Can you change the date at 9am-3pm?
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  1. #1
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    Can you change the date at 9am-3pm?

    For automatic watches, i know that it's not good to change the date when you're anywhere between 9pm and 3am, so is it safe to change the date when it's 9am? Or does that still risk damaging the watch? I know that most people say to change the date when the time is around 6. Is this precaution only when you aren't sure if you're at am or pm?

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    Moderator Public Forum GlennO's Avatar
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    Re: Can you change the date at 9am-3pm?

    Quote Originally Posted by dacpac View Post
    For automatic watches, i know that it's not good to change the date when you're anywhere between 9pm and 3am, so is it safe to change the date when it's 9am? Or does that still risk damaging the watch? I know that most people say to change the date when the time is around 6. Is this precaution only when you aren't sure if you're at am or pm?
    9am is fine. The trick is in knowing if it's am or pm. If you're wrong it could be costly which is why 6am/pm would be safer.
    Last edited by GlennO; October 2nd, 2015 at 07:37.
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    Re: Can you change the date at 9am-3pm?

    Quote Originally Posted by GlennO View Post
    9am is fine. The trick is in knowing if it's am or pm. If you're wrong it could be costly which is why 6am/pm would be safer.
    Pull the crown out to the time-setting position and advance the hour/minute hands past the 12 o'clock point. Then you'll know whether the watch is in AM or PM "mode", and you can (if necessary) re-position the hands outside the 9p-3a range before using the quick-set date feature.
    Last edited by skriefal; October 2nd, 2015 at 08:08.
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    Member hydrocarbon's Avatar
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    Re: Can you change the date at 9am-3pm?

    ^ Indeed, that's the correct technique for most date mechanisms.

    It does depend on what kind of watch you're talking about, though. With a Rolex movement, you can adjust the date at any time with full diplomatic immunity.

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    Member duffin123456's Avatar
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    Re: Can you change the date at 9am-3pm?

    yes, if you want to damage your watch.
    seriously though, don't. I assume it'll be fine if you "accidentally" did it once or twice on a typical 3 handers watch but the more complications you have, the higher the chance you'll damage it.
    when I first got my Longines Master Complications (the watch has a triple calendar, moonphase and chrono with three registers), I accidentally changed the date at 11:55 am and guess what? the date wheel is broken and every time I set the date after that, the date will always jump one day ahead when I push the crown back in. it won't automatically change the date instantly anymore at 12 am but instead has to wait for the hour hand to make one full rotation to 1 am in order for the date and day wheel to change.

    TLDR. just don't do it.

  7. #6
    Member thenationalbarchives's Avatar
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    Re: Can you change the date at 9am-3pm?

    I normally make sure to manually change the date in the hours during which the watch is least likely to have engaged the date complication. I'm not sure if I even have a watch where this is an issue with the movement. My Longines uses a push-pin to change the date.

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    Member EnderW's Avatar
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    Re: Can you change the date at 9am-3pm?

    Quote Originally Posted by skriefal View Post
    Pull the crown out to the time-setting position and advance the hour/minute hands past the 12 o'clock point. Then you'll know whether the watch is in AM or PM "mode", and you can (if necessary) re-position the hands outside the 9p-3a range before using the quick-set date feature.
    This ^.
    I never change the date on a stopped watch. Wind it to get it going, then advance time past midnight (date switches) to whatever current time is, then set the correct date.
    Even if it was safe to change date between 9pm-3am, unless the watch has a day\night or 24hr indicator - you would not know if you are switching the date in night hours or noon hours and can end up with a wrong date 12 hrs later.

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    Member Perseus's Avatar
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    Re: Can you change the date at 9am-3pm?

    Different movements are going to respond differently. I would refer to your manual or look one up online. I think the most common offender is the valjoux 7750 and it's variants.


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    Re: Can you change the date at 9am-3pm?

    A good way to visualize this (safely) is to advance the hour and minute hands around until you see the date start to change. You'll see that the date changes slowly, over a range of hour hand motion. Take note of the beginning and end of that process. Most of the time it's over before/as the hour hand hits two-ish, but it's good to use 3 am as a reference to be on the safe side. Same thing at the beginning of the process. You'll see little or no movement of the date number before the 10-11 pm position, but use 9 pm as a safety buffer.

    You can actually change the date safely at any time simply by advancing the "watch time" into the daytime 12 hour period, then setting the date. You just have to keep mental note of where you are in the 24 hr cycle, otherwise you'll drive yourself crazy.

    PS: In the manual that came with my Omega Speedmaster triple date, it says to use 4am as the beginning of the safe period for the 7751 movement. So, check with the recommendations for your specific movement.
    Last edited by windupp; October 2nd, 2015 at 18:16.

  11. #10
    Member Likestheshiny's Avatar
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    Re: Can you change the date at 9am-3pm?

    yes, if you want to damage your watch.
    Read his post again. He's asking about changing the date in the middle of the day, not near midnight.

    Which is fine. With some movements, you just don't want to change the date near when the date will change. The watch knows noon from midnight, as long as you've set it right in the first place. As noted, running the hands past midnight and seeing the date change is an easy way to tell if you're not sure.

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