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How to Operate Your Pocket Watch

Standard Quartz Pocket Watches

This popular style of pocket watch operates similarly to a standard quartz wristwatch. To set the date (should your quartz pocket watch display the date) simply pull out the crown to the first position, this is also known as a detent; once held in the first detent, turn anti-clockwise to set the date.

To set the time, pull out the crown all the way to the second detent and wind clockwise to the desired time. Once set, push the crown back in and the pocket watches mechanical movement and timekeeping will resume.

Hunter Case Pocket Watches

Another popular style of a pocket watch, the hunter case features a latch that keeps the cover firmly closed by catching onto the rim of the watch case. 

When it comes to opening a hunter case pocket watch, you must press in the crown of the watch (the winding knob placed on the side) which is connected to the latch through a spring. Closing it requires some care, as snapping the case shut can lead to wearing down the spot on the case’s rim where the latch closes.

Mechanical Pocket Watches

The mechanical pocket watch stores energy in the mainspring of the watch which powers the movement of the hands, therefore it must be wound daily in order for the watch to operate properly. 

To wind the watch, the wearer must turn the crown in a clockwise direction for anywhere between 30 to 40 half turns until the crown stops. The crown should then be pushed back into the pocket watch’s standard operating position before winding again the next day. It’s important that mechanical pocket watches are wound daily, but it’s just as important not to overwind the watch as this may permanently damage the mainspring and mechanism. 

Dual Time Pocket Watch

The dual time pocket watch requires specific steps in order to function effectively: 

  1. Crown at detent 1 - hand-winding mode
  2. Crown at detent 2 - time setting mode
    1. Turn the hands forward to set both the domestic time and dual time.
    2. Given that the dual time will stay unmoved, you must turn the domestic time backward to rectify the time difference. When you achieve the right difference between the two time zones, continue turning back until you hear the confirmation of a clicking sound.
  3. Sun and moon dial running with domestic time.
    1. Turn forwards to set the dual time.
    2. Turn backward to set the domestic time, again, a clicking sound will confirm.

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