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Hello all,

I'm seeing more-and-more auctions for Chinese automatics on eBay which contain a stilted Chinese-to-English warning NOT to reset the date when the time is between 9:00 and 4:00 o'clock, else "destroy the gear's normal working." The watches of course have several brand names; here's an example of such an auction .......... Automatic Self Winding Mechanical Wrist Watch Mens Date - eBay (item 300465082595 end time Sep-08-10 10:48:25 PDT)

I wondering what is up with a watch that will self-destruct if the date complication is activated while the watch displays the time within a given range. Anyone know the deal on that?
 

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I found this about it (the text below was about the same warning found in the manual of an expensive Omega watch!)

"The mechanism that is responsible for incrementing the date (wheel) does so by gradually accumulating (or building up) tension. At 12am, the accumulated tension is released and quickly applied to rotating the date wheel, hence the instant flip. I believe this mechanism accumulates tension starting at 8pm, continuing to do so until midnight, hence the need for the "8pm-2am recommendation".

Bottom line: yes, with some watches you can damage the date change mechanism. The watch will probably keep running, but the date won't change anymore.
 

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Hate to be the bearer of bad news but the same thing happens to swiss watches also. At 9:00pm the date change geartrain engages the main geartrain. If you try to change the date with the two meshed up bad things happen to all those tiny gears.
 

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So are ya ok from 10pm to 3am? Or is the bad zone 9pm to 4am? If there's no "quick" feature what's a safe, nondamaging method?

Josh
 

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or if it expends its pent-up energy at midnight changing the date, why can't you change the date shortly after midnight rather than 2 or 3a.m. Do you need to give it time to relax and smoke a cigarette? :-d
 

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I've always changed the date on all my watches with a quick set date mechanism by advancing the hour hand until the date changes manually, then advancing on to 6AM. At that point I use the quick set mechanism to advance the date. Then I set the time. It's an easy technique to learn and remember - why tempt fate?
 

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As 00Photo says, this can happen with a watch of any origin, but perhaps these are a little more susceptible. I bought a Fineat from eBay and the date function almost immediately got screwed up. I assume I must have tried to use the quickset at a bad time, but I'm not sure. Everything still seems to work (more or less), but the date now changes at about 6:00 AM.

Bottom line: I wouldn't hesitate to buy the watch, but I would be extra careful about setting the date. The movement has a "tinny," fragile feeling, but then what do you expect from a $10 watch. :)

Pic for clicks. ;-)

 

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I have absent mindedly forgot and have used the quick set function a couple of times on a couple of my autos. Nothing was broken and I guess I was lucky. Now I always move the hands to 6:30 before I set the date; then I set it one day behind and advance the hands manually until the correct date is reached. Just out of habit, I do this w/ quartz watches as well.
cottontop

BTW, I have often wondered that if one did damage something in the movement by setting the date when the hands were in the wrong zone, is it an easy or difficult (or expensive) repair?
 

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I wondering what is up with a watch that will self-destruct if the date complication is activated while the watch displays the time within a given range. Anyone know the deal on that?
It used to be only the enthusiasts of elite Swiss watches that got all worried about this issue. I guess when you pay 20 grand for a watch you don't want to take any chances. Or maybe all those famous double-barrelled names really do have more delicate date mechanisms than the likes of Seiko etc.

Some watch movements, both quartz and mechanical, will be permanently damaged by changing the date at the wrong time. Others will momentarily bind up, but will release by cycling through 24 hours.

I've accidentally advanced the date at 2200 hours on a DG28, but I just advanced the time until I saw the date turn over again and it was OK. I vaguely recall that Hangzhou watch company used to claim their 2000 series movements were impervious to damage from changing the date at the wrong time. By contrast, on a vintage Poljot 3133 I accidentally turned the time backwards when it was just before midnight and the date jammed and needed repairs.

On the haute horologie forums they will cry with horror at the idea of advancing the date by shuttling the hour hand from midnight to 2100 and back again, but the Russian watch manufacturers actually describe that procedure in their operating manuals!

So the upshot of all that is you should always treat the date-change mechanism of any watch with a mechanical date (even on a quartz movement) with respect. But by the same token, you don't need to get stressed about it (unless you have a Girard-Perregaux, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantine, etc, etc, etc ;-)).
 

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It used to be only the enthusiasts of elite Swiss watches that got all worried about this issue. I guess when you pay 20 grand for a watch you don't want to take any chances. Or maybe all those famous double-barrelled names really do have more delicate date mechanisms than the likes of Seiko etc.

Some watch movements, both quartz and mechanical, will be permanently damaged by changing the date at the wrong time. Others will momentarily bind up, but will release by cycling through 24 hours.

I've accidentally advanced the date at 2200 hours on a DG28, but I just advanced the time until I saw the date turn over again and it was OK. I vaguely recall that Hangzhou watch company used to claim their 2000 series movements were impervious to damage from changing the date at the wrong time. By contrast, on a vintage Poljot 3133 I accidentally turned the time backwards when it was just before midnight and the date jammed and needed repairs.

On the haute horologie forums they will cry with horror at the idea of advancing the date by shuttling the hour hand from midnight to 2100 and back again, but the Russian watch manufacturers actually describe that procedure in their operating manuals!

So the upshot of all that is you should always treat the date-change mechanism of any watch with a mechanical date (even on a quartz movement) with respect. But by the same token, you don't need to get stressed about it (unless you have a Girard-Perregaux, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantine, etc, etc, etc ;-)).
As it turns out, not all watches are susceptible to this damage. Seiko for instance has built in protection in many of it's calibers.
There was a recent thread on the SCWF about just this question.
 

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As it turns out, not all watches are susceptible to this damage. Seiko for instance has built in protection in many of it's calibers.
Given that the Hangzhou 2000 is derived from a Seiko design, this is probably why they are also able to boast date protection.

Any idea how the ETA 2824 performs in this regard?
 

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This is a common problem regardless the movement's origin, the date changing mechanism somehow engages between 20H00-03H00 (safest range), setting the date in this critical moment will damage some part of the date mechanism.

I have two watches with 2836-2 day/date, I don't know if the newer movement has built-in protection mechanism so I always take the passive protection measure : always set the date (if necessary) in the morning.
 

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Given that the Hangzhou 2000 is derived from a Seiko design, this is probably why they are also able to boast date protection.

Any idea how the ETA 2824 performs in this regard?
Not sure; I don't remember all the calibers mentioned in the thread. It might also have been on the Seikoholics forum where several knowledgeable watchmakers post.
 

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Given that the Hangzhou 2000 is derived from a Seiko design, this is probably why they are also able to boast date protection.

Any idea how the ETA 2824 performs in this regard?
The 2824-2 can have the date changed at any time, I often forget and change the date in the late evening. However, I would not recommend it, as sometimes the date hangs up and you have to cycle through 24 hours to pop it free.

The 2836-2 and 2892A2 (actually, all of ETA designed date mechanism) work the same.

The 7750s, being a Valjoux design does not work the same and is much more sensitive.
 

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OK, so you guys really got me confused. Can someone simply tell me when I'm supposed to change the date and when not to? Can I change the date after 3AM because from what I understand, the energy to change the date has been used up?

The quick-set date on my watch starts changing at 12AM and finishes at 3AM. It has to change the number, then it goes past the 2nd language day until it gets to the English day. Each takes 1 hour to move completely.
 

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This is a common problem regardless the movement's origin, the date changing mechanism somehow engages between 20H00-03H00 (safest range), setting the date in this critical moment will damage some part of the date mechanism.
+1

The safest is to simply not change the date if the time shows between 9:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m on any watch.

Some have a little protection from this issue, but why risk it.

If you pick up a watch and the time shows between 9:00pm and 3:00am simply wait to change the date, or change the time to 6:00am and then change the date - no big deal. It actually becomes a habit after a while.
 

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OK, so you guys really got me confused. Can someone simply tell me when I'm supposed to change the date and when not to? Can I change the date after 3AM because from what I understand, the energy to change the date has been used up?

The quick-set date on my watch starts changing at 12AM and finishes at 3AM. It has to change the number, then it goes past the 2nd language day until it gets to the English day. Each takes 1 hour to move completely.
Change the day/date anytime before 9pm and after 3 am.

But be careful if your watch has been 'serviced' and the change times fall outside this range; ie finish changes happen at 4 am.
Just observe the times when the changes start and finish; add an hour either side and you should be safe to go :-!
 

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OK, so you guys really got me confused. Can someone simply tell me when I'm supposed to change the date and when not to? Can I change the date after 3AM because from what I understand, the energy to change the date has been used up?

The quick-set date on my watch starts changing at 12AM and finishes at 3AM. It has to change the number, then it goes past the 2nd language day until it gets to the English day. Each takes 1 hour to move completely.
Change date any time you want. If you see that the day/date is currently being moved, move the time forward until it's done and set day/date to yesterday and advance the time until date changes to the correct one.

You're mistaken with that energy buildup, that relates probably only to that Omega movement (a design which they stole from me long before I even got to inventing it). In most watches it's just a 2:1 reduced wheel with a tooth that pushes the day/date wheels forward one notch every 24h. There is no energy buildup, it just gets pushed gently forward. Depending on the construction, the normal date change mechanism and quickset can interfere with each other and lock up or fail to change at the next time it's supposed to change or possibly damage something. So don't quickset while it's engaged, if you do don't force it, if you're worried don't.
 

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You're mistaken with that energy buildup, that relates probably only to that Omega movement (a design which they stole from me long before I even got to inventing it). In most watches it's just a 2:1 reduced wheel with a tooth that pushes the day/date wheels forward one notch every 24h. There is no energy buildup, it just gets pushed gently forward. Depending on the construction, the normal date change mechanism and quickset can interfere with each other and lock up or fail to change at the next time it's supposed to change or possibly damage something. So don't quickset while it's engaged, if you do don't force it, if you're worried don't.
Actually, you are wrong.

Almost all watches currently avaliable today have instant date/day change movements. These have a small spring in the date (and day) change wheel that is compressed as the wheel advances toward change time, this stops the change pawl until the wheel get to a certain point, at which the pawl is freed and it snaps past the gear tooth on the date wheel and the date switches instantly.

Examples with this feature ETA 2824-2, ST16, DG28 Seiko 4205, ETA 2892A2 and many others.

Some have other methods, the AS1903, for example have a small sear that is slowly cocked during the last 5 or 6 hours then released and this sear snaps down and advances the date.

Some movements, like the 7750, use continous moving wheels with fixed pawls as you describe, but these are a minority.
 

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I think i had a part of an answer, here :

YouTube - 7750 change date at midnight.AVI

As for a rule, when i feel it blocked, i NEVER force the crown, when in date setting position...

This movie explains why.
 
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