Don’t do this when Changing the date on your watch

Date Posted


(Too long; Didn’t Read)

Don’t change your date manually between 9pm to 3am as you can damage your watch.

Trying to change the date on your watch? Simple enough thing to do, right?

Unless you have a perpetual calendar watch, you’ll likely be changing the date on your watch a number of times throughout the year. Every time there’s less than 31 days in the month (which is 5 times to save you doing the rhyme in your head) you’ll be wanting to move forward 1 day or a few at the beginning of March. If you have a mechanical watch and haven’t worn it for a few days and are winding it back up and setting it to time, your date will also likely be off so you’ll be changing it then also.

There are certain times you should manually change the date, or more precisely, certain times you SHOULD NOT manually change the date.

So what’s the big deal about changing the date at certain times?

The issue lies in the movement. This is a general post about most watches so to be doubly sure, check the instruction manual your watch came with.

There are thousands of variations of watch movements but most of them rely on the same principles when the date and/or calendar functions automatically change at midnight. Either with a spring or a cam or claws on wheels, pressure is slowly built up over the course of a few hours on these springs and wheels which are then triggered when the hands move past midnight resulting in the date/calendar disc advancing by 1 day. The pressure on these springs and wheels is built up slowly between the hours of 9pm to 3am with variations depending on the movement type (some 10pm – 2am or 8pm – 2am etc.)

As the pressure on these springs and wheels is built up, the worst thing you can do is to manually engage the date changing mechanism and change the date yourself as this adds extra wear and pressure on these internal parts and can cause them to break, if not straight away, eventually, after misuse over time.

So when should you change the date manually? A good rule of thumb is any time after 5am and try do it before midday. I change mine when I wake up in the morning, before I go to work.

If you’ve changed the date between 9pm and 3am and think you may have damaged something, it’s best to get it checked out by a competent watchmaker before it’s too late and more damage is done unnecessarily.

At Fix My watch we see these problems a lot so are perfectly experienced in rectifying the faults.

Get in touch with one of our team or book in your watch for repair here.

Changing the date on a Rolex Submariner