What is a Watch Winder? 10 Things You Should Know.

October 06, 2023

The Hows and Whys About Watch Winder - LUX Watch Winders

Watch winder offers a place to store your automatic watch. It can act as a display cabinet that you can place on your living room shelf. Winders are an accessory to ensure that your automatic watch continues moving when unused for months.

Are you hearing about winders for the first time? Do you have no idea what they do? Then continue reading for answers. By the end of this blog post, you’ll know why investing in a winder might be the right choice for you.

What is a watch winder? 

The function of the winder is to allow the mechanism of your automatic watch to keep running. These types of watches work because as your body moves it allows the internal moving parts to spring into action. Without movement, the handles will grind to a halt because there is no power running it.

Winders provide power so that the watch is ready to be worn. Even months after the last use the time should be correct. However, in some cases, corrections are required to get the seconds lined up correctly.

Watch winder buying considerations

It’s important to familiarize yourself with the top points of considerations when investing in a winder. Ideally, you’ll end up with one that can accommodate every watch in your collection. There are more factors to consider than you might think in the pursuit of making the best choice.


The watches might be stored for multiple years in the winder, so it makes sense to choose one that looks visually pleasing. It gives you a way to show off your collection if you choose a cabinet with a glass case. Also, pay attention to the material and other visual features of the storage unit. Some have details that complement the watches. You can also buy ones with a light show that will draw the attention of your guests.

However, not all winders need to look stunning. Consider where you’ll place the cabinet. Ones stored in the basement or other out-of-sight locations can look bland. The looks should depend on where you’ll place the winder.

How many can it store?

Winders differ based on the number of watches that they can store and maintain at the same time. Do you have a large collection? Then it makes sense to invest in a cabinet that can hold multiple units. You’ll save money because you can buy fewer winders to house the entire collection.


It’s important to consider the brand since it determines the quality of the product. Some of the top ones in the industry include Jqueen, WOLF, Triple Tree, and Veras. Do background reading on a brand before making the buying choice. Some have specific advantages such as offering a longer warranty deal or adding an extra feature.

Accuracy of the winding mechanism

Ideally, the watches you place in the winder will have the same accuracy as when you take them out. This should be true a few days or months later. The idea is that you can use your watch whenever you want without having to fiddle around with the setting to get an accurate time. If you have to second guess the accuracy, then it negates the point of buying the winder. 


You may want to take the winder on your travels so that the watch is powered while you are sleeping. In such cases, you’ll need to opt for a smaller unit that can easily fit into your bag. Also, it should not weigh too much since it will add to the baggage cost during flights.

When traveling it’s important to go for a battery-powered unit. It ensures that the winder will work when you don’t have access to a power supply. For example, when camping out in the woods you might have limited energy access.


Check the warranty information on the winder to figure out the damage types you’re covered for. Also, longer guarantees are an indication that the brand has confidence in the product they are releasing to the marketplace. A warranty length of at least 3 years is desirable but one upwards of 5 years is even better.


The cost of a winder can range from $100 all the way to $10,000. It depends on the sophistication of the mechanism and the quality of materials used. If you want excellent security that most burglars will struggle to access, then you’ll need to spend extra.

The materials will determine the premium feel and structural integrity of the winder. Spending extra money gives you the freedom to get the visual aesthetics and extra features that match your preferences.

Extra features

Look out for extra features that will add value to the winder. They will improve the functionality of the product or add to the visual aesthetics.

  • Display lights: cabinets with lights that illuminate the watches on display improve the visuals. It draws your attention, especially when you have dimmed the lights in the room.
  • Security lock: protect your watches by choosing a winder that comes with a high-quality look. It could match the level of safe locking mechanisms for the best protection.
  • Extra storage space: Some cabinets offer additional compartments to store more watches. However, these are simply drawers that don’t provide the winding mechanism. It’s a useful feature for keeping all your watches in a single location.

Who needs winders?

You might be asking yourself if investing in a winder is the right choice for you. It’s a practical decision based on how often you wear your automatic watches. If you frequently use them and constantly end up re-setting the time, then investing in a winder is the right choice. You’ll save yourself the effort so you can pick up the watch and get on with the rest of your day.

Another buyer of winders is the watch collector that wants a secure place to display their prized possessions. Some people like to show off their trophies while others do the same with jewelry. If that’s you, then investing in a winder cabinet case is a great choice that will add value to your collection.

