In most languages, German and English included, certain nouns interact with verbs in set ways. You can't just change the meaning of a common phrase because the verb has multiple meanings. If you wanted to say "We place the clocks", you would have to explain where you are putting them, so that your meaning isn't ambiguous. "Wir stellen die Uhren auf den Tisch". for example, is "We place the clocks on the table". It's exactly the same in English, you could say "We set the clocks", and it would mean ONLY setting them to the time. But you could say "We set the clocks on the table", and it would mean "We place the clocks on the table".
This! Even though you've never encountered the word or sentence structure before you cannot get a good hint to learn what the sentence means. You have to lose a heart to find out what the correct answer is...
Report the dictionary hints as being mistaken. But even so, I found that the hints did kind of give you a clue. "Placement" = "Place" = led me to thinking that the sentence was about setting the clocks, and I was right.
It is but that is about winding up the spring not setting the time.