If you are new to the automatic watch world, you are also probably new to the watch winder world! You may be considering buying a watch winder and you’ve probably been reading up and seen lots of information. You may have come across terms such as TPD and direction and wondered: What does watch winder TPD stand for? What does TPD mean? What is the relevance of direction?
TPD in watch winder speak is the Turns Per Day (TPD). This is the number of turns the watch winder turntable, or rotor, makes each day. So, when your watch is on the watch winder, this becomes the number of turns per day the watch makes. For a watch winder to work effectively, you need to make sure the TPD of your watch winder matches the ideal TPD of your watch.
Why is TPD important?
TPD for your specific watch is important to know before you buy a watch winder as each watch has an ideal TPD. So, you’ll need to make sure the watch winder you buy allows it to make the right number of TPD to match the ideal turns for your watch.
Each brand and model of watch has a different TPD, so you need to make sure you know your watch’s individual requirements. You can contact your manufacturer if you are unsure of the TPD of your watch.
In order to advise you, the manufacturer will need to know the make, year and model of the watch or the serial number.
Why are direction settings important?
Of equal importance to the TPD is having the correct choice of direction settings on a watch winder to suit your timepiece. Again, this is something that should have been advised to you when you acquired your automatic watch or can be found out by contacting the manufacturer’s customer services team.
What are direction settings?
Direction settings are expressed as clockwise, counter-clockwise and/or bi-directional. All watches have different movements internally. The movements and mechanisms vary from each manufacturer.
Some watches have mechanisms that operate clockwise, some counter-clockwise and some both!
These mechanisms keep the watch wound and operating at its optimum performance.
A watch winder will mimic the natural wrist movement so long as the right settings are applied. Not all watch winders suit all watches. They share many common features but a bit of time and effort in choosing the right watch winder is important.
Make sure you buy a watch winder with the correct directional settings for your watch. Getting this wrong would be a huge waste of money and could even damage your watch.
What TPD do I need?
It depends. Each watch brand, and even each watch model, has a different TPD.
Typically, an automatic watch will need between 500 and 1000 TPD in order to be fully wound.
When you acquired your watch, you should have been told the ideal TPD. If not, you can find out the ideal TPD by contacting the manufacturer.
If you can’t find out from them, try the TPD database here.
Watch winders delayed start and pause sequences
Most watche winders have a pause sequence and some also have delayed start functions. The reason for this is that although most watch winders are supremely quiet, most people would prefer for the rotating functions to take place during the day.
Using a delay start feature and understanding the pause sequences means you can set the watch winder to operate in the way that suits your routine, so it is ready to wear when you want it!
What if I get the TPD wrong?
Most good-quality, branded, watch winders have settings on them that allow you to define variable TPD.
These should be standard on a good quality winder.
They should also allow you to easily define the direction of turning (either clockwise, counter-clockwise or bi-directional). Again, standard on a good quality watch winder.
You should be able to get the correct settings for your watch without too much trouble as already mentioned, either from the manual, online or even better, by contacting the manufacturer’s customer services department direct. Make sure you do as much homework as possible before making your purchase.
If you do get the TPD wrong, there is a chance that it could cause the watch some issues, so make sure you plan correctly.
What do I do about TPD if I have two watches?
If you have 2 watches, one may be worn and the other can be homed on the winder. If each watch has different requirements, so long as the watch winder you purchased caters for both watches, you should be able to alternate them with minimal adjustments to the controls.
What if I have multiple watches?
This is where things get more interesting! There are quite a few watch winders that can accommodate 2 watches (some up to 12 and even more!).
Of course these are not cheap, but can you afford not to keep those watches in tip-top condition?!
The beauty of these multiple watch winder systems is that they have individual settings for each watch.
My watch winder doesn’t have TPD, help!
Some cheaper watch winders will have different programme settings, but may not specifically define the TPD, which can certainly cause some problems.
However, not all is lost as you can calculate the TPD yourself from looking at the settings.
We’ll go through this below. One thing to consider here is that a larger rotor may turn slightly less often per minute than a smaller rotor.
How do I Calculate TPD on my watch winder?
In order to correctly calculate the TPD of a watch winder, we need to take the settings and turning sequence and do some math. Look at the following example using a watch winder I found on Amazon:
It’s turning sequence is:
- 2 minutes of turning
- 6 minutes of rest
That’s an 8-minute cycle.
Now, let’s assume the turntable turns at approx 9 rotations per minute.
That’s 18 rotations per 8 minute cycle.
There will be 7.5 of these cycles per hour and 180 of them per day.
So, within a 24-hour period there would be 3,240 turns (180 x 18 = 3,240).
This is obviously a huge TPD and way more than most watches need. This could cause significant over-winding and maybe some issues with your watch.
So, if you buy a winder without the TPD defined, and without and settings to alter TPD, make sure you do the math to figure out exactly what the TPD is for the winder.
Is the TPD on the winder correct?
However, you also need to be very careful even when the winder does state the TPD.
You need to make sure you check the TPD math.
Many cheaper, unbranded, watch winders and distributors state the TPD of the watch winder but, when you calculate the TPD based on the turning sequence, it can be way higher.
Don’t take their word for it, always check!
What TPD would a watch get on my hand?
Now, this is a tough question to answer as it depends on a number of factors such as your activity level and movement.
However, someone who is very active and does a lot of movement could get up to 5000 TPD in a typical day.
Others with a desk job or very sedentary would probably get only 500-1000 TPD.
So, all in all, you need to really understand TPD before you buy a watch winder. You Need to make sure you can calculate it yourself and double check the following:
- The TPD of the watch winder is actually what it states it is
- The TPD of the watch winder matches that of your watch