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Thread: Manual Wind Query

  1. #1
    Journeyman Generous John's Avatar
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    Manual Wind Query

    Hi guys, some of you may remember that I was after a luxury watch for my birthday next month. I had narrowed it down to either a Rolex, TAG or Breitling. Well, things change and now the watch I want is the Omega Moonwatch.

    I had not really considered an Omega watch but many of you on here suggested them to me and then a few weeks ago I was in a jewellers and got talking about the Seamaster 300. I thought it looked great but then I spotted the Speedmaster. What a fantastic watch! Conversation moved to this and the guy I was talking with mentioned that it was a manual winding watch, he mentioned this as a 'negative'.

    Is this a negative aspect of the watch? I personally don't have a problem with it, but is there something he knows that I don't? I don't think it would be an everyday watch if I did buy it.

    Any thoughts appreciated.

  2. #2
    Craftsman
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    I bought a manual wind watch after years of owning automatics and as far as I can see there's no downsides whatsoever to manual watches (other than having to remember to wind them up). Personally I quite enjoy the ritual of winding it up.

  3. #3
    Journeyman Generous John's Avatar
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    David, I actually think I would enjoy winding it up when I was putting it on too. Having never owned one before though I was unsure. Your reply puts me at ease a little more!

  4. #4
    Master
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    For me a manual winder has more appeal, a daily ritual to keep it's little heart beating, i suppose it's personal preference and obviously it's only suited to certain watches but the Speedy's a classic.
    Just ask yourself if you can be bothered to hand wind daily?

  5. #5
    Journeyman Generous John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barryw View Post
    Just ask yourself if you can be bothered to hand wind daily?
    As mentioned, I think I'd actually enjoy the ritual of having to do so!

  6. #6
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Generous John View Post
    As mentioned, I think I'd actually enjoy the ritual of having to do so!
    Go for it!

  7. #7
    Craftsman bagman's Avatar
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    I also used to view it as a negative but since I've got my PRS-29B my mind has been changed

    The daily winding as you go to put it on seems quite therapeutic and there is also the advantage that as long as you do wind it every day it doesn't matter if you wear another watch instead, it will be ready when you want it.

  8. #8
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    I wouldn`t hesitate for a moment buying a manual watch, particularly a Speedmaster.

    If you rotate your watches it`s a very satisfying way of bringing a watch back to life before you put it on!

  9. #9
    Master snowman's Avatar
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    Only 'downside' a manual wind watch is the risk of 'over-winding' it.

    The mainspring in my Speedmaster broke, but it was fixed during a service and I believe it's quite a cheap fix on its own.

    I, personally, like the feel of a good manual wind (the Speedmaster, if I'm honest, is a bit fiddly as I find the crown a bit snug to the case for an easy wind, but I can live with that) and get a Speedmaster with a display back as, without the rotor, you can see the lovely movement!

    M.

  10. #10
    Craftsman
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    I've owned a few manual wind watches, and they have their own appeal - I don't see it as a negative at all! In fact, if this isn't going to be for everyday wear, a manual wind may be more suitable, as an automatic benefits from being worn regularly to keep it wound.

  11. #11
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by David r View Post
    I bought a manual wind watch after years of owning automatics and as far as I can see there's no downsides whatsoever to manual watches (other than having to remember to wind them up). Personally I quite enjoy the ritual of winding it up.
    Agreed, the AD you spoke to is either trying to sell you something more expensive or is not interested in watches and their history.

    The manual winding nature of the Speedmaster is the raison d'etre for it's existence. It was NASA flight qualified in this format in the mid 60's due to auto winding chronos not being available for another 4 to 5 years. Manual chronos are a rare thing nowadays and a joy to interacct with. You just wind it once a day and that's it, takes a half a minute each day, kind of makes you appreciate it that bit more than simply strapping on an auto every morning.

    And don't worry about the lack of date either, after a week or two, you kind of develop a sixth sense as to what date it is on a particular day. The Speedmaster is a genuine slice of horological history, something that the vast majority of watches available today lack, buy one and I guarantee you won't regret it.

  12. #12
    Master mycroft's Avatar
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    Hi John.

    I own a limited edition Speedmaster which is one of my two manual wind watches (the other being a Steinhart Marine Chronometer II).

    I like the ritual and the tactility of manual winding, although my wife thinks it's quaint & old-fashioned! The only thing I find is that because most of my watches are automatic, if I wear the Speedmaster for several consecutive days there's a slight possibility that I forget to wind it - but that's hardly the end of the world.

    I do agree with Snowman that the Speedmaster crown is quite snug to the case, but it's a fabulous & genuinely iconic watch and probably one of those watches that every enthusiast should own at some point.

    Actually, I'm really surprised that the salesman in the AD suggested that manual wind was a 'negative' on the Speedmaster - my own experience is that any knowledgeable Omega sales person has a real reverence for the Speedmaster...

    Simon

  13. #13
    Master DB9yeti's Avatar
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    Speedy is a good choice of a manual winder as no date to set, no crown to unscrew and no hacking seconds to be precious about. Takes 30 seconds to wind, 30 seconds to set (if it's run down).

    With a new Speedy (with a new spring) you'd have to be incredibly ham-fisted to overwind it, the stop is very obvious!

    Most people prefer autos for convenience but if it's not a daily watch, you'll end up winding your auto in exactly the same way i.e. every time you wear it.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by bagman View Post
    ... there is also the advantage that as long as you do wind it every day it doesn't matter if you wear another watch instead, it will be ready when you want it.
    Precisely, instead of viewing manual winding as a negative, I look on it as liberation from having to wear an automatic to keep the watch wound. Wind it and wear it, or not as you want.

    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    Only 'downside' a manual wind watch is the risk of 'over-winding' it. The mainspring in my Speedmaster broke, but it was fixed during a service and I believe it's quite a cheap fix on its own.M.
    They can break but the rule of winding the crown until it stops should see many years of solid use.

  15. #15
    Craftsman Eddy C.'s Avatar
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    Manual winding your watch every morning is like saying good morning to your watch (does that sound strange? ); it really makes you bond with your watch. Not at all a disadvantage IMO, but jewellers learnt to sell an automatic watch as a "premium", so maybe that's the reason he called it a negative?

    But if only in the jewellers you learnt about the Speedmaster, maybe you should do some more reading on this forum before you pull the trigger!

  16. #16
    Like others in this thread I thought it would be a negative and become something of a hassle until I got one. I actually like the routine as well.

  17. #17
    Grand Master
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    Absolutely nothing wrong with a hand-wound watch; I`m old enough to remember when most watches were hand-wound and it seems odd that they're an item of curiosity thesedays.

    'Overwinding' is a myth. The resistance felt when the watch is fully wound is obvious; as stated earlier you'd need to be very ham-fisted in deed to move the crown beyond this point. The 'overwinding' myth is based on watches that develop a fault and won`t run; the owner keeps winding the watch until it's fully wound and then notices it isn`t running, thus making the wrong inference that they've 'overwound' it. Whenever I come across a hand-wound watch that isn`t running I can guarantee it'll be fully wound (unless the mainspring's broken).

    Hand-wound watches are more likely to suffer a broken mainspring, but the mainspring usually lasts many years before this happens. Ideally it should be replaced at each service.

    Paul

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Eddy C. View Post
    Manual winding your watch every morning is like saying good morning to your watch (does that sound strange? ); it really makes you bond with your watch. Not at all a disadvantage IMO, but jewellers learnt to sell an automatic watch as a "premium", so maybe that's the reason he called it a negative?

    But if only in the jewellers you learnt about the Speedmaster, maybe you should do some more reading on this forum before you pull the trigger!
    Yes.

    "Good morning watch. What nice shoes! Would you like a bit of a wind?"

    What if it says "no"?

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  19. #19
    Craftsman Eddy C.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfrazier View Post
    Yes.

    "Good morning watch. What nice shoes! Would you like a bit of a wind?"

    What if it says "no"?

    Best wishes,
    Bob
    I say good morning to my son every morning; don't ask him if he wants to have breakfast though as I know the (undesirable) answer already. And my watches are like my children; just don't ask.

