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Is an automatic watch winder useful?

This question and the question if a watch winder is good for a watch are being discussed lively.

If you own one or more automatic watches yourself, you have probably dealt with these questions. A correct or generally valid answer to this question, we can unfortunately not give you. The answer depends on your automatic watches and /or your individual need for comfort. We would like to share our experience from almost 20 years of manufacturing and trading with watch winders with you in the following.

Unlike watches with battery operation (quartz watches), automatic watches have an "energy storage device", the mainspring. When an automatic watch is worn, the mainspring contracts - the power reserve of the movement increases. In turn, the mainspring loses tension when the watch is not worn - the power reserve decreases. Depending on the movement, most automatic watches have a power reserve of 36 to 48 hours. If this power reserve is exhausted, the time, date and other complications must be reset. In most cases, these functions are set via the crown, which is the link between the case and the movement in connection with the winding shaft, which is often filigree and susceptible to damage.

Do you really need a watch winder and is it bad to leave ab automatic watch unwound?

If you have only one or two automatic watches and wear them regularly in rotation, then the watch winder box serves you as an elegant watch storage rather than as a functional object.

This does not mean that the use of a watch winder can not be very useful for owners of only one automatic watch. For example, if you wear your best watch only for special occasions or spare it because it is an old heirloom, then you should seriously consider buying a high-quality watch winder. Especially with older movements, oil coagulation due to standstill can lead to wear and tear on the movement. These are often four times more expensive than buying a single or double watch winder.

The use of a watch winder is strongly recommended if you own an automatic watch with complex complications such as a moon phase or a perpetual calendar. Setting these complications is often complex and requires a certain expertise. The watch winder takes this tedious and time-consuming task in a very comfortable way permanently off your hands.

Lovers of automatic watches with large collections, who would like to have their watches set and ready for use at any time, appreciate the comfort and security that watch winders offer. Depending on the number of watches to be moved, it may be useful to contact a manufacturer who will produce the watch winder in form and function according to your own wishes. Repeated positive feedback from various customers, the company Chronovision receives here.

Watchwinder functions & operation

A good watch winder should wind up your automatic watches gently and evenly, while protecting or relieving the slipping clutch (avoids overwinding of the movement) of your automatic watches. The winding of the movement is done by rotating the watch around its own axis. The steeper the inclination angle of the watch on the watch winder clasp (ideally 90 degrees), the more efficient the winding result.

Depending on the movement and complications, the watchmaker must be able to store and execute various rotation cycles (revolutions per day). The direction of rotation is also of decisive importance. Given the fact that there is disagreement among manufacturers of high-quality automatic watch movements as to whether movements with unidirectional or bidirectional winding work more efficiently, high-quality watch winders must be able to rotate watches alternately to the left, right or alternately.

Recommended watch winders have in addition to the possibility to set the direction of rotation and number of revolutions, other useful functions such as rapid winding, synchronous operation and / or the sleep phase. In the watch winder test of these functions, the brands Heisse & Söhne and Chronovision have proven themselves.

The speed winding: This function allows automatic watches to be set in rotation immediately after they are fixed in the watch winder. Watches with low power reserve do not have to be wound manually before inserting them into the watch winder.

The sleep phase: Depending on the brand, the watch winder can be set to pause for a pre-programmed or a freely definable period of time. This function mimics the normal wearing behavior of the watch at day and night - protection of the movement.

Synchronous operation: This is a very sophisticated technology that ensures that autarkic programmable modules of a watch winders always start at the same time and rotate synchronously around their axis. This is particularly attractive for watch winders with many modules.

Besides the purely functional aspects, you should also consider the design and atmosphere of the watch winder. In addition to the design of a watch winder, an elegant interior lighting is the main factor for special moments. It is chic if the intensity of the lighting can be regulated.

Watchwinder with battery - yes or no?

The answer to this question is: It depends. If you want to position your watch winder e.g. in a safe or at a place in the room, which cannot be reached by a power supply, then a watch winder with battery operation is the right choice.

Since only a good combination of a high-quality motor and efficient control allows a corresponding battery life, you should pay attention to German or European origin when buying the watch winder. From cheap watch winders (under 250 € per module) you can usually only expect a very short battery life of a few weeks.

If you are looking for a large watch winder for several watches, it is imperative that at least two batteries of type LR14 or larger are provided for each motor. It should be possible to deactivate any LED lighting in battery mode.

Store your valuables safely - Jewelry & watch winder safes

The safe storage of jewelry and watches is becoming increasingly important. More and more insurance companies are demanding that high-quality watches and jewelries are deposited at the bank or in an appropriately certified safe. For the private sector, there are wall-mounted, built-in and freestanding safes that have been specially designed for this purpose.

Due to the complexity of this topic we have a separate area for this purpose. Here you will find information about jewelry & watch winder safes.

What should be considered when buying a watch winder?

In any case you should make sure that your desired watch winder has the possibility to set different rotation directions. This is the only way to ensure that watches with uni- or bidirectional winding can be kept in function.

The finer the number of revolutions (per day) can be programmed, the more gently the watch winder can wind your watch. You do not have to worry about overwinding your watch by using the watch winder. Automatic watches have a slip clutch that prevents this.

If you want to know how to set your watch winder, ideally ask the manufacturer of your watch for the direction of rotation and the required number of revolutions. Optionally, you can also inquire with the manufacturers and distributors of watch winders.

Note: Particularly convenient are watch winders that have already stored rotation settings of watches. By entering the brand and model you quickly come to the ideal setting. This is particularly elegantly regulated by the brand Chronovision. The entire programming is done here by an intuitive app.

We are often asked "What is the best automatic watch winder?"

When we consider quality of components and fuction only we recommend Chronovision as premium brand being manufactured completely in Germany. But there also other reliable brands like Heisse & Söhne, Designhuette and Benson which generate perfect winding results.

If you have any further questions or would like individual advice, please contact us.

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