WHY CAN’T I PULL THE CROWN OUT?
If you cannot easily pull the crown out and away from the case to wind or set the time, then your watch most likely contains a “screw-down” crown.
Most Stührling Original watches are equipped with a “pull out” crown with dual “O” rings, which will accommodate water resistance to fifty meters. This is more than sufficient for most fine timepieces that are made for dress rather than every day wear (especially by men). Some of our timepieces are made to endure rougher and tougher wear, particularly in the diver’s category. For these models, we have included a “screw down” crown to help prevent water infiltration as well as overall rougher wear.
In order to adjust the date and/or time on such a watch (or if the watch has a mechanical self-winding movement and requires manual winding to initiate the movement), you must first unscrew the crown before you can gently pull it out to its first or second position. To do this, rotate the crown counterclockwise until it springs open. If your watch has a mechanical self-winding movement, you will need to have the crown in the first position (closest to the case without the threads of the stem being engaged in the case) in order to wind your watch and thereby put some power on the mainspring. When you have finished setting the watch and/or winding it, the crown must then be pushed in and screwed back in tightly. Overall, this process should not require a lot of effort or force.
WHY ISN’T MY WATCH RUNNING?
If your new watch stops frequently when it is brand new out of the box, then your new watch most likely has a mechanical self winding movement. In most cases, you will be able to tell immediately if your watch is an automatic self-winding timepiece by looking at the back of the watch. Almost all “automatics” from Stührling Original come with exhibition case-backs; the back of the watch has a crystal through which you can see the movement. This type of watch is referred to as an “automatic watch.” This means that your new watch will wind itself (while being worn) and does not have a battery with a computer chip (quartz watch). Wearing a mechanical timepiece is an homage to a time-honored art and tradition that dates back more than two centuries! Quartz watches did not come into being until the 1970’s.
When worn daily, the movement of your wrist causes the mainspring to wind progressively, eliminating the need for additional winding. However, to start your automatic, it is recommended that you manually wind it by rotating the crown clockwise a number of turns while it is in its normal operating position (screw-down crowns will need to be unscrewed first). This will place some initial power on the mainspring to begin wearing your watch. You should wind it until you feel some resistance, while being careful not to “over-wind” the mainspring. If you hold the watch to your ear while you are winding your watch, you will hear a ratcheting noise; that is the sound of the mainspring being wound.
While wearing a mechanical automatic timepiece daily will keep the mainspring wound, the movement of the oscillating piece with the Stührling logo on it (the rotor) seen through the crystal on the back does not generate enough force to wind the mainspring beyond a certain point. If it did, then surely the mainspring could become over-wound and lock up. However, the slightest movement of the rotor will keep the mainspring wound and keep your timepiece running.
The mechanical movements in the Stührling Original timepieces will generally carry approximately forty hours of autonomy. This means that when fully wound, the watch may continuously run for approximately forty hours. Should your watch stop from non-wear (being left overnight or otherwise), reset the time and manually wind the watch to get it started again.
While wearing a mechanical timepiece certainly requires more care and attention than a quartz watch, the renaissance of wearing a mechanical automatic timepiece is swelling to new proportions never before seen. At Stührling Original we take great pride in catering to an increasing market segment that can now appreciate the long history of wearing a mechanical timepiece of quality born from the rich tradition of an art that goes back centuries!
I HAVE A WATCH WINDER. WHICH DIRECTION SHOULD I SET IT FOR?
For your mechanical automatic (self-winding) watches, you may have a mechanical watch-winder. This is a motorized device for storing and keeping your mechanical automatic watches wound and running while you are not wearing them. There are many different companies that make these devices and there are many different types. (We do not endorse any particular type or brand of winder, nor do we suggest that it is necessary to store your watch in such a device.) Many of the winders that are on the market offer a setting option for the direction in which you can have your watch rotate, either clockwise or counter-clockwise.
For the mechanical automatic movements in the Stührling Original watches, either direction will be fine however we suggest that you set your winder in the counter-clockwise direction. However, there will be no harm done to your watch if you should set it in the clockwise direction.
