How to Adjust a Mechanical Watch Movement

Written by krista martin
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How to Adjust a Mechanical Watch Movement
A watch can be adjusted to depict more accurate time. (Watch image by Aqeel Ahmed from

To adjust a mechanical watch means to increase the accuracy of the watch's movements. A watch comprises many components that allow the watch to move and depict accurate time. Some watches may only be inaccurate by about 20 or 30 seconds, but over the course of weeks, this inaccuracy causes problems in its calculation of time because it is so inaccurate. You can adjust the dial of a mechanical watch with the help of a screwdriver.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Use a screwdriver to remove the screws in the watch case. The screws are located around the outer edge, on the underside of the watch face.

  2. 2

    Locate the regulator screw, which is a screw with a V-shaped bracket and a set of hash marks on the balance plate. The balance plate is marked with a "+" sign at one side and a "-" sign on the other side.

  3. 3

    Turn the screw toward either the plus or minus directions to add or deduct time. When you turn the screw towards the minus sign, it shortens and compresses the spring in the watch; whereas turning it toward the positive sign, releases the spring.

  4. 4

    Replace the watch face and insert the screws. Tighten the screws with a screwdriver.

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