Last Updated:  December 24th, 2020
what is hacking and hand winding

What is Hand Winding & Hacking A Watch?

There are some very strange and technical terms in the watch world, and if you have looked at some more expensive mechanical watches you will know what I mean.

Two of those terms which often confuse people are hacking and manual winding. Especially if you have an automatic watch and wonder why you would want to wind it?

What is Hacking a Watch?

Hacking a watch refers to the ability to stop the seconds from moving. It is sometimes called the second-hand halt function or seconds stop function.

It was particularly useful during the second world war, when wristwatches became popular, to synchronise watches between wearers.

Today, it is mostly used to set your watch exactly to a reference time, such as the atomic time online.

What is Hand Winding on a Watch?

Today, your watch is likely a quartz watch, which runs on a battery, an automatic watch that winds by the movement of your hands, or a solar watch that is charged by light.

But it wasn’t always that way. Watches produces many years ago hand to be wound by hand. This involved turning the crown of the watch to ‘wind the watch’ which essentially stretched the mainspring, giving it power to drive the watch for a period of time.

Today, hand winding is very much a nice-to-have or if your watch is only manual wind, then something unique.