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Guide to Watch Winders: How to Choose, Set Up, Best Options

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watch winder

In the realm of horology, automatic watches are treasured for their exquisite craftsmanship and precision. To maintain the accuracy and functionality of these mechanical wonders, watch winders play a crucial role. A watch winder is a device designed to keep automatic watches running smoothly, even when they’re not being worn.

By simulating the natural motion of the wrist, watch winders ensure that the watch’s intricate mechanism remains in constant motion, preventing issues like time inaccuracy and power reserve depletion. In this article, we will explore the vital role watch winders play in preserving the accuracy and functionality of automatic watches. 

Whether you are a seasoned watch collector or new to the world of horology, understanding the benefits and proper usage of watch winders is essential for keeping your timepieces at their best.

What is a Watch Winder and How Does it Work?

A watch winder is a device crafted specifically for automatic watches, designed to keep them wound and running smoothly when not in use. Serving as a miniature timekeeping companion, a watch winder mimics the natural motion of the wrist, ensuring that the watch’s intricate mechanisms remain in constant motion. 

By providing consistent movement, it prevents the watch from losing accuracy, power reserve, and encountering potential issues due to inactivity.

Operating on a simple yet ingenious principle, a watch winder gently rotates the watch in various directions, replicating the natural motion of the wrist. This continuous motion keeps the mainspring wound, preventing it from becoming dormant or losing its precision. Depending on the watch winder’s settings, it can rotate in different directions and at varying intervals, tailored to specific watch models and their requirements.

Benefits of Using a Watch Winder

Using a watch winder can provide numerous advantages for watch owners. Not only does it offer convenience and time-saving benefits, but it also helps maintain accuracy, preserves complex settings, protects watches from damage, and adds an elegant touch to watch display and storage. Additionally, watch winders contribute to the preservation of investment value and the historical significance of timepieces. 

1. Convenience and Time-Saving Benefits

A watch winder automates the winding process, eliminating the need for manual winding and saving time and effort.

2. Accuracy and Longevity

By keeping the watch consistently wound, a watch winder helps maintain its accuracy and prevents parts from drying out or becoming damaged, extending the watch’s lifespan.

3. Preservation and Protection

Complex settings in watches are preserved, reducing the risk of errors or damage during manual adjustments. Watch winders provide a safe and controlled environment, protecting watches from accidental damage, scratches, and exposure to moisture.

4. Display, Storage, and Personalization

Watch winders offer attractive displays and storage compartments, allowing you to showcase and organize your watch collection with elegance and sophistication.Some watch winders have customizable settings for rotation speed and direction, ensuring optimal performance for each watch.

5. Investment Value and Heritage

Proper care and maintenance with a watch winder help protect valuable watches, preserving their investment value.Watch winders safeguard watches with sentimental value, preserving their historical significance for future generations to appreciate.

Factors to Consider When Buying Watch Winders

1. Compatibility with Watch Types

When selecting a watch winder, ensure it is compatible with your specific watch type, whether mechanical, automatic, or both. Different watches may have varying winding requirements, such as rotation directions or turns per day. Confirm that the watch winder you choose can accommodate and fulfill these specifications.

2. Capacity and Size of the Watch Winder

Consider the number of watches in your collection and their sizes. Opt for a watch winder with enough slots and cushioned compartments to securely hold and accommodate your timepieces. It’s crucial to ensure that the winder’s size fits your space requirements, whether it’s a compact option for personal use or a larger capacity winder for extensive collections.

3. Rotation Settings and Customization Options

Look for a watch winder with adjustable rotation settings and customization options. The ability to set rotation direction (clockwise, counterclockwise, or bi-directional) and the number of turns per day allows you to cater to the specific winding needs of your watches. Customizable settings ensure optimal performance and prevent overwinding or underwinding.

4. Power Source and Energy Efficiency

Consider the power source of the watch winder and its energy efficiency. Options include battery-powered, AC-powered, or even both. Evaluate power consumption and efficiency to ensure longevity and minimal energy usage. Some models come with energy-saving features like sleep modes or programmable timers to conserve power.

5. Aesthetics and Design Considerations

Select a watch winder that complements your personal style and matches the aesthetic of your watch collection. Watch winders come in various designs, materials, and finishes. From classic wood finishes to modern metal or sleek leather, choose a design that enhances the overall visual appeal and elegance of your timepieces.

6. Budget Considerations

Determine your budget range before exploring watch winders. Prices can vary based on brand, features, and quality. It’s important to find a balance between affordability and quality craftsmanship. Research different options within your budget and read reviews to ensure you make a well-informed decision.

Setting Up Your Watch Winder

Setting up your watch winder is an important step to ensure proper winding and care for your automatic watches. Follow these steps for a smooth setup process:

Step 1: Familiarizing Yourself with the Controls and Settings

Take the time to familiarize yourself with the controls and settings of your watch winder. Read the instruction manual provided by the manufacturer to understand the functions and operation of the winder. Pay attention to features like rotation direction, rotation speed, and any additional settings or programming options.

Step 2: Preparing the Watch for Winding 

Before placing your watch in the winder, ensure it is prepared for winding. For watches with screw-down crowns, gently unscrew and pull out the crown to its neutral position. This prevents unnecessary strain on the winding mechanism and ensures a proper fit within the watch winder.

Step 3: Placing the Watch Securely in the Watch Winder

Carefully place your watch inside the watch winder, ensuring that it sits securely and does not move around excessively. Use the provided cushion or watch holder to protect the watch from scratches or damage. Ensure that the watch is centered and positioned in a way that allows the winding mechanism to engage with the rotor or winding system.