  20. #20
    Craftsman
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    As everyone had said a manual wind is really nice and you don't think anything of winding it every morning. The speedmaster isn't the easiest to wind but you'd need to be really ham fisted to not be able to do so and notice the stop once its fully wound.

  21. #21
    Journeyman Generous John's Avatar
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    To be fair to the AD he was talking very highly of the Speedmaster. He just mentioned it in as much as "one downside is its a manual winder". Perhaps I read into this too much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gomers View Post
    And don't worry about the lack of date either, after a week or two, you kind of develop a sixth sense as to what date it is on a particular day.
    This was the only other slight thing holding me back. I'm sure I can live with it!

    Maybe I am overthinking things now but would you wind it each day irrelevant of if you were going to wear it? Would this wear the watch out quicker than giving it time off? Also would it do the watch good to let it fully run down the wind? Yes, perhaps I am overthinking here...

  22. #22
    Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkpw View Post
    They can break but the rule of winding the crown until it stops should see many years of solid use.
    From what I've heard and read Speedmasters are particularly prone to breaking springs, although it's not easy to do.

    Mine was probably in need of a service anyway, but it didn't require undue pressure to break, it just went when I was winding it one day.

    M.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    From what I've heard and read Speedmasters are particularly prone to breaking springs, although it's not easy to do.

    Mine was probably in need of a service anyway, but it didn't require undue pressure to break, it just went when I was winding it one day.

    M.
    Thanks for the info. I'm sure Duncan replaced mine two years ago during service.

    Cheers

    David

  24. #24
    Journeyman Generous John's Avatar
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    Is it expensive to replace a spring?

  25. #25
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfrazier View Post
    Yes.

    "Good morning watch. What nice shoes! Would you like a bit of a wind?"

    What if it says "no"?

    Best wishes,
    Bob
    if it says no, it goes back in the box. 'You think about what you've done, and don't come out unless you're ready to apologise!'

  26. #26
    Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Generous John View Post
    Is it expensive to replace a spring?
    I'm told you can get JUST a mainspring replaced quite cheaply, but as I'd bought my Speedy used a couple of years earlier I sprang for a full service and it came back looking and feeling like a new watch! :)

    M.

  27. #27
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Generous John View Post
    Is it expensive to replace a spring?
    Depends who's replacing it.

    I`ve only worked on a couple of 861/1861s, and I can`t remember how easy it is to replace the spring without dismantling everything.

    I think you have to be careful here not form the impression that broken springs are always going to afflict a hand-wound watch. Sure, the spring's more likely to break, but if that happens the chances are that the watch is several years old and ready for servicing anyway. A genuine Omega mainspring is still only a 25 item and a generic (possibly identical) is around 12. That's not a lot to add to the cost of servicing and it clearly makes sense to fit a new one at service time. Most watchies will do this because it safeguards against breakage whilst under guarantee.

    Consider an automatic that's been worn regularly by an active wearer for several years. The spring and barrel should be replaced at service time, and that costs more. A hand-wound watch may be more likely to break it's mainspring but an automatic wears it's spring-barrel. I deal with watches over 40yrs old and I know which give me the least headaches when it comes to the mainspring/barrel area.

    Don`t let the hand-winding put you off; springs don`t break every couple of years! Most broken springs happen on old watches. However, I had a 4yr old Steinhart (Unitas 6498) sent recently with a broken spring. That one had failed at the outer attachment point where a small bridle is riveted on, which is odd. Usually they break at the weakest point where the arbour hooks on, and that's due to fatigue following many cycles of being wound. The key point is to never try winding further than the point where it gets tight, and you'll minimise stress on this weak spot.

    My advice is to consider whether you like the watch or not! Personally I do, so I say 'buy it'.......and don`t forget to haggle for discount at this time of year!

    Paul

  28. #28
    Craftsman
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    As stated by many others - its actually quite therapeutic. I like winding my speedy in the morning; takes no time at all (no pun intended) and is really not an issue. If you like the watch design, history and how it looks on your wrist, then go for it!

    Good luck with deciding

  29. #29
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    John

    The sales assistant sounds a bit of a prat if he gave you that impression. I love my Speedy and I do enjoy winding it.

