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If you're new to watches, there are certain things you need to know. This page is a guide to the general use and care of automatic watches but sections for water resistance and standard operation applies to other types of watches as well.

Automatic watches. These watches run when a coiled spring inside the watch unwinds. A moving part called a rotor spins in the back that winds this spring for you. You can also manually wind this spring by turning the crown clockwise.

The Nereid has a display caseback that displays the rotor

Running time. The watch will run for as long as the spring can unwind. The standard duration is 40+ hours if the spring is fully wound. There's no need to fear over-winding the crown as there's a feature that acts as a safety mechanism.

Some old watches, especially those that has to be manually wound, do not have this safety mechanism. So forcibly winding a watch can damage these movements.

To fully wind your watch it's best to turn the crown about 40 times. Subsequent motion it experiences will wind it if it's an automatic movement.

Accuracy. Mechanical watches by nature, are not as accurate as quartz watches or the time in your smart phone. Hence, it will deviate between a certain range in a day. For example, if your watch has the Miyota cal.9015 movement, the accuracy can range from -10 to +30s in a day. If your watch is within this range, then there is nothing to worry about. However, if it exceeds that range then it needs to be regulated by a watchmaker or checked for signs of magnetism.

The accuracy of a watch is affected by the state of the spring so there are variations from when its fully wound and when it is about to expend its stored energy.  It is also affected by the ambient temperature, the position it is resting, and various external forces.

Rotor noise. All automatic watches produces noise when the rotor spins from your motion. The Miyota cal.9015 has been known to have a noisy rotor. Watches with brass spacers (an internal part that holds the movement against the case) usually exhibit noisy rotors as well as brass is not a good sound insulator.

Push/pull crown.  This is the basic type of crown. In its default or base position, you can manually wind your watch. You can adjust the time and date by pulling it at different lengths and turning in a specific direction.

Helpful tip: Can't pull the crown? Instead of directly pulling it with your fingers, try 'lifting' it by wedging your finger between the crown and the case from underneath. You can do this even with your thumb alone.

Screw-down crown. This feature are for watches that need better water resistance and to prevent the crown from being vulnerable to water. 

If your watch has this type of crown, you need to unscrew it first before operating on it. When fully unscrewed, the crown will disengage and then it can function like a push/pull type. You can then screw it back after you are done. You may need to slightly press it while turning to be able to have it engage the screw treads.

Water use. Make sure the crown is in its base position before doing so, or if it's a screw-down crown, make sure it's tightly screwed back in.

Here's a guide on how much water resistance your watch has and the depth it can withstand. Remember, water resistance does not mean water proof. A highly water resistant watch can still succumb to leaks with sufficient duration underwater.

Water resistance rating Maximum Safe Activity
5ATM / 50m / 165ft

Splashes of water (rain / dishwashing)

10ATM / 100m / 330ft

Casual swimming and water sports

20ATM / 200m / 660ft

Recreational diving

30ATM / 300m / 1000ft and above

Saturation diving

 
Technically speaking, 30m is the recreational diving depth for PADI divers which is way shallow for the indicated water resistance of even a 5ATM watch. This is because other factors may come into play and the indicated maximum safe activity is to make sure your watch is not put at risk unnecessarily. 

Care and maintenance. Mechanical watches generally need inspection and re-oiling every five years to make sure it's in top condition. If you use your watch near water or high humidity environments, a yearly visit to your watchmaker would be good to inspect its water resistance.

Other useful tips:

  • Cautionary use. Even though watches are resistant to water, they are not water proof. Make sure to take it off when it doesn't have to be exposed to water
  • Chemical exposure. Chemicals can eat through the gaskets which help seal the watch. Gaskets are located around the crown stem, top crystal, and caseback. Common chemicals that may affect the integrity of gaskets are chlorine in swimming pool and even soap. They may not affect the gaskets right away, but extended exposure can make them brittle and less functional
  • Inaccuracy (slow) - If your watch is running late, try winding it to full power every day. If it still does this, you may need to have it regulated
  • Magnetism. Keep the watch away from magnetic sources. These can affect the accuracy of your watch and make it run fast (sometimes slower or stop it altogether). Such items are common like refrigerator magnets and speakers. If you suspect that your watch is going too fast or too slow, have it tested by a watchmaker to see if it's demagnetized. It's an easy process and should be done in a short amount of time.

Additional care. As part of caring for your watch, each has a warranty to help you should there be issues with your watch. See our terms for warranty here.