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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So most of my mechanical watches have the hacking feature, but not because I was seeking the feature out but because many of the watches I bought were re-released with that feature. Why is this feature so popular or sought after? When I am setting the time on my watches whether the second hand is moving or not doesn't really matter to me.

Is there an historical reason that hacking was important back in the day and remains so? The only thing I can think of why it was and is popular is for synchronization?
 

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It depends how accurately you want to know the time. If "2:30 +/-" is good enough for you, maybe hacking isn't necessary.

Or, if you're really OCD, you might want your hours, minutes and seconds hands all lined up at 12:00.

Also, it's generally a sign of a higher quality movement. The maker cares enough to add more features to enhance the accuracy and usability.
 

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I think yes, HISTORICALLY it was needed for military-type operations so people could synchronize their watches. But I have come to realize that I sort of like non-hacking watches. On my watches that hack I always wait for the seconds to hit zero before I change the time; on my one non-hacking watch I just set it to the nearest 30 seconds and I’m happy.
 

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Speaking personally, let's imagine my watch is 90 seconds out and I want to set it. That means I want to set it to the correct time there and then: I don't want my options to be to set it 30 seconds fast, 30 seconds slow or wait until it's 120 seconds out so that I can set it right. And I certainly don't want to ignore the seconds hand and just set the minues. The fact that it won't stay exactly correct doesn't mean that I don't care at the time I'm setting it - maybe that's the wrong attitude, but it's how I am.

Of course if the reason for adjusting it is to change time zones then not hacking would be an advantage. But the rest of the time it would annoy me, so on balance I'm better off with the feature.

And people who were brought up on quartz watches will expect it, so I can see how not hacking would be controversial while hacking would be unnoticed because it's expected.
 

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Back in the day when cheap mechanical watches gained 2 or 3 minutes a day, setting to the precise second didn't really matter. the more accurate the watch, the more important it is to have a hacking movement so you can set it to the precise time, because that's probably why you spent extra money for a more accurate watch to begin with.
 

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Hacking is a "relatively" modern feature, and now we are spoiled by having it.

Personally it makes no difference to me. If my watches become off by several minutes due to having to stop and restart, or reset it on occasion, it is no big deal.
 

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I think hacking is a vestigial military function - soldiers could hack their watches at mission start to insure all their watches showed close to the same time.

Today hacking really accomplishes little beyond owner satisfaction, since most mechanicals drift enough to make them inaccurate compared to quartz.

Three of my ten mechanicals do not hack. Depending upon whether they normally gain or lose I set them ahead/behind so that, during the 3-7 consecutive days I wear them, they approach the true time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Seems like a pretty obvious invention... especially when you consider the majority of people interested in watches.

You stop the second hand at 0 and wait till the proper time to set the watch.

You might not care but it makes a hell of a lot of sense for most people that want accurate time.
So why not include a feature that controls the second hand also? Like my Citizen eco drive I can rest the second hand and also move the second hand. Or does this exist on mechanical watches but just the more expensive ones?
 

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The drive and desire for a hacking movement is common with a person with a bad case of WIS syndrome.

Most often it doesn’t mean much in the real world but a super precise watch can be more easily used for Arial navigation, mission timing, precise cordination of military maneuvers etc - but really it’s more to do with WIS syndrome IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The drive and desire for a hacking movement is common with a person with a bad case of WIS syndrome.

Most often it doesn't mean much in the real world but a super precise watch can be more easily used for Arial navigation, mission timing, precise cordination of military maneuvers etc - but really it's more to do with WIS syndrome IMHO.
Whats WIS?
 

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Truth be told, I didn't even know what hacking meant until this thread.

I get why someone would want all these extra steps and additions to make their watch more precise, but truthfully that isn't me. I don't use my watch for super time sensitive things. It exists because I enjoy the hobby. Not because I need the literal tool.
 

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Along with sapphire crystal, solid end links, display case back, finished movements and complications, hacking is just another on the list of options on a watch that aren't necessary. There really is no practical need for hacking outside of being supremely anal retentive about one's watch, its accuracy and a blazing need to have supreme accuracy...well, accuracy that can be had with a mechanical watch because, you know...quartz...ugh
 

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All quartz watches have a hacking feature, I never saw a quartz that keeps moving while adjusting the time.
The Swatch basic movement is non hacking.

Seems like a pretty obvious invention... especially when you consider the majority of people interested in watches.

You stop the second hand at 0 and wait till the proper time to set the watch.

You might not care but it makes a hell of a lot of sense for most people that want accurate time.
I still remember when I was a child in the 80s that the first channel of Italian TV transmitted at 22.00 the signal of the "correct time" and people synch´ed their watch with it. That was the real reason why "good" quartz and mechanical movements had hacking, once per week or per month people interested in accuracy adjusted their watch. Now with cell phones and computers everywhere it´s not that relevant anymore.
 
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