how to adjust the watches

How to set watches, you might think it is hard, there are so many calibres and models that it would take a large book to describe them all! Right?
You’ll see, thanks to the explanation I will provide, you will be able to set most of the common and widespread watches; in just a few lines you will learn how easy it can be to set a watch, without having to read boring pages, something difficult to understand, from the instruction booklets supplied by the various manufacturers. For the other cases one must obligatorily, refer to the instructions provided by the manufacturer of your watch, since there are always specific Gauges and cases.
Main categories:
  • Analogue Watches with 2 or 3 meters, with or without calendar.
  • Chrono-analogue Watches with 2 or 3 meters, with or without calendar.
  • Digital Watches.
  • Ana-digi Watches.
  • Multifunction analogue Watches.
The first 3 are definitely the most widespread.

Remarks: there is no practical difference, when adjusting a Quartz watch with a Battery, a Charge of Light (or Solar), Automatic Mechanical; the procedure and the precautions will always be the same.

Automatic Mechanical watches: in this case I consider it appropriate to give a specific indication on the first start or whenever the watch is stationary: the Automatic Mechanical watches have an average autonomy of about 36, 40 hours (at full charge), with the use of particular movements.
To start a Mechanical Automatic watch correctly, simply turn the adjustment wheel counter-clockwise, as shown in Image below, box 2, giving it about 8 turns (note: if you feel a particular resistance at the end of the charge, do not insist or force uselessly.
Hand-wound Mechanical wathces: today, they are not widespread, it is easier to find them on very old watches; in case you have one, you will have to follow the Manual Charge procedure as suggested above, once a day.


Set a Analogue Watches with 2 or 3 hends

screw crown screw buttons of the watchIt is definitely the easiest and most simple, check if the setting crown is screw-like or not.
If the Crown is a Screw, you must unscrew it (1) to be able to set the watch and make sure to re-tighten it well (2) at the end of the process, as, generally watches with screw-like crowns are Water Resistant watches, if you leave the crown even partially open, water will seep in (the warranty does not cover damage or problems, in these cases).
In some special Watches, you might find (in addition to Screw-like Crowns), even Screw Buttons, designed specifically to give greater security to the Buttons, while using in Water; the use (3 and 4) is the same as the Screw Crown.
With your fingers or fingernails, lightly pull out the "wheel", you will hear 1 or 2 clicks.
Watches with no calendar will only have 1 click, while watches featuring a calendar will have 2 clicks (usually).

typical watch only time dateFor practical reasons start from the 2nd click:

Turn the crown until the hands go beyond midnight (24.00), this way you will see the calendar day change and you will be able to, thus set the time by placing the hands correctly on the area dedicated to the morning or the afternoon, this is important for the calendar to change at midnight (24.00) and not at noon (12.00).
24 hours of the watch

Press the crown slightly until you push it back of 1 click, you will be in the Calendar setting position, try to turn the crown clockwise or counter clockwise, when you see what is the right setting direction, you can turn the crown until the calendar number is placed on the correct date. In watches with Monthly and Weekly Calendars, by turning the crown in Counter clockwise direction you can set one, by turning in Clockwise direction you can set the other. Please note, that Watches with simple Calendars have the numbering fixed to 31 days, so for months that last 30 days, or for February which lasts 28/29 days, the date will differ of 1, 2, or 3 days; it must be updated manually every 2 months or so.

WARNING: it is strongly recommended not to set the date in the time slot that goes approximately from 10:00 p.m. to 03:00 a.m., as in most cases the wheels of the movement mechanism gears, are "hooked" to the date wheel to make it move and change, you might force it and damage it; this is often written in the instruction manual, but few read it.

Set a Chrono-analog Watches with 2 or 3 counters

typical watch chronoIn the majority of cases the setting of time and date is identical to that of analogue watches with to 2 or 3 meters, with the same problems and need for carefulness.
There is a specific, for the correct setting (or alignment) of the smaller hands of the 2 or 3 meters as well as for the largest one for the seconds (6) (small circles with small hands 1, 2 and 7), featured in this model; it may happen with use, that these small hands fall out of alignment, don’t worry, in most cases the problem can be solved in a few seconds.
Pull the crown (8) on the 1st click and try to press first a button and then the other (A or B), do the same  with the crown (8) positioned on the 2nd click, you can see that in most cases, the small hands will move of 1 notch (or dial index), set by aligning them perfectly, reposition the Crown in the “0” position.
You'll see it's easier to do than to read!
In some rare cases the buttons in this Watch model may be screw buttons, use the method and the general rule described for the Screw-like Crown. Another detail that escapes many: almost always the hand for the Seconds in the Watch, is Not the long and thin one (6) but the small one in the lower Meter (1).
If you have simple watch, which do not present particular complications, my Guide could also be useful: How to change the Battery in your Watch

