Manual winding an automatic with a push in crown

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Manual winding an automatic with a push in crown

Post by Bident » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:59 pm

Hello all,

I have read that one should be judicious when hand winding an automatic watch that features a screw down crown, as excessively doing so will prematurely wear the threads of the crown since it needs to be unscrewed every time one attempts a manual wind. If this is correct (and I'm not sure it is since there seems to be differences of opinion on the matter), would an automatic watch with a push in crown allow the user to hand wind as much as one desires since there are no threads to wear? The C65 Trident GMT and new C65 Trident Automatic are both such watches featuring push in crowns rather than screw down crowns.

I am aware that automatic movements with manual winding cannot be overwound because of the clutch like feature. My question is solely about the premature wear on the threads of the screw down crown precluding manual winding on, let's say, a daily basis (*edited: AND, if a push in crown auto can be wound daily without any concern).

Many thanks for any responses.
Best regards,
John

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Re: Manual winding an automatic with a screw down crown

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia » Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:14 pm

If you are ham-fisted you will be just as likely to damage a crown after setting/adjusting as after winding.

They say you shouldn't wind automatics too much - wear them and put them on a winder when not being worn. That eliminates some need for undoing the crown.

A top tip I was given was to turn the crown gently backwards (anti-clockwise) while pushing it gently towards the case, until you feel a click and the threads engage. Then screw it gently clockwise until it is finger tight.*

Does it work? I haven't damaged a crown yet.

* Note: I said GENTLY three times.
Steve
The half minute which we daily devote to the winding-up of our watches is an exertion of labour almost insensible; yet, by the aid of a few wheels, its effect is spread over the whole twenty-four hours.
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Re: Manual winding an automatic with a screw down crown

Post by TG3N » Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:31 pm

I’d agree with AVO’s advice above, aside from a personal aversion to winders.

Some automatics don’t like regular (i.e. daily) hand-winding - something like the ubiquitous ETA 2824-2 / Sellita SW200-1 can exhibit wear to the plates & bridges because the crown wheel rests on a raised post that’s just part of the bridge and erodes away because it isn’t designed to take such regular wear, and the keyless works can also eat into the plate.

In general, metal on metal cannot exist without some level of friction, so wear is unavoidable if the crown is unscrewed daily, but how much is a question of technique & care, as advised by AVO above.

Crown tubes are regarded as a consumable part for many brands, and so replaced at service time, if warranted.

I encourage you to look at the complete shambles that Breitling left customers in when they decided to cut costs by making the crown tube an integral, indivisible, non-removable part of the case - cue lots of unhappy owners needing an entire mid-case replacement when their crowns became knackered. Lots of those were titanium, admittedly.

In general an auto doesn’t need hand-winding if worn daily, so why bother adding to the wear unnecessarily.

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Re: Manual winding an automatic with a screw down crown

Post by Bident » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:09 pm

Thanks to both of you for the reply. But specifically, I’m wondering if a crown is NOT screw down, but rather push in, like the C65s mentioned previously, does the same caution apply in terms of not winding the watch manually on a regular (daily) basis. I believe the instances that are being mentioned pertain to automatics with screw down crowns, and I think reference friction/wear for such crowns. Would the same concerns apply to push in crowns that are autos but are being hand wound daily? One wouldn’t even need to pull the crown out to manual wind since the crown would be wound in the “resting” position.
Best regards,
John

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Re: Manual winding an automatic with a screw down crown

Post by Bident » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:17 pm

I realize my topic sentence for the thread should read “Manual winding an automatic with a push in crown” rather than what it is. Apologies for the confusion. I have changed the Subject accordingly.
Best regards,
John

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Re: Manual winding an automatic with a push in crown

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:33 pm

Noted - thanks.

The only auto I have with a push-in crown is my Cartier Tank Solo (Cartier 049 calibre based on ETA 2892 ébauche). Never had a problem hand winding that one and Cartier don't advise against it.
Steve
The half minute which we daily devote to the winding-up of our watches is an exertion of labour almost insensible; yet, by the aid of a few wheels, its effect is spread over the whole twenty-four hours.
Charles Babbage


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Re: Manual winding an automatic with a push in crown

Post by Thermexman » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:43 pm

From your original post, I would deduce that you are concerned about wearing out the threads on a screw down crown, due to the constant screwing in and out of the crown. (Quiet at the back). By definition, a non screw down crown eliminates this concern by not requiring any such screwing/unscrewing. You simply wind it approx 20 ish turns to kickstart it and then let the auto mechanism do it’s thang.

If your question is, does constantly fully winding an auto and relying on the clutch, cause premature wear of any components?

Sorry, I don’t know but all my handbooks for autos tell you to give approx 20 or so turns to start ‘em up but don’t suggest fully winding. I guess that’s because you don’t need to?
Steve.

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Re: Manual winding an automatic with a push in crown

Post by kiter65 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:55 pm

The majority of the watches I have owned have been auto’s with screw crowns, I don’t own a watch winder....just carefully undue the crown set the time,give it a few turns carefully screw the crown back in....good to go...never had an issue :thumbup:

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Re: Manual winding an automatic with a screw down crown

Post by TG3N » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:19 pm

Bident wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:09 pm
But specifically, I’m wondering if a crown is NOT screw down, but rather push in, like the C65s mentioned previously, does the same caution apply in terms of not winding the watch manually on a regular (daily) basis. I believe the instances that are being mentioned pertain to automatics with screw down crowns.
I answered that for you in the second paragraph of my response.

The principle, operation & potential for hand-winding wear is the same, regardless of whether the crown is push-pull or screw-down.

I later commented separately on the wear potential for a screw-down crown.

