Which watch winder is best?
In spite of today’s smartwatches and advanced wearable electronics, the appeal and craftsmanship of a traditional automatic watch are hard to deny.
However, automatic watches require the kinetic energy that naturally occurs as you move for their winding mechanisms to keep them working. To avoid having to manually wind and set a watch that is not worn daily, you will need a watch winder.
The Bamboo Watch Winder Double for Automatic Watches, with its sophisticated looks and reasonable price, is the best watch winder to keep your automatic watches running accurately and reliably even after not wearing them for extended periods of time.
What to know before you buy a watch winder
Self-winding vs. automatic watches
The terms “self-winding” and “automatic” are used interchangeably when it comes to mechanical watches. While the labeling implies that these watches will never need to be wound, this is a bit misleading. These watches contain specialized parts that require the movement and vibration of daily use to keep their works wound and therefore in motion. When left still for a long period of time, an automatic watch will run out of energy and stop working. It will then require winding.
What a watch winder does
Using motors and turntables, a watch winder keeps your watch in motion. This provides your watch’s self-winding mechanism with the kinetic energy it needs to keep time. For further information and tips about watch winders, consult the watch winder buying guide from BestReviews.
What to look for in a quality watch winder
If you plan to use your watch winder while traveling, a battery-powered device is recommended. Some watch winders have the option of using batteries or an AC adapter, giving you more flexibility.
Watch winders come in a variety of finishes and configurations. Many are designed to complement your aesthetic and are just as suitable for displaying watches as they are for winding them. Consider where you plan to keep your watch winder as well as your own personal taste regarding the look of your device.
Some watch winders are only able to wind one watch at a time, while others have the capacity for many more. Single watch winders are more compact and, therefore, a more suitable choice for travelers. If you have a large collection, be sure to select a multi-watch winder that allows different settings for each watch.
Quality watch winders will produce very little noise, even with multiple turntables activated. If you intend to use your watch winder in your bedroom or another area where noise is disruptive, select one with a silent motor.
Some watch winders include drawers or compartments that you can use to store small items. These watch winders are especially helpful if you have a large collection of watches or bands. Note that any watches placed in dedicated storage spaces will not be wound.
Direction. Different watches have requirements with regard to the type and amount of motion they need to wind properly. Some watches need rotation specifically in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction, while others need bidirectional motion.
Turns per day. Most watches require a certain amount of turns per day (TPD) to maintain accuracy. Check with your watch’s manufacturer for this information to ensure that you choose a winder that is suitable for your needs. Some winders allow you to program how many turns per day you want it to make.
Other watch winder features to consider
- Consider the band. A watch winder should keep your watch snugly in place but shouldn’t require you to overstretch the band to make it fit.
- Newer watches, newer lubricant. Automatic watches of the past contained a lubricant that would coagulate and inhibit movement if left unused for too long. Today’s watches contain a synthetic lubricant that does not harden over time, meaning they can be left unwound without risking functionality.
- Use a watch winder to save your crown. Using a watch winder will save you from having to wind your watch manually using its fragile crown and stem. These parts are delicate and expensive to fix if damaged.
How much you can expect to spend on a watch winder
Depending on your needs, watch winders can be a serious investment with multi-watch, programmable models built from premium materials costing well over $1,000. However, most automatic watch owners can find a winder to suit their sensibilities in the $100-$500 range.
Watch winder FAQ
Will a watch winder damage my watch?
A. Generally, no. Watch winders gently mimic the motion that your watch would be subjected to with regular use. Today’s automatic watches also have components that prevent potentially damaging overwinding. However, to spare your watch from unnecessary use of its delicate parts, consider only winding the ones that you like to wear regularly.
Is it bad to leave my watch unwound?
A. No. Experts agree that allowing a watch to fully unwind if you aren’t using it for a while is a safer option than leaving it on a watch winder indefinitely, where its mechanics will be subjected to needless wear.
How long will my watch run before I need to wind it?
A. Most modern automatic watches can be expected to last around 48 hours on a full wind before they stop running.
What’s the best watch winder to buy?
Top watch winder
What you need to know: This watch winder combines modern and traditional materials for a clean, classy look.
What you’ll love: Bamboo side panels and brushed metal give this whisper quiet, double watch winder a premium appearance. Multiple rotation modes are available. This device can run using batteries or AC power.
What you should consider: No storage space gives this winder a small footprint, but less flexibility than other models. The plexiglass is easily scratched.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top watch winder for the money
What you need to know: This sensibly priced, flexible winder has room for up to four watches.
What you’ll love: Available in multiple color combinations to suit your taste, this device features variable rotation and turn-per-day settings to accommodate almost any watch.
What you should consider: Some users have reported that this watch winder’s motor stopped working properly within 1-2 years after purchase.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This premium watch winder features a glass window, a classic look and a two-year warranty.
What you’ll love: For those looking for a high-quality watch winder, this product delivers with its sturdy door and glass window. This model is able to run on either batteries or AC power. Its smooth, black faux leather exterior and satin lining give it a timeless, classy style.
What you should consider: This winder only fits a single watch and lacks some of the programming options available on less expensive models.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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