  30. #30
    Master Martin123's Avatar
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    All my automatics need winding after not being worn for a few days, also have manual winding watches, no big deal giving a watch a wind for a few seconds a day, cannot see any negatives myself.

  31. #31
    Journeyman WatchesRmypassion's Avatar
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    The only disadvantage might be the treading of the tube if its a screw in crown on a manual watch.
    It gets more wear than with an automatic.
    But the winding itself is a ritual I really like on my manual watches.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Generous John View Post
    Is this a negative aspect of the watch? I personally don't have a problem with it, but is there something he knows that I don't? I don't think it would be an everyday watch if I did buy it.

    Any thoughts appreciated.
    For me, it would be a serious negative in a daily wear watch. But absolutely no issue at all for an occasional wear watch.

  33. #33
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    my nomos orion is a manual wind ,i have only had it a few months and have always had quartz watches before,i love the ritual of winding it in the morning as it gives me an excuse to look at it and appreciate it

  34. #34
    To be fair to the dealer I imagine the average customer would consider automatic a big convenience, so good to point it out, but I think most watch collectors dont mind at all.

  35. #35
    Master NenoS's Avatar
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    Manual winding the watch is one of the best thing about watches for me. The only thing I do not like is screw down crown on manual wound watches. So or simple crown or Luminor or something similar.

  36. #36
    Fwiw, I don't own a speedy, however I did get one for my step dad for Christmas and had a lot of time to think on it.

    its now on my list for myself.

    The speedy professional is THE watch in that range to have.. yes there's the co axial autos, that are more expensive (which some equate to better), but those don't have the heritage as far as I'm concerned. The speedmaster is an honest to God icon, you can keep the auto versions, the x33, the dark side of the moon, light and grey side of the moon, they're all just standing on the shoulders of a legend.

    It could even be argued that watch was fairly pivotal in saving the lives of three astronauts.

    There's no negative to it being a manual wind. It's good enough for astronauts, it's the original of four or 5 watches rated for space travel by nasa, and the only one qualified for EVA.

    I tell you another thing. When I buy one it'll be the steel backed, hesalite crystal version, cause that's what goes into space.

    I even love the fact the seconds hand doesn't stop. It makes setting the time a skill.

    Nothing worth having comes easy..

    Nuff said ;)

  37. #37
    Journeyman Generous John's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the comments guys, they are all appreciated and my concerns have been quashed! I think this could be the watch for me....

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by tekbow View Post
    It could even be argued that watch was fairly pivotal in saving the lives of three astronauts.
    NASA thought highly of Omega which is why they were presented with the Snoopy award.

    I own two Ltd edition Speedmaster Professional watches and thoroughly recommend them. As per other comments you get used to winding them and build it in to your daily routine.

  39. #39
    Craftsman
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    Buy the speedy! I did, and have not regretted it for a second.
    If the salesperson thinks hand winding is a "negative"and he may see it as inferior in some way to an auto, it may allow you some leverage towards a discount ( also mention that you can get one from Iconic watches for 2,550 and see if that helps with your negotiations).

  40. #40
    Craftsman
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    I asked the same question a few months back and bought one in December. Great watch and the manual winding isn't a problem. Takes a few seconds whenever I wear it.

  41. #41
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by tekbow View Post
    Fwiw, I don't own a speedy, however I did get one for my step dad for Christmas and had a lot of time to think on it.

    its now on my list for myself.

    The speedy professional is THE watch in that range to have.. yes there's the co axial autos, that are more expensive (which some equate to better), but those don't have the heritage as far as I'm concerned. The speedmaster is an honest to God icon, you can keep the auto versions, the x33, the dark side of the moon, light and grey side of the moon, they're all just standing on the shoulders of a legend.

    It could even be argued that watch was fairly pivotal in saving the lives of three astronauts.

    There's no negative to it being a manual wind. It's good enough for astronauts, it's the original of four or 5 watches rated for space travel by nasa, and the only one qualified for EVA.

    I tell you another thing. When I buy one it'll be the steel backed, hesalite crystal version, cause that's what goes into space
    Ah, you must be one of the many astronauts we have here on tz-uk! Which agency are you from?
    ...but what do I know; I don't even like watches!

