Watch Winder Buying Guide

Choosing an Automatic Watch Winder

What is the Best Watch Winder?

The simple answer is of course very easy however there is an exacting science behind a device to which you entrust the care of a beautiful and often expensive watch. A winder for an automatic watch is sometimes known as a watch winder box and is in fact itself a watch which is designed to maintain the movement of an automatic watch while it is being stored. They come in many sizes and styles so that sometimes it can be a little difficult to know what to look for when you go to buy one. Increasingly, there are many cheap versions being sold so knowing what to look for can actually save you money and frustration by learning what to avoid.

Who Needs a Watch Winder?

In short, anyone who has an automatic watch which isn’t worn daily should have one. If you wear a watch each day, your arm and wrist movements Heiden Quad Winderthroughout the day will keep your watch wound. If you don’t, the watch will gradually lose power as it unwinds until one day when you go to wear it, it no longer displays the accurate time or date. This is more likely to happen if you have several automatic watches because you will only wear one watch at a time, allowing the performance of the others to decrease. There are some watches which will let you know when rewinding is necessary and moving them about will generally get them going again, however they will require resetting each time it happens. A winder will solve this problem for you.

How Does a Winder Work?

Basically, it rotates the watch on a turntable inside the watch winder. It will rotate at various turns each minute that you can set based on the requirements for your watch, although more complex winders can be pre-set and some will run until you switch it off. Some turntables gently swing while others rotate in a circular motion, some will move in a clockwise direction and others will turn the opposite way. Many will even have the capability to be set at a particular number of turns each day. Yet others will have a daily repeat setting which you can select as part of a pre-set schedule and some might have more than one turntable. Knowing and understanding these features can help you to make an informed buying decision.

Always Avoid Cheap Winders

Cheap watch winders are flooding the market, however they can easily degrade an expensive watch. These winders low quality, made of cheap wood, metal or plastic and have a very basic motor attached. There is no electronic circuitry to control the motor and the effect of this over time produces unregulated stress on the watch which can cause damage to the movement of the watch, as well as unnecessary wear on the moving mechanism.

Instead of a regulated turning, cheap winders will just spin the watch in one direction causing the watch mechanism to become stressed and worn which will ultimately damage the watch. Watch professionals dismiss these boxes with contempt, concerned that if they are referred to as watch winders, reputable devices will be seen in the same light.

Winder Buying Tips

If you are a connoisseur of watches and think your watch collection might expand, make sure to purchase a large watch box which can accommodate many watches, or is expandable. It will look great as well as fulfill a functional purpose.

  1. For travelers, a slim yet sturdy watch winder made from leather which can hold two to four special watches will fit into cabin luggage and protect them from damage.
  2. Make sure to purchase a winder with a quality motor. These will generally cost around $100 or more and will not damage your watches.
  3. You need a winder with more than one motion setting so as to minimize stressing one part of the watch mechanism more than others. It should move in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions so that wear is evenly spread. You should be able to set the direction yourself, or have the capability for it to automatically change direction.
  4. It’s also good to purchase a watch winder which comes with a built in timer which will avoid the stress of overwinding on your watch. You want to make sure it remains correctly wound but without stressing the internal mechanism.

Watch Box Tips

  1. Make sure to check the quality of the wood of the winder before purchasing. It should be aged to ensure that moisture inside the wood is non-existent via the process of kiln drying. This prevents warping and cracking of the box as well as ensuring that the lid and hinges are perfectly aligned. Cheap winders are often made from untreated casing and particle board which will buckle and warp, or result in air bubbles in the casing.
  2. Check for the coating on the wood to see if it has been hand polished, particularly with many separate layers of polyurethane coating. This will ensure the winder effectively has the capability to resist temperature changes, is heat resistant as well as scratch resistant. It should be a maintenance free purchase.
  3. A suitable watch box should always prevent your watches from becoming scratched and dented so it should always be completely lined with a very soft fabric. It should also have a padded bottom to avoid scratching or damaging the top of your dresser or nightstand.

The functionality of a quality automatic winder should never compromise the functionality of your watch or watches, but rather ensure that it is protected and suitably wound while it is being stored. The watch winder and the watch box which houses the winder should be considered as a necessary investment in the ongoing maintenance of your automatic watches, particularly if the watches are expensive. You will want to ensure they remain operational by being wound and ready for you to wear, any time, any place.

Watch Winder Comparison Chart

WOLF Designs Viceroy Single Watch Winder
CHIYODA Single Watch Winder Review
Brookstone Single Watch Winder Review
WOLF 270002 Heritage Single Watch Winder Review
Heiden Quad Watch Winder Review
Heiden Prestige Single Watch Winder Review
Diplomat Mahogany Wood Finish 2 Watch Winder Review
Dimensions8 x 5.2 x 6.5 in5.1 x 5 x 5.9 in9.9 x 8.2 x 6.2 in8.9 x 5.4 x 6.8 in22.8 x 16.4 x 11.3 in7.5 x 7.5 x 4.5 in7 x 7 x 8 in
WindingBi-directional, clockwise, counter-clockwiseAuto Bi-directional, clockwise, counter-clockwiseBi-directional, clockwise, counter-clockwiseBi-directional, clockwise, counter-clockwiseBi-directional, clockwise, counter-clockwiseBi-directional, clockwise, counter-clockwiseClockwise, counter-clockwise
Our Rating4.
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Here are just a few that will help you narrow down and decide on your best choice of winders. Check out some of the more popular winders listed below and you should be able to find one that will meet your needs.

CHIYODA Single Watch WinderCHIYODA Single Watch Winder - This silent Japanese watch winder is a quality handmade piece with an appearance to match. Customers appreciate the quality that goes into this winder featuring a wooden case and an acrylic organic glass display that permits viewing of your quality watch. This is one of the highest rated single winders at an affordable price. Click here for full review.
Wolf Designs Single WinderWolf Designs 4560-02 Viceroy Collection Module 2.7 Single Watch Winder - A quality winder from a reputable company that makes quality products. The winder has three direction settings and can be powered by AC or batteries. Your watches will fit securely and it handles large watches with ease. Click here to read full review
Pangaea S400-EPanagea S400 E Single Watch Winder - The Panagea provides a stylish storage solution when you are not wearing your timepiece. It will accommodate a range of watch sizes and the fact that it is equipped for winding automatic watches as well, makes it a great choice. Click here to read full review
double watch winderHeiden Double Watch Winder - The exterior is made from high quality wood and comes in a black or brown finish with a glass front to display your valuable watches. It has three directional settings for each winder as well as fifteen rotational settings ranging from 650 to 3600 TPDs and can accommodate large watches. Click here to read full review
Heiden Prestige Single Watch WinderHeiden Prestige Single Watch Winder - A classic simple design, this winder will add elegance to your existing furnishings. It features three directional winding options and up to 15 TPD settings. This winder comes in a black or brown finish to match your decor. The winder is quiet, but doesn't handle large watch bands well. This is a mid-level winder at a great price. Click here to read full review
Wolf Designs RoadsterWolf Designs Module 2.7 Roadster Double Watch Winder - Beautiful craftsmanship with a Makassar wood face, faux black leather exterior. Everything about this winder exudes class. The Roadster is able to wind two watches each with separate winding mechanisms and is able to accommodate up to 4 additional watches in the extra storage area. Wolf produces a quality product that will keep you happy for years. Click here for full review
Wolf Meridian FrontWolf Designs Meridian Triple Watch Winder - The winder has superb features which include three choices of directional rotation as well as an impressive choice of turns per day. Each watch can be set individually in terms of the winder settings and even with all three watches winding, the unit operates silently. Click here for full review
Heiden Quad WinderHeiden Quad Watch Winder - Customers are pleased with the performance of this quad winder and most feel it is a quality product at a great price. Heiden is a reputable brand with a good track record, if you are looking for a quality quad winder with individual winder settings, then check it out. Click here for full review
Tech Swiss double watch winder

Tech Swiss Double Winder - This double watch winder was designed with heavier watches in mind. The two individual winders operate quietly and you can set various rotation and speed settings. The finish is a high tech carbon fiber over wood and it includes a glass front. Click here for full review.
Wolf Cub Single watch winder

Wolf Cub Single Watch Winder - This single watch winder from Wolf comes in a variety of colors to match your style or decor. These winders are meticulously manufactured and are backed by a reputable company with a long history of quality products. The winder works well with heavy watches and a variety of watch brands. Click here for full review.
Versa Double Watch WinderVersa Automatic Double Watch Winder - The Versa double winders is one of the most popular watch accessories available online. This is a great winder if you need to keep a couple of timepieces wound, but don't want to spend the money for a mid to high end model. Even though unit is made out of plastic, it is still attractive and includes some nice features at a bargain price. Click here for full review.
Orbita Tourbillion OneOrbita Tourbillon One - High end, high quality, modern watch winder with a high end price. Tourbillon function (watch the video in the review to learn more). The crystal glass watch winder has all the functions you could want in a winder. The watch is rotated at a slightly different angle with each turn, meaning that tiny variations in accuracy caused by gravity are evened out over time. Click here to read full review
heiden prestige quad watch winderHeiden Prestige Quad winder - Features 4 individual winders each with its own settings for both TPD and direction. This winder accommodates a wide range of watches, including oversized watches and can be powered by both AC and batteries. Read full review
Diplomat Phantom Watch Winder Diplomat Phantom winder - Features capacity for 6 watches (2 watches on each winder) and storage for 7 additional watches. It also includes LEDs to light the interior of the winder. This is a great option if you have a large watch collection or if you are planning to add to your collection. Read full review
Wolf Savoy Single Watch WinderWolf Savoy Single Watch Winder - The WOLF 454510 Savoy Single Watch Winder is a very attractive winder with a case that is beautifully finished. The winder includes a LCD display and storage for 3 additional watches. Read full review
Belocia Single Watch WinderBelocia Single Watch Winder - The Belocia Single Watch Winder comes in an attractive ebony wood case and includes a number of winding options. This highly rated winder is a great low priced option. Read full review
Heiden VantageHeiden Vantage Quad Watch Winder Review The Heiden Vantage is automatic and can hold four watches, the direction and turns of which can be programmed separately. An LCD screen on the top of the unit provides the means by which you can select and set your desired settings. The case is impressive with an elegant presentation, being black with a glossy finish. Read full review

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