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Thread: Setting a watch backward in time/hacking

  1. #1

    Setting a watch backward in time/hacking

    So I've seen lots of debate as to whether it's bad for a watch if you move the hands counter-clockwise to set it, for instance, when you travel west through different time zones, and also whether it's bad to hack a non-hacking movement by keeping pressure on the crown just enough for the seconds hand to stop. Consensus seemed to be neither was bad for most watches, but making the seconds hand actually run backwards could be bad, potentially chipping pallet stones.

    When I got my Breguet Marine, which has an F. Piguet 1150 movement that does not hack (modified by Breguet to run at 28,800 instead of 21,600), I was reluctant to move the hands backward or to hack it, so I emailed Breguet. It took a couple of weeks, but I did get the following response, which I post here in case others are curious as to their answer:

    "Following your request, we are pleased to inform you that turning the hands backwards on your Breguet time piece has no negative effect on the movement as long as the hands do not pass over midnight.

    Indeed passing midnight backwards can cause some strain in the date mechanism, although there are securities to avoid any permanent damage, this is not recommended.

    Stopping the second hand by turning the hands backwards or just by holding them back has no lasting negative effect on the watch either, as soon as the crown is pushed back in or the hands turned forward the watch will run again as it did before."

    So, there you have it, at least for this movement.

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  3. #2
    So, it's the hour hand that should not pass midnight. They say, "hands", which is ambiguous.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by RobotAZ View Post
    So, it's the hour hand that should not pass midnight. They say, "hands", which is ambiguous.
    Agreed , but maybe they're meaning both of the hands together (i.e. midnight)

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  6. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Seriously View Post
    Agreed , but maybe they're meaning both of the hands together (i.e. midnight)
    Of course. Duh, me dumb.

  7. #5
    not at all , it is ambiguous , they should have added "Both of.."

  8. #6
    Thank you for this information. Good to know.

  9. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Seriously View Post
    not at all , it is ambiguous , they should have added "Both of.."
    Well, in fairness, English is not her first language... I thought it was clear enough; since we're talking about the big date mechanism, it's controlled by the hour hand, not the minute hand.

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  11. #8
    The Dude Abides Nokie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Northern CA
    Even thought it takes more time, I always, by force of habit, wind clockwise.

    Nice to know you can backtrack if needed and did not think about the hands and midnight with the date function, so good info as well.
    "Either He's Dead, Or My Watch Has Stopped....."
    Groucho Marx

  12. #9
    Not a Zombie drickster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    my car maker officially recommends oil changes only every 15000 miles, but when I take it to the service center they always say, "and you know you need to bring it back before then, right?" Run a child's wind up toy backwards and feel the strain it causes the mechanism (especially if pre wound). Certainly watches are better made than that, but it is enough to convince me to not do it.

    Besides, a few years ago I found the freedom in non hacking watches. Just set the time close and let the bugger run. No need to stare intently at your computer or phone (or whatever, I use emerald time). Just go with it being almost 2:37...

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  14. #10
    Something clever... bu11itt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Southwest LA
    With the little knowledge and interaction I've had with them, most Russian movements require you to wind it backwards to save time when setting the date. As most don't have a quick date set (including my Komandirskie) there is a ritual you must do to advance the date without having to make two complete revolution of the hands. To start, you wind it past midnight and let the date advance. You then wind it backwards to around 8, 9 o'clock until the date wheel "slips" (which you can feel and see) and go back to forward advancement of the time. The watch will advance the date again just as if you have made 2 complete revolutions. During this operation the second hand will "back-hack". Considering it was designed this way to advance the date I don't think it is adversely affecting the watch too much, but I frankly don't know for sure. I will say I was nervous the first time I tried it, now it's not big deal at all. Because everything is better with pics; here's the watch I'm talking about.

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