It may seem harmless to set the time on a mechanical watch, but there is a chance that you will accidentally damage the movement inside. Just a few fundamental guidelines need to be kept in mind.

The first one is to only rotate the hands in a clockwise direction, and the second one is to only adjust the date for more than three hours from midnight (3 AM until 12 PM). That is all. However, you should also know why you should not do these things.

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    Never wound your watch’s hands counter clockwise

    The reason it’s named “clockwise” is because that’s how it’s intended to be operated. Turning around clockwise does not put your watch in danger of breaking right away. Instead, it significantly overworks the gear train compared to regular operation, and the general health of the watch’s mechanism may suffer if you do it often.

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    It’s not a huge concern if you are going to adjust it, but if it’s over your target time, turning it back a few minutes at a time is far simpler than going through another day and repeating the cycle.

    Never Set The Date Within The First 3 Hours of Midnight

    The date disc may appear to be getting ready to change as midnight draws near and occasionally won’t chime until fifteen minutes after midnight. This occurs with several timepieces.


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    Every 24 hours, the date disc moves forward by a pin that is fastened to the date wheel. You can jam the date disc or, in the worst case, shatter the wheel by quickly rotating it through the crown when the pin makes contact with the disc. If that occurs, you might need to perform a complete watch servicing in case any debris goes within the mechanism, in addition to having to replace the wheel.

    So, you should maintain the hour hand close to the bottom of the watch and move that pin out of the way before changing the date.

    For long-term watch health and satisfaction, please go by those two straightforward but essential guidelines and set your mechanical watch with confidence. To learn and discover more about mechanical watches, visit The Time Place boutique.