The #1 Reason Why Watch Winders Are So Expensive


If you’ve been building up your watch collection, you may have thought about adding a watch winder to your mix. Or, maybe you’re just dipping your wrists into the horology game and have little idea as to what a watch winder is. Collectors and experts debate whether it’s a necessary tool to have and if it’s worth the often-hefty price. So why are watch winders so expensive?

Watch winders need to be durable, accurate, and technically correct, and this can only be achieved by using high-quality materials, put together by an expert. This drives up the price of a watch winder.

Whether they are on the expensive or affordable end, there are arguments for and against the use of watch winders. Many dedicated horologists opt to use quality watch winders to ensure the best possible care for their timepieces. In this article, we’ll jump into what makes quality watch winders so expensive and look at reasons why you may want to add this tool to your collection.

Why Is A Watch Winder So Expensive?

Watchwinders have a broad price range stretching from under a hundred bucks to over thousands of dollars, with the latter more luxurious and sophisticated than the cheaper alternatives. More expensive watch winders are equipped with more features and stronger safety mechanisms.

What differentiates expensive watch winder models from the cheaper versions? Do they work the same?

Two important attributes for a quality watch winder are the ability to rotate in multiple directions, like clockwise, counterclockwise, and bidirectional. A rotation setting or timer also gives the watch periods to rest.

Expensive watch winders often have these features and have more robust, higher-quality precautions to guard your watch against potential damage, like magnetization and overwinding

Most affordable watch winder options start at around $50 to $100, like the Uten Automatic Watch Winder Box or the four-slot Versa watch winder. Some watch winders are pricier because they can hold more watches, like the whopping 24-slot watch winder by Chiyoda.

Brands like Wolf Designs, Cheopz, and Rapport London offer more expensive, feature-heavy watch winders that run several hundred dollars and upwards. There are also outrageously-priced options out there, like the $52,000 Buben & Zorweg by Agartos Tourbillon, but we’ll save that for Jeff Bezos and the like.  

The Importance Of A Good Quality Watch Winder

Like I said before, experts and enthusiasts alike argue over the effectiveness and necessity of watch winders. Critics often point out that watch winders are unnecessary because they could damage your watch with common timepiece issues like overwinding and magnetization. Quality watch winders, however, won’t do that. 

A quality watch winder will have safety precautions built in to avoid damaging the watch. It’s rare for lower-quality watch winders to cause damage to watches, too — but usually, you get what you pay for, and in most cases of watch winders, that means higher-quality safety mechanisms. You also likely won’t find programmable settings in lower-priced options which offer convenience on your part. 

Let’s look at two of the most common forms of damage in a watch– overwinding and magnetization — that are pretty much nonexistent in quality watch winders, granting them those higher price tags.

Overwinding

To prevent your watch’s overwinding, quality watch winders are equipped with a timer to help you determine the correct Turns Per Day (TPD) to prevent the slip-clutch from becoming overloaded with tension.

An overload of tension could eventually cause some of the inside parts to break or get damaged, and if you have an expensive watch, that’s the last thing you want to happen.

A quality watch winder enables you to set the correct number of turns, so your watch won’t overwind. To find the correct turns per day per watch, you should follow this link which takes you to a handy site that shows the correct turns per day for many watches.

Magnetization

A common problem with watch winders is that they can cause magnetization, in which the magnet inside the watch case and the electric motor create a small magnetic field that can wreak havoc on the mainspring of the watch.

The magnetic field can cause the mainspring to become stuck and less accurate, resulting in unequal and erratic hand movements and an unsmooth tick sound. 

Most fine watch winders have a piece of steel placed inside to absorb any damaging magnetization to combat this. If you have expensive watches in your time collection, it may be worthwhile for you to invest in a quality watch winder to prevent any internal mishaps.

Do You Need A Watch Winder?

Watch winders help with the routine upkeep of your timepieces, though keep in mind that these devices are only necessary for non-battery-powered watches. But with their high price tags, you might wonder if a watch winder will actually benefit you. 

Quality watch winders help maintain correct date settings and keep automatic watches accurate, on time and ready for your wrist. As automatic watches must be wound to keep accurate dates and time, watch winders recreate the body’s movements to keep the watch wound naturally, without force.

This helps you skip the step of resetting the date and time every time you reach for the watch after a few days without wearing it.

Watch companies design their watches with overuse in mind, so continual winding by way of being in a watch winder maintains your timepiece in good condition. 

Furthermore, if you have multiple watches at your disposal, watch winders are convenient placeholders to store your unworn watches, not to mention add some stylish aesthetic to any room, closet, or dresser top. They keep out harmful moisture and pesky dust too. 

Watch winders are not only essential and convenient for the maintenance of your watches, but they are beautiful and serve as protection from external damages. You may want to opt for a watch winder if you prefer to have an automatic watch always at the ready or if you want to protect your prized collection from harm. 

Top Rated Watch Winders

There are many watch winders out there, but here are a few of my quality favorites.

1. Wolf Heritage Single Watch Winder

If you only have one watch, the Wolf Heritage Single Watch Winder is one of your best picks. It’s affordable, doesn’t take up a lot of counter space, and has a quiet motor.   

This watch winder has several directional settings like clockwise, counterclockwise, and a combination of both and has a speed of 900 turns per day. 

2. Chiyoda Single Watch Winder

This Single Watch Winder by Chiyoda is optimized to fit even your largest of watches. It has turns-per-day settings and is equipped with a super silent Japanese Mabuchi motor that makes it perfect for your bedroom. 

It also doesn’t make much noise, at all, unlike some of the other watch winders on the market

3. Rapport London Single Watch Winder

The Single Watch Winder by Rapport London offers top-notch mechanics and sophisticated style. This watch winders’ outside details are gorgeous, with a beautiful cedar wood finish and brushed aluminum accents. 

Regarding mechanics, this watch winder has three direction settings, including bi-directional, clockwise, and counterclockwise. This watch winder also has a backup battery power reserve should your power go out.

4. Heiden Monaco Single Watch Winder

If you’re one to travel, then pack the Heiden Monaco Single Watch Winder with you on your next trip. This watch winder is an affordable option that is small and perfect for travel, powered by an AC adaptor or batteries to ensure your watches are always ticking. 

Unlike the above options, the Heiden Monaco has four turn settings that are compatible with most watches. Before purchasing a watch winder, be sure to research if your watch will work with it–that’s pretty important! 

5. TPR Double Watch Winder With Three Watch Storage

This option from TPR is an excellent middle-of-the-road watch winder if you’re an avid watch enthusiast. Its simple design makes up in the mechanical features. For example, it has an LCD display that allows you to see what direction you programmed the motor to run, be it clockwise, counterclockwise, or bi-directional. 

There’s also additional storage space to hold three more watches for a total of five watches that can be kept inside the machine. 

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