How To Use The Three Types Of Watch Movements

Article written by Alexander – Founder and Owner of

Roughly 80-85% of all the watches manufactured and sold around the world are quartz (battery) driven. The remaining 20-15% are either automatic or mechanical. Most higher end Swiss luxury timepieces are either automatic or mechanical.

As a general rule, we can say that watches below $1,000 are quartz/battery driven, and watches above $1,000 are either automatic or mechanical.

If you are uncertain on how to use quartz, automatic and mechanical movements, please watch the excellent video tutorials below.

The gentleman in the two (2) videos down below, does not work for, but he does offer you an excellent tutorial on how to properly use and maintain quartz (battery), automatic and mechanical movements.

The watches shown in the videos are neither Swiss nor are they divers watches. The video tutorials are merely shown to illustrate the technical and mechanical differences that set the three different kinds of movements apart.

The Three (3) Modern Watch Movements:

How To Specifically Use And Maintain An Automatic Watch:

Clarifications for the video above: how to use your automatic watch – a step by step instruction:

1) Wind the automatic watch manually in order to power the watch.

There are two cases in which you need to manually wind an automatic watch:

  • a) the very first time you intend to use your automatic watch and,
  • b) when you haven’t used your watch for days, and the watch stops due to the fact that the wearer’s hand and arm movements no longer power the rotor inside the automatic movement.

When winding your automatic watch manually: Turn the crown 30-40 times to be sure your automatic watch has sufficient power. This can be compared to starting a car engine. Just like a car, a watch needs a power boost to start. Unlike a purely mechanical watch, you cannot overwind an automatic watch. Just like the tutorial says: you can wind your automatic watch manually all day long, and no damage will be done to your watch.

Please remember: The watch above in the video is neither a Swiss watch nor is it a divers watch.

If you have a Swiss Divers Watch, you need to unscrew the crown in order for the crown to pop out, and then you can start turning the crown.

All divers watches have a screw-in-crown, which guarantees the water resistance of the watch.

Once you use your watch on a daily or almost daily basis, it will automatically be powered by your hand and arm movements. Under such circumstances you don’t need to manually wind your watch at all.

2) Set the date.

Due to the gears inside, don’t change the date close to midnight or between 9 and 3 – it doesn’t matter if it’s AM or PM. When you set the date, please do so when the time is either 6AM or 6PM. Always move the hour- and minute hands forward, in order to get to the “safe zone” which is either 6AM or 6PM. Always set the date to the day before. For example, if it’s the 5th today, then set the date to the 4th – the day before.

3) Set the time.

Always move the hour- and minute hands forward, in order to see when exactly you pass midnight. Once you have passed midnight, and you have entered the correct date, then you can set the time. Once you have set the correct time, push in the crown (on your divers watch) and screw it in properly to make sure your watch is water resistant. You’re ready to go!

If you’ve got any questions or comments, please post them down below and I’ll be happy to answer them!

Article written by Alexander – Founder and Owner of

Founder of Swiss Divers Watches5


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4 thoughts on “How To Use The Three Types Of Watch Movements

  1. Diesel Matheson

    Hello there,
    I recently was given an Ingersoll watch for a gift from a family member, it is an automatic movement,
    however in the instructions it says not to change the date between 6pm and 6am, this is not an instruction I have ever encountered before as I have always altered the date at the 6 Oclock mark.
    I know that i could simply remember to change the date at the 4pm setting as this settles both the 6pm tp 6am ruling and the more common stay away from the 12 oclock. Was wondering if you had any experience with this odd idea of a 12 hour ‘danger zone’
    Kind regards
    Diesel Matheson

    1. Alexander Post author

      Hello Diesel,
      And thank you for visiting Swiss Divers Watches!

      I’ve actually never personally encountered an automatic timepiece where you can’t set the date in the 6AM or 6PM position.

      I think the problem hinges on the fact that Ingersoll relies on Chinese movements.
      The standard movements used among most watch brands are either Swiss or Japanese, but your watch probably has a Chinese movement. So the origins, the mechanics and the technology of your movement could possibly explain why the date changing mechanism is different from the standard Swiss and Japanese movements.
      I hope this explanation helps, and I hope things will work out excellently with your watch!
      Kind regards


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