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Thread: Powered watch winder

  1. #1
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Powered watch winder

    I have one of those wristwatches with the tiny date window at the 3 o'clock position. Unfortunately it's mechanization assumes that every month has 31 days so, with every <31 day month, the date indicated falls behind a day. I don't wear the watch often so, every time I pick it up, it needs correcting.

    To advance the indicated date means using the tiny winding stem to wind the watch through 24 hours. With big and old hands, this can be annoying and even slightly painful. It occurred to me that I needed a motor drive to turn the stem for me.

    I took one of the smallest Dremel sanding drums (~1/4" diameter) and removed the sandpaper sleeve. This leaves a nice, grabby rubber cylinder to drive the watch stem. The sanding drum was mounted in a tiny chuck with a 1/4" hex shaft that fits into the electric screwdriver chuck.

    It worked beautifully. I simply held the sanding drum in place by hand although I suppose one could build a fixture if one had a lot of watches to wind forward.


    Fortunately, my every day watch is fully electronic and has a built-in calendar that will outlast me.
    Last edited by mklotz; 07-09-2017 at 09:13 AM.
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  2. #2
    Content Editor DIYer's Avatar
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    Thanks mklotz! We've added your Powered Watch Winder to our Miscellaneous category,
    as well as to your builder page: mklotz's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




  3. #3
    Frank S's Avatar
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    Marv, I can see the usefulness of this idea, and it looks like a great solution as well.This is coming from a guy who has not owned or even worn a watch since I got out of the Army in 1977
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

  4. #4
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    The key item to remember here is the use of the small Dremel sanding drums (sans sanding sleeve) as rotary drivers for small mechanisms. Winding fishing line or twine or wire onto spools is another possible use. Using an electric screwdriver keeps the speed slow enough to make it manageable to hand-hold rather than needing to build a winding jig.

    The small chuck shown in the photo could easily be replaced by a bit of 1/4" hex stock drilled to accept the sanding drum and fitted with a setscrew to retain it.
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  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to mklotz For This Useful Post:

    Paul Jones (03-17-2017), Toolmaker51 (03-18-2017)

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    There should be no need to wind the watch through 24 hrs for each day. Most watches have a "quickset" function to change the date.
    Instead of pulling the stem out all the way, only pull it out to the first click. Then turn the stem (usually backwards) to change the date.
    With some watches it may be hard to tell where the first click is, so pull the stem slowly.

  7. #6
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaper View Post
    There should be no need to wind the watch through 24 hrs for each day. Most watches have a "quickset" function to change the date.
    Instead of pulling the stem out all the way, only pull it out to the first click. Then turn the stem (usually backwards) to change the date.
    With some watches it may be hard to tell where the first click is, so pull the stem slowly.
    Yes, I'm aware of that feature; my wife's watch works exactly as you describe. However, on this watch, either the feature doesn't exist or the detent is so tiny that I can't find it. My wife, who is used to setting her watch, can't find it either. Next time I have the battery replaced, I'll ask the watch repair fellow if he can find it.


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