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Preface: This post is in relation to my first mechanical watch so I’m no WIS and apologize in advance if the newb-ness of my questions is appalling. I’ve done some searches, here and elsewhere, but haven’t been able to find the answers I’m looking for so, if these topics have already been covered, links to these discussions would be appreciated.

I recently bought a 1983 Omega Seamaster (specs below; click on thumbnail to see full size) and sent it off to be serviced by someone who is highly recommended here and on other watch forums. I got it back about a month ago and have been wearing it pretty much daily since without issue… until today:(

I wore it yesterday then took it off in the evening. This morning when I went to put it on, I noticed that the watch had stopped.

Since it had stopped, I needed to set the time. I adjusted the time by turning the crown towards 6 o’clock. At first the crown turned easily but then encountered a sticky spot. With a tiny bit of extra effort I was able to get through this but it (1) was not smooth, (2) made a little noise, and (3) changed the relation between the hour and minute hand (i.e. when the hour hand pointed to the hour, the minute hand is not).

It now appears to be keeping good time and I can turn it set the time by turning the crown towards 12 o’clock without any stickiness.

My questions:
(1) Is there something wrong with my power reserve? I’ve read that reserves of 36-48 hours are normal. I’ve never timed it exactly but mine is not nearly that long… I think mine is less than 12 hours. Did I never get the mainspring fully wound? I’ve never wound it but assumed that my movement throughout the day would keep it fully wound.
(2) Did I do something wrong in setting the time by turning the crown towards 6 o’clock? I was under the impression that the time could be set by turning the crown in either direction and I’m almost positive I’ve done this before… but now I’m questioning this.

Thanks in advance!

 
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It is possible that you moved the time backwards after the date had engaged for the next day. Also as far as power reserve, I always wind 40 turns to be safe
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It is possible that you moved the time backwards after the date had engaged for the next day. Also as far as power reserve, I always wind 40 turns to be safe
Thanks for the response!

It's possible that I wound it backwards while the date was engaged. I'm guessing this is a no no??? In instances when the date function is not invovled (e.g. adjusting time backwards from 10am to 8am) would adjusting the time by turning the crown towards 6 o'clock be ok? Is it a good idea to always set the time by turning towards 12 o'clock to prevent this problem?

Regarding the reserve, I thought that manually winding an automatic is not advisable (I think I read that it puts unecessary stress on the crown?) and that a few light shakes to get it started and normal wear would be sufficent to fully wind the main spring. Is this incorrect?

Thanks again!
 
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Generally speaking, watches with dates should not have the time changed between 9pm and 3am (to be on the safe side) because some teeth/gears may have engaged to begin moving the date wheel. Setting the time back would cause those teeth/gears to move in a direction that they should not go.

Alot of people say that automatics should not be wound. Is this incorrect? I wind my auto's all the time and have never had a problem with any of them at all. Frankly I understand the concept of gently oscillating a watch to turn the rotor but "shaking" as I have seen some people do would bother me more than winding properly.
 

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Nothing at all wrong with winding an automatic.
To test your reserve, wind it 30-40 times, don't wear it, and let it run till it stops.
Good luck!
 

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..also, unless you're very active, you can thing of the auto as a mechanism to keep the watch wound, rather than to fully wind it from a stop (it might never get there). If an auto has been idle i wind before wearing it.
 

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If everything is running fine and accurate, I wouldnt worry about anything right now.

There is nothing wrong with winding an auto. In fact, if you dont manually wind it, you may never get a full charge. Wearing the watch will usually do something along the lines of maintaining the current charge. Just shaking it up and wearing it will give you a significantly lower power reserve than winding it.
 

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Regarding the reserve, I thought that manually winding an automatic is not advisable (I think I read that it puts unecessary stress on the crown?) and that a few light shakes to get it started and normal wear would be sufficent to fully wind the main spring. Is this incorrect?
I now never manually wind an automatic watch. I've ruined two (admittedly cheap) automatic watches by manually winding them. I have read that with some movements winding with the crown spins some gear much faster than it would spin with the rotor movement. I do know that many people do wind an automatic, but for me I'll simply give the watch a few light shakes to get it going and then wear it. I never have any problems with the watch stopping so that's what works for me.

tjc4golf, you mentioned that the hands aren't aligned properly. Is that still the case? If so, you may have jammed something at some point. If the watch runs properly you're probably alright, although misaligned hands would really bug me. It should be a quick and inexpensive fix for a watchmaker to remove and reset the hands if needed.

Lastly, while it shouldn't make any difference which way you move the hands (clockwise or counter clockwise) when setting the time, don't move them backwards when the time is between 9:00 pm and 3:00 am - when the date is changing. Of course, you might not know if the time is 9:00 am or pm, so between 9:00 and 3:00 only move the hands clockwise when setting the time.
 
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