How to Operate a Pocket Watch

Quartz Pocket Watches:

 

Basic quartz pocket watches operate just like standard quartz wrist watches. To set the date (if this is a feature on the watch), pull the crown out to the first detent. To set the time, pull the crown all the way out (or second detent). Push the crown all the way back in to start the movement and begin normal time keeping.

Multi-function watches generally come with detailed operating instructions.

True Moon Phase Pocket Watches:

SETTING THE MOON PHASE, DAY/DATE HANDS AND TIME
The normal sequence for setting a moon phase watch is:

Moon Phase
Time
Day and/or Date


The day of the Full Moon is needed for accurate setting of the Moon Phase indicator. Therefore, you may wish to temporarily skip steps # 1, 2 and 3 below, and proceed to setting the time and day/date only (steps 4 & 5), until the actual day of the Full Moon. Then, the Moon Phase indicator may be set more accurately.

1. First, set the moon phase. Pull crown (at 3 o’clock) to the second detent (hand setting) position.

2. Refer to calendar, newspaper, internet, etc., to obtain the phase of the moon. Please note that, for accuracy, the setting of the moon phase should be performed at the day of the Full Moon.

3. Advance the hands forwards (clockwise). The moon phase indicator will advance slightly each time the hands move past midnight. Continue until the moon indicator is centered in the display, which symbolizes the Full Moon. The cycle until the next Full Moon will be approximately 29½ days.

4. Next, with the crown fully out, set hands to the correct time. If you’re setting to PM time, you must advance the hands past 12 o’clock once more after the day/date change (Midnight).

5. After the hands are set, push the crown in to the first detent to adjust the correct day/date by turning the crown in the clockwise/counterclockwise direction.

6. Push the crown all the way back down into the normal operating position.

 

Manual Wind Mechanical Pocket Watches:

 

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). If it has a new style automatic movement there will be a slip clutch on the winding mechanism that prevents over winding and will never come to a stop.

To set the time pull the crown out and turn the hands in the clockwise direction. Push the crown back down into the normal operating position. Winding and setting of the time should be done daily.

IMPORTANT: Mechanical pocket watches typically have an accuracy +/- 60 seconds within a 24 hour period. This is due to temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure and altitude affecting the movement. For this reason, a mechanical pocket watch should not only be fully wound, but the time should also be reset daily. If the watch is wound only, the time could be off by several minutes within a few days.