Can winders damage your watch?

It’s a valid concern because letting your watch run 24/7 without a break can seem extreme. However, most are durable and can handle being run indefinitely. There is no difference between using your watch all day without pause and keeping it stored in a winder. Therefore, you shouldn’t worry that they will cause damage to the internal mechanism.

However, winders that are cheap or highly magnetized watches might result in problems. If in doubt you can get in touch with the manufacturer to determine if there will be compatibility issues that you need to worry about.

Do winders wind up the watch?

It’s a myth that you can wind up a watch by placing it in a winder. They only keep the mechanism running at the same rate. It’s not increased or decreased unless there is a problem with the winder. Unwound watches typically require around 30-40 winds to run the mechanism optimally. It depends on the activity of the wearer. If the person is constantly moving throughout the day, then the automated rotation of the handles will run smoothly.

Can a winder magnetize the watch?

The electric motor of the winder mechanism produces a magnetic field. It could in theory disturb the hairspring of the watch, which means that it becomes sticky. The end result is a mechanism that doesn’t function smoothly, which means that the time will be incorrect.

In practice, the chances of this happening are low, but it depends on the winder that you have purchased. Ones that have a good quality construction will not harm or magnetize your watch. However, it’s something you need to keep an eye out for as it could explain potential errors with the time that is being displayed.

5 Advantages of Winders

If you are still on the fence about investing in a  winder, then you need to consider the advantages. It will help you decide if they are worth the money based on your needs.

1. Keeps the watch running smoothly

It’s a myth that constantly keeping the watch in motion will cause damage over the long term. In fact, it will prolong life because it keeps the gear lubricant from clumping. Watch mechanisms need lubricant to reduce the friction of the parts. Keeping the thing in motion ensures the lubricant is spread thinly over the metal parts.  

If you have ever had a problem winding a watch that has been sitting around unused for months, then you might have faced the problem of clumped lubricant. You may need to take the unit apart and re-apply to ensure that it’s not clumped together in extreme cases.

2. Organize your collection

Getting organized as a collector allows you not to lose items and keep track of what you have. There is no point in collecting watches if you are going to misplace them. Winders act as a good storage compartment that keeps track of your inventory. The automatic watches that require winding can go onto the winding mechanisms. The other watches that don’t can be stored in extra drawers usually included in the case.

3. Impress your guests

The winder cabinets usually have nice visual aesthetics and lights that highlight the watches inside. It’s the perfect place to showcase a location of beautifully crafted watches. You can place the cabinets in areas around your home where they will be frequently noticed. For instance, the mantelpiece in your living room is a great spot.

4. Save money

In the long run, you will save money on your watch since it will require fewer repairs. Therefore, the cost of the winder will pay for itself, especially if you need to house multiple premium units in one cabinet. Think about the repair bills you have had to pay in the past. You might have avoided those issues if the watches were constantly running using a winder cabinet.

5. Protect your watches

It’s more than likely that watches left around the house will be damaged and collect dust. Protect them from accidents by storing them in the safety of the winder cabinet. It’s an important consideration if you own premium units that you may want to sell at a later date.

Some winders might have fireproof and waterproof protection. These offer an added level of security that ensures they will not receive burn or flooding damage. However, check to see the rating of your winder for information on the materials used.

How to set up your winder

The process of setting up a winder is easy and it depends on the watches you own. Here are 3 considerations you can follow:

  1. Instruction manual

The manufacturer instruction manual is the first place to check for guidance. It will specify how to set up the winder and the best practices. You can learn about compatible watches and the limitations of the winder.

  1. Winding mechanism

Self-winding premium watches like the Rolex require bidirectional winding, so you will need to have a winding mechanism to accommodate that. However, other models like the ones from Breitling or LeCoultre only need winding in a single direction.

  1. Daily rotations

The number of daily rotations is one aspect you must consider. The majority of automatic watches need about 600-800 daily rotations. You will need to look at the watch instruction manual to figure out the details. Worried that the winder will not have an appropriate setting? In most cases, this is not an issue. Manufacturers understand the rotations setting they need to provide so the majority of customers have the right choice.

Final thoughts

Watch winders are a handy tool for keeping your watches running smoothly and helping organize a big collection. They are perfect for watch collectors and can make for an excellent gift. With so many designs to choose from, you can find one that keeps the jewelry safe and accurately tells the time well into the future.

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