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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So there is probably a simple answer to this, but I'm just a noob and don't know how mechanical movements work. :(

1. How can I tell when I should stop winding a mechanical manual-wind watch?
2. How can I tell when I should stop manually winding an automatic mechanical watch?


Is there some kind of click? Does the crown become really hard to turn? Or do I just memorize ("30 turns from unwould position")?

IF every watch is different, how can I tell when I should stop hand-winding a ETA 2824-2 automatic movement?

As I understand it, automatic movements have built-in protection for overwinding via the rotor. BUT what about hand-winding an automatic movement? Is there a protection for that too?
 
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So there is probably a simple answer to this, but I'm just a noob and don't know how mechanical movements work. :(

1. How can I tell when I should stop winding a mechanical manual-wind watch?
2. How can I tell when I should stop manually winding an automatic mechanical watch?


Is there some kind of click? Does the crown become really hard to turn? Or do I just memorize ("30 turns from unwould position")?

IF every watch is different, how can I tell when I should stop hand-winding a ETA 2824-2 automatic movement?

As I understand it, automatic movements have built-in protection for overwinding via the rotor. BUT what about hand-winding an automatic movement? Is there a protection for that too?
You cannot over wind a watch.

Wind the manual watch until you feel the crown tighten up. If you twist it hard and try to force it farther, you will break something but it won't be over wound...just broken.

Wind an auto as much or little as you feel like. You can't over wind it because the mainspring has a slipping mechanism. Makes no difference if you manual wind it or let the rotor do it...after a certain point, the spring simply slips. It's best to not manually wind an auto more than necessary as the manual winding parts tend not to be as robust as a pure hand winder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
You cannot over wind a watch.

Wind the manual watch until you feel the crown tighten up. If you twist it hard and try to force it farther, you will break something but it won't be over wound...just broken.

Wind an auto as much or little as you feel like. You can't over wind it because the mainspring has a slipping mechanism. Makes no difference if you manual wind it or let the rotor do it...after a certain point, the spring simply slips. It's best to not manually wind an auto more than necessary as the manual winding parts tend not to be as robust as a pure hand winder.
I c.. Thanks! :)

So, are 100% of manuals like that? Wind too much and something breaks? Are there exceptions, like manuals with over-turn protection?

About the auto's, what do you mean "not as robust?" Does slipping cause some significant wear on the parts, or is it just that the design itself relies on fragile parts?
 

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I c.. Thanks! :)

So, are 100% of manuals like that? Wind too much and something breaks? Are there exceptions, like manuals with over-turn protection?

About the auto's, what do you mean "not as robust?" Does slipping cause some significant wear on the parts, or is it just that the design itself relies on fragile parts?
There may be exceptions but I've never seen a manual wind with a slipping mechanism.

Automatics are more prone to wear of the manual winding parts because they not only have to wind the main spring but also fight the auto winding mechanism. This puts a lot of extra stress on the stem and winding gears.

Additionally, the manual winding gears in many autos are of necessity made smaller and thinner because the auto winding system adds significant height to the movement and everything has to fit inside the limited space.
 

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I c.. Thanks! :)

So, are 100% of manuals like that? Wind too much and something breaks? Are there exceptions, like manuals with over-turn protection?

About the auto's, what do you mean "not as robust?" Does slipping cause some significant wear on the parts, or is it just that the design itself relies on fragile parts?
You will not break a manual wind watch by winding it too much. In fact it will be quite obvious when the mainspring is fully wound. The crown will simply not turn any further. At this point it would require the use of a pliers to turn the crown further. There are no manual watches with overwind protection. It is simply not necessary.

An automatic watch can be wound as much as you like. Generally 40-50 turns of the crown will fully wind an automatic from a stopped state.
 

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There are millions of manual wind watches with 'overwind' protection, but you
have to go back a few years.

My IWC wristwatch cal 64 dated 1924 is fitted with Geneva Stop Work which
limits the amount of winding to four complete turns.

Geneva Stop Work is fitted to the plate of the barrel and looks like a maltese cross.
Antique English manual wind watches also have Stop Work, but of a different design, basically a snail cam on the fusee engages a stop finger on the plate but the action is the same as the Swiss design as it limits the amount of turns on the mainspring to prevent 'overwinding'.
I've saw a few Swiss watches with the StopWork removed, and I know that many
a jobing watchmaker of old, regarded Geneva 'Stop Work' as unnecessary....but
there'll be a reason for it, and from what I gather it was to prevent the mainspring being 'torn' from the barrel wall and to prevent undue 'force' (from overwinding)
being transmitted to the escapement.
 

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There are millions of manual wind watches with 'overwind' protection, but you have to go back a few years.

My IWC wristwatch cal 64 dated 1924 is fitted with Geneva Stop Work which
limits the amount of winding to four complete turns.

Geneva Stop Work is fitted to the plate of the barrel and looks like a maltese cross.
Antique English manual wind watches also have Stop Work, but of a different design, basically a snail cam on the fusee engages a stop finger on the plate but the action is the same as the Swiss design as it limits the amount of turns on the mainspring to prevent 'overwinding'.
I've saw a few Swiss watches with the StopWork removed, and I know that many
a jobing watchmaker of old, regarded Geneva 'Stop Work' as unnecessary....but
there'll be a reason for it, and from what I gather it was to prevent the mainspring being 'torn' from the barrel wall and to prevent undue 'force' (from overwinding)
being transmitted to the escapement.
That's really a different use of the term "overwind". The "stop work" device isn't intended to protect a watch or mainspring from damage by being "overwound" it serves a quite different purpose. Early mainsprings had a quite steep "torque curve" and the isochronism of the watch would suffer if the entire power curve of the mainspring were used. That is to say, the watch's rate would vary significantly depending on the state of wind of the mainspring. The "stop works" mechanism was an early device which helped even out the spring's force (torque) by preventing the mainspring from being wound all the way up, and also preventing it from unwinding all the way down. The idea here was to use only the central part of the spring's 'torque curve', where its force was more constant. The most common form was the Geneva stop or 'Maltese cross' as you describe. A stopwork isn't needed (or used) in modern production watches which use modern mainsprings designed & constructed to provide much more even "torque curves". The stopworks mechanism hasn't really had a practical use for well over a hundred years (of course it might be still used on certain pieces as a tribute to horological history). I'd like to think that there might still exist "millions" of watches with these old devices out there but I'm afraid that's unlikely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thank you all, that was very helpful!
 

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That's really a different use of the term "overwind". The "stop work" device isn't intended to protect a watch or mainspring from damage by being "overwound" it serves a quite different purpose. Early mainsprings had a quite steep "torque curve" and the isochronism of the watch would suffer if the entire power curve of the mainspring were used. That is to say, the watch's rate would vary significantly depending on the state of wind of the mainspring. The "stop works" mechanism was an early device which helped even out the spring's force (torque) by preventing the mainspring from being wound all the way up, and also preventing it from unwinding all the way down. The idea here was to use only the central part of the spring's 'torque curve', where its force was more constant. The most common form was the Geneva stop or 'Maltese cross' as you describe. A stopwork isn't needed (or used) in modern production watches which use modern mainsprings designed & constructed to provide much more even "torque curves". The stopworks mechanism hasn't really had a practical use for well over a hundred years (of course it might be still used on certain pieces as a tribute to horological history). I'd like to think that there might still exist "millions" of watches with these old devices out there but I'm afraid that's unlikely.
Yes that is one latter use of stopwork, the prevention of excessive force being applied to the escapement, and therefore excessive vibration of the balance resulting in poor isochronism. The fact that stopwork also prevents the spring running down completely is perhaps of less importance if a watch is wound regularly on a 24 hr basis.

But you say that "stopwork isn't intended to protect a watch or mainspring from damage from overwinding" I would think that, that would
be the primary reason for stopwork fitted to an English lever fusee watch
or a verge. The fusee is designed to flatten the power curve of the mainspring so why the stopwork if not to prevent damage?

We'll never know how many watches fitted with stopwork survive but every English Fusee watch, every watch with a floating barrel which
includes a miriad of Swiss lever and cylinder watches. Early English cylinders and duplex or levers with going barrels. In fact most pre1900 watches and quite a few after that date to the 1920's....
 

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Yes that is one latter use of stopwork, the prevention of excessive force being applied to the escapement, and therefore excessive vibration of the balance resulting in poor isochronism. The fact that stopwork also prevents the spring running down completely is perhaps of less importance if a watch is wound regularly on a 24 hr basis.

But you say that "stopwork isn't intended to protect a watch or mainspring from damage from overwinding" I would think that, that would be the primary reason for stopwork fitted to an English lever fusee watch or a verge. The fusee is designed to flatten the power curve of the mainspring so why the stopwork if not to prevent damage?

We'll never know how many watches fitted with stopwork survive but every English Fusee watch, every watch with a floating barrel which includes a miriad of Swiss lever and cylinder watches. Early English cylinders and duplex or levers with going barrels. In fact most pre1900 watches and quite a few after that date to the 1920's....
Of course a "stopwork" or "winding stop" mechanism is necessary in any fusee watch or clock because of the length and delicate nature of the chain associated with the fusee mechanism. When the chain is fully wound unto the fusee further winding must be stopped since the delicate chain could easily be damaged. Similarly, when the barrel rotates during running and unwinds the chain from the fusee some tension must be still be kept on the chain even when the watch has "run down".

In this sense the stopworks protects the watch, i.e., the fusee chain, from "overwinding" damage so I probably should have said, "There are no modern manual-wind watches with overwind protection." Yet even then one must still note that there are a very few extreme high-end watches that use fusee mechanisms, e.g., the A. Lange & Sohne Richard Lange Pour le Merite (which has over 600 parts in the fusee chain alone).
 

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That Lange & Sohne fusee wristwatch is amazing, I hadn't realised
that a fusee wristwatch is actually in production....fancy that, exhuming
centuries old technology in pursuit of horological excellence, but at quite a price.
Thanks for that.
 

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I hope hey nobody minds me reviving this thread because it really is the best info I've found about winding watches.

Since automatics have s clutch that causes the mainspring to slip when fully wound, I understand that we can't tell how far it is wound simply by the force it takes to wind it. However I was wondering if I should be able to tell when that clutch engages? Is it possible to at least tell when an automatic watch with no power reserve indicstor is fully wound?
 

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I hope hey nobody minds me reviving this thread because it really is the best info I've found about winding watches. We are at your disposal.
Is it possible to at least tell when an automatic watch with no power reserve indicstor is fully wound?
When fully wound, the bridle slips in the barrel until tension is reduced and it again, "grips" the barrel. There are usually small dimples in the barrel which provide extra "grip". When fully wound you can sometimes hear or feel the bridle slip. Another "rule of thumb" (okay guys...don't kill me on this) is one turn of the crown for each hour of power reserve. So if you have a 42H PR movement which is fully powered down, wind 42 turns of the crown to get it to full power. If you have a display ("see-through") case back, this should be about 7 turns of the ratchet wheel. Alternatively just put 50-60 turns on the crown and you're done.
 

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. . . IF every watch is different, how can I tell when I should stop hand-winding a ETA 2824-2 automatic movement? . . . .
A few fun 2824 suspicions:

11mm inside diameter mainspring barrel

3.36mm diameter of the mainspring arbor

.125 mm thick mainspring

400mm mainspring length

12 tooth winding pinion

26 tooth crown wheel

63 tooth ratchet wheel (crown wheel engages every other tooth of)

--------------------------

21.5 wraps on arbor if fully wound

13.5 wraps in the barrel if the wind is fully dissipated

8 net exchange wraps in system

.38 arbor revolutions per crown revolution

21 crown turns to fully wind.

--------------------------------

Most people won't ever encounter a movement that has never been wound since new or since service. On even a "perfect" ETA 2824-2, there is a point in the power reserve dissipation where the energy supplied by the escape wheel to the pallet fork is insufficient to propel the balance wheel on yet another self sustaining cycle. At this point there is still some energy stored in the partially wound mainspring and if one were to remove the pallet fork, the rapid and sustained rotation of the escape wheel would evidence this. (The further disassembly of the movement and removal of the barrel from the plate and its bridge releases the balance of the energy to be extracted from the "bounded" spring. (As the spring is unbounded - released from the barrel - if gives up the rest.)

Please feel free to correct my most recent attempts at arithmetic.
 

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...63 tooth ratchet wheel (crown wheel engages every other tooth of)

--------------------------

21.5 wraps on arbor if fully wound

13.5 wraps in the barrel if the wind is fully dissipated

8 net exchange wraps in system

.38 arbor revolutions per crown revolution

21 crown turns to fully wind.

--------------------------------

Most people won't ever encounter a movement that has never been wound since new or since service. On even a "perfect" ETA 2824-2, there is a point in the power reserve dissipation where the energy supplied by the escape wheel to the pallet fork is insufficient to propel the balance wheel on yet another self sustaining cycle. At this point there is still some energy stored in the partially wound mainspring and if one were to remove the pallet fork, the rapid and sustained rotation of the escape wheel would evidence this. (The further disassembly of the movement and removal of the barrel from the plate and its bridge releases the balance of the energy to be extracted from the "bounded" spring. (As the spring is unbounded - released from the barrel - if gives up the rest.)

Please feel free to correct my most recent attempts at arithmetic.
pithy:
-Although the crown wheel only engages the ratchet wheel every two teeth, how many teeth of the winding pinion are required to advance the ratchet wheel one click?

-Your arithmatic is impecible...however, when one lets down the rachet wheel how many turns of let down are required to fully deplete the power available from the barrel, in situ.

Depending upon the answers, could be 20 turns or could be 40 turns? (ie. if crown wheel is not actually advancing rachet wheel through the click by 2 teeth).

Haven't ever recorded on this caliber...but have on others.
 
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