How to synchronize the seconds hand exactly on your watch?

Dettaglio Movimento Lange 1
Dettaglio del ponte del bilanciere del movimento del Lange 1


The synchronization of the seconds hand is an often ignored function, because not so important, but of course gratifying for a precision fanatic.

The most elegant way of doing so, introduced by Lange & Shöne, consists in adding a chronographic device, which sets the seconds hand on zero. In this type of watch, extracting the winding crown, the mechanism is locked and the seconds hand is immediately set on 12, allowing an easy synchronization on the minute hand.

Another quite common method is stopping the balance wheel by extracting twice the winding crown. In this type of watches, characterized by a digital date indication, the crown can have two extreme positions: the first is usually used to correct the date rapidly, the second, the classic position to set the hour, also causes the balance wheel to stop. In this case, wait for the seconds hand to be on 12 before stopping it, and then proceed with the synchronization.

The same result can be achieved, with a little patience, also in watches without this type of devices. Just extract the crown (hour setting position) and turn it until the minute hand surpasses a bit the exact hour. Then, when the seconds hand is on 12, turn it slightly on the opposite side: the minute hand will stop or go a bit back. Now, move back the minute hand as necessary, positioning it precisely one the minute after the right one, keeping it stopped and exerting a slight opposite torque on the crown. When the watch strikes the sixtieth second leave the crown, allowing the two hands to start running together.

It is more complicated explaining this operation than doing it and, with a little practice, you can achieve satisfactory results whatever the type of watch and control easily the accuracy.

Tags: Watch care Hausmann & Co. Award