Watch Winders

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Three questions

1. Do they work

2. How do you choose one

3. Who uses one and do you find them beneficial


WBF Founding Member & Super Moderator
Apr 20, 2010
Albuquerque, NM
I have one from Brookstone.

I use the single model for my Tag Heuer Carrera. It works perfectly. It has adjustable rotation intervals, etc. for watches that function best with certain winding "programs". You simply close the band around the removable "pillow" and insert it into the winder. Without the winder, I'd always find my watch dead if I didn't wear it everyday.


Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
I have one from Brookstone.

I use the single model for my Tag Heuer Carrera. It works perfectly. It has adjustable rotation intervals, etc. for watches that function best with certain winding "programs". You simply close the band around the removable "pillow" and insert it into the winder. Without the winder, I'd always find my watch dead if I didn't wear it everyday.

I guess other than maintaining the watch wound is there any benefit to having one?

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
From an online search........


What is a WatchWinder? A WatchWinder is a mechanical device used to wind an Automatic Watch. WatchWinders wind automatic watches by rotating the watches over a set time period, stopping and starting again as needed. A watchwinder is a maintenance tool, and keeps your watch in top notch working shape.

Do you need a WatchWinder? Yes if you own an automatic watch you need a watch winder! A watchwinder is a luxury product, but an automatic watch is a "super luxury product"!

An automatic watch also called a self-winding watch is a mechanical watch which is wound by the movement of the wearers wrist instead of by a winding stem, though most automatic watches have winding stems and can be wound by hand winding.

Rolex made the first automatic watches and their movements are called "Perpetual". All automatic watches are mechanical watches,typically with a balance wheel mechanism for regulating the motion. This type of watch has a mainspring, which winds by the motion of the wearer's arm, instead of having to wind it manually every day.

The name automatic means that instead of the owner having to wind the watch to power, the watch winds itself "automatically" when worn regularly. On some automatic watches, the rotor is visible through a transparent case back, called a display back or exhibition back. In these cases, the rotors are often engraved or decorated in some way. All automatic watches will have the word automatic on the case somewhere, or it is not an automatic watch as opposed to quartz, kinetic, or manual watches.

For people who do not wear their watch every day, watch winders are a device that can hold one or more watches and moves them in circular patterns to mimic the human motion that keeps the self-winding mechanism working. Service for a full automatic watch (which involves disassembly, cleaning and re-lubrication) should be performed as often as the manufacturer recommends--anywhere from one to every five years to keep the movement as accurate as possible.

Seriously consider investing in a watch winder if you own beloved, fancy, collectible, or merely sufficient self-winding watches. Watchwinders probably extend the overall life of fine watches by keeping parts lubricated and moving. By advancing the mainspring, it gently and continually winds the watch, yet prevents your watch from ever being "over wound."

If you find you need to reset your automatic watch at least once a month because it has powered down, you are handling the watch stem twelve times a yearore if you are doing this weekly. Good watch winder devices keep your timepiece accurate whenever you pull it out of the winder compartment. Watchwinders can handle anywhere from one to twenty-eight watches, to cover your basic needs or display an entire collection.

Batteries power single and double watch winders. Some single and double models offer an AC adapter that plugs into the wall. Most all larger winders use AC adapters with a few that offer batteries as an alternative. All watch winders have a small motor and the quality winders only emit a low hum. It is better to keep your box on a dresser or in a walk in closet rather than at your beside. A winder should let you set the winder to wind your watch bi-directionally (both directions), or clockwise, or counter-clockwise. The great majority of watches, but not all, are designed to turn (be wound) in both directions.

Watch winders can vary greatly in appearance. Be careful of the inexpensive but beautiful cases that have poor motors. However, some companies produce beautiful watch winders that are as decorative and dependable as the timepieces that they hold. Some resemble cubes of polished and inlaid wood. Others have a glass top as a window to see the watch as it rotates, doubling as a display case and you want to keep them in view, away from dust, yet protected like jewelry. The devise that holds the actual watch should be adjustable, so it can handle bands of different diameters. The weight of a watch may narrow the choices of winders that will keep the watch wound over the years.

