How do you select the right winder for you? With the vast options available, it can be quite overwhelming! Here, we break it down for you (ahemm.. objectively). Scroll down to the RED segment for the quick rundown if you know what a winder is for!
Firstly, let us understand what a watch winder is used for. To simply put it, it is a device used to keep your automatic timepieces running. Since automatic watches require motion/movement to keep the engine (watch movement) running, leaving your watch unworn for an extended period of time would stop the time keeping (a term called power reserve that typical runs between 38 to 60 hours, a topic for another day!). Why do we need to keep time running on the watch when we can simply wind the watch up when we want to wear it? There is no definite answer (could be debated). Reasons could be convenience (especially if there your watch has complications like perpetual calendar), keeping the engine "warm" (especially if the watch is unworn for long periods of time), prevent possible accidental adjustments that could damage the watch (date changes between 2 to 10). We will address the previous statements on another topic on another day!
Now moving on to how to choose your winder (since you are here, you probably are already considering getting one!).
Here's generally the simple considerations (especially after feedbacks from our customers over the past 11 years):
Capacity - How many watches do you have now? Do you plan to add on to your collection down the road? A winder is meant to stick with you for at least a couple of years. Consider getting a larger winder to house more than your existing collection. If you have 6 watches, look for a 8-10 winder. That way you do not have to look for another winder when you increase your collection years down the road. However, if you are trying to be prudent and prevent yourself from buying more watches (as many of us are susceptible to), then you can get yourself a winder exactly the size of your collection (provided you are confident in your resilience!).
Size - Where do you plan to put your winder? Do you have any space constrains? Typically we tend to put our winder in shelves, wardrobes and table tops. Some winders open upwards, some winders open outwards, some have knobs at the back. All these are considerations as they add to the additional space beyond the dimensions of the winder itself. Here's a general rule of thumb. If you have a height constrain, look for a outward opening winder instead of upward. If you have a depth constrain, look for an outward opening winder as well without knobs at the back (upward winders need additional clearance at the back as well as the hinges usually open backwards). If you have a width constrain, look for an upward opening winder (as outward opening has hinges at the side). For the best option, always check with the seller!
Specifications - Do you need lights? Do you need individual motor controls? Do you need specific turn controls? Do you prefer touch screen controls? Do you require a lock? If so, what kind of lock? There could be many specifications but typically the main ones would be lights, controls and lock system. Lights are straight forward as they serve mainly for aesthetic purposes or to "charge" your solar watch (if it allows). Controls are a bit more intricate. The cheaper winders usually have less controls; no turn settings (also called TPD), and usually called "Modes". These have a rotational setting based on timing instead of turns, which can work out to 2000 to 8000 TPD. Typically a watch requires only between 600-1000 turns with most sitting in the 800 range. While turning your watch more than the required should not damage the watch, you may not feel comfortable with your watch turning beyond its needs by a mile. Another kind of control is individuality. The cheaper winders tend to have 1 control for 2-3 motors. The more expensive ones have individual motor control. Next is locks. There are generic locks (opened with keys), biometic locks (opened with thumbprint), and intricate security systems (usually safe winders). Typically most winders come with generic locks which usually are sufficient. If you want to keep safe your watches, a safe would be the best way, not keys.
Durability - We all want our winders to last long. Some things to look out for is, the motor (where it is made from), the internal/external material (cheaper winder uses low grade of PU leather which breaks in humidity). There are different kinds of motors but the most common and reliable one is called Mabuchi motor. External materials tend to be paint finished, wood finish, leather clad (could be genuine or PU), carbon fiber (could be PU or genuine or veneer clad). Internal materials tend to be leather clad (could be genuine or PU), carbon fiber (could be PU or genuine), velvet or suede (could be genuine or synthetic). Whatever it is, stay away from low grade of PU leather (there are of course high grades that are very resilient, sometimes even better than genuine leather). Safest option is to go for velvet/suede interior. When in doubt, the price would tell you the quality of the PU leather. Additionally, always look for a winder that has support in terms of either warranty or a service center option (then your winder can go a long way!)
Aesthetic - Self-explanatory. Do you like how it looks?
We hope the above has helped you understand a bit more of winders and how to choose one. Nevertheless, you are welcome to drop us a message if you need advice!
P.S. We provide in house warranty and repair services for all our winders since 2011!