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Thread: Hand winding an auto & keyless works wear?

  1. #1
    Craftsman
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    Sep 2014
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    Hand winding an auto & keyless works wear?

    A question for the watchmakers on the forum; are all auto wind keyless works not suitable for frequent hand winding?
    I have a JLC polaris re-issue with their 899 movement & wear it daily. Every night when taking it off I give half a dozen winds or so (no screw crown) & same thing when putting back on in the morning just to keep the reserve topped up. Don't wear it at the weekend so I hand wind for longer Saturday night.
    Is this going to be an issue longer term? Should I use a watch winder for the weekend? I'd read that the ETA2824 is not intended to be hand wound very often, is this the norm for other autos?

    Rather than rumour (which may easily be the case for the ETA2824 warning I'd read), can one of the many watch repairers on the forum, please comment.

    TIA

  2. #2
    Grand Master
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    It varies from watch to watch, but generally when you hand-wind an automatic you make certain parts spin much faster than they normally would. If everything's well-lubricated there it's less of a problem, but many watches are run until they start performing badly and by then the lubrication id failing.

    The ETA 2824 and 2894 don`t use what I would term 'heavy duty' parts in the keyless work and it only takes a small amount of wear to create problems. The classic is the back of the winding wheel on the 2824, the ETA service sheet doesn't mention lubricating this point but I`ve seen plenty where there are witness marks to show it's been rubbing against the mainplate. There's a cause and effect debate her, is it wear in the mainplate where the stem runs that causes the winding wheel to rock slightly? Either way, it's a result of excessive hand-winding combined with lack of lubrication. I always grease this point, but I do that for any point where contact has obviously been made (witness marks).

    Best advice I can give is to have the watch serviced after 7-8 years if it's used regularly, and limit the hand-winding to around 10-15 twists from rest to get it running well. If you're reasonably active this'll suffice. However, a 2824 takes 31 twists to fully wind whereas a 2892 takes around 55, so this is a rough guide!

    It's ironic, the early 50s Omega bumpers aren`t particularly efficient hand-winders but the keyless work is very robust, on a par with the hand-winders of that period. There are no reversers although there's a ratchet wheel that can wear, but I if this is kept lubricated I reckon it'll last a long long time even though it spins rapidly when the watch is hand-wound. Stuff from the 50s from the top makers was built to last, that can`t be said for some of todays parts. ETA movements are fine if they're maintained and not ill-treated, but things go downhill if they aren`t.

    That's my take on it, compared to the true pros I've limited experience and my professional training is limited, but I try to take a common sense pragmatic view.

  3. #3
    Grand Master
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    Iím really not a fan of watch winders.

  4. #4
    Craftsman
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    Inadvertantly deleted my reply, I need a new 'phone the touch screen is possessed. Thanks for your reply, noted.
    Will go easy if I ever have to hand wind & stop when the second hand starts, wear it.
    Ta, exactly what I needed to know

  5. #5
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayGee View Post
    Inadvertantly deleted my reply, I need a new 'phone the touch screen is possessed. Thanks for your reply, noted.
    Will go easy if I ever have to hand wind & stop when the second hand starts, wear it.
    Ta, exactly what I needed to know
    You need to get some wind into the spring or itíll run badly till it self- winds, if youíre going out for a 2hr walk thatís fine but if youíre more sedate youíll struggle.

  6. #6
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Surely if the OP winds the watch when taking it off at night, it would probably be fully wound from being worn? Although obviously it would have run down a bit by the time he wound it in the morning.
    Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.

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