Determining if you need a watch winder!

Watches may come in all shapes and sizes, but they only come in two different core types: those that require winding and those that don’t. If you own an automatic watch – which requires winding – then you may have considered purchasing a watch winder to keep it running. However, everyone has a different take on the usefulness and convenience of watch winders, often asking if they are a need or a luxury.

Well, the truth is, it really depends on the watch and the person who wears it. To find out what’s best for you, you’ll want to ask yourself a series of questions:

1. How many self-winding (automatic) movement watches do I have?

2. How often do I cycle through my collection?

3. How irritated do I get when I have to set or wind my watches?

4. Do I own an annual or perpetual calendar watch?

If you only own one or two self-winding watches, winders are more a luxury than a necessity. However, if you have many self-winding watches and it takes you a month or more to cycle through your collection, keeping your watches on a winders when not in use for such long chunks of time  is a very good idea.

It is always best for automatic  watches to be in motion rather than dormant for an extended period of time. The small amount of lubrication used in the movement of the watch, that protects the it watch from from wear, should be evenly distributed throughout the movement at all times rather than letting the lubricant coagulate and dry in certain areas.

A beautiful Orbita Cristalo programable watch winder.

Anyone that owns an automatic watch is sure to know that when you do not wear the watch frequently enough, it stops keeping time and needs to be wound and reset. So if you are not wearing them often enough and find winding and setting your self-winding watches time consuming and frustrating, a winder will likely make you happier.  By keeping your watch on a winder, it will ensure that the watch will be powered and running when you are ready to wear it. Some horological romantics like me, however, always welcome the experience of winding a watch, and think happy watch thoughts while doing so. But the reality is, it’ is just more convenient when the watch you want to wear is ready to place on your wrist when you pick it up.

Some watches, though, will require a winder, hassle or not. If you own an annual or perpetual calendar watch, for example, you need a winder. Once set, and if kept running, an annual calendar watch needs only one date correction a year. A watch with perpetual calendar only needs one correction every 100 years. These marvels of micro engineering need to be constantly running or they will not perform their intended function. Since the cost of annual and perpetual calendar watches can range from the price of a car to the price of a house, a small investment in a winder is money well spent to keep your watch working smoothly at all times!

If, after considering all of the above, you’ve determined that you need a winder, the next step is to decide which watch winder to purchase. The next segment of Turn, Turn, Turn will discuss your options! .


Jonathan Price “Princeton Watchguy”