HOW CAN I SHORTEN THE LINK BRACELET ON MY WATCH?
An increasing number of Stührling Original models are being offered on solid stainless steel link bracelets. These bracelets have all been custom designed and engineered by Stührling Original specifically for each model. In most cases, the bracelet will be too large for most wearers. We do this intentionally, in order to accommodate as many different wrist sizes as possible. Some people also prefer to wear their bracelets tight and slightly higher on the wrist and some like to wear them loose and lower on the wrist.
In order to custom fit your bracelet, in most cases it will be necessary to take it to a jeweler to have links removed. Jewelers are usually very adept at this procedure and it does not take long to perform. Many jewelers will undergo the sizing of a watch bracelet as a courtesy and not charge anything for it. Others may want to charge $5 or $10 for this service. Jewelers have special tools and bracelet holders for removing links and they will know how to properly size your bracelet. We do not recommend that you perform this sizing operation yourself. However, if you are feeling adventurous and want to size it yourself then you should be remove an equal (or near equal) amount of links from each side of the bracelet so as to keep the clasp in the middle of the underside of your wrist for optimal comfort.
WHAT MAKES A WATCH WATER-RESISTANT?
There are several features that make a watch water-resistant. The most important is the gaskets, or O-rings – usually made of rubber, nylon or Teflon, which form watertight seals at the joints where the crystal, case back and crown meet the watch case. If the watch is a chronograph, the chronograph pushers will also need to have gaskets.
In addition, water-resistant watch cases are lined with a sealant, applied in the form of a quick-hardening liquid, which helps keep water out.
The thickness and material of the case is also a big factor in determining whether a watch can safely be worn underwater. The case must be sturdy enough to withstand pressure without caving in. This means the case material must be stainless steel, titanium or an equally sturdy metal. Solid gold cases or stainless cases plated with gold can be water-resistant provided they are sufficiently thick.
A screw-in case back, as opposed to one that pushes in, also contributes to water resistance.
A screw-in crown, a feature commonly available in diver’s watches, helps prevent water getting into the case through the watch-stem hole. When it is screwed down it forms a water tight seal much like the seal between a jar and its lid.
MY WATCH IS LABELED WATER-RESISTANT TO 50 METERS, BUT THE MANUFACTURER’S INSTRUCTIONS SAY I CAN ONLY WEAR IT SWIMMING, NOT SNORKELING OR DIVING. WHY IS THAT?
The different levels of water resistance as expressed in meters are only theoretical. They refer to the depth at which the watch will keep out water if both the watch and the water are perfectly motionless. These conditions, of course, are never met in the real swimmer’s or diver’s world. In real life, the movement of the wearer’s arm through the water dramatically adds pressure on the watch as well, so it is advised that, to be safe, the watch should be worn to the depths less than what is indicated by lab testing machines.
WHAT ARE THE VARIOUS LEVELS OF WATER-RESISTANCE AND WHAT ARE THEIR PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS?
Watches with the lowest level of water resistance are labeled simply water-resistant. They can withstand splashes of water but should not be submerged underwater under any circumstances.
The following usage recommendations are suggested by industry standards.
- Water-resistant to 30 meters (100 feet): Watches with this rating will withstand splashes of water or rain and light swimming, but not suitable for diving or being submerged.
- Water-resistant to 50 meters (165 feet): Watches with this rating are suitable for showering or placement in shallow water.
- Water-resistant to 100 meters (330 feet): Watches with this rating are suitable for some swimming and snorkeling activities.
- Water-resistant to 150 meters (500 feet): Watches with this rating are suitable for snorkeling.
- Water-resistant to 200 meters (660 feet): Watches with this rating are suitable for skin diving.
- Diver’s 150 meters (500 feet) specified to meet ISO standards: Watches with this rating are suitable for scuba diving.
- Diver’s 200 meters (660 feet) specified to meet ISO standards: Watches with this rating are suitable for scuba diving.
