Own an automatic watch? Then is a watch winder a must-have? Or is it just a gadget?
The old assumption was that an automatic watch winder was purely to keep it running and not stop. This is true however there is much more to owning a watch winder than that. I’ll come onto this shortly but lets firstly explore a little bit more about automatic watches themselves and how they work.
In non-technical terms, an automatic watch is one that winds itself up just by wearing it and moving around. It has a half-moon shaped weight in the back called a rotor. This moves and turns, (you might feel it if you are a sensitive person!). It coils the mainspring in the movement. This in turn, slowly unravels itself and powers the mechanism to make the watch run and keep good time. ‘Good time’ of course is of course a matter of opinion. No automatic watch whatever the brand and however many thousands of pounds you spend, is as accurate as a quartz battery-powered watch. And, quartz watches are not as accurate as digital watches. Then again, digital watches are generally not 100% accurate like smart phones are. I digress! Accuracy is not the reason why we spend a lot of money on a Rolex, Cartier or IWC is it?
What has been more understood in recent times is that a quality or luxury watch winder does so much more than keep the watch running. Luxury watch winders are clever bits of kit. Cheap watch winders turn the watch too much and keep the mainspring fully coiled or at full wind whereas luxury watch winders are pre-programmed to allow the mainsping to get fully wound, then wind down too. This is done by pre-determined numbers of winds in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions. Most importantly, correct periods of rest ie no winding are also part of their process. When wound in these specific ways, automatic watches run correctly off the wrist. Most importantly also, the internal fine oils are permitted to do their job by lubricating all parts of the movement. This reduces component wear and can delay service intervals. Service and overhaul of automatic watches is as we know not cheap and means the watch is often away for 4 to 10 weeks at a time.
So, in our view, luxury watch winders are must-haves if you own a Swiss luxury automatic watch. We would say that wouldn’t we? Yes. But the facts speak for themselves. Why spend good money on a mechanical automatic luxury branded watch and not maintain it correctly when off your wrist?
Are luxury watch winders gadgets too? Yes of course they are. They move, flash, are programmable, have LED mini displays and are made of luxurious woods, materials and leathers. We love ‘em!