For a self-winding watch to work correctly, the mainspring must build up a sufficient power reserve. Many people do not know that a self-winding watch needs to be wound manually before it will run automatically. This is called the initiation process. Without the initiation process, the timepiece will not operate correctly or on a constant basis.
In order to initiate the power reserve, the watch has to be wound manually. Turn the winding crown, in a clockwise direction for abut 30 to 40 revolutions. This start up wind is usually enough for most automatic watches.
After the initiation process has been completed, the watch will automatically wind itself by means of an oscillating weight (rotor) that shifts when the watch is moved from being worn.
A self-winding watch needs to be worn for a minimum of eight (8) hours a day to maximize the power reserve. If this can not be done, or if the timepiece has not been worn or moved for more than 15 – 20 hours, the initiation process needs to be repeated.