I’m specifically commenting upon the ETA 2824-2, and it’s copy-cats. The 2824-2 is just not well-designed for voluminous hand-winding. But even then, it very much depends upon the movement assembly, age, frequency & volume of hand-winding, servicing intervals etc.

In general, I wouldn’t at all shy away from hand-winding a 2824-2 20-30 times every time I start it from ‘dead’ - it’s good practice to help establish a good power reserve base, to be topped-off by auto-winding thereafter. Even daily hand-winding might be fine, if the movement is properly lubricated. But doing so daily & copiously for years & years without servicing checks might see serious wear caused, and it’ll be to the mainplate, which is a bigger fix than just a replacement wheel.

But then again, you’d have to be quite unlucky and an entire new movement doesn’t cost the earth anyway.

I wouldn’t overly worry, but out of common sense I don’t hand-wind them daily or use watch winders.

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Re: Manual winding an automatic with a screw down crown

Post by nbg » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:23 pm

Bident wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:09 pm
Thanks to both of you for the reply. But specifically, I’m wondering if a crown is NOT screw down, but rather push in, like the C65s mentioned previously, does the same caution apply in terms of not winding the watch manually on a regular (daily) basis. I believe the instances that are being mentioned pertain to automatics with screw down crowns, and I think reference friction/wear for such crowns. Would the same concerns apply to push in crowns that are autos but are being hand wound daily? One wouldn’t even need to pull the crown out to manual wind since the crown would be wound in the “resting” position.
I think that the point that TG3N has made in his second paragraph above (reproduced below), does not exclusively relate to screw in crows. He was commenting on the movements.

“Some automatics don’t like regular (i.e. daily) hand-winding - something like the ubiquitous ETA 2824-2 / Sellita SW200-1 can exhibit wear to the plates & bridges because the crown wheel rests on a raised post that’s just part of the bridge and erodes away because it isn’t designed to take such regular wear, and the keyless works can also eat into the plate.”

Take what he says at face value, as the content of his posts, over the time he has been on the forum, indicates he knows what he is talking about regarding stuff such as this. :thumbup:

Neil
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Re: Manual winding an automatic with a push in crown

Post by Bident » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:27 pm

Thanks everyone. I apologize for my confusing post but got all the answers. Cheers.
Best regards,
John

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Re: Manual winding an automatic with a screw down crown

Post by Bident » Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:47 pm

TG3N wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:19 pm
Bident wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:09 pm
But specifically, I’m wondering if a crown is NOT screw down, but rather push in, like the C65s mentioned previously, does the same caution apply in terms of not winding the watch manually on a regular (daily) basis. I believe the instances that are being mentioned pertain to automatics with screw down crowns.
I answered that for you in the second paragraph of my response.

The principle, operation & potential for hand-winding wear is the same, regardless of whether the crown is push-pull or screw-down.

I later commented separately on the wear potential for a screw-down crown.

I’m specifically commenting upon the ETA 2824-2, and it’s copy-cats. The 2824-2 is just not well-designed for voluminous hand-winding. But even then, it very much depends upon the movement assembly, age, frequency & volume of hand-winding, servicing intervals etc.

In general, I wouldn’t at all shy away from hand-winding a 2824-2 20-30 times every time I start it from ‘dead’ - it’s good practice to help establish a good power reserve base, to be topped-off by auto-winding thereafter. Even daily hand-winding might be fine, if the movement is properly lubricated. But doing so daily & copiously for years & years without servicing checks might see serious wear caused, and it’ll be to the mainplate, which is a bigger fix than just a replacement wheel.

But then again, you’d have to be quite unlucky and an entire new movement doesn’t cost the earth anyway.

I wouldn’t overly worry, but out of common sense I don’t hand-wind them daily or use watch winders.
I should have stated from the beginning, the real reason for my inquiry is that like many here in the forum, I don't wear any one watch every day. As such, my auto watch will expire after 42 or so hours (usually a bit more) when it is not used in rotation. I was not handwinding it because of what has now been confirmed: premature wear (although, I am now wary of always unscrewing the crown to set the time each time the power expires). As I contemplate future watches, the new C65 auto and C65 GMT might have beaten out other candidates that have screw down crowns, IF, they didn't have the same issue of premature hand winding wear since they have push-pull crowns. It seems clear from the collective expertise that there does seem to be a similar issue, regardless.

Thanks again to all!
Best regards,
John

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Re: Manual winding an automatic with a push in crown

Post by Bahnstormer_vRS » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:53 am

My understanding, as I have learnt mostly from comments on the forum, is that one should avoid hand winding an Automatic repeatedly as the mechanism (particularly the crown stem) is not as robust as the mechanism from a Hand Wound watch.

To alleviate this, if I select one of my Automatics that has stopped to be worn next day, in the morning I will put it on my wrist first thing. By the time I have been moving around for 20-30 minutes the watch will have started up and I will then set the time.

Guy
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Re: Manual winding an automatic with a push in crown

Post by Bident » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:48 am

Bahnstormer_vRS wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:53 am
My understanding, as I have learnt mostly from comments on the forum, is that one should avoid hand winding an Automatic repeatedly as the mechanism (particularly the crown stem) is not as robust as the mechanism from a Hand Wound watch.

To alleviate this, if I select one of my Automatics that has stopped to be worn next day, in the morning I will put it on my wrist first thing. By the time I have been moving around for 20-30 minutes the watch will have started up and I will then set the time.

Guy
Thank you Guy! I am genuinely appreciative of all the knowledge bestowed upon this forum by its members. A more astute group couldn't be found anywhere else, nor a friendlier group at that!

My very best to all my watch comrades here.
Best regards,
John

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Re: Manual winding an automatic with a push in crown

Post by Bahnstormer_vRS » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:18 am

@Bident - thank you.

We all do our best to help.

Guy

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