Watch winders are typically a luxury product. People who spend thousands of pounds on an expensive watch are usually very happy to spend a large amount of money on a watch winder. However, there are times when you might want to buy a cheap watch winder. So, here, we look at the best value watch winders so you know the best options for you.
In summary, the best cheap watch winder we’ve reviewed is the Heiden Single Watch winder. It’s just on the cusp of our price threshold, but the programme settings and quality veneer finish make it a great cheaper option for almost any watch.
Why would you want a budget watch winder?
Some people might ask why you’d risk buying a cheap watch winder. The truth is there’s plenty of situations where you wouldn’t want to spend too much on a winder and so picking the right inexpensive product is important.
For example, if you’ve got a whole range of watches, you might find yourself needing multiple watch winders. In that case, it’s probably not possible to spend thousands on each one. So choosing a good budget winder is important.
If you’re just starting out in the watch winder game, you may want to test whether a watch winder is right for you or test if certain settings are actually accurate for your watch. In this case, a good starting point is to buy an inexpensive winder and test your watch on it. Then, when you’re happy that a watch winder is useful for you, you can spend a little more on a more reputable brand.
Some people who don’t use their watch winders very often may also want to look for an inexpensive option for a winder, as they just won’t be able to justify the money for an expensive one if it’s sitting in the corner of the room gathering dust.
Benefits of choosing a cheaper watch winder
It’s cheaper! This sounds so simple but, for some people, money might be a real consideration and, so, spending less money on a watch winder might just be the best option.
Spending less money on a watch winder could also allow you to be slightly more relaxed about the winder, especially when it comes to scratches and damage etc. If you spend lots of money on a watch winder (or any product), it’s very easy to become overly protective and almost become obsessive about keeping it in pristine condition. So, a cheaper watch winder could help you worry less about the condition of the winder, long term.
One of the major benefits of buying a cheaper watch winder is that you could have more money available to buy multiple winders. If you’ve got a lot of watches that require being kept in optimum condition and not sitting in a drawer, then buying many winders is probably a good option. So, buying a decent cheaper winder could allow you to do this easily.
Drawbacks of choosing a cheaper winder
There are, of course, a few drawbacks of choosing a watch winder if you’re on a budget. For us, foremost of these is the issue of brand. The budget winders are usually from unknown or little-known brands. These brands often don’t have the high level of customer support and service that a more reputable brand has. So, if anything goes wrong with it, or there’s an issue that you need to contact them about, there may be a lower level of support, and/or time delays etc. (especially if the brand is based abroad).
Also, a top-level branded watch winder sitting on your desk or coffee table adds a real feel of luxury to the room. This can impart a feeling of quality to the owner and the room.
On quality – there’s a risk that a lower-priced watch winder will have been made using cheaper parts, especially the important parts like the motor. This can mean, over time, they might have an increased risk of breaking. In addition, a once-quiet motor can quickly become a loud grinding motor if it’s not of top quality. This is a risk that you may have if you go for a cheaper option.
What makes a watch winder cheap?
Watch winders can pretty much be any price. There’s super economical watch winders and there’s the more luxury pieces that are going to cost a whole lot more. There are lots of factors that influence the price of a watch winder. As with any luxury product, you will find yourself paying more for a winder from a more reputable, global, luxury brand. But you may also pay more if there are more features. For example, more control over the TPD (Turns Per Day) and the direction settings can often mean a more complex winder, which may not be as cheap.
A larger winder that houses multiple watches is almost certainly going to cost more than a smaller winder that has just provision for one automatic watch. And we’ve certainly seen this in our analysis, where almost every winder under our price threshold is a single winder.
As mentioned, the quality of the parts, especially the type of motor, may go some way to influence the price of the winder.
The finish of the winder and the material it’s made from, may also make a difference to the price you have to pay. For example, a lot of the cut-price winders are made from plastic and have faux-leather features. However, the more expensive options are more likely to be made from wood or include real soft leather.
What is a cheap watch winder?
We’ve considered an affordable watch winder to be any that costs approximately £100 or less. Be aware that prices can fluctuate on online marketplaces so it’s always best to check the price before going ahead to buy.
Below, we show you four different good options for budget watch winders, with a brief review, before highlighting the best one in our opinion.
Heiden Single Watch Winder
This watch winder is a great choice for most as it gives real flexibility with the programmes and settings. You can choose four different programmes and three directions. This winder has a luxury look, made from wood, with a classy walnut veneer finish. The reviews for this online are overwhelmingly positive and so is a great choice for almost anyone on a budget.
Chiyoda Single Watch Winder
A more cost-effective option is the Chiyoda Single Watch Winder. This is a great choice, however, it only has three different programme settings. Although it does have the three-direction settings. This winder can be mains or batteries powered, although there are concerns as to how long the batteries last, with some suggesting they’ll last only 4 days, even on the lowest setting.
Pateker Single Watch Winder
Again, a very cost-effective option. However, it becomes really limited when you look at the programme settings. It has only one setting, with 3 hours turning and 9 hours rest. This lack of adjustment options could cause problems for those with a watch that performs better on a set number of TPD.
Uten Double Watch Winder
This is the only double winder in our list of cheap options. Having space for two watches to wind simultaneously is great. And, on top of that, it’s also the only winder with space for 2 other watches in a storage tray. So a great choice if holding lots of watches is a priority. However, it only has one programme setting (anticlockwise for 2 mins, 6 mins rest; clockwise for 2 mins, 6 mins rest). This lack of flexibility makes it quite limiting. There’s also some concerns that the cushions aren’t spring-loaded. This might mean there’s a risk that watches could slip off the cushions, which may lead to scratching, especially if you have two watches in the winder together.
So, all things considered, out top choice for a cheap watch winder is….
Heiden Single Watch Winder
The luxury feel of the wood finish makes this stand out among the economical options that are usually made of plastic. This, along with the highly adjustable programme and direction settings, means this a fantastic choice for those on a budget, and it should be compatible with most automatic watches.
The huge number of really positive reviews should really give you confidence that the quality of the product belies the affordable price tag.
So, if you’re looking for a great cut-price winder, you won’t be disappointed with this.
Always do your homework before you buy any watch winder and read all our guides and reviews! Contact the manufacturer to ensure you have the correct direction settings and the turns per day are correct for your watch make and specific model. Research and read reviews before you purchase!