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Watch Winder FAQ

Finding a the right watch winder can be overwhelming. We've compiled a list of a few common questions about watch winders.

What exactly is a watch winder?

A watch winder is a device used to keep automatic or self winding watches wound when they are not being worn. Automatic watches operate on the principle of winding themselves using a moving weight inside the watch. The weight swings or rotates while the watch is worn and turns the mechanism inside the watch. If the watch is not being worn, then it will no longer receive the power this way and will eventually run down.

While virtually all automatic watches can be manually wound, this is not always convenient. So the concept of an automatic watch winder was born. Watch winders have been used for years by watch and jewelry repair shops to test their own repairs. Only in the last few years have winders been available for public use.

Do I need a watch winder?

If you have an automatic or self winding watch and you don’t use it everyday, the answer is yes. If you may have more than one automatic timepiece, the answer is yes. The way an automatic or self winding watch works is the osculating weight rotates back and forth and winds the mainspring of the watch which in turn becomes power to operate the movement. Automatic watches are designed to store their mainspring energy for at least 24 hours, although most watches will last much longer.

When the watch is not used everyday, it has to be wound by hand. Otherwise, the timepiece will lose the time, day and date and any other function that have been programmed. Manual winding will require the crown of the watch to be pulled or unscrewed to set the time and all the other functions. This will reduce the life of the winding gears and destroy the threads on the tube of the crown. In addition, to reducing wear and tear of the crown system , a properly designed watch winder can help distribute the lubricating oil inside the watch evenly, in most cases.

When a watch winds down and stops, the lubricating oil inside the watch will tend to settle and clot, and lose certain extent of its viscosity over an extended period of time. However, a well maintained watch will extend the life of the timepiece. An automatic or self winding watch should be maintained every one-to three years and be brought to a reputable watch maker. Keeping your watches maintained and running will save you on costly watch repair bills and will extend the life of your watch.

Why use a watch winder?

A watch winder will provide 3 functions:
  1. A watch winder will provide convenience and time saving benefits. Your timepiece will be wound and ready to wear!
  2. A watch winder will reduce wear and tear on your mechanism and costly repair bills.
  3. A watch winder will enhance the mechanical life of your watch.

You don’t need a watch winder, if you have the following types of watches:

  • Quartz watch. This quartz movement works a with battery.
  • Manual mechanical watch. This movement has to be wound manually everyday.
  • Kinetic watches. This movement needs a “Kinetic” charger.

What kind of watch winder do I need?

Tech Swiss watch winders all have been designed to wind all automatic and self winding watches. However, there are some features that you should be aware of before you purchase a winder. Listed below are several functions that our winders offer. Choose the winder that best suits your needs.

Here are some watch winder features:

Rotation direction - Clockwise or anti-clockwise rotation. Most watches can be wound in either direction. However, there are a few watches that have to be wound in one direction only. Please check your watch manual for additional information. Most watch winders have this option.

Programmable features

Programmed timed operations are a very important feature for a watch winder. Though these models cost slightly more, they will save wear and tear on your winder and on your watch. If you decide to buy one without a timer, I strongly recommend that you purchase a small appliance timer at your local hardware store that has dual program. Generally, the timers for the watch winder should be set for 3 hours of operation and 9 hours of rest.

Battery operated watch winders 

All Tech Swiss winders come with an A/C adaptor. Some models are also available with battery operation. This feature is very desirable if you store your watch in a safe or in a location you plan to display your winder that is not close to an outlet.

How many heads will I need for my watch winder? 

Once you have decided on the above options, next choice is how many watches do you want to be wound. If you need more than one watch to be wound, check to see if the unit offers more then one head. (Single, double, quad or more). Also, note when choosing a winder with more then one head, you may want a winder with rotation control options. Look to see if each head rotates individually or all heads rotate at the same time.

What exterior colors are offered?

The last choice is the exterior color of the winder. This is a personal choice and Tech Swiss offers a wide variety of colors, materials and designs. Our classic colors are black and brown, each coming in a variety of finishes

Do you offer winder with a storage area?

Tech Swiss offers a wide variety of designs and styles. Some have space for additional watches and jewelry within the unit.

Can a watch winder over-wind my watch?

No. Today’s automatic watches are manufactured with movements that will disengage once the mainspring is fully wound. But it is possible to over-stress your watch, if you don’t periodically allow your watch to rest between cycles. An over-stressed mechanism could eventually shorten the life of your watch. When choosing a winder, a built in timer or an external timer can eliminate this issue.