The 5 Best Automatic Watch Winders

Automatic Watch Winders

My father owns a Steve McQueen Rolex Watch. He's worn it every day for 30 or more years. He bought it in Italy for a couple hundred dollars.

Eventually that watch will be mine. The problem is that I'm one of those new-fangled Millenials that uses his iPhone for everything.

I don't wear a watch. When that day comes that he gives it to me, it's not likely that I'm going to begin wearing it, but neither am I going to sell it.

But you can bet your ass that I'm going to keep his watch in good working order until I can figure out what to do with it. 

If you've got a watch that you love that you just can't wear as frequently as you'd like, I'm sure you hate the idea of neglecting it.

One Of Our Favorites: The Chiyoda Watch Winder

  • The Chiyoda is made from solid wood with an ebony grain finish.
  • It's powered by a Japanese Mabuchi motor to run quietly and durably.
  • Its two knobs control the number of turns per day (TPD): 650, 960, 1440, 2448; and 3 different directions: clockwise, counterclockwise, both.
  • The watch sits on a foam pillow to ensure it isn't abraded.
  • It measures 5.9" x 5.12" × 5.12" and can work from AC adapter power or 2 1.5V batteries

Automatic watch winders are an affordable solution to keep your high-end timepieces completely maintained while out of use. Some of the watch winders will do one watch at a time, while others can accommodate eight!

Automatic Watch Winders Compared

  • Versa
  • chiyoda
  • Diplomat Phantom
  • wolf heritage

New Option: The Boxy Watch Winder


Unboxing The Boxy

My father is currently using this watch winder for his Steve McQueen Rolex. The above video demonstrates unboxing and using the Boxy with his Rolex and with a smaller woman's Rolex watch.

I'll update this review after he's used it for a couple months.

The Boxy watch winder features 3 direction motor settings: clockwise, counterclockwise, and bi-directional. You can also adjust the turns per day settings from 650 to 3600 TPDs.

How The Boxy Works

Best Auto Watch Winders For 2017

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The Versa automatic watch winder is an affordable option with a lot of positive reviews from the buyers we spoke with.

The Versa has a variety of settings including bi-directional, counter clockwise, clockwise and a multiple turn in a day setting.

The winding mechanism operates continuously for 5 minutes and rests for a specific duration before repeating the cycle. It doesn’t provide continuous winding- as the manufacturers claim that it will overwind the watch. The watch winder does have a one-year warranty.

Watch the Versa winder in action

Pros

  • For larger sized watches, pillowing and attachments are provided
  • Light can be turned off using a provided switch
  • Very quiet during operation
  • Watch pillow is loaded with spring and extensions to fit different band lengths

Cons

  • Some users have reported loud noises from the winding mechanism when used with larger or heavier watches
  • Does not have a battery option

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The 2.9 lb Chiyoda automatic watch turner is a bit more expensive than the Versa and has received slightly higher rankings from its user base. It measures 5.1 x 5 x 5.9 inches and is known for its ease of use and effective operation.

The handmade device comes with an attractive wood varnish and is elegantly designed. The motor has 8 modes of operation. The circuit and motor have been given anti-static treatment.

Further, the velvet décor provides protection to the watches from magnetization and other damage. 

Watch the Chiyoda winder in action

Pros

  • Life time technical support and a warranty of 18 months is a definite advantage
  • Motor is very quiet
  • Good customer support
  • Pillows of adjustable size to fit different type of watches preventing scratches
  • Multiple programing modes

Cons

  • Some users have complained that their turning holder is not fixed in the center which means it can possibly make contact with the glass case 
  • Does not fit some watch designs

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The Diplomat 34-513 Phantom Wood Watch Winder is a stunning-looking automatic watch winder. It can accommodate six watches at a time. This extra capacity is deal for people with large watch collections.

The winder has other benefits too: the smart timer control keeps your watch from being over-wound, and the bi directional feature varies the winding, keeping your watches in good working order when you are not wearing them.

The watch winder also features four timer modes to select from. Winding can be programmed to function for three hours and then resume after a nine-hour rest period. The Diplomat Phantom has one-year manufacturer warranty and solid user feedback from its users.

Watch the Diplomat Phantom (8 watch version) in action

Pros

  • Very quiet operation
  • Design is sleek and elegant
  • Packaging offers good protection
  • Top quality construction
  • Several speed modes and winding option has alternate directions too
  • Can wind six watches at a single time, so is very useful for individuals having a large watch collection

Cons

  • Not suitable for bracelet model watches and for average sized wrists
  • Cannot be used for watches with Valjoux chronograph setting

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This handmade Japanese-designed double automatic dual watch winder (4.2 lbs) features especially quiet operation.

Some of its appealing features include an acrylic glass piano lacquer, battery and outlet power supply options, 3 direction settings, and the high-quality copper transmitter.

There are four program modes and three direction settings along with a multiple turn-in-a-day setting. The watch winder keeps the watch functioning well while in storage and it is also noted for its dust-proofing feature.

Pros

  • Especially convenient and safe to use
  • Eliminates need to reset and wind automatic watches and is important for mechanical watches
  • Japanese motor is of top quality
  • AC and battery power options
  • Vertical design saves space and is attractive in appearance too
  • Prevents scratches on the watch and is durable

Cons

  • Can emit noise after a few months of use
  • AC adaptor is not provided with the package

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The Wolf Heritage Double automatic watch winder measures 12.75″w x 7.75″d x 8.75″ and weighs 9.3 lbs. The Wolf Heritage double watch winder comes from a premier brand and is preferred by higher-end watch aficionados.

The leather exterior is pretty elegant and its design features include finely crafted chrