Settings of a Calendar Watch Winding Crown

Some people have asked about the correct setting of a calendar watch - specifically in what positions the crown should be in and what position affects what parts of the watch.

I have taken some pictures of a Rolex Oyster Perpetual that shows the positions of the crown and aslo a short description of what effect a movement of the crown has on what settings. At first you have to remember which setting of the crown does what, but after a while it all falls into a logical progression.

I have mentioned that turning the crown anticlockwise in position 2 when the hour hand is close to the 12 o'clock position can be dangerous.

This is really when the calendar watch hour hand is approaching midnight and the date mechanism has begun to move the date on to the next day. The effect is different for various watches, for example the Rolex Oyster is less prone to damage because the date only changes when the hour hand is just past midnight and even if you watch closely, its hard to see the change such is the speed of the superb Rolex mechanism.

On other watches, my Breitling Chronomat is a good example, the date starts to change about 2 hours before midnight. So during this time period I would not turn the watch crown backwards.

Rolex Settings

Settings of a Calendar Watch Winding Crown
Position of Crown Description of Position
Crown unscrewed picture Position 1. In the Rolex Oyster Perpetual shown here the crown is in the fully screwed down position. In this position the crown has sealed the watch case against water and dust ingress, and the watch is worn with the crown in this position.
Unscrewed Crown Picture Position 2. In this position the watch can be manually wound if necessary (this is an automatic watch). The winding is carried out by rotating the crown in a clockwise direction.
Crown out picture Position 3. By pulling out the crown a 'click' will be felt and heard. In this position the day/date can be altered. It is important to turn the crown slowly as the date will change rapidly. Turn the crown anticlockwise until the date shows one day less than what is required. In order to get the correct date, move the crown out to position 4 and turn the crown anticlockwise. This avoids the watch being 12 hours out. On watches with a day complication turn the crown anticlockwise to change the day and clockwise for the date.
Crown out pic Position 4. By pulling the crown out a further click will be heard and felt. In this position the second hand will stop. Hands can now be set to the correct time by turning the crown in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction. Never turn the crown anticlockwise while the hour hand is between the 9 or 3 o'clock (clockwise) position. Doing so may damage the internals of the watch day/date mechanism.
Remember - Never wind hands anticlockwise between 9 and 3!

Breitling Settings

Settings of a Calendar Watch Winding Crown
Position of Crown Description of Position
Crown fully out pic Position 1. Breitling Chronomat fully screwed down.
Crown unscrewed Position 2. Breitling Chronomat unscrewed.
Crown out 1st Click pic Position 3. Breitling Chronomat crown pulled out to first click.
Crown out 2nd click pic Position 4. Breitling Chronomat crown pulled out to second click.
Remember - Never wind hands anticlockwise between 9 and 3!

Date Changes

When does the Date Change?
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Breitling Chronomat
Rolex date change pic Breitling date change pic
The Rolex Oyster date function changes at just past midnight. It happens so quickly, in less than 1/2 a second, that I couldn't capture the date moving at all on camera. The Breitling Chronomat starts its date change at about 10.45PM, plenty of time to capture the first move of the date mechanism.

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