In this ultimate watch winder buying guide, we’re breaking down all the things you need to consider before spending money on a watch winder.
Most watch winders are not a cheap product, so it’s vitally important that you make the right choice when buying one.
So, don’t spend money on a watch winder before you’ve checked this guide, to make sure you’re asking all the right questions and checking all the right details.
Number of watches the winder winds
One of the key things to think about before you buy a watch winder is how many watches it can wind. At the bottom end of this, there are a large number of single watch winders that wind just one watch at a time. This is great for those who are new to watches and watch winders and don’t have a large collection of watches to keep wound.
However, on the other end of the scale, some winders can wind up to 9 or more watches simultaneously. These winders are really for the watch aficionado, and for those with a large collection of watches that need to be kept wound.
Of course, there are then options in between, depending on the size of your watch collection.
As with any luxury lifestyle product, the brand you choose can say a lot about you and your watch collection. Some collectors and watch enthusiasts will have an affinity for one particular brand of watch. They may want to choose a watch winder from the same brand.
Others will be more flexible about the brand they use.
Either way, it’s a good idea to do a little research into the brand and the company, just to get an understanding of their ethos and values when it comes to developing different product lines and how they position themselves.
Additionally, some brands have a reputation for fantastic customer service, so it might be worth keeping this in mind, in case you ever need to contact the brand.
Material made from
Different watch winders are made from different materials, and this might influence the type of watch winder you want.
Some watch winders are made of wood and have a lacquered glossy finish to them. These tend to give a really shiny look, which can be great to show off the winder and the watch, especially when it catches the light. However, be aware that it will quickly show up fingerprints and other marks.
Other watch winders are made from soft leather, which gives a softer, slightly more subtle look and feel. These might be a better option for those who are likely to give more hands-on time to their winder.
As well as the external material and look, it’s also key to consider the inside of the winder.
Some winders have a soft leather interior, including the watch cuff and cushion. This can give a soft surface for the watch to be placed on and reduces the chance of scuffs, scratches or damage to the watch.
Other winders have a faux-leather interior, or harder carbon fibre set-up, which is slightly harsher for the watch and might increase the chances of marks or scratches to the watch.
Size and shape
Most winders are a fairly basic square or rectangular shape, especially those that wind just one or a few watches.
However, some winders have a more flamboyant look. We’ve seen some crazy windmill shapes, as well as stacked rectangles, or oval shaped winders.
If you plan on having the winder on display or as a centerpiece of a room, you might opt for something with a bit more flair, so it’s worth considering if you’d prefer a different shaped winder
This is something you absolutely need to get right before you buy a watch winder. The TPD (or turns per day) is the number of rotations the winder makes in a 24-hour period. We’ve written in detail about what TPD means here.
You need to make sure the TPD fits that of your watch or watches. Some winders only have limited TPD settings that can’t be adjusted. While other watch winders have far more adjustable settings and programmes. This allows them to be compatible with a far larger range of watches.
Direction settings & programmes
As well as the TPD, you may also need to make sure the watch winder includes the correct direction settings for your watch.
Some winders only have one direction or rotations (such as clockwise); while others have 3 different directions settings (clockwise, counter-clockwise and bi-directional). This could be important if you have a watch that needs a specific direction of winding.
In addition to the direction settings, some winders have additional programme features that allow you to set things such as the start time.
If you’re going to keep the watch winder next to your bed at night, the noise level of the winder is hugely important. You don’t want the winder to be making a noise all night and keeping you awake!
Some of the cheaper watch winders have much louder motors that can be a real nuisance. Whereas, most of the reputable brands have somewhat quiet motors that should cause far less problems.
Some winders don’t publish their noise levels so be sure to check reviews such as this website and other places to see what others’ experience of the noise level is.
Most modern watch winders have dual power sources: a mains adapter and batteries.
This is great for travelling, or for hiding the watch winder away for security reasons if you’re not around.
However, you should always check the battery life, as some winders can very quickly run through the battery power and cause watches to sit dormant on the winder. Some winders have a battery life indicator light which will tell you when the batteries are close to running out.
If we can find the details, our reviews on this site will also give you an idea of the battery life.
Another thing to consider is, if you’re buying from a different country than the manufacturers country, you might need different power adapters. Therefore, it’s worth checking if the watch winder comes with any sort of adapters to allow different power sources.
If you’ve got a large collection of watches, you might want to think about a watch winder that includes additional storage. This can give you an opportunity to keep other watches within the winder case, which can keep them free of dust and help prevent scratches and scuffs.
Some winders include trays for storage, while others have cushions and pads for additional storage.
If you’ve got a specific space in mind for your watch winder, you need to think about the size and dimensions of the watch winder. If you’re thinking of keeping it in a small space on or a small table (such as a nightstand), be sure to go with a smaller option (the smallest ones can be only 10-15cm).
However, if you’re looking to have it as the main centerpiece of a room so it can be seen in all its glory, you could go with a huge watch winder system that holds upwards of 9 watches!
Winder size is usually correlated with the number of watches and storage space it has.
Many winders, especially at the low end of the price range, come in a whole host if different colours. This allows you to choose a winder that suits your own personal style.
Or you can buy a few different winders in different colours to give you a mix of colours and allows you to choose the right winder depending on your mood!
Of course price is always going to be a consideration for those looking to buy a watch winder.
With watch winders, perhaps more than other products, you get what you pay for. Some people buy a super cheap watch winder, only to find that the motor breaks within a few weeks.
This is why we’d always recommend going for a reputable watch winder or luxury goods brand, where you are more likely to get great customer support, a well as a warranty in case anything does go wrong.
There are many places you can buy a winder. You could buy from a physical store, if getting hold of the winder and seeing it in person is important to you.
Or you could look at buying it online, where you are likely to get a better deal, as well as have a few more options.
You could even consider buying a second-hand winder, and we’ve seen some fantastic deals for brand-name watch winders on second hand marketplaces.