What should I be looking out for when purchasing a watch winder?
Searching for your first watch winder can be a daunting task, with quite a large price difference between the cheapest and most expensive watch winders.
Things we suggest you look out for are:
- Build Quality: At Winders and Wonders we source only the best watch winders from Italy and Switzerland. Our watch winders are handmade using only the finest sustainably sourced materials including wood, leather, glass, plastic and metals. The motors are designed and manufactured in Switzerland amongst the most prestigious and advanced watchhouses, drawing inspiration from their precise movements and technical innovations. Unfortunately, the majority of the market is full of watch winders of lower build quality, resulting in watch winders that may live a short life, have noisy motors that interrupt your work or sleep (depending on where you place it), or even motors that aren’t shielded which may cause your watch to become magnetised over time, causing it to run inaccurately. We proudly import and promote watch winder that use only high quality materials and we clearly state details of what motor is being used and its origin.
- Programmability: Depending on your watch, it may only wind when rotated in a certain direction (clockwise or counter-clockwise or bidirectionally). By choosing a programmable watch winder, you’ll be able to ensure your watch stays wound correctly. Additionally, each watch requires a different number of turns per day (TDP) to stay wound. Most cheap watch winders do not allow you to set the TDP, resulting in some watches not being wound enough to stay beating, and others constantly engaging the slipping bridle (a mechanism that exists in most modern automatic watches to ensure watches can’t be overwound). This increases the amount of wear on the slipping bridle. A correctly programmed watch winder will keep your watch running without fully maxing out it’s power reserve and therefore never engaging the slipping bridle.
Finally, if you have any vintage watches in your collection, it is recommended that you check whether it has a slipping bridle. If it doesn’t, you will run the risk of overwinding your precious watch using a non-programmable watch winder.
- Position Aware: If you like to display your watches, do you want your watch winder to stop winding with your watch sitting proudly at 12 o’clock position? If so, you need a watch winder with a motor that is position aware. Watch winders with SwissKubiK motors such as the Couture, Rotor 1, Rotor 6, Rotor 7 and Rotor 9 range [link each to the respective collections both for SEO/internal linking as well as client convenience] can all be set to finish winding with the watches stopping face-up and perfectly vertical for all to see. This is extra important when you have a multi-watch winder, with cheaper models stopping with watches facing in all different directions. Some watch winders, such as the SwissKubiK Couture and Scatola Del Tempo Rotor will even allow you to sync them together so they can turn at the same time or stop at the same positions once winding is complete.
- Materials: When choosing your watch winder, look at its design and inspect it carefully. Many cheaper watch winders feature cheap wood veneers and low quality plastics. Additionally, you may find cheap pleather materials internally or externally that will wear poorly over time, losing shape or peeling. These materials used externally are also a good indicator of a cheaper motor that may be unreliable, load or not magnetically shielded. Winders and Wonders we carefully inspect the quality and consistency of all our products. Our products are made by hand from selective materials such as precious woods, silks and the finest Italian leathers.
- Holder Design: Watch winders all feature a holder of some kind for your watch. They are typically either a cushion pillow or a spring-loaded mechanism. For cushions, it’s important that they are plush enough to correctly expand your watch without overly stretching or deforming your watch. For spring-loaded mechanisms, it’s important that they are strong enough to hold your watch securely without stretching it out. A well designed watch winder will have holders that are finely constructed to secure your watch without unnecessary stretching or deformation.
- Noise: While other build quality factors often show their flaws over time, one of the first things that will cause frustration will be the noise generated by your watch winder. A lot of cheaper watch winders will be equipped with noisy motors and minimal sound dampening which can be irritating. This is one of the biggest complaints we hear, and is the most common reason why people who have purchased other watch winders online are upgrading to our silent high-end watch winders.
- Power: Most watch winders have a power adapted and must always be plugged in, requiring them to be near a power outlet. Battery powered watch winders are also available, however most battery powered watch winders often require frequent battery changes and most users find themselves not realising until they find their watches have run out of juice. At Winders and Wonders, even our entry level single watch winders like the SwissKubiK Couture and Scatola del Tempo Rotor 1 come equipped with batteries that are rated for 3 years! That means you can proudly display your watches wherever you’d like without being tied down to your nearest power outlet, or safely store them in a safe knowing they will stay powered and wound for their next outing. The motors and batteries generate minimal friction and heat, meaning they can be stored in an airtight safe without risk of overheating.
If the watch winder you are considering does not clearly communicate any of these features proudly, it’s likely that these features do not exist!