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How to Set a Moon Phase Watch

Updated February 21, 2017

By coordinating the day, date, and month with the moon's cycle, modern moon phase watches keep track of the moon's progress throughout the month. To set a moon phase watch, carefully follow a few instructions. These directions are for a Swatch Moon Phase watch, but the steps are similar to those for most lunar watches on the market.

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Set the day. Pull the crown--the knob on the right-hand side of the watch--to the outward position. Rotate the hands to between 10 p.m. and midnight. Spin them back again. Set the correct day and time. Push the crown back in.

Set the date and month. Pull the crown out again. Spin the crown clockwise to find the correct date and month. The date and month will appear in the watch face. Push the crown back to the "in" position.

Find out the moon’s position. Read the daily paper or check online to find that night’s moon position or wait until night to check the moon’s position in the sky (if you are familiar with moon phases). Pull the crown knob out. Spin the crown counterclockwise. You have four possible moon phases: new moon, waxing moon, full moon, and waning moon.

Set the moon phase. Pull the crown out. Spin the hands counterclockwise to select the correct image of the moon.


Note the phase types. A new moon starts the moon's new cycle; it is barely visible in the night’s sky. A waxing moon appears as a crescent shape with the left side of the moon bitten out and black. A full moon illuminates the sky in its fullest and brightest phases. A waning moon appears as a crescent with the right side bitten out and black--the end of another moon phase.

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Things You'll Need

  • Moon phase watch
  • Calendar of moon phases for the month (optional)

About the Author

Noelle Carver has been a freelance writer since 2009, with work published in "SSYK" and "The Wolf," two U.K. literary journals. Carver holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from American University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing from The New School. She lives in New York City.

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