So you have made a decision to buy a watch winder…congratulations! This is a decision that will have massive impact on your enjoyment of your fine automatic watches, for which you have likely spent a bundle. With a well made watch winder in your collection, you can keep your automatic watches functioning in tip top shape for years and years, and you even get a stunningly beautiful watch case for the price!


Of course you do have to make sure that you know what to look for in a watch winder, and you should be as familiar with the different makes and models are and what features they have. Keep in mind that not all watch winders are the same, and there are brands that are better suited to your specific brand of watch.


Before we go into what you should look for in a watch winder, it might be a good idea to go into some detail about what a watch winder is and what it can do for you. Of course you are likely already convinced that you need a watch winder at this point, although a clearer understanding of the true purpose of a watch winder will help you make a more informed decision.


The watch winder

A watch winder serves a simple yet valuable purpose: it keeps your automatic watch wound and running constantly, even if you are not wearing it. As you probably know, your automatic watch is driven by a complex network of finely crafted parts, all of which are kept in motion by the movement of your hand as you wear your watch. you could be walking, running, or even just going about your normal everyday activities, and your automatic watch will continue to run even without the benefit of batteries or winding.


How does it do that? The automatic watch actually stores energy in its spring mechanism while it is in constant motion. When you stop moving, the watch goes on running by using up the stored energy that is in the spring. This is an ingenious and innovative design that is the principle on which automatic watches are based.


Now, your watch will eventually die down if it is left unused for a long period of time. This is because the energy stored in the watch isn't inexhaustible; it will actually run out over time, causing your watch to stop. In order to get your watch up and ruining again, all you have to do is to give it a quick shake, or use it as normal.


The problem of course is if your watch has been unused for a long time, the time and calendar will be way off. And in particularly complicated automatic watches with multi calendar functions and various other esoteric features, getting your watch back to the proper time and date can be quite a task.


The solution

In order to avoid this and many other problems associated with a watch hat has run down, you can invest in a watch winder that will ensure that your watch is wound to perfection at all times. You can leave your watch for a day or two or even for several weeks at a time, and you can be sure that it will be ready to go at any time if you use a quality watch winder.


The varied array of watch winders on the market

Now that you know what a watch winder is, it would be a good idea to know what choices are available out there. Watch winders may come in single, dual, or multiple watch models, and some may even offer storage space for storing even more watches aside from those being wound. A quad watch winder with storage space for six watches for instance will allow you to keep four of your favorite watches wound, while another six are stored right within the same unit, ready to take their turn being wound. So what you are basically getting is a watch winder that can hold up to ten of your valuable automatic watches.


Watch winders also differ in the materials used in the construction, with wood being a particularly favored option. if you haven’t seen a high-quality wooden watch winder up close, you are definitely in for a treat. The very best wooden watch winders are designed to perfection utilizing only the best materials available, and the craftsmanship is impeccably top-notch. A work of art in its own right, a well-designed wooden watch winder will almost be as valuable as the expensive watches in your collection.


Aside from the wood that makes up the exterior of the watch winder, some models may incorporate an outer coating of leather. This gives the watch winder a more modern look that is better suited to more contemporary home designs. The interior of a high-quality will also usually be made of some plush material, which will offer superior protection for your automatic watches.


Some watch winders may also look as simple as a wooden box, while others may have a display window on the top or the front, which will allow you to check out your watches at a glance. In addition, a display window will also show off your watches to satisfaction.


Aside from these characteristics, watch winders may also fall into one of three broad categories, depending on cost and feature set. Watch winders can range from the purely functional to the totally extravagant, with elegant watch winders coming in somewhere in the middle.


A functional watch winder is just that: it serves the primary function of keeping your watch wound and nothing more. Of course the option to change the winding rate, interval and direction is probably included, but this is otherwise all that the functional watch winder is capable of.


The elegant watch winder is a step up from the functional category, and it has all the functionality of the latter, while adding some nice touches that move it to the level of a high-quality precision piece of equipment instead of a simply utilitarian device. Such watch winders may come with plenty more setting options, and they may offer storage space for additional watches. And of course the build quality and materials used for these types of watch winders is top-notch. Most watch winders in this category are made of wood, although many models feature a leather outer coating.


If you have money to burn and are willing to pull out all the stops in search of a quality watch winder, you may want to consider springing for an extravagant model. These are the top-of-the-line watch winders, and may of them have the heft and feel of a truly high-quality piece of equipment. lavish construction and elegant design couple with all the features of a state-of-the-art device, some of the watch winders in this category are truly stunning to behold. The very best are made with a high-grade wood with an attractive grain, with cherrywood, blackwood, burlwood and oak being only some of the many materials commonly used. Such watch winders also come with all the features and functionalities of the basic models, plus a few more besides. These are truly the crème de la crème of the watch winder industry.


Should you buy a watch winder?

Before we go into the factors that you should consider before making your purchase, it would be a good idea to consider whether or not you actually need a watch winder, and what type you should buy if you do. Do you have two or more automatic watches cluttering up your desk drawer. Do you always have trouble choosing which one of your automatic watches to wear, only to find out that your favorite has wound down after weeks of begin unused? If you answered "yes" to either one of those questions, then you are the ideal candidate for a watch winder. Making an investment in a high-quality watch winder will ensure that all your watches are ready to go at a moment’s notice, and that they are protected from scraping against other items in the drawer, which should really be avoided as they can cause unsightly scars or marks on the surface of your watch, reducing its value and looks considerably. 