Set a Digital watches

typical lcd digital watchThis is the most difficult to set, I will try to be as clear and easy as possible.
In most, in these Watches you will find the following buttons:

  • Mode (to go round and see all functions featured in the watch).
  • Select (to activate or to get into the setting phase)

Other buttons present, are typically used to increase or decrease the numbers that you are trying to set at the time.
With the Mode button reach the function you want to set (e.g. hour and minutes), hold down the Select button for a few seconds until the numbers start blinking (e.g. hour), release the button, press the other buttons (Not Mode, Not Select) multiple times, you will see that the numbers progress, if instead you hold the button down you can fast forward the progression.

  • Press the Select button once and you will see that the flashing number will move from hours, to minutes, can set in the same way you did with the hour.
  • Press Select again, you will probably move to the date (day / month / year), set again in the same way.
  • Continue as such, until you will have gone round all functions, setting them.
Well, this is the general rule, the method with which you can set most of the functions in Digital Watches, obviously, there are always differences or exceptions.
Sometimes it may happen that the buttons are not marked with the writing Mode, Select, etc., you will have to try pressing the various buttons, 1 at a time and figure out which ones they are.
There is another quite common variable, the Mode button coincides with the Select button, what to do in such cases?:
  • Press this button individually, once you reach the function you want to set, hold it pressed for a few seconds until the numbers start to flash, set as usual.
  • If by any chance you activate the function prior in the menu to the one you want to set, do this: press the button once more, once you get to the function after the one you want hold the button for a few seconds until the numbers start to flash, then set.
If this method does Not work, you will have to consult the Instructions given by the manufacturer, see how the watch system was programmed.
Often 2, 3 attempts will be enough to understand which method to adopt to set your watch.

Set a Ana-digi Watches (analogue + digital)

Often these are watches that  have 2 separate areas within the movement mechanism:
  • 1 dedicated to the Analogue system.
  • 1 dedicated to the Digital system.
As a principle the explanation given for Analogue Watches with 2 or 3 meters and for Digital Watches are valid; this category of watches often presents variables customized by the single manufacturer, so if you cannot set your Watch using my explanation, you will have to use the Instructions manual provided by the manufacturer itself.

Set a Multifunction analogue watches

typical watch chrono multifunctionThis is probably the category of watches that requires the most time in setting.
Standard Multifunction Watches, often feature a selector (meter hand, “e.g. Green”, sometimes with a particular shape, but not always), resembling the “Mode” button of Digital Watches.
  • Find the button that controls the selector.
  • Press the selector, reaching the function you want to set.
  • Wait for all moving hands to stop.
  • Pull this button out (the selector).
  • With the help of the other buttons present you should be able to move and adjust the various hands (Red).
  • Once you finish setting 1 particular function, press the button in the "0" position.
  • Press the selector button again, reaching another function you want to set.
  • Set it with the help of the other buttons, etc.
  • Continue in the same manner as above to set all the functions featured in your watch.
WARNING: For every step always wait for the moving hands to stop completely.
The hands (Red) and the meters (Blue), almost always have different positions and uses/functions,  according to the Function that you select through the Selector (Green).
If you incur in any problems or strange anomalies, e.g. you set everything, synchronize everything, but then the hand re-position themselves incorrectly, then most likely your watch hands are "out of sync" or are not properly aligned to the "zero position (0)".
Basically, all Multifunction Analogue Watches or anyway with a certain complexity, have a "zero position (0)" of reference, the regulating system can vary on every single calibre, so you will have to necessarily refer to the instructions/manual provided by the manufacturer.

The "zero position (0) or Reset":

How does it happen or how can I know if it is correct, therefore assuming that the watch has a real problem?
By referring to your owner's manual, activate the regulation of the "zero position(0)", the hands should all line up perfectly on 12/24 o’clock.
If they are not aligned, follow the steps described in the manufacturer’s instructions manual to align them all.
Now try to set all functions of the watch, you will see that in 99% of cases your problems have been solved.
If instead you want to deepen more, the knowledge on the Watches and their characteristics could interest you my Article: Passion for Watches.
The Watches with the features described in the preceding paragraphs, cover around 90% of the watches in the current market, excluded are those watches with specific and particular features that require the exclusive use of the instructions/manual provided by the manufacturer.