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.
automatic watch winders

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.

Best Automatic Watch Winders:

Among the best automatic watch winders in the world are those made by Orbita. These are decidedly high-end winders. These start at several hundred dollars and reach into tens of thousands, so what does the Orbita have? According to Mens-Watches-Guides, Orbita can move 500, 650, 800, and 950 turns per day. They have long battery life, quiet operation, and multiple models available. Among the less expensive Orbita watch winders is the Sparta 1 Deluxe Winder; this bestseller is a single watch winder with the innovative Rotorwind system. This winds the watch not by rotating, as other winders do, but by gently swinging it. It is activated every 10 minutes and its movement mimics that of your wrist. Gravity-powered oscillations keep your watch from being over-wound. The Sparta 1 Deluxe is very quiet, runs on 2 D factory-installed lithium batteries guaranteed to run for at least 5 years, and carries a 5-year materials and workmanship guarantee. In addition, it has a beautiful suede-lined laquered wood box with spring-balanced tops for easy watch mounting. The Sparta 1 Deluxe Winder retails for as much as $395, but you can find it for less on Amazon (see all the top rated Orbita watch winders here). Of course, with Orbita, you can spend many more times that for the Avanti or the Monaco. And again, you are paying for top quality here. If you have a lower budget, can you still get a good watch winder? BreitlingSource, a Breitling watch blog, recommends Eilux or Rapport. They are well made, but will not have the range of options available from an Orbita or higher-end Rolex watch winder, for instance. A good one to try is the Eilux Automatic Single Watch Winder in silver. It is compact and so can be used for storing watches in safes, closets, etc., and the Eilux can accommodate virtually any brand of watch. The Winder motor has different settings and runs on C size batteries for up to 8 months (as you can see, this is not on the same level with the Orbita's battery life), and it has a pilot light cycle indicator. This Eilux watch winder has a metallic silver finish with a black interior and adjustable watch pillow. This model can be found for about $135, and for about $50 more, you can upgrade to the black leather model. It is a bit more basic than Orbita, but it will offer fine functionality. Other names to look for are Orbita, Eilux for smaller budgets, Rolex, Steinhausen, Wolf Watches, Rapport, and Underwood. You will notice that there are models that cost under $50, but be leary about buying anything lower end than Eilux. This is really the lowest you will pay for good quality - and if you have a watch that is special to you, you don't want to risk damage. You are better off getting a simple model from Orbita than a cheaper model. It is worth the extra money for the life and functioning of your watch. View the most popular automatic watch winders here.