Okay so now that you are–hopefully–convinced of the value of a watch winder, what considerations should you keep in mind? Below are some of the more important ones. 


What capacity do you need?

Do you only have a single automatic watch or do you have more than two? If you only have single automatic watch and you aren't planning to buy another any time soon, then a single capacity model will suit you just fine. Even if you do decide to get a second automatic watch soon after, you can simply switch watches back and forth,


This solution wouldn’t be quite as feasible if you have more than two or three automatic watches however, as you will constantly be having to do a lot of switching around. Keep in mind that handling your watches too often increase the risk of scratching or scuffing–a risk that is in fact present every time you take your watch out of its case–so having a watch winder that can fit all your watches would be a good thing.


How much features and functionality is enough?

If all you really want in a watch winder is a way to keep your watches wound at all times, then all you really need is the most basic of models. A good quality basic model is just the perfect for watch owners who don’t want too many fancy features, and they have the definite advantage of being very easy to use.


As serviceable as a basic model is, you may want to take a closer look at the more fully featured watch winders later on as your needs grow and as your tastes become more sophisticated. Some watch winders add some much needed features such as multi-directional winding, and the option to set the winding schedule precisely. Still other features prevent your watch from being overwound, and protect it from stress that can damage the fragile components of your automatic watch. If you want to makes sure that your watch is wound to perfection and you need the added functionalities to make your life easier, you should definitely look into the more full featured watches.


Compatibility concerns

This is another important concern, and some would say that it is even more important than a full feature set or esoteric functions that you will never use. you will have to make sure that the watch winder you buy will be perfectly suited to your brand of automatic watch. Whether you have a Rolex, a Citizen or any other automatic watch brand, it will have its own unique requirements in terms of winding speed, direction and schedule. Do *not* under any circumstances use a watch winder that has not been explicitly claimed as suitable for your particular brand of automatic watch, as this can cause your watch to behave erratically, and perhaps even become damaged. Keep in mind that automatic watches are either wound clockwise or counterclockwise, so make sure that your watch winder has this option.


Your best bet is to purchase a watch winder that offers you the option to set winding direction clockwise, counterclockwise and bi-directional. This will ensure a greater degree of compatibility with your specific watch brand, although check to make sure that it will work with your watch.


Some watch winders also come with features that prevent your watch from becoming over stressed. Such features typically come standard in high-quality watch winders from reputable companies, and this will go a long way in ensuring the longevity of your watch.


Materials used

The very best watch winders on the market are built out of wood, and there is a good reason for that…many, in fact. For one thing, wood is a very tough and durable material that will hold its form for years and years, provided that it is treated and dried properly of course.


Wood is also a very visually attractive material, and the grain in some of the best quality woods is truly breathtaking to behold. In fact, this is what gives many of the highest priced watch winders the elegant look and feel of a museum quality heirloom piece.


Some manufacturers opt to add a coating of leather over the wood. While this look definitely has merits of its own, you should be careful about purchasing watch winders in which cheap wood is simply covered up with leather in order to hide its poor quality. This is often the case with watch winders in which the casing is actually made out of plywood or particle board, neither of which are the best materials of choice for a watch winder that you can expect to get a lot of use from. 


Build quality

You will also want to take note of the build quality and construction of the watch winder you are thinking of buying. Precision crafted components that work well together is essential, as are high-quality parts that are finely crafted together in order to give you the most durable and most reliable watch winder you can get for the money. If you do get a chance to inspect the watch winder up close, pay attention to any cracks or gaps in the finish, particularly around the joints. The entire surface of the watch winder should be clean and airtight, since any cracks or blemishes can compromise the integrity of your purchase over time.


The price

Let's face it: watch winders are expensive–particularly the good kinds–and those are all that you really should be looking at anyway. Why are watch winders so expensive? What most manufacturer emphasize above and beyond everything else is quality, whether in materials, build or performance. Most of the products from the reputable companies are constructed out of the finest quality materials available (just the wood alone is worth a pretty hefty amount) and the craftsmanship is top-notch all throughout. in addition, the very concept of a watch winder evokes images of elegance and sophistication, and  most manufacturer trade on the exclusivity and unique appeal of the watch winder. These aren't budget devoices by any means, so you rally should expect to pay a premium for a high-quality watch winder.


Now you may be tempted to go for a lower priced watch winder. While saving a bit of money is a good thing, it shouldn't come at the expense of ruining your precious watches. Keep in mind that manufacturers of cheap watch winders are able to cut the selling price for a reason, and you can bet that it isn't because they have given up their profit. Instead, the lower priced watch winders on the market are made cheaper by the use of lower grade materials (either the wood, the leather or both), and this can result in a less than elegant look and feel. In fact, cut costs too much and you can end up with a watch winder that is decidedly tacky.


Even worse, an inexpensive watch winder of poor quality will probably have cheap components that will break down easily, cause damage to your prized automatic watches, or both! With cheap components that are ill-fitting and doomed to an early failure, you open up your watches to the risk of irreparable damage, and all because you wanted to save a few bucks.


Perhaps a better way to think about it is by considering how much you have spent on your watches. If you are a pretty serious collector of automatic watches, then your investment would probably reach into the quadruple digits by now.  Would you really be comfortable relying on a budget watch winder with questionable parts and shoddy construction? The smart money says to protect your investment in the best way possible, and making an investment in a high-quality watch winder is a good way to assure that.