Ralph Christian Presents

A brief introduction to timepiece mechanics.

All watches tell the time... but not all watches operate the same way. Understanding how your timepiece works is a crucial part of ownership and maintenance. If your watch has an automatic movement it will need more care and attention than one which features a quartz movement. Below we've outlined some of the key differences between automatic and quartz operated watches.

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Automatic Timepieces

For an automatic self-winding watch to function properly the mainspring must build up a sufficient power reserve. Many people are unaware that a self-winding watch needs to be wound first manually before it will run automatically. This is called the initiation process and without this, your timepiece will never operate properly or consistently.

To initiate the watch turn the winding crown at the 3 o'clock position in a clockwise direction for about 20 revolutions. This start up wind is usually sufficient for most automatic watches.

After the initiation process has been completed the watch will wind itself automatically by means of an oscillation weight that moves every time the watch's position is changed. A self-winding watch should be worn for at least eight hours a day to maximize the power reserve. If this isn't possible, or if the watch has not been worn for more than 15 hours, the initiation process must be repeated.

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Quartz / Battery Powered Timepieces

Unlike their mechanical counterparts, a watch with a quartz movement does not require any winding nor initiation.

Because it utilizes a battery which sends an electrical signal through a tiny crystal of quartz, it requires relatively little upkeep and should keep the time regardless of how often it is worn.

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Video Instructions

How To Wind Your Automatic Wrist Watch

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Push The Crown In

Make sure the crown is fully pushed in, so the winding mechanism is connected to the crown. If the crown is pulled out, the watch will be in time-setting mode.


Rotate The Crown

Rotate the crown in a clockwise direction (away from yourself) for around 20-30 full rotations. This should wind the mainspring enough so that it is fully charged.


Repeat If Not Worn (For At Least 15 Hours)

A fully charged watch should last for around 10-15 hours without any movement 'topping it up'. If it's not worn for at least this period of time you will need to repeat the process. 

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Changing The Straps (On Your Avalon Watch)

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Lift The Buckle

Using either a flathead screwdriver or other adjustment tool


Shift The Buckle

To the desired slot to adjust the length of the strap


Press The Buckle

down firmly to secure the clasp. You will hear an audible click.

Setting Your Watch

For a comprehensive list of how to set each watch please review our setting booklet here. You will need to match the movement to the watch design, if this is not immediately obvious please get in contact with us at info@ralphchristian.com

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