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Pocket Watch Repair & Common Issues

With all mechanical devices, it’s imperative that you take the time to check your timepiece to make sure that it’s working correctly, however, keeping your pocket watch in good working order doesn’t have to be taxing. 

In this blog, we’re going to look at some of the most common issues that pocket watch owners face and how you can tackle them. 

Scenario 1: My pocket watch does not wind fully

There are two common reasons why a pocket watch will not wind properly. The first is due to a broken winding mechanism which should only be fixed by a professional watchmaker, the second is a broken mainspring. If it is the mainspring you will feel slight resistance when you’re winding the watch along with quiet ‘pops’ every so often that seem to release the tension. In this instance, the mainspring simple needs to be replaced. 

Scenario 2: What to do when a pocket watch slips into ‘setting mode’

If you own a pendant set watch you may find that the pendant sleeve determines the position of the stem. If the height of the sleeve is not correct, the watch can start to experience winding issues or slip back into ‘setting mode’. The easiest way to remedy this is to take it to a watchmaker who will be able to adjust the sleeve to the proper height. 

Scenario 3: Is my pocket watch overwound?

When a pocket watch starts to show signs of working incorrectly, most owners immediately believe that the watch has been overwound. Whilst over winding a watch is not healthy for the timepiece, more often than not there’s something else at play. If your watch has been wound but still does not tick, it’s more likely that it is one of the other scenarios within this guide that’s the problem. 

Scenario 4: My pocket watch ticks but then stops

If your pocket watch is fully wound, ticks but then stops working there are several possible causes. 

If your watch is working correctly in certain positions, the balance staff pivots could be bent or broken or the hairspring could be rubbing against another part of the watch. If this is the case it needs to be examined by a watchmaker. 

Cracked or broken jewels can also be responsible for the watch not moving. Jewels will often stay in place even after they are broken which will allow the watch to run for a short time before stopping. 

Improper alignment can impact how a pocket watch works as your timepiece relies on very delicate precision. If the alignment is ‘off’ then the watch can become overbanked and stop running for periods of time. 

You watch may also stop If your watch hands have become bent or are not seated properly. Again, we recommend taking your watch to a professional watchmaker to get them adjusted properly. 


Whether you’re looking to upgrade your current timepiece or searching for your very first pocket watch either in gold or silver - we have a wide range of designs for you to choose from. Discover our full pocket watch collection today. Wondering how to wear your pocket watch? Check out our guide here.

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