Mechanical Pocket Watches

Mechanical Pocket Watches

These mechanical pocket watches, as the name implies, are powered entirely by mechanics, in this case by a spring (called a ‘main spring’). This provides the ‘fuel’ for the watch. The energy of the spring is very carefully regulated by a fine mechanism to produce a movement equal to seconds.

Woodford Mechanical Pocket Watches
Woodford Mechanical Pocket Watches


When in its ‘normal’ position, the stem of the watch acts as the ‘key’ to wind the mechanical pocket watch. It should be rotated clockwise between thumb and forefinger a number of times to wind the main spring. Do this winding process fairly gently and with care. At some point the stem will become a little more difficult to turn and then finally stop. At this point you must stop winding.

The spring will now be fully wound and trying to force it any further will only lock up the mechanism. If this happens the help of a watchmaker will be needed to rectify the problem.

During winding it will be very obvious when your watch is fully wound, so don’t worry; they are designed to prevent over winding.

Setting the time

In order to set the time, pull the stem of the watch carefully away from the main body until you hear a gentle click. The hands of the watch now move as the stem is rotated and the correct time can be set. Generally, it is recom- mended that you do this by turning the hands clockwise.

When fine-tuning the time, you may move the position of the hands for- wards or backwards, but if moving the time many hours proceed clockwise.
Depending on your watch, the stem may have a variety of other uses. Moving the stem to another position will allow you to set the correct date, or to set a secondary display for another ‘time zone’. Once complete, push the stem back into it normal position.

Your mechanical pocket watch is now ready for use. The length of time between ‘re- winds’ will vary from model to model, but it will not be long before you get to know the requirements of your own personal pocket watch.