As gorgeous and as intricate as automatic watches are, wearing them can sometimes come with a slew of questions. These are pieces you invest tons of money on, so it is only natural to want to know how to preserve them best. Plus, you want to make sure they operate correctly and accurately.
Today, we will discuss some of the answers to the flood of questions people often have about this automatic watch movement, including whether it is something that deteriorates if you don’t wear the watch.
Does an Automatic Watch Have To Be Worn Every Day?
Let’s cut to the chase. No, you don’t have to wear an automatic timepiece on your wrist every single day. You are free to switch watches or give your wrist a rest whenever you feel like it without worrying about damaging your precious investment.
Most timepieces using the automatic movement can usually run for 50 hours without winding. Some of the higher-end pieces can even last for weeks.
For now, though, let’s discuss the standard automatic watches. When in good working condition, these timepieces can run for a day and a half without being worn. That’s the minimum power reserve for watches belonging to the average category.
Of course, a decent watch should last you at least 48 hours when fully wound. However, note that most of these values only apply to watches wound completely and then stored with zero handling. That’s because any time these watches are moved, the mainspring tenses up a bit more and extends the power reserves.
Is It Okay To Let an Automatic Watch Stop?
Yes, there’s nothing wrong with letting an automatic timepiece shut down. You just wind it up again and set the time whenever you want to use it.
There will come a time when you leave the mainspring fully unwound and with zero power reserves for movement. If that happens, your watch won’t be able to run continuously, and power is sent to the escape wheel instead. This results in the “ticking” sound an unwound automatic watch makes several times per second.
Eventually, the escape wheel also loses its power supply and, in turn, its connection with the pallet fork. This then causes the pallet fork to stop the back-and-forth movement of the balance wheel, resulting in a dead watch.
Then again, just because it’s dead now doesn’t mean it is dead forever. And just because the watch stopped functioning temporarily doesn’t mean it is going to get damaged. It is normal for movement to stop sometimes since users forget to wear their watch or just don’t feel like wearing them. It’s important to remember that whenever these days come, our automatic watches are simply in slumber, waiting to be woken up (or, in this case, winded up).
Can You Keep Your Automatic Watch Unwound?
It is perfectly okay to leave automatic watches unwound. In fact, you can keep them this way for long periods without having to worry about the watch getting damaged. Whether it’s a manual or an automatic winding watch, you can trust that its unwound state won’t cause any damage.
If you come to think of it, before you bought the watch, it was probably sitting in the display case for several months without being wound. Even so, it was handed to you in perfect condition, so there’s your answer.
Once you decide to wear the watch again, all you need to do is wind it up. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been sitting unwound; it will run immediately without any signs of deterioration. Also, if you have several automatic watches in your collection, imagine what a struggle it would be to keep them all wound. Hence, it makes more sense to keep them all unwound than to have to wind them up every single day.
Not only is it easier to keep your watch unwound when storing it, but it also reduces the likelihood of wear and tear because the watch’s parts aren’t moving. Basically, the mainspring, jewels, and pallets get the rest they need while being distanced from each other appropriately.
Nevertheless, it would do you some good to wind the watch up every few months to keep the oils lubricating the movements from settling. You can do this just to be sure, but even if you don’t, it really isn’t something to worry about.
Should You Keep Your Automatic Watch Wound?
Keeping your automatic watch wound ensures more precise timekeeping. It’s also ideal if you have a complicated watch, to begin with. You don’t want to have to set the time every time your watch stops because this could ruin its health further.
In line with that, should automatic watch movement worry you? No, it shouldn’t. Again, whether your timepiece hasn’t been in action for a few days or months, it will be like nothing happened once you wind it up again. If you want it to be ready for wearing at a moment’s notice, you can keep it wound even in storage.