Please note that we do not recommend swimming or diving with your watch unless it has a screw-down crown (also known as screw-lock or screw-in crown) and is water-resistant to a
minimum of 100 meters.
It is important to understand that the depth of water-resistance specified on a watch dial or case-back represents the results of tests done in stable laboratory conditions, not in the open ocean. Moreover, water resistance is tested in measurements of atmospheres (ATM). Each ATM denotes 10 meters of static water pressure.
IS WATER RESISTANCE PERMANENT?
No. Water resistance depends on several factors (as mentioned in other FAQs), some of which can be affected by wear or simply by time. Over time, gaskets can become weakened, corroded, or misshapen, cases dented or crystals loosened or broken. That’s why your watch, like your car and your teeth, need preventive maintenance.
There are misconceptions about water resistance. Lots of people assume the water-resistance level of a watch represents the true sustainable water resistance, when in reality it does not. As mentioned in answers to previous questions, this is because its water-resistance level is based on a motionless depth test, not in a turbulent ocean or on a rapidly moving wrist going into and out of the swimming pool. The depth level indicated on the watch dial or case-back does not account for sudden and rapid changes in depth, nor does it take into account temperature or atmospheric changes. Water-resistant watches can also experience water damage if the owner descends under the water too quickly or if the watch is removed from cold water and rapidly exposed to warmer air. Both consumers and retailers should note that these watches do not remain water-resistant for their entire lifetimes, as their water resistance will naturally decrease with time.
HOW SHOULD I CARE FOR A WATER RESISTANT WATCH?
First, it is not recommended to wear your water resistant watch in a hot shower, sauna, or hot tub even though the watch is tested to have the necessary water resistance. Many people actually don’t understand the nature or properties of metal, and complain blindly to manufacturers or retailers when there is a water resistance problem with their watch. They don’t realize that the extreme heat can cause the metal parts to expand at a different rate than the rubber gaskets. This creates small openings that can allow water droplets to penetrate the watch. Sudden temperature changes are especially harsh. Take care not to jump into a cold pool after wearing your watch in the hot tub.
After swimming or diving in salt water, immediately rinse the watch in a stream of fresh water. If your watch has a rotating bezel, turn the bezel several times while rinsing it. This will prevent salt buildup under the bezel or corrosion of the bezel ring.
Some chemicals can corrode the gaskets and make them vulnerable to distortion. Heavily chlorinated water and spray-on perfumes and hairsprays are also problematic, as they may damage the case seams and gaskets.
Moreover, while the watch is submerged in water or still wet, do NOT press any buttons or pushers on the watch. Do not pull out the crown while the watch is submerged in water. If the case, glass or seal is damaged in any way, the watch will no longer be guaranteed water-resistant. Condensation can appear in any watch and is caused by a sudden change in temperature (i.e. when a watch is removed from a cold room and placed into a warm room, or vice versa). The appearance of condensation does not mean the watch will not operate properly, nor that it has lost its water resistance, but to be safe it should be serviced. Batteries in water-resistant watches should be replaced by a professional so that the water-resistant seals can be checked and renewed if necessary, otherwise the watch may no longer be guaranteed water-resistant. It is good practice to change the battery hatch or case-back gaskets whenever the battery is changed.
As mentioned previously, water-resistance is not a permanent condition. For example, the gaskets that are around the stem, case-back and glass can deteriorate with time and should be inspected and changed periodically (by a professional).
Leather straps can be made to be water resistant too. Generally, however, leather straps are more easily damaged by frequent exposure to water. So if you are going to wear your watch while swimming – think of making / buying a watch with a metal bracelet or a rubber or nylon diver strap.
Water resistance should be checked at least once a year. Like most manufacturers, we suggest that water resistance needs to be tested every time the case back is opened, because opening the case can dislodge the gaskets. This is why unauthorized opening of the watch case-back is usually not recommended, because doing so will invalidate warranty rights. This rule applies even to a simple battery change done by an unqualified person.