Whitley Jewelers

Est 1949

Self-Winding Watches

Understanding your watch and its features will help you protect your investment.​

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The term "water resistant" is widely used when it comes to watches today. This typically means that the timepiece can withstand some exposure to moisture or water, such as rain or a splash while washing your hands. Water resistance levels can be misleading due to contributing factors that can affect the seals inside the watch, such as the age of the watch, being exposed to sudden temperature changes, and exposure to soaps and shampoos.

"Waterproof" watches are built to withstand water at a higher level of exposure and pressure, and are designed to be able to completely submerged. These watches are often referred to as "dive watches" and are popular with scuba divers and other water sport enthusiasts.

If unsure about the level of resistance to water exposure your watch is equipped for, consult the manufacturer or an authority on watches, such as Dakota Stricklin or Guy Whitley here at Whitley Jewelers. Generally speaking, when wearing a water resistant watch, try to limit exposure to moisture and water to avoid accidental damage.

Water Resistant vs. Waterproof

Solar and Eco Drive Watches

You may experience that your self-winding watch occasionally stops overnight or appears to be running slowly.This does not necessarily indicate a malfunction or defect in the watch. In most cases, the problem is related to thepower reservethat has not been properly initiated or, may be the result insufficient wrist action while wearing the watch. For a 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. Without the initiation process, the watch will never operate properly or consistently.

To initiate the power reserve, the watch must be wound manually.Turn the winding crown at the 3 o'clock position, in a clockwise direction for about 40 revolutions. This start up wind is usually sufficient for most automatic watches.

After completion of the initiation process, the watch will wind itself automatically (rebuilding the power reserve) by means of an oscillation weight that shifts every time the watch's position is changed by the action of the arm and wrist. A self-winding watch should be worn at least eight hours a day to maximize the power reserve. If this is not possible, or if the watch has been off the wrist for more than 15-20 hours, the initiation process must be repeated.


Most Solar or Eco Drive watches will be labeled on the watch face. No matter what the company calls them, they are fundamentally the same, and convert the sun's rays into energy that is stored in the watch's capacitor. There is no traditional battery in these watches. 
A solar watch needs a full initial charge to function properly. Most companies will have this information in the owners manual or on their website.

Here is what Citizen says are the times needed to give a full charge for their Eco Drive watches:

"Fluorescent light at 6" distance & Incandescent light at 20" distance: Charge for 150 hours
Outdoors on a Cloudy Day: Charge for 45 hours
Outdoors on a Sunny Day: Charge for 9 hours"

Usually overhead light in any office space is insufficient to fully charge your  watch.
Optimal charging is achieved with outdoor light. 
Sunlight through a window provides less energy than direct sunlight due to glass filtration and any protective coating the windows may have. So if this is your only option then your watch will need exposure for double the cloudy day time. 

If for any reason your watch should lose all its charge, say from being in a dresser drawer for the last year or so, ensure it receives adequate time to fully recharge.