Best Watch Winders

Updated May 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

14 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
175 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best watch winders

Last Updated May 2019

Many watch wearers prefer automatic or self-winding watches because they use the mechanical movements of your wrist and arm rather than a replaceable battery to tell precise time. Automatic watches have a reputation for superior craftsmanship and quality, too, which makes them even more appealing to watch enthusiasts. But if you have an automatic watch that you don’t wear daily or multiple automatic watches that you switch between, a watch winder can save you from having to reset your watches whenever you haven’t worn them in a while.

A watch winder is essentially a box with turntables on which you place your automatic watch. The turntables connect to a motor that moves the watch when the winder is turned on. Some watch winders rotate the watches in circles, while others swing the watches back and forth to generate the motion that helps the timepieces maintain the right time and date.

Bottom line: If you want to be sure that your watches always keep perfect time, you have to choose the right watch winder. Our shopping guide has all the information you need to choose the ideal watch winder for your watch collection, so keep reading.

Most automatic watches can be wound in the bi-directional setting, but some models require a specific direction. Check your manual to determine the best direction to wind your watch.

Key considerations

Single vs. multi-winder

Some watch winders can only wind a single watch at a time. These models are more compact, so they don’t require as much space on your dresser or bedside table. A single watch winder can be a good option if you only have one automatic watch or own two automatic watches that you switch back and forth between.

Other watch winders have slots for multiple watches. Some models can accommodate two watches at a time, while others can fit up to eight watches. These models are obviously larger, so they take up more space on your dresser. However, if you have a large collection of automatic watches or want room to expand your timepiece wardrobe, a multi-watch winder is the best choice.

If you decide to go for a multi-watch winder, opt for a model with separate motors for each watch so you can choose specific settings based on the individual watch models instead of having to use the same number of turns and turn direction for every watch in the winder.

Power source

Because a motor is used to rotate or swing the watches, a watch winder requires some type of power source. Most models have an AC adapter that must be plugged into a standard outlet. While that may limit your options in terms of where you can keep the watch winder, you’ll never have to worry about batteries dying and requiring replacement. Some models do run on replaceable batteries, though, so you don’t have to worry about placing your watch winder near an outlet.

Some watch winders are equipped for both battery and AC adapter power so you can switch back and forth between the two depending on your needs.

EXPERT TIP

When you’ve wound a watch in your winder, it usually doesn’t require winding again for another 24 to 48 hours.


Staff  | BestReviews

Watch winder features

Appearance

While all watch winders are essentially simple boxes, they vary in appearance so you may find one is a better fit for your style than others. Some winders have a classic wood finish, while others have a leather or faux-leather exterior.

Most watch winders also serve as display cases for your watch collection, so they usually have a clear window in the front that allows you to see the watch(es) inside.

Rotation numbers

Automatic watches usually require a certain number of turns per day (TPD) for proper timekeeping. To make sure that your watch is wound correctly, you should choose a watch winder that provides the proper TPD for your watch(es).

Some models have set rotations per day from which you can choose, such as 650 or 950. In this case, as long as there’s an option for the TPD that matches your watch model(s), you’re set.

You can also find watch winders that allow you to program the specific number of rotations or turns per day. A programmable winder obviously provides the most control, ensuring that your watches get wound exactly as they should be.

Rotation direction

In addition to the number of rotations or turns that a watch winder will make per day, you should also consider the rotation directions that it offers. Automatic watches may require a specific type of rotation direction to allow it to keep perfect time, so a watch winder with multiple rotation options is the best bet if you have watches from different brands.  The modes to look for in a watch winder include clockwise mode, counter-clockwise mode, and bidirectional mode, which winds the watch in both directions.

Noise level

Some watch winders make a great deal of noise at certain points during the winding process, which can be annoying if you’re trying to sleep or work in the same room. High-quality watch winders have silent or near-silent motors, though, so you’ll never be bothered by the device.

Additional storage

While a multi-watch winder may only be able to wind two to eight watches at a time, some have additional storage for other watches. These watches won’t get wound, but you’ll have a safe, dust-free space to store and display them, so all your timepieces are in one convenient spot.

DID YOU KNOW?

Some watch winders feature a timer, so the winder automatically turns on and winds the watch(es) according to your chosen schedule.

Watch winder prices

Watch winders vary in price based on the number of watches they hold, the materials they’re made of, the rotation settings they offer, and other features. Most models range from $35 to $1,300.

Inexpensive: The most affordable watch winders usually hold one to two watches and feature multiple rotation modes but are made of plastic or lower-quality wood. They typically cost between $35 to $200 and best serve individuals who are new to automatic watches and don’t want to invest too much in a winder.

Mid-range: Watch winders that hold two to four watches, offer multiple rotation modes, and feature average quality wood or faux leather can be a bit more expensive, ranging from $140 to $675. While models with individual motors for each watch slot are more costly, they’re the ideal option for watch enthusiasts with multiple automatic watches.

Expensive: The most expensive watch winders are usually models that hold four or more watches, offer multiple rotation modes, and feature individual motors for each watch slot. They feature high-quality wood, leather, and glass, so they have a more impressive appearance, too. These winders typically cost between $500 and $1,300. If you’re a serious watch enthusiast who has multiple automatic watches that require winding, a winder in this range may be worth the investment.

Tips

  • If your automatic watch isn’t working, manually wind it up approximately 40 times before placing it inside the watch winder.
  • When choosing rotation settings for your watch winder, you can usually find the proper TPD for your particular automatic timepiece in the user’s guide. If you don’t have the guide, search online for the TPD of your watch’s brand and model.
  • If you aren’t sure of the proper TPD or direction for your watch, use the default settings on the watch winder and check the watch after 24 to 48 hours. If the watch is keeping proper time, you can leave the settings alone. If it isn’t displaying the correct time, though, adjust the settings and check on the watch again in a day or two.
  • If you travel regularly, you may want to invest in an additional watch winder that holds just a single watch. These models are usually compact enough to fit in a suitcase.
  • When your watch window starts to get dirty, use a lens-cleaning or screen- cleaning wipe to remove the grime. Using a paper towel and glass cleaner can leave streaks and lint behind.

A watch winder can often pay for itself over time by preventing damage to your watches that may require costly repairs.

Other products we considered

There are so many watch winders in different sizes and styles that you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one that suits your needs. This Watch Winder Box is an ideal option if you want a wooden model that still has a modern feel. It can wind two watches at a time and features separate motors so each watch can have customized winding settings. We also love the Triple Tree Watch Winder if you only need a single watch winder. It has an attractive faux leather finish and can run on either an AC adapter or battery power for easy operation.

If you travel regularly, you may want to choose a watch winder with battery backup in case your power should go out while you’re away.

FAQ

Q. What type of watches require a watch winder?
A.
You only need a watch winder if you own one or more automatic watches that you don’t wear every day. Automatic watches are those that don’t run on a battery but also don’t require manual winding either. If you don’t wear the watch(es) regularly, a watch winder simulates the motion of your wrist to wind the watches.

Q. Can I overwind my automatic watch?
A.
No — it’s impossible to overwind an automatic watch. The watch is actually designed to prevent overwinding. It contains a mechanism that stops the winding gears from turning once the watch is completely wound. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should wind your automatic watches every day, though, because you can eventually wear down the gears.

Q. Do watch winders usually have a warranty?
A.
Most watch winders are protected by warranty, though it varies from model to model. Lower-end winders may only offer up to a year of warranty coverage, while higher-end options may provide as many as five years of warranty protection.

The team that worked on this review
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Peter
    Peter
    Writer

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