Home > Should I Stop My Watch When Not In Use? Read This First

Should I Stop My Watch When Not In Use? Read This First

Should I Stop My Watch When Not In Use? Read This First

Should I Stop My Watch When Not In Use? Read This First

Watches are extremely complicated with numerous internal working components. Understanding these fundamentals will offer some clarity in terms of services and maintenance for watch owners. For a watch to maintain accuracy, all these miniature components need to work perfectly at all times. Additionally, a watch can also be considered an investment, so should I stop my watch when not in use?

The short answer is no, you do not need to stop your watch when you’re not using it. If it’s an automatic watch, it will run until it uses up any remaining wind in the spring. For quartz and electronic watches, it’s less of a hassle to just let them run.

The most significant contributing factor in ensuring your watch’s longevity is the lubrication of these internal components. Modern-day watches are exquisitely made and are quite expensive. A watch is not only a tool for keeping time, but it is also an extension of one’s personality and, in some cases, even a fashion statement. 

Should I Stop My Watch When Not In Use?

There doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer to this question. Both options offer pros and cons, and I guess it comes down to one’s personal opinion, whether it’s an educated opinion or not.

On the one hand, manufacturers and watch aficionados believe that it is best to stop your watch when not in use. There are a few reasons for this rationale. If your watch is not in use, it won’t incur any day-to-day wear and tear, like it would when it was being worn (additionally, the face and strap will remain pristine because it’s in your safety deposit box or bedside cupboard). It takes some time to set a modern, complicated watch, and setting these regularly could potentially cause damage to some mechanical parts.

Examples of these are the gasket and thread of the winding crown and the setting mechanism that absorbs a massive amount of force when operated. After every five or so years, all quality watches need to be serviced or even overhauled. If you factor this expense and accept that your watch needs to be serviced anyway, then it is recommended that you stop your watch when not in use.

Keep It Running

On the other side of the coin, some firmly believe that it is better to keep your watch running, even when not in use. Their theory is: Your watch won’t wear any faster when on a high-quality watch winder. And also agree that a quality watch needs to be overhauled every five or so years anyway. They believe the lubricants age and don’t last forever. Additionally, having your watch on a winder is convenient because you don’t have to wind and set each time you would like to wear it.

My personal belief is this: if you aren’t going to use your watch for an extended time, rather stop it. You will have to have it overhauled anyway, so rather prevent the normal day-to-day wear and tear that would come with your watch continually running on a winder. It’s advisable to have an undamaged watch that requires a service or lubricating than a damaged watch that also requires a service or lubricating.

Does Stopping the Watch Save the Battery?

There are two ways of stopping your watch. The first way is by pulling the stem out of the watch. The stem is the device used to set the time and generally is found on the right-hand side of the watch. When the stem has been pulled out, this activates a lever that stops the gears from turning.

Although the watch will no longer keep time, the battery will continue to supply power to the watch. The only way to preserve the battery life is to remove the battery altogether.  

Is It Wrong to Leave an Automatic Watch Unwound?

Don’t be alarmed if your automatic watch stops. Automatic watches are perfectly fine when not being used. The watch won’t run anymore because the mainspring is fully unwound. Next time you want to wear the piece, just give it a good wind, and you will be good to go.

Can a Dead Battery Damage Your Watch?

A watch battery offers a small residual charge, which keeps your battery running. If there is any corrosion on your battery, this small residual charge will accelerate this corrosion. Eventually, corrosive chemicals that are contained within the battery will leak out and can potentially damage your watch.

It is advisable to replace your watch battery at regular intervals and do not wait for the battery to die before doing so. This will undoubtedly extend the life of your watch and eliminate any potential damage. If you have suffered a dead battery for an extended period, it is advisable to have your watch serviced.

How Long Will an Automatic Watch Last?