Do you need a watch winder? Yes, if you have an automatic watch you want ready to wear and safely stored while you are not wearing it. Tip:
Invest at least 10% of the total cost of your watch or watch collection in your watchwinder or winders, to ensure the watchwinder lasts as long as the watch. If you have a fake rolex, then by all means by a cheap steinhose winder, it will not matter. The watch will stop working before the watchwinder, but if you have a real Rolex, then buy a real winder, either an Orbita, a Buben, Eilux or Wolf Designs Watch Winder. For your first WatchWinder get the best, get an Orbita WatchWinder


Active Member
Jun 5, 2010
I guess other than maintaining the watch wound is there any benefit to having one?
Several years ago, when watches interested me, I had a Patek Philippe perpetual calendar watch that never seems to be able to store enough energy to change the many dials it has between midnight to 1:00 a.m. This would be a situation wherein a watch winding machine will be beneficial.


WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
Because I don't wear my watch every day (or even every week), I have to use a winder or the watch is dead when I pick it up. I purchased an inexpensive model off eBay and it didn't work for squat, so I spent a bit more - about $200 as memory serves - and it's done a fine job for several years, now.


New Member
Jan 31, 2014
Thanks Steve,

Thats my impression of most of the entry level winders from what I've read in the past. The one I have matches your experience. Faint grumbling of the gears, not an issue during the day but can disturb sleep in a quiet bedroom. The wardrobe is a good solution.
There are many good watch winders out there. Couple important things to keep in mind that makes a good watch winder

1. Noise: Some watch winders make a lot of noises, you want something really quiet

2. Motor: Buy from high reputable brands that offer warranty. Sometimes the motor on cheap winders breaks down after couple months. Do your research. Amazon also offers excellent customer service with a good return policy.Orbita and Wolf Designs are really good one however don't buy on their website, they charge more as it is always regular price. Check out they have a good selection with really good prices.

3. Winding Options - Automatic watches wind from the rotation of the rotor on the back of the movement. Some of them wind in only one direction, and some of them wind in both directions. Winders can generally be set to wind either clockwise all the time (for watches that only wind clockwise), counter clockwise all the time (for watches that only wind counter clockwise) or alternating between clockwise and counter clockwise (for watches that wind in both directions).

Watches that can be wound in both directions will also wind without any problems on a clockwise or counter clockwise program, but if your watch only winds in one direction then you need to set the winder correctly or the watch will not stay wound.

One more important point - Don't buy directly from the manufacture, they usually are more expensive as they don't have sales. I like Wolf Designs as they are a reputable company. I bought mine from and got a really good deal. Really happy with my purchase



[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
Manila, Philippines
I only have one. I don't really mind setting the time when I put on any of my watches, sometimes the date is a hassle. My one and only winder is for a watch with a perpetual calendar. THAT is a pain to set because if you go over, it's a nightmare.


Member Sponsor
Sep 20, 2011
Northern NY
I had one. I think the most important benefit is to keep the lube from drying up if the watch sits for a long time. I have 4 nice watches. I just alternate wearing them on a monthly basis. I no longer use a winder.


Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
My current watch is a Citizen which doesn't belong in the class of watches you guys have. I like it because it's a thin watch that doesn't look like a boat anchor on my wrist. The cool thing is that it doesn't use batteries (let alone having to wind it) as it's powered by light. It keeps awesome if not perfect time.


Member Sponsor
Nov 2, 2012
I have two watch winders in my closet. Used them for a few months and found them to be more trouble than they were worth.

Now I just swap watches every 3 or 4 weeks and set them manually.

Seemed like a great idea at the time but...


Member Sponsor
Aug 31, 2010
Mexico City
Steve - you know my passion for wrist watches, but i only have three of them in winders, the rest are safely stored and stopped - the tip here is that one needs to bring them back to life gently, helping the engine wih some manual turns before shaking it to wind by itself - some mechanisms are pretty delicate in that regard.

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high-end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing