood Golf WAE1111 Watch

1 Answer

Juts got the watch, wound it, worked then stoped, wound dead


These watches are self winding (mechanical spring), so need to be worn (or gently oscillated) to wind them up.

The catalogue for this watch says it should run for 72 hours when fully wound.

Depending on when the watch was made, it could be that it needs a clean.

Try wearing it for a few days to see if it keeps going.

Feb 02, 2010 | Rolex Daytona 116520 Wrist Watch

2 Answers

Automatic Watch Stops


There can be hundereds of causes why your watch isn't working properly, so, I'll not name them.
One is clear- without help of skilled watchmaker your watch will NEVER work properly.
NOTE: It may sound very strange, but mechanical watches do NOT like to be left without job.
Next time you decide to leave mechanical watch aside for long time- do not forget to wind it up once in a 2-3 days even if you are not wearing it.
This will help to prolong watch movements life and keep timekeeping steady and accurate.

Regards

Arthur

Dec 15, 2008 | Invicta (2540) Wrist Watch

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