How to Set the Time on a Pocket Watch | The Most Valuable Guide

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Pocket watches are outstanding heirloom products, and they don’t come with instructions. Sometimes you may be stuck and asking for help to change these time zones on the product. To set the time on here, you sure need to have an understanding of which type is you are having right now.

There are coming things available here to set the time as key sets, pendant sets, level sets, and pin sets. Understanding how you can set it is a fundamental way to use this product properly. As we said before, each item on this product is straightforward to set and use.

So here are the simple instructions and the descriptions for setting the most common sets to utilize on leading manufacturers. Let’s have a step-by-step guide to set the time as follows.

How to set the time on a pocket watch

You need to wind your timepiece before setting up any kind of operation in there.

  1. Understand the settings

First, you have to explore your timepiece to understand the settings on it. Try to pull the crown of your item and see whether it is a pendant set or not. The crown will be a rotating button, and it is on the top of the products above the 12 number.

These are not like other timepieces. The crowns within a pendant set watch are pressing, and they are pulling out. If this crown is moving up or down, you need to know that those are pendant set watches.

Try to put a gentle force on the crown. Usually, a pendant set of timepieces are moving so relatively from its 1st setting to another one. If you see a rotating crown and still don’t see a pin or a level button, you have the right to assume it’s a pendant.

So those are the most common settings that we can see as a user on most pocket timepieces.

Next, you need to see a lever to understand if your item is a lever set. The lever is a smaller type of metal tab, and it is sticking from the dial under. You will not see it once because they are hiding under the dial case. So a user has to remove this front case to find if there is a lever.

Lever set watches are also holding a rotating crown there. We call it railroad watches too, and they show many similarities to the antique watches. But know that those are appearing on the modern items as well.

If you got key set watches, you could know it because they don’t have a rotating crown. The easiest and fastest method to identify this is to try turning the crown from the top. They will go turn.

If it doesn’t go to turn, know that you got a ley set timepiece. If we talk more into this, if this product is coming with a key in it, you can see that it is a key set timepiece.

Modern watches are also holding a key, and those are the oldest forms of pocket watches. If your item came before the 19th century, there is a high percentage of it as a key set timepiece.

To understand the settings, the last thing that you can do is checking for a small button near the crown to see if there is a pin set. This is a tiny button, and it rises from the rest, and these types of timepieces hold rotating crowns at the top.

  1. Turning pendant set pocket watches

You can pull the crown up onto activating their setting mechanisms. There you will see either click or snap whenever pulling the crown up. If this crown is not holding its position for a long time or is stuck, take it down for a repairer.

Then you will turn down the crown to set its time. Turning it into the clockwise and moving those hands clockwise and counterclockwise will help you move those hands in the opposite direction. Once it reaches for the right time, stop the crown from turning.

Now your crown is in the middle position, and the user should not push it in all the way unless they need to wind their timepiece. If need, users can push this crown down for a wind.

Pushing the crown is activating the mechanism of winding and once this crown is pushing in, rotate the crown clockwise until it doesn’t turn anymore. When this process is over, pull that crown back into the middle position.

  1. Level set watch adjusting

First, you need to locate its lever onto the face of the pocket timepiece. The lever location will vary, and sometimes it is hidden under the crystal and bezel. By screwing off that lid, open your crystal and bezel and pry it to open with the use of a fingernail.

Then pull this lever out from the fingernail. Use a slight pressure pull it under the dial, and the level has to come to you by spring up quickly.

This is activating the settings mechanism. Then rotate your crown at the top of the timepiece to set its time. Turn this crown for a rotation of hands-on the clock until they are reaching the correct time. Push your lever back into its original position and finish setting up your timepiece.

If in need, you can wind by using the crown.

  1. Keyset watches setting

First, try to understand if the key is going into the back or to the front. Most of these products have a square peg, and it is on the center of this dial. If a square shape is rising to form the arbor, you need to set the timepiece from the front.

Some watches are setting from their back. But if you ever see a hole in the center of the back, set that timepiece from its back. If there is a hole off-center on the back, it may be for the winding and not for settings.

Some of the other timepieces are having two holes. A center hole is for setting, and an off-center hole is for a winding. Make it a memorizing point to your mind.

Then you need to find your key onto this timepiece. These items require a key to turn on and don’t try to turn them by using your hands to damage the product. If you lost your key, you could buy them online or from the watchmakers.

Open the product’s glass dial case if it has a square arbor. If it doesn’t screw off, look for an indentation or a lip on its side. Pry this lip up and open the crystal front. If you are unable to find this lip, look for the opposite side of the product.

Then place this open end on the key for the center over the arbor on its back hole. One end of this key has a hole, and place it over the arbor center. It has to be fit over this key. Suppose the timepiece is setting from the back hole. Insert your key into that hole.

To change the time, you need to turn the key. Turning should do on counterclockwise or clockwise. When you turn it, the hands of the timepiece are moving in that direction and when it is set to the right time, stop this turning.

Then you remove this key from the time pee before it gets close to the case. Don’t press down for the crystal, and try to close that case and press down the outer metal rim. You can wind your timepiece by using a key on the winding hole.

How to change time on a pocket watch

Changing time may be tough for a non-familiar. But having the right instructions will no longer bother them. There are few steps as follows.

  • On the highest point, you see a little thumbscrew on the timepiece. And it is connecting into the shaft that is appending on the hands of watches.
  • Pull this thumbscrew outward and away from the timepiece until it gets out completely. If there is a showcase, it might behave a traditional situation on changing the date.
  • Change your hour and minute hands through a turning handle until you see the right time in there.
  • Push down the thumbscrew until it is going to be in the position immovably. So you will see that your time has changed.

How to wind pocket watch

There are two ways to winding the pocket watches. You need to make them understand each other because they are helping you to realize the best options on winding. They are stem-winding and key winding. Let’s see two of them briefly as follows.

  • Stem winding

Stem winding is a process we do by crown turning in a direction clockwise. Usually, a winding wheel has a mechanism of ratcheting that makes those watches wind only in one direction. Anti-clockwise directions are helping to ratchet back the product for erasing or facilitating the process of winding.

Hold your watches into your dominant hand and use your other hands to the wind. Securely hold down your timepiece and make your thumb forward, stroking to the winding stroke.

  • Key winding

Key winding watches don’t hold any winding know or a crown. Instead of them, there is a mainspring winding that turning the first through a hole. This hole will be the lid of the back inner on the case.

Remember that only the winding key watches have a square hole on end, and it fits entirely for a square winding arbor.

By turning the key using hands, it is winding up the mainspring. These are not like traditional items, and you can wound them by turning the key into directions of clockwise or counterclockwise.

These always need the right size of the key, helping you have a proper winding. If you feel like counter-resistance or slipping, you may not force the wind in the right direction.

How to wind a pocket watch without a key

If you lose your key, you can take a replacement online or from the sellers who sell watch accessories. If you already used one, now you know that single keys are coming in several sizes, but only one is winding up the pocket watches.

Some of the keys are setting up pocket watches. So if you have the luck to own a single key that fits the same size to the setting arbor with the same size of winding square, you will be successful in the winding.

Read Next: The Best Pocket Watches with Chain


To set tie time on pocket watches, you need to follow up to understand it forts and then perform actions. So follow up this guide and set your tom perfectly without getting over trouble. You need the proper instructions, and these are going to save up your day for sure.

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