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A quality wristwatch is a substantial investment itself, and that’s before you get to the necessary accessories and costs in keeping your watch running well, inside and out. Whether it’s a travel case for taking all of your watches on the go, cleaning kits to keep them looking good or a visit to the watch doctor for a little TLC, you can sink a lot of money into an accessory that does a worse job telling time than your cellphone. But for watch lovers, that’s all part of the fun. One accessory you may have heard of is a watch winder; but what exactly does a watch winder do?
- Watch winders are designed for automatic watches
- A watch winder helps keep your watch accurate
- They make great gifts for watch lovers
Watch winders are not something every watch owner needs. Only specific kinds of watches benefit from watch winders, and even if you have these watches you might not need a winder. But they can add a level of convenience and accuracy that can make a difference for anyone who really depends on their timepiece to be right on time, every time.
Before getting into watch winders, it’s important to break down the different kinds of watches. The watch you have will determine whether or not you can use a watch winder. Major watch kinds include quartz, automatic and mechanical. There’s also a wide world of smartwatches to consider.
Quartz watches are the least expensive to produce, and you’ll see brands like Citizen, Seiko, Timex and Swatch produce plenty of affordable quartz watches (although these brands also make mechanical watches). Quartz watches are less favored by watch enthusiasts, although there’s nothing wrong with quartz — in fact, the use of a crystal oscillator allows a quality quartz watch to keep time better than even the best mechanical watch.
The next category is automatic/mechanical. Automatic watches are all mechanical, but not every mechanical watch is automatic. These watches use finely-calibrated gears and springs that move the hands on the face. The complexity and traditional methods of this process make these watches more expensive — and desirable — to collectors. Mechanical watches need to be wound regularly to keep ticking. Automatic watches are convenient because they respond to the movement of the wearer’s wrist, which helps keep the watch ticking for longer. That’s where watch winders come in.
A watch winder keeps an automatic watch moving while you’re not wearing it. Since they’re the only kind of watch that depends on movement, watch winders only work for automatic watches. A winder can be helpful if you have multiple automatic watches and might go a few days between wearings. Even if you have only one automatic watch, a winder can help keep it accurate for longer. Plus, it can be kind of fun to watch your watch spinning around inside a winder. It’s like a more functional Newton’s cradle.
A watch winder can be a good gift for a watch lover because it’s the kind of non-essential-but-still-useful thing they might not otherwise buy for themselves. These are the best watch winders to buy on Amazon and beyond.
1. Versa Automatic Double Watch Winder in Black
This watch winder from Versa has a stylish and minimalist all-black design, making it look a bit like a sleek bookshelf speaker. The upright design stacks the watches on top of each other rather than side-by-side, making it a more space-saving option. If your tastes lean more Junghans and Nomos than Audemars and Richard Mille, then this is a good winder to get.
2. Wolf Single Watch Winder with Cover
BEST SINGLE WINDER
If you prefer your watch winder to have a little more personality, consider this option from Wolf. The exterior is done in stylish faux green leather with a pebbled finish, although you can also go for the even more eye-catching yellow color. It also has a glass cover that protects your watch. And since this winder can be powered by a plug or by a battery, it’s a decent option for travel.
3. CHIYODA Single Automatic Watch Winder
This affordable option has a polished wood finish and a see-through top that lets you watch your timepiece turn. It’s also designed to run quietly, so if you keep it in your bedroom, you won’t have to worry about it making too much noise while you’re sleeping. You can plug it in or run it using batteries, meaning you can take it on the go.
4. Rapport London Turbine Watch Winder
BEST LUXURY PICK
For a true one-of-a-kind pick, consider this option from Rapport London. It looks like an airplane engine turbine, and costs about as much, too. The watch winder holds a single watch on the end of the unit, and the control panel allows you to make adjustments.
5. Versa Automatic Single Watch Winder
This watch winder from Versa has a spherical shape, as opposed to the standard cube shape of most watch winders. That gives it a distinct look that somewhat resembles a magic 8 ball. The glass lid keeps the watch safe while allowing you to look at it.
6. Wolf Designs Meridian Collection Single Watch Winder
This watch winder from Wolf features a stylish light wood finish with a textured fabric face, giving it a slightly vintage look. It’s designed to wind a single watch, and the panel at the bottom allows you to fine-tune rotation settings.
7. Jins and Vico Watch Winder
BEST FOR COLLECTORS
If you’re serious about your watch collection, then you probably want something that can keep your entire collection ticking. This option from Jins and Vico has eight slots for all of your automatic watches, and the adjustable watch pillows allow the winder to accommodate a wider variety of watches. You can also vary the settings, including reversing direction and increasing or decreasing the number of turns per day.
8. JQUEEN Double Watch Winder
This winder from JQUEEN is another affordable option. It can wind two watches at once, making it a great option for anyone with a smaller collection. It can run by battery or by plugging into an outlet, and the motor is designed to run quietly. The sleek white finish makes it look like something that you’d find on a space-ship, but you can also choose from more classic colors like bamboo and burgundy.