  42. #42
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfrazier View Post
    Yes.

    "Good morning watch. What nice shoes! Would you like a bit of a wind?"

    What if it says "no"?
    Trigger? Shoes?

    It usually "says hi", after all that, followed by some "loving bonding" in the morning. Bit creepy, but whatever floats one's boat!
    ...but what do I know; I don't even like watches!

  43. #43
    I have two manual wind watches (Omega Speedmaster Gemini X and vintage Mark 2 Racing) and I love the 'therapy' of winding everyday. Certainly adds to a watches character.

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by andrew View Post
    Ah, you must be one of the many astronauts we have here on tz-uk! Which agency are you from?
    I'm unsure as to whether you're cracking a lighthearted joke or calling me out over my enthusiasm for this particular watch.

    Still reasonably new here so haven't got a feel for the tone yet
    Last edited by tekbow; 7th January 2015 at 08:27.

  45. #45
    Master mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tekbow View Post
    I'm unsure as to whether you're cracking a lighthearted joke or calling me out over my enthusiasm for this particular watch. Still reasonably new here so haven't got a feel for the tone yet
    Don't worry, I'm sure Andrew will feel much better after he's had his Rice Krispies...:)

    I own a Speedmaster Pro Gemini 4 ('the blue one') and its a fabulous watch. That's also hesalite crystal/no date, and I agree it feels like the more authentic way to go.

    Simon
    Last edited by mycroft; 7th January 2015 at 09:09.

  46. #46
    Master mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Depends who's replacing it. I`ve only worked on a couple of 861/1861s, and I can`t remember how easy it is to replace the spring without dismantling everything. I think you have to be careful here not form the impression that broken springs are always going to afflict a hand-wound watch. Sure, the spring's more likely to break, but if that happens the chances are that the watch is several years old and ready for servicing anyway. A genuine Omega mainspring is still only a 25 item and a generic (possibly identical) is around 12. That's not a lot to add to the cost of servicing and it clearly makes sense to fit a new one at service time... I had a 4yr old Steinhart (Unitas 6498) sent recently with a broken spring. That one had failed at the outer attachment point where a small bridle is riveted on, which is odd. Usually they break at the weakest point where the arbour hooks on, and that's due to fatigue following many cycles of being wound. The key point is to never try winding further than the point where it gets tight, and you'll minimise stress on this weak spot. My advice is to consider whether you like the watch or not! Personally I do, so I say 'buy it'.......and don`t forget to haggle for discount at this time of year! Paul
    The Steinhart in question was mine, and not only is it no more than 4 years old, but it had been very lightly used and certain not overwound. It has been worn for the last two years in rotation with at least 12 other watches, so I reached the conclusion that I was just unlucky. I agree with Paul (as usual!) - the OP should go and find a Speedmaster ASAP!

    Simon

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by mycroft View Post
    Don't worry, I'm sure Andrew will feel much better after he's had his Rice Krispies...:)

    I own a Speedmaster Pro Gemini 4 ('the blue one') and its a fabulous watch. That's also hesalite crystal/no date, and I agree it feels like the more authentic way to go.

    Simon
    So not just me then ;)

    Nice, just googled the Gemini 4, lovely variant!

  48. #48
    Master mycroft's Avatar
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    Thank you, I like it. It's the only blue Speedmaster out there as far as I know, and also a genuinely limited LE as they only made 2005 (and mine is numbered in the 20s). Some of the LE Speedmasters were actually built in quite high numbers.

    Simon

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by mycroft View Post
    Thank you, I like it. It's the only blue Speedmaster out there as far as I know, and also a genuinely limited LE as they only made 2005 (and mine is numbered in the 20s). Some of the LE Speedmasters were actually built in quite high numbers.

    Simon
    It's a whole level above the current "side of the moon" models. I get they appeal to some, but.. I just don't like them..

    Cheers

    Also Simon

  50. #50
    I've now got 2 hand-winders, and its not much effort at all to wind them - slightly more hassle if you're wearing it all day every day because you have to take it off to wind. We're looking at 30 seconds of effort though!

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