Why is the crown sometimes hard to turn?

Kyle76

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 22, 2017
136
102
North Carolina
Sometimes the crown of my AW2 is very stiff and difficult to turn. Later it is very smooth and easy to turn. Is there some watch function that restricts the motion of the crown?
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,341
30,584
There is a seal surrounding the Digital Crown. I know other forum members had this issue and the seal gets pinched, but can also free up at times. If it continues, I would make a Genius appointment.

You could also try rinsing the crown under water and rotate it at the same time to clean any debris that might be causing the friction.
 
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AndrewR23

macrumors 68040
Jun 24, 2010
3,850
998
I know what you mean. It's not a seal issue or dirt issue. I had 2 fresh out the box that did it.

Sometimes very stiff and moments later very smooth then back to stiff.

Just the way it's made. I got used to it
 

thewusman

macrumors regular
Aug 8, 2013
138
25
Soapy luke warm water does the trick, while rinsing and turning.

I do a lot of ocean swimming (a lot, 41 in the last 3 months and counting, around 55km and 15 hours in salt water!).

Salt water and all watch crowns generally hate each other.

To avoid, I rinse it often.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,341
30,584
I know what you mean. It's not a seal issue or dirt issue. I had 2 fresh out the box that did it.

Sometimes very stiff and moments later very smooth then back to stiff.

Just the way it's made. I got used to it
It's true Sometimes you get different variations of how the crown rotates/button push on different models new out of the box. (As I have different variations on all my Models.)

But you don't know that it's not a seal contributing to the problem. I would question how long has he owned the Apple Watch for and did it just start doing this recently? Because if it hadn't been doing this prior to him owning it, then I would be more concerned if it's been doing this on and off when rotating the crown, especially with the seal.

As the @thewusman stated, it would still be beneficial to run it under warm water and rotate the crown to loosen any debris that might be intact. (Which Apple does recommend).
 
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Kyle76

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 22, 2017
136
102
North Carolina
I've had the watch about three months. Bought it new. It has done this a couple of times in the past. It sure doesn't feel like dirt. It could be a seal, I guess, but it almost feels like a function of the watch itself restricting the movement, and when it's gone, it's totally smooth and easy to rotate again.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,341
30,584
I've had the watch about three months. Bought it new. It has done this a couple of times in the past. It sure doesn't feel like dirt. It could be a seal, I guess, but it almost feels like a function of the watch itself restricting the movement, and when it's gone, it's totally smooth and easy to rotate again.
I would just continue to monitor it and if it becomes more persistent, then I would make a Genius appointment with Apple. It sounds like the seal is catching when you're rotating the Crown.
 

Defender2010

macrumors 68040
Jun 6, 2010
3,004
877
England
I've had the watch about three months. Bought it new. It has done this a couple of times in the past. It sure doesn't feel like dirt. It could be a seal, I guess, but it almost feels like a function of the watch itself restricting the movement, and when it's gone, it's totally smooth and easy to rotate again.
Take the advice of other posters here and rinse it. Fluff, oils, gunk or who knows what can get trapped in there. (I had this when I got my first Apple Watch way back. I rinsed it once a week and it never happened since.)
...then monitor when or if it happens again. If it happens very soon then go to the Apple Store.
 
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MrGimper

macrumors 603
Sep 22, 2012
6,101
6,384
Andover, UK
This is why I think the current action for turning off the Water Lock on the Series 2 is stupid. All you have to do is turn the crown, which is a bit stupid as Apple encourage you to clean the crown by running it under water and turning it......
 

Defender2010

macrumors 68040
Jun 6, 2010
3,004
877
England
This is why I think the current action for turning off the Water Lock on the Series 2 is stupid. All you have to do is turn the crown, which is a bit stupid as Apple encourage you to clean the crown by running it under water and turning it......
...but you wouldn't be turning it whilst swimming would you? Plus, it doesn't matter if it unlocks the screen whilst being cleaned under a tap as you are not working out. "Water lock" as such, only locks the screen from being activated through accidentally taps. It doesn't suddenly waterproof the Watch.
 
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NovemberWhiskey

macrumors 68040
May 18, 2009
3,012
1,262
Most likely gunk from sweat and oils. Some people like to wash their watches (or just wear it in the shower). I just wipe mine down with a long hair MF towel. After I do that it always turns smoother.

Could also be the seal as others have suggested.
 

gsucyclist

macrumors regular
Oct 10, 2014
242
101
I have this issue quite a bit after working out with it and sweating a lot. I just run it under some warm water and give the crown some turns and it usually frees it right up