Manual winding is a specific type of movement mechanism found in watches, particularly mechanical timepieces. 

For those unaccustomed to wearing watches, the concept of manual winding might seem perplexing. To understand this better, read on for a comprehensive guide on using manual winding.

What is Manual Winding?

Manual winding refers to the operation of a watch that requires manual adjustment by the user. When preparing to wear the watch, the user needs to periodically turn the crown to provide energy to the watch’s movement, enabling the hands to keep time.

This mechanism contrasts with automatic watches, which generate power automatically from kinetic movements. Watches using manual winding are commonly known as mechanical watches.

Read more: Mechanical Watches: Types and Brand Examples for Men and Women

How Manual Winding Works in Watches

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A manual winding watch operates using a mainspring as its primary energy source. The mainspring coils when the user turns the watch’s crown clockwise. As the crown is wound, the mainspring tightens.

Once fully wound, the mainspring releases the energy required to drive the gears and move the watch hands. 

The power reserve of a watch indicates how long it will continue running after a full wind. Typically, this power reserve information is provided to potential buyers during the purchase process.

Each watch has a different power reserve. In luxury watches, the power reserve for manual winding usually ranges between 40-50 hours. This means that after winding the crown, the watch will function for at least 40-50 hours.

Watchmaking experts recommend turning the crown 30-40 times on a watch that has depleted its energy.

Read more: A Comprehensive Guide to Types of Watch Categories

Tips for Using a Manual Winding Watch

For those who own a mechanical watch, it’s essential to know the proper usage to ensure its longevity. Here are some tips for using a manual winding watch:

1. Remove the watch from your wrist or storage box

Before winding the watch, take it off your wrist or remove it from its storage box. This prevents lateral pressure on the watch stem, which can cause wear and damage, especially to the internal mechanism. Additionally, with the watch off, you can turn the crown more easily and quickly.

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2. Turn the crown clockwise

When winding, hold the watch face-up. Use your right thumb and forefinger to pull the crown out. If not pulled out, the crown remains locked and cannot be turned. 

Once the crown is out, turn it clockwise. Continue until the crown feels tight and harder to turn, indicating the mainspring is fully wound.

3. Know your watch’s power reserve

As explained earlier, the power reserve determines how long the watch will run effectively after the crown is wound. The larger the power reserve, the longer the watch will last. 

To find out your watch’s power reserve, check the manual provided at purchase. You can also research online, as power reserve information is often available before buying the watch. 

If your watch has a 50-hour power reserve, it will last about two days, meaning the crown needs winding every two days.

4. Wind regularly

Manual winding watches need to be wound regularly, ideally daily, to maintain optimal performance and accuracy. 

It’s recommended to wind your watch every one to two days, depending on its power reserve. The crown should be turned regularly, even when the watch is not in use. 

While most mechanical watches have a mechanism to disengage the winding gear from the mainspring when fully wound, it’s still advisable to follow the recommendation of turning the crown 30-40 times during each set.


Manual winding is a mechanism in mechanical watches that requires the user to periodically adjust the crown. To prevent damage, the crown needs to be wound regularly. Here are some key considerations for winding the crown:

  • Remove the watch from your wrist or storage box
  • Turn the crown clockwise
  • Know your watch’s power reserve
  • Wind regularly

With proper care, a manual winding watch can become a treasured accessory, functioning perfectly over time.

These explanations cover the basics of manual winding, including its definition, operation, and usage tips. For those interested in mechanical watches with manual winding systems, Luxehouze offers a curated selection of premium timepieces.

Luxehouze boasts an extensive collection of luxury watches from brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, Richard Mille, and more. All watches are guaranteed 100% authentic and available at the best prices.

Want to see the Luxehouze collection in person? Visit Luxehouze boutiques in Jakarta, Surabaya, and Singapore.