Searching for the ideal automatic watch winder seems to be a daunting task, especially with the wide array of watch winders offering available on the market. Despite of the seemingly large numbers of choices of various winder brands, your search of a compatible watch winder should focus on the quality, compatibility, reliability of the winder brands, not just based on price alone.
After all, you have invested quite a bit of money on your fine watch collection. Today’s brand name automatic watches range from a few hundreds of dollars to a few thousands dollars or more. A reliable quality automatic winder is essential in maintaining and prolonging the mechanical life of your fine watches. Do not simply look at the pricing alone. A cheap winder could actually do more damage to your watch in the long term, as there are some winders on the market that use non-compatible motor gear system, and without electronic programming to automatically control the ON/OFF and rest period of the rotation, which might cause excess over-winding on the internal main spring of the watch.
In essence, you should look at the following features before deciding on purchasing the right watch winder for your automatic watches:
1) Does the watch winder has the industry standard Automatic “Turn-and-Rest” programming? This Turn-and-Rest feature that automatically control the turning cycles of the winder; and to automatically stop the program intermittently so as not to over-stress the watch’s internal moving mechanism.
2) Does the watch winder has the capability to turn in 3 different directions so as to fit digital watches online the different rotation requirements of different watch brands? The three different directions are: Clockwise mode, Coutner-Clockwise mode, and Alternate Bi-directional mode (Bi-directional mode – turns clockwise and counter clockwise alternatively, as required by many watch brands such as Rolex.
3) Does the watch winders have the “Adjustable” TPD function? TPD represents “Turns per Day”, the numbers of turns the winder rotates in a day. Different brands of automatic watches might require different TPD to be fully wound up. The TPD is controlled by the watch winders’ internal electronic programming. In general, the adjustable TPD ranges from 400 TPD to more than 1000 TPD, with most automatic watches requiring somewhere between 400 to 800 TPD. By having this Adjustable Turns per Day (TPD) feature, a watch winder can accommodate a wider selection of automatic watches, in particular the more sophisticated complex watches that are becoming more popular nowadays. Winders that do not have this function might not be sufficiently wind up certain types of automatic watches.
4) Does the watch winder has an automatic daily ON/OFF function? With this function, the winder users do not have to reset or power on/off the winder daily. Not only is this a convenient feature for the winder owners, but also an essential feature so that the winder will power ON daily automatically, to keep your watch wind-up all the times, such that your watches are ready for you to wear any time, any day.
5) Can the watch winder be powered by batteries? Most winders on the market can only be powered by AC power. Only very few winder brands can be powered and operated by both batteries and AC power. With the capability of being powered by batteries, one can store the winder inside a vault, or at a place where there is no electrical plug in outlet. Thus, if you need to keep your watch and the winder inside your vault, you need a winder that can be powered by batteries as well as AC power, so that in case the batteries run out, you can still use household AC power to operate the winder.
Another factor to consider is the ease of use of the winders. Some winders are very complex to operate and require a deep learning curve to actually make the winder functional. In additional to the above functions, the workmanship, types of wood used to manufacture the watch winders, the aesthetic appeal, should also be considered.
Of course, the warranty policy provided by the dealer or the manufacturer of the watch winder is also an important factor to consider. Most winder brands offer a standard 6 months warranty, while some offer a one year warranty.
Price is one factor to consider, but not the most critical one. A cheap inexpensive watch winder might seem to do the job in the short term. However, without the appropriate winder program technology, these cheap low cost watch winders could actually cause damages to the mechanical life your valuable watch.
For example, a winder without the industry standard “Turn and Rest” fuzzy logic programming could over-stress and over-wind the internal main spring of your automatic watches. Over the long term, the stress and over-winding effect could cause your watch to lost the accuracy of the time; and could very well result in irreversible main-spring defect to your valuable watches. The only remedy could well be an expensive replacement or overhaul of your fine watches. Thus, the initial small savings of purchasing these low cost cheap watch winders could actually be more costly in the long term.
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Also, the type of watches you own could affect the types of watch winder you purchase. For example, a vintage antique watch might require a different type of winders than most modern automatic watches. Due to the delicate internal movements of most antique vintage watches, it is advisable to use a winder that has a TPD (Turns per Day) of less than 450. While most modern newer automatic watches require a TPD of 450 or more.
Many watch brands like Rolex, also require to be wound up in the “Alternate Bi-directional” mode. That is, a program to control the winder to turn clockwise and counter-clockwise alternatively and automatically. While some watch brands require Clockwise turning rotation and others require Counter-Clockwise winding movements. Thus, if you have different types of watch brands, it is advisable to select a watch winder that have all these 3 different rotation directions.
In conclusion, a watch owner should review the features of a watch winder to see if that would compatible to your watch’s unique winding requirements; and it is advisable to perform more prudent researches prior to making the final purchase decision.