The watch winder as a watch accessory for automatic watches is becoming increasingly popular. This accessory is suitable for winding one or more automatic watches that you are not wearing on your wrist at that time. A watch winder is handy, functional and it also looks nice.
In this blog article we will take a closer look at this watch accessory. What is a watch winder actually? How does a watch winder work? Why do you need a watch winder? Do you absolutely have to use a watch winder if you have an automatic watch?
Watch winder, the solution for automatic watches
Mechanical watches use a spring to drive the movement. These types of watches must be wound by hand every 32-40 hours to ensure continuous operation. A more advanced version of the mechanical wristwatch is the automatic or self-winding watch that uses a built-in rotating mechanism to tension the spring. The rotational movement is created by random wrist movement of the wearer of the watch as he or she is engaged in normal daily activities while wearing the watch. For example during sports, walking, working or cooking.
As long as the watch is worn, the spring remains tensioned and the watch runs continuously. The spring stores enough energy to provide the watch with energy and can therefore display the current time. However, if the spring is not tensioned, the watch will stop. In other words, if you don't move enough or don't wear the watch, the watch will stop running. It simply comes to a standstill. To prevent this, you can for example, opt for an Orbita watch winder.
Many automatic watches not only display the current time but also additional functions such as day, date, moon phase, world time zones and even leap years. These functions are difficult to set when the watch is stopped. In addition, it also takes a lot of time and you must proceed with caution. Of course, each additional function also consumes extra energy and you have to wind the watch more often than a watch without many functions. Watch brands with good timepieces often have a longer "power reserve". This is nice because then you don't have to wind the watch as often.
Owners of automatic watches often have more than one watch, they are enthusiasts and often interested in the technology. They often have different watches for different use. For example, they have watches for sports, swimming or diving, but also for social activities. You can think of the watch you wear to work, to a birthday, a wedding or just a nice evening in the pub with your friends. A different watch is suitable for every occasion. Of course it is also nice to be able to change watches depending on your agenda and preference. A watch enthusiast often has several favorite watches and wearing only one and leaving the other in a cabinet is a shame.
If you have multiple automatic watches, it can be a challenge to keep all your watches continuously wound so that you can wear them immediately without having to set the time, date and any other functions and then manually wind the watch. Many owners of automatic watches therefore use one or more watch winders as a handy and beautiful accessory for winding their watches. A popular brand for winding multiple automatic watches is Paul Design.
What is a watch winder?
A watch winder is a device that is made to keep one or more automatic watches almost completely wound, so that the watch does not come to a standstill and you do not have to reset the time, date and any other functions. A watch winder uses motors that gently spin the automatic watch so that it obtains energy and keeps running.
Because the timepiece can differ per brand and watch model and has different energy requirements, a good watch winder can turn in different directions and a different number of revolutions per day. One automatic watch is wound on clockwise rotation at 900 TPD (turns per day) while another watch is wound when rotated counter-clockwise at 600 TPD. Most watch enthusiasts have several automatic watches and that is why a good watch winder offers the possibility to rotate in different directions and with a different number of revolutions per day.
Continuous rotation of an automatic watch increases the wear and tear of the parts of the movement's winding mechanism. If you wear an automatic watch you are not constantly on the move. It is therefore important that a watch winder does not rotate continuously, but rather wind the automatic watches in a certain program. Rotation, or excitement, is alternated with pauses. During these breaks, the spring of the timepiece is released. Almost all modern automatic watches and watch winders also have an overwind protection so that the spring inside the timepiece is not tensioned (too long). This prevents wear and defects. A watch winder simulates, as it were, the wearing of the automatic watch by the user.
Watch winders come from different brands, but also in different shapes and sizes. There are watch winders for one watch, but also watch winders for 2, 3, 4 or 8 watches. There are even larger watch winders that can wind up to 24 watches. The watch winder that suits you best depends on how many watches you want to wind, which functions you find important, which brand/model appeals to you and what your budget is. Most watch winder brands offer a wide collection. A good example is the Dutch brand Benson watch winders where you can choose from more than 60 different models.
How does a watch winder work?
As described above, a watch winder simulates the wrist movement when you would wear an automatic watch. A watch winder gently turns the watch, whereby the spring is tensioned in the timepiece of the watch. When the spring relaxes, the watch starts running. We will show in steps how a watch winder works and how you can wind your automatic watches in it.
Connect the watch winder to mains power via the adapter, if it does not run on batteries, such as the modern Swiss Kubik watch winders. Then you take the watch holder or the cushion out of the watch winder and place your automatic watch on it. The watch is now attached to the watch holder or cushion, after which you place it in the watch winder. With most watch winders you click the watch holder in so that it cannot fall out while turning. You have now placed one or more watches in the watch winder.
Now you have to find out which direction of rotation and number of revolutions per day your automatic watches need. There are databases available on the internet that indicate how best to wind the watch per watch brand and model. The rule of thumb is that most automatic watches are wound clockwise at 900 TPD. However, there are exceptions and it is best to find out in advance what your watches need in terms of direction of rotation and number of revolutions. Because if the watch winder with the watch in it turns the wrong way or makes too few revolutions per day, the automatic watch does not receive any energy. The watch will then stop. It is therefore important to set the watch winder properly in terms of direction of rotation and number of revolutions per day. With most good watch winders you can set each rotor individually, so per individual watch. So you can run one watch clockwise at 1200 TPD and the other watch counterclockwise at 1500 TPD. This makes you flexible and you can literally wind any automatic watch, regardless of brand or model.
If you have set the watch winder correctly for your automatic watches, you can activate the watch winder and start the program. The watch will now start to rotate and will pause after a few minutes depending on the chosen winding program. Now the spring inside the watch's movement relaxes, for the watch's safety. After the pause, the program will resume and the watch winder will turn the watches again. This process continues again and again.
