Some automatic watch questions!
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  1. #1
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    Some automatic watch questions!

    Big hello to everyone who is reading this. Recently I started to take an interest into watches and stumbled upon this forum. I am a novice in the watch field and thus would like to seek everyone's opinion and experience on some questions that I have. I have googled some of the questions but was unable to get a clear answer to the questions. I understand that by posting the questions again it might be bothering you guys but please don't flame me for it! I recently purchased a second hand Bulova 97a109 and the questions are as follows:

    1) I do not know how many "turns" will fully wind the watch. The manual says 8-9 full turns while I've seen people saying that you may wind it 20-30times? Which brings me to my next question
    2) Is it possible to overwind the automatic watch? I know that many has already state that it is not possible to overwind it but I've also read that it is possible to stress the watch if you wind it too many times? Sorry I am still quite new to this. It is my first automatic/mechanical watch!
    3) Does anyone knows the power reserve of this watch? I've read that other models power reserve is about 25-35hours? Mine is clocking in about 27-28hours and I'm not sure if it's usual?
    4) This question seems to be highly debatable in the forum. As I wear my watch only once per week (or even lesser), is it better to let it stop and wind it when I wear it or to keep it running on my watch winder?

    I understand that others have asked before me but I would still like to ask again, especially the first three questions. Thank you for taking your time to read through my questions and have a great day ahead!
    Last edited by gene89; August 27th, 2014 at 14:23.

  2. #2
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    Re: Some automatic watch questions!

    Q1: ... don't know. How do you measure one full turn anyway? If you have long fingers perhaps 8-9 is sufficient for one day of running.
    Q2: no, don't worry.
    Q3: 38h - I think the movement is a Miyota 8215
    Q3: With once per week wear the oils will not run dry. You can let it rest.

    Congrats on your watch and welcome to the forum.

  3. #3
    Member da_breeze's Avatar
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    Re: Some automatic watch questions!

    Welcome to the forum, and what I assume will be a long and expensive stay :)

    I think your our questions have been well-answered so I won't repeat. I will say that your power reserve issues may be related to how you're winding and wearing the watch. With infrequent use, and not a full wind, it may be that you aren't charging it up enough to get the full reserve out of it. Try winding it as normal and then wearing it during a pen active day, where you are walking around quite a bit (not just sitting at a desk) or otherwise engaged in some activity. Then set it down at night and take note of the time. Check it every twelve hours to make sure it's still running and you'll see what your full reserve is.

    I personally don't use a winder since I find them to be expensive and cumbersome, but sometimes I wish I had one. Not just to keep the movements running, but just to not have to set the watches every time I use them - particularly with date settings, it's tedious. But I guess it's just part of the "ritual" involved in owning an automatic watch. It's been said that you don't own your possessions, your possessions own you, and that's particularly true with automatic watches :)

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  5. #4
    Member little big feather's Avatar
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    Re: Some automatic watch questions!

    I prefer a winder, the watchmaker designed it to be worn everyday, you will do no harm using a winder, but you could harm it by pulling the stem out
    too much...IMHO
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    Member X2-Elijah's Avatar
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    Re: Some automatic watch questions!

    Looks like it has a miyota 8215 (8217? or the 82xx variant which was suited for open-heart dials; at least the pricerange and company seem to fit for that movement), therefore..

    Q1: This movement is 'fully' wound by ~30-40 full crown turns. It's okay if you only do like 10 turns and then wear the watch, though - the automatic rotor on the inside will move as you move your wrist, and charge the watch by itself / keep it topped off.

    Q2: No, that's not an issue with modern automatic watches. The mainspring is not fixed to the barrel, so it just slips and turns inside it, if it is wound as tight as it will go; the barrel insides have (usually) notches that the mainspring pushes against, but it's flexible enough to slip to the next notch when wound tight. Earlier watch designs had the mainspring fixed in place at the wall of the barrel (just in case, barrel = cylinder that houses the mainspring, center of spring is connected to all the gear stuff in the watch, while barrel itself is fixed), so you could snap those by over-winding, but automatics are all safe from this (that's also the reason they can have the self-winding rotor, with a free-slip spring you don't have to worry about the rotor snapping the spring either).

    Q3: Should be about 38 hours (give or take an hour or so depending on temperatures etc), if I'm right about the movement. If yours is doing up to 29, then maybe you didn't wind it to full.

    Q4: Yeah, let it rest (imo). Wear it every once in a while, and it's gonna be fine. winder-boxes are not needed (also, energy waste = not cool).


    Often with these movements, you can 'feel' when the watch is wound fully if you have sensitive fingers. When winding the watch, you feel for the resistance of the crown; when fully-wound, the mainspring will start slipping and the crown will reflect that, as you will feel the resistance starting to 'tick' in a way (increases-decreases-increases-decreases). That's when the watch is fully-wound.
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  7. #6
    Member bobo90's Avatar
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    Re: Some automatic watch questions!

    Welcome and congrats for your purchase!
    I agree with the others but don't worry it's not so delicate
    I never wind my automatic watches fully, no need to do that since they're automatic, just wear it and enjoy


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  8. #7
    Member sticky's Avatar
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    Re: Some automatic watch questions!

    I usually give my autos about 12 winds to get them going and on the rare occasions that I need to fully charge them they get about 40 winds. It's not possible to overwind an auto as a little clutch starts to slip when it's fully charged.

  9. #8
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    Re: Some automatic watch questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by little big feather View Post
    I prefer a winder, the watchmaker designed it to be worn everyday, you will do no harm using a winder, but you could harm it by pulling the stem out
    too much...IMHO

    Why would you pull the stem out? You mean to set the time? And why would that harm it?

  10. #9
    Member dbostedo's Avatar
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    Re: Some automatic watch questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by ev13wt View Post
    Why would you pull the stem out? You mean to set the time? And why would that harm it?
    Yes, to set the time and date. And on any watch, the stem and the mechanism it drives are a common point of failure for wathces. It just tends to be a weak spot - so you might be more likely to eventually break the crown stem in some way than you would be to break something by always keeping the watch wound.
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    Re: Some automatic watch questions!

    Hello again all. Thank you all for your replies! Glad to have such a pleasant experience with my first post! Bulova has replied me (finally) on the same questions that I have posted here. I will post their replies here just in case anyone is searching and wish to know the "manufacturer's answer" in the future.

    1) 24 to 30 hours after wearing for a 8 to 10 hour period
    2) 8 -10 winds is to get it started and then put it on and wear the watch for 8 to 10 hours
    3) No its not possible
    4) Its better to keep it running get the watch winder it will keep it on time and if there is a date it will maintain the date changing

    IMO you guys are way more awesome and spend more effort in explaining with validity and I'm grateful for that. Cheers!

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