Step 4: Adjusting the Rotation Settings as per Manufacturer’s Instructions

Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to set the rotation settings of the watch winder appropriately. Follow the recommended rotation direction and turns per day specific to your watch model. Adjust the settings as per the guidelines to ensure the optimal winding performance and avoid overwinding or underwinding.

Best Watch Winders in Singapore 

1. JQueen Double Watch Winder

JQUEEN watch winder

With three storage compartments, JQueen Double Watch Winder can accommodate your watch collection efficiently and operate two watches simultaneously. Notably, its whisper-quiet motor ensures a peaceful sleep throughout the night.

This Watch Winder features three rotation settings: clockwise, counterclockwise, and alternating, providing versatility for different watch models. Its exquisite design adds a timeless appeal to any space, making it a perfect combination of style and functionality.

Key Features: Upgraded Japanese super silent motor, Noise as low as 5 DB, Clockwise, counterclockwise, and alternating rotation options.

Where to buy: AMAZON

Price: S$207

2. Barrington Single Winder

Barrington single watch winder

Crafted from MDF, the Barrington Single Winder boasts an exquisite glossy finish. Its Japanese motor operates almost silently and can be powered either by a mains connection or two AA batteries.

With customizable settings for rotation direction and turns per day, this watch winder ensures compatibility with a wide range of watch models. Additionally, the Barrington Watch Database assists in determining the ideal settings for your specific watch.

Key Features: Compact and stylish design, Multiple rotation settings, Ultra-quiet Japanese motor.

Where to buy: AMAZON

Price: S$465

3. Wolf Heritage Double Watch Winder

Wolf Heritage double watch winder

The most versatile watch winder box in our selection is designed to accommodate a wide range of watch collections. Its sprung watch holders are adjustable to fit timepieces of various sizes, from small to oversized.

This watch winder has the capability to wind two watches simultaneously, each with different settings. With pre-programmed sleep phases and recurring rotation, you can expect precise and reliable performance.

Key Features: Patented rotation programs, Bi-directional rotation, Multiple Turns Per Day (TPD) settings, Premium materials.

Where to buy: AMAZON

Price: S$1,201.77

4. Paul Design GENT4-BS

Paul Design GENT4-BS watch winder

Paul Design is a reputable British company renowned for its expertise in watch winders, led by designer Paul. With a focus on preserving the quality of luxury mechanical watches, they employ reliable Mabuchi motors and embrace the “Less Is More” concept to craft elegant and top-quality watch winders.

Key Features: Ability to adjust the rotation speed and offers a choice between clockwise, counterclockwise, or two-way rotation. It is equipped with an LED light, remote control, touch screen, and operates exclusively with AC power.

Where to buy: AMAZON

Price: S$1,438.25

5. Europassion FWD-2164CF

Europassion FWD-2164CF watch winder

The watch winder from Paul Design features a high lacquer finish and is made of MDF wood. It has storage for two watch winders and offers three rotation options (900, 1,200, or 1,500 rotations per day) with clockwise, counterclockwise, or two-way rotation. 

The winder utilizes a Mabuchi motor and includes an LED light and adapter. It is recommended to consider usage conditions such as the weight of the watch and rotation frequency, with an estimated motor life of approximately 3 to 4 years under careful use. 

Key Features: This product features MDF wood construction with a glossy lacquer finish. It provides storage space for two watch winders, offering approximately 900, 1200, or 1500 rotations per day at various RPMs. The rotation direction can be set to either clockwise, counterclockwise, or bi-directional rotation.

Where to buy: AMAZON

Price: S$584.95


1. How Long Should A Watch Be On A Winder?

The recommended duration for keeping a watch on a winder varies depending on the watch model and manufacturer’s guidelines. Generally, it is advisable to keep the watch on in the winder for 8 to 12 hours per day. This duration allows the watch to receive adequate winding while also providing it with some rest to prevent overwinding.

2. What Is The Recommended Watch Winder Setting?

The recommended watch winder setting depends on the specific watch model and its winding requirements. It is essential to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or consult the watch’s documentation to determine the appropriate rotation direction and turns per day for your watch. 

3. Is It Advisable To Use A Watch Winder?

Using a watch winder is highly advisable for watch enthusiasts, especially if they own multiple automatic watches. A watch winder helps maintain the accuracy and functionality of the timepieces by providing consistent movement and preventing the mainspring from becoming dormant.

It eliminates the need for resetting time and date complications, ensuring that the watches are ready to wear whenever desired.

4. Is It Okay To Leave An Automatic Watch In A Winder?

Yes, it is generally safe to leave an automatic watch in a properly functioning watch winder. Watch winders are designed to provide controlled and gentle winding, simulating the natural motion of the wrist. 

However, it is essential to ensure that the watch winder is compatible with the specific watch model and that the rotation settings are adjusted as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Final Word

Watch winders offer convenient and efficient solutions for keeping automatic watches wound and in optimal condition, ensuring accurate timekeeping and extending their lifespan. Investing in a high-quality watch winder is a worthwhile choice for watch enthusiasts and collectors.

Key Takeaways

  • A watch winder is a device designed to keep automatic watches running smoothly by simulating the motion of the wrist and preventing issues like time inaccuracy and power reserve depletion.
  • When buying a watch winder, consider factors such as compatibility with your watch type, capacity and size of the winder, rotation settings and customization options, power source and energy efficiency, aesthetics and design considerations, and budget.
  • Using a watch winder offers benefits such as convenience and time-saving, maintaining accuracy and longevity of watches, preservation and protection against damage, attractive display and storage options, and preservation of investment value and heritage.

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