If the watch winder rotates with the automatic watches, it is important not to take the watches out. It is best to stop the specific rotor of the watch that you want to remove via the control panel before taking the watch out. Or you can wait until the watch winder pauses its winding cycle. You can safely remove the watch in these two ways. Taking the watch out while spinning can cause stress and possible damage to the motors inside the watch winder. As a result, the watch winder can make more sound and even make noise, spin around jerkily or even break. As a watch enthusiast you absolutely want to avoid this, so always pause the specific rotor with the watch you want to take out before actually taking it out.
Is a watch winder safe for automatic watches?
The most popular accessory for automatic watches is a watch winder. This accessory is not only handy but also functional and gives a beautiful image of rotating watches. In addition, a watch winder maintains automatic watches by providing them with movement so that the oil in the timepiece is well distributed. Keeping automatic watches still for too long is not good for the timepiece. You can better keep automatic watches moving.
A good watch winder is absolutely safe for winding automatic watches. Both the watch winder and the (modern) automatic watch have overwind protection. As a result, the spring of the automatic movement can never be tensioned too much or too long. A watch winder runs in a specific program of rotation and pauses. This relaxes the spring inside the timepiece and prevents stress or wear. The watch winder simulates the wrist movement, as it were, when you wear the watch. When you wear a watch, there are times when there is a lot of wrist movement and times when you hardly move. For example when you read, watch TV or sleep. The set program of the watch winder alternates the rotation of the watches with pauses in which the watch does not move and the spring relaxes. This makes the use of a watch winder completely safe for automatic watches.
The use of a watch winder is recommended when you have one or more automatic watches. With a watch winder you maintain the automatic watches and as the most important advantage they are immediately ready to wear. You don't waste time and effort resetting and winding a stationary watch. You simply take the watch you want to wear from the watch winder and put it on your wrist.
Watch winder on batteries or mains power?
Most watch winders work via mains power where you plug the supplied adapter into the socket. This gives you a continuous energy supply so that the watch winder can provide the automatic watches with energy. There are also watch winders that work on a set of batteries. You can place this type of watch winders anywhere, even where you don't have a socket. You can also easily put a watch winder with batteries in a safe. Most safes do not have a power supply (or this must be specially made), so you can safely wind your watches in a safe with a watch winder that works on batteries. The Swiss Kubik watch winders from Switzerland work on one set of AA batteries that last up to 3 years. This brand is therefore an excellent option if you want a watch winder that works on batteries. Watch winders with batteries often also work on mains power, so you have both options.
Both systems have their own advantages and disadvantages. A watch winder on mains power is reliable and the cheapest to use. With a watch winder on batteries, you are flexible to place the watch winder where you want and not dependent on a nearby socket. But most watch winders, with the exception of a few brands, do not work for very long on a set of batteries, so you always have to keep an eye on whether the batteries are still sufficiently full. Otherwise, the watch winder will stop and so will the automatic watches. Another disadvantage of a watch winder that works on batteries is that batteries are not cheap. If you often have to replace batteries, it's more expensive than with a watch winder that works on mains power.
We believe that a watch winder on mains power is the best option. But a watch winder on batteries can certainly be useful if you don't have mains power available nearby or if you want to use the watch winder in a safe. However, there are also watch winder safes where the safe has built-in watch winders that are connected to mains power.
Where do you place the watch winder?
Once you have a watch winder you have to consider where to put it. Most users place the watch winder in the living room or bedroom. You can of course also place the watch winder in your office or walk-in closet. Everyone has their own preferences and you have to decide for yourself what is the most convenient place for you.
If you put the watch winder in your bedroom, you have to check whether you can sleep when the watch winder turns the watches. This is a device with mechanical parts that produce sound. The degree of sound depends on the brand, the motors, the design and the use itself. Most modern watch winders have a very low sound level that you can hardly hear from a distance of 50-100 centimeters.
The easiest way is to place a watch winder in the place where you like to put your watch on your wrist. One person puts on his or her watch when he gets dressed, another only when he/she walks out the door. We advise not to put a watch winder too much in sight, where the watch winder is visible from the outside. This prevents uninvited guests in the form of burglars. Watches are luxury products and attractive loot for burglars.
What should you pay attention to when you want to buy a watch winder?
We have a few hints when you want to purchase a good watch winder for winding your automatic watches. First of all, it is best to choose a watch winder from a well-known brand. You are guaranteed to buy a good quality watch winder and can contact them for service and advice. In addition, choose a watch winder that you can set as desired in terms of direction of rotation and number of revolutions per day. Then you are flexible so that you can wind all watches regardless of brand and model. As a final tip, we would like to give you to always buy from an official dealer who has experience with watch winders and offers an extensive collection. You then have more certainty and you receive sound advice. After all, a watch winder is not a cheap watch accessory. You want to enjoy your purchase for years to come.
Take a look at our webshop for the available watch winder brands and models. You will soon see different brands that distinguish themselves in terms of technology, functionality, design and price. A good watch winder does not have to be expensive. A good example are the Benson Compact watch winders that are already available from 169 euros. If you want a luxury watch winder, you can, for example, look at the American brand Orbita or the Swiss Bernard Favre. Both are brands with a fantastic reputation and use high end Swiss engines that are reliable and durable. If you are looking for a safe with built-in watch winders, you will certainly succeed with the Dutch brand Benson watch winders.
Do you have questions about a particular watch winder, its operation or do you want advice about a watch winder that is suitable for your watches? Do not hesitate to contact us. With more than 15 years of experience and as an official dealer of more than 12 brands, we are happy to help you.