Automatic watches have surprisingly been around since the late 1700s. The first model introduced could only last for one day. Modern-day automatic watches can last for a week or more, with any additional winding. If you are wearing this watch regularly, you will require around 30 hours of wound-up energy.

Is It Wrong to Wind a Watch Backward?

Don’t panic if getting an automatic watch for the first time confuses you. When it comes to the maintenance of your automatic watch, there is a definite learning curve. Automatic watches are designed and need to be wound up in a clockwise direction.

Accidentally winding your watch in the wrong direction shouldn’t cause any immediate or long-term damage. If this is the case, just wind it in the correct direction, and it should operate perfectly. The various gears and internal mechanisms are designed to wind clockwise. If you consistently wind your watch in the wrong direction, it can stress the active components. This stress can cause these components to fail and cause long-term damage.

What Happens if You Wind a Watch Too Much?

Winding your watch too much will not damage it. Even winding it every day won’t be a problem. Numerous internal mechanical parts require lubrication. This is necessary to ensure they operate effectively for long periods. If these moving parts stand static for extended periods, this lubricant can begin to congeal.

When this happens, the moving parts don’t receive sufficient lubrication, and this can cause unwanted friction. This unwanted friction can lead to permanent damage and subsequently poor performance from your timepiece.

Is it Better to Use a Watch Winder or Not?

Keeping your watch on a winder can extend the longevity of the internal working components and extend your timepiece’s lifespan. By keeping your watch on a winder, wound, and running, the oils are dispersed evenly and adequately.

This practice will contribute to normal wear and tear but won’t present and immediate or permanent damage. In addition to this, a watch winder can also be convenient. If you haven’t worn your watch for a short while, you don’t need to worry about manually winding and resetting before use.  

Does Rolex Recommend a Watch Winder?

The quality Rolex perpetual movement, or self-winding movement watch, uses the movement from everyday tasks to stay wound and to maintain an accurate time. The Rolex perpetual movement watch has been designed with the rationale that if it is worn regularly, it should never need to be wound. However, if you don’t intend on wearing your piece, the movement will ultimately stop.

Who are the Top Watch Manufacturers?


Rolex is renowned for innovation and quality and is possibly the most recognized watch in the world. It has many firsts under its belt, including the Oyster, which IN 1926, was the first waterproof watch ever created.

Tag Heuer

Edouard Heuer launched tag Heuer in 1860. It was the first timepiece to travel into space when in 1962, John Glen wore it aboard the Mercury-Atlas flight. Today Tag Heuer is well known for sports silhouettes, quality, and for offering modern, innovative designs.


Omega is also manufactured in Switzerland and was founded in 1848. It is a brand worn by royalty, like Prince William and celebrities alike. Omega (worn by Buzz Aldrin) was the first timepiece to go to the moon and the preferred choice for James Bond.

Patek Philippe

While a Rolex is considered a status symbol to the masses, a Patek Philippe is a status symbol for the individual. Patek Philippe watches are constantly referred to as one of the worlds’ best watches.

Strangely enough, also manufactured in Switzerland. It was founded in 1839. Patek Philippe is the last independent, family-owned watch manufacturer in Geneva today.


There are different views on this topic, with some experts suggesting you let your watch stop, while some believe you should place it on a winder. Both offer advantages and disadvantages. If you are not using your valuable timepiece, let it stop and place it in a safe place.

When your watch is not in use, it won’t incur any typical day-to-day wear and tear. You won’t always be winding and resetting your watch. Therefore there will be less force applied to the setting mechanism and gasket and thread of the winding crown. If you choose to let your watch stop, it is advisable to remove the battery altogether.

This will prevent chemicals possibly leaking out of the battery and prevents corrosion of the gears and internal working components. If there happens to be leaking battery chemicals that go undetected, the battery offers a small residual charge that accelerates the corrosion.

This is a significant contributor towards failing or damaged watches. We hope you enjoyed this article on why you should stop your watch when not in use.

And remember, stay stylish!

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