Let’s be honest: are there any valid reasons why you need a watch winder?
After all, they look like something that only anyone who doesn’t know what else to do with their money would buy.
So, we went digging a little bit.
Know that our stance has always been that a watch winder is important, but we sought to find just how important they are to you.
TL; DR – especially if you own an automatic timepiece, don’t do without a quality watch winder. Read on to find out more.
What is a Watch Winder?
A watch winder is a simple piece of battery-powered or electrically-run machinery that mimics the movement of the human hand.
This, it does via a system of rotary and linear motions.
They are especially important for automatic movement watches which, unlike a quartz watch, need this kind of movement from the wearer to stay charged since they do not carry conventional batteries in them.
Reasons You Might Need One
Of all the top reasons we could think of and come up with during our search, these stood out the most.
#1 Keep your Watches Running
Even the best mechanical watch only has a couple of days of power reserve in it. When you don’t wear them for long, they go dead.
An automatic watch winder simulates the movement of your hands as if you were wearing the timepiece, keeping them charged for as long as possible.
#2 Improve Watch Life
Like we discussed in our DIY watch care and repair guide , wristwatches will need timely maintenance to get them working at the top of their game. You can minimize how much maintenance the timepiece will need when you use it right.
If you are not able to wear the automatic watch every time, make sure you have a watch winder to simulate the movement for you and prevent unnecessary wear.
Most people see a watch winder as just allowing them to keep their automatic watches charged up.
That could not be farther from the truth.
A good watch winder is also another safe storage compartment for your premium investments.
Strapped around the watch pillow in the watch winder, your timepieces are kept securely in place without fear of external damage.
#4 Improves Collection Flexibility
Mechanical watches (where automatic watches fall) are one of the most timeless timepieces that you can collect.
Now, without a watch winder, that becomes a problem. After all, you cannot always wear all the watches every day to keep them wound.
Thinking that way could prevent you from getting building a watch collection you can be proud of.
With a watch winder in your arsenal, all that worry becomes a thing of the past.
#5 Reduce Watch-Setting Time
Some watches with special complications (such as a moon phase watch ) cannot simply be set by turning the crown to the right time.
If you don’t believe us, look at the Ulysse Nardin Moonstruck watch, or a Presidential Rolex Watch, for example. Even for those mildly familiar with the watch, it could take up to an hour to get everything working the right way.
This manual winding and setting is not a hassle you want to get into every time you break out your watch to wear it. Especially when you could have simply stored it in a watch winder and have everything running/ set as it is supposed to be.
How to Choose the Best Watch Winders
We have explored the reasons to possibly buy a watch winder – and you might have seen reason with us.
That does not, however, mean you should just go out there to choose the first watch winder that crosses your radar. Whether for a Rolex, Omega, Seiko Kinetic, or any other watch manufacturer, consider these:
Several companies are making decent watch-winders out there.
When shopping, only go with the reputable winder manufacturers.
If you are lucky enough to have friends who also collect watches, ask them for the watch winders that they have found useful over time.
Number of Watches
Like we mentioned somewhere above, you can have your watch winders hold a variety of watches.
We have seen picks that can only hold between 2-5 watches and some that could handle tens.
Even if you don’t have that many automatic watches yet, but hope to collect more in the future, you could get a bigger watch winder.
The good news is that you can choose to store your other watches in the winder (for improved safety) till your automatic watches come to take their place.
We do not propose getting a cheap winder but we neither appreciate paying through the nose for anything at all.
You can get a watch winder from anywhere between $50 or $100, running into thousands and tens of thousands of dollars.
Before going out to shop an automatic watch winder, know what you want – and have a fair price in mind for what you want to get that for.
Always remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Likewise, shop around with multiple vendors before settling on anyone.
Every watch winder needs a source of power to operate efficiently.
In most cases, it’s either an electrical source or battery power.
If you are concerned about what happens in the case of a power outage, remember that good automatic watches have a power reserve of about 24-72 hours on average. The power should have been restored before then and the winder resumes its duties as usual.
Turns Per Day
The number of turns that the watch winder is required to make per day will also be dependent on the kind of watch.
Most premium automatic watches can do with anywhere between 600 – 800. Special picks might need more turns, but it is rare to find one that needs lesser turns per day than that range.
The Best Watch Winders for the Money
Depending on your budget, taste, kind of watch, and style, we have handpicked a nice selection of watch winders that you don’t want to miss out on.
Heiden Monaco Double Watch Winder – Best Inexpensive Double Watch Winder
Heiden keeps things stupidly simple with this highly functional watch winder.
With both battery and AC-power options on board, you get all the room to decide what works best for you.
- Pause-start winding mechanism to prevent over-winding the watch
- Four turns-per-day settings (650, 950, 1250, 1850)
- Quiet motor
- Premium cross-stitched leather exterior design
- Premium materials of build
- Ample interior space for watches of different sizes
- Soft, linen interior for better watch protection
- Designed in the USA
Leader Watch Winders – Most Stylish on a Budget
The winders from the Leader brand are not just there to keep your modern automatic watch functional but they will also improve your home décor.
Looking elsewhere, Leader slaps an LCD on this 4-watch winder. With all the features that ship with this one, it is a great value for money no doubt.
- LCD for settings and watch winder information display
- Interior backlight
- Multiple finish options to match different décor types
- Accommodates four wristwatches at once
- Easy to use and setup with touch controls and LCD
- Turns per day ranging from 650 to 1950
- The auto-pause sensor when you open the drawer
- Carries an extra 5-watch storage compartment
Wolf Cub Single Watch Winder – Best for Single Watch
Wolf has been in the watch winder game for some time, and their quality cannot be questioned.
In this pick, we have our winner for single watches.
This watch winder works best for keeping your premium and luxury automatic watches safe and better protected.
You don’t need to have a Rolex or an Omega worth tens of thousands of dollars to enjoy this winder. It could be a less expensive automatic watch , an affordable swiss automatic watch or that heirloom passed down from someone older.
- Accommodates a single watch
- Portable design
- Bi-directional winding movement
- Runs on a battery and AC adapter
- Designed in multiple colors
- Programmed at 900 turns per day
LUKDOF 12-Watch Winder – Best for Multiple Watches
If you are a watch collector, seller, or enthusiast, this is the watch winder you want to get.
Lukdof understands that no two watches might have the same winding needs, much less all 12 of them. They made it possible to have different settings for each pair of watches, up to six pairs to make the entire twelve.
You only have to pair two watches with identical winding needs on every section and you are good to go.
- 12 winding spaces for multiple watch options
- Beautiful LED backlight
- Unique settings for each watch section
- An LCD touch screen makes setup easier
- Safe lock mechanism protects watches better
- Ultra-silent mode of operation
- 5 unique TPD modes (650; 750; 850; 1000; 1950)
- 3 rotation modes (clockwise, counter-clockwise, and combined)
After exploring all the possible reasons to get a watch winder, how to make the best choice, and some amazing picks on the market, our work here is done.