How to set your Pocket Watch

Pendent/Stem Pocket watches, Key Set Pocket Watch, Lever set Pocket watch

There are many varieties of pocket watches which range form the 1700’s to the modern day. Many people take for granted  the the care required to deal with these original wrist watches.

Below we have set out a number of setting instructions for your pocket watch to set the hands.

We recommend a pocket watch service every 3 – 5 years to ensure they do not congeal and cause damage. Your crown/winder may become stiff, gaining or loosing a few minutes a day or just stop.

Winding your watch.

  • Mechanical watches depend upon the stored energy in the mainspring to power the movement and should be wound daily. To wind the watch, turn the crown in the clockwise direction anywhere from 30-60 half turns until it stops (DO NOT OVER WIND).The older your watch becomes the more daily attention wit will require.

Pocket Watch Setting

How to set a stem or pendant movement watch.

Pocket Watch

Time Setting

  1. Hold the pocket watch face-up
  2. Grab the crown between your thumb and pointer finger.
  3. Carefully pull the crown away from the watch until you feel it pop.
  4. Rotate the crown until the hands indicate the correct time.
  5. Push the crown back towards the watch until you feel it pop.

How to set a Key Set movement watch.

Key Set

Old pocket watch movements were originally set using the centre arbour using the small metal key that fit snugly to wind up your mainspring. The key was also used to set the watch by fitting the key over the centre arbor on the front of the watch, turning the hands directly.

Identification & Advice: The hands centre will a small square shape and have no setting crown. Do not set your pocket watch by manually moving the fingers, more than likely it will damage the hands and even the centre arbour.

 Time Setting

  1. Hold the pocket watch face up.
  2. Open your case carefully (you may need a professional)
  3. Place the key over hands centre square.
  4. Set the hands clockwise to the correct time.
  5. Carefully close the cover back into place using the rim edge and not on the glass.

How to set a Lever Set pocket watch.

Lever

Watches that are Lever set watches became standard in the late 1800’s when the railroads required a more accurate time piece. Pocket watch companies such as Waltham developed the lever set design to allow railroads to ensure a standard to prevent accidental time changes.

The lever set is concealed under the glass and bezel next to the dial.

Identification & Advice:  There is a lever at the edge of the allows the hands to be set. Set hands only in a clockwise direction. Do not set your pocket watch by manually moving the fingers, more than likely it will damage the hands.

Time Setting

  1. Hold the pocket watch face up.
  2. A full hunter will have the setting lever exposed. A half hunter or opened face, the lever is usually under the bezel and glass, you have to carefully remove the bezel and glass, which may be a screw or snap off.
  3. Use your fingernail to pull the lever away from the dial in order to engage the setting mechanism.
  4. Turn the crown clockwise until the hands are set and then put the setting lever back to its original position.
  5. Carefully close the front cover using the rim edge and not on the glass.

 

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