Watch hacking, also known as hacking seconds or hacking function, refers to a feature in mechanical watches that allows the seconds hand to be stopped or "hacked" when the crown is pulled out to set the time. When the crown is pulled out to the time-setting position, the hacking function halts the movement of the seconds hand, allowing for precise synchronisation with a reference time.

Here's how watch hacking typically works:

  1. Mechanical Movement: Hacking is a feature found in mechanical watches, specifically those with automatic (self-winding) or manual-winding movements.

  2. Pulling the Crown: When the crown of a watch is pulled out to the time-setting position, it disengages the gear train responsible for moving the seconds hand.

  3. Seconds Hand Stopped: With the hacking function activated, the seconds hand comes to a halt at the 12 o'clock position or another marker on the dial. This allows for accurate setting of the time.

  4. Time Setting: While the seconds hand is stopped, the wearer can set the time precisely by turning the crown to adjust the hour and minute hands. Once the time is set, pushing the crown back in engages the gear train, and the seconds hand starts moving again.

The hacking function is particularly useful when you need to synchronise your watch with another time source, such as an atomic clock or when setting multiple watches to the same time. It allows for precise time setting down to the exact second.

Hacking is a feature commonly found in higher-end mechanical watches, including many Swiss-made timepieces. However, not all mechanical watches have hacking functionality, especially some vintage or lower-priced models. If accurate time synchronisation is crucial to you, it's worth considering a watch with hacking capability.

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