Updated: October 12, 2015
Watch Winder Reviews:Many people have never heard of a watch winder, but if you have a watch with great sentimental value, collector's watch, or simply an automatic watch that you wear infrequently, a watch winder can be a great investment. A watch winder may not be a familiar term to many of us and that's because today's watches tend to be battery-operated quartz watches. These are common because they are so accurate and inexpensive, while the pricier self-wind, or automatic, watches have a mechanical rotor that winds the mainspring. Unlike a battery-powered watch, an automatic watch is powered by the mainspring, which in turns gets its energy from the rotor. And where does the rotor get its energy? From movement. When you wear a self-wind watch frequently, the motion of your arm moving is enough to wind the mainspring. Here comes the need for a watch winder. When you wear an automatic watch infrequently, as is the case with collector and heirloom watches, the watch winds down. The watch winder does just that: winds your watch to ensure that it is in perfect running order even when you are not wearing it. Because this may be an unfamiliar product to many people, it is useful to know what to look for when you purchase an automatic watch winder. We'll show you.
What Does a Watch Winder Do? - Besides the obvious, that is. It does wind your watch, but how does it do this, and what does it look like? An automatic watch winder turns your watch according to specifications from an electronic computer program. The winding rotor is connected to a ratchet in the winder. This winds the watch as it rotates. The gear is moved a specific number of times so it is not over-wound. The programs that run these winders differ in complexity (and price); some models simply turn, rest, and repeat a specified number of times. Others are more sophisticated: they seek to imitate the movement of an arm with different movement cycles, including clockwise, counter clockwise, and "bidirectional." These are the watch winders that you will want to use for your heirloom or collector watches. Choosing an Automatic Watch Winder - A good watch winder keeps your watch in perfect running order; keeps dust, dirt, and wear from damaging the watch; and extends its mechanical life. These winders work with automatic or self-winding watches; if you have a quartz or manual-wind watch, you do not need a watch winder (though we may be seeing manual watch winders on the market soon). When you are purchasing an automatic watch winder, there are several considerations to keep in mind:
*The rotation direction. As mentioned, you can choose from clockwise, counter-clockwise, and those multidirectional winders. And as is to be expected, the more options the winder offers, the higher the price tag will be.
*Many higher-end models can be programmed to run for specific times. A watch winder should operate for about 3 hours, and then have a 9-hour rest time as a general rule.
*How many watches would you like to wind? This is especially important to collectors; if you have more than one automatic watch, you can find watch winders that accommodate 2, 3, 4, and even more. You will want to see if all of the watches rotate together or if they have separate controls.
*The appearance. There is a wide variety of styles available from which to choose. From classic wood to contemporary metals, you can find the automatic watch winder that will suit your tastes and needs.
*Budget. This will be a major factor in your decision, as it should be. You can spend under $50 or over several thousand. The more expensive models will have more high-end features, but you can still get function and quality from less expensive models. Remember, though, that automatic watches are designed to work off the energy from the arm's natural movement. This movement is dynamic. You don't simply move your arm in one direction all day, but that is how many less expensive winders are designed. Chronocentric, a site devoted to all things wristwatch, says that a bad winder is worse than no winder, so it is important to buy the best that you can afford. You can browse the best selling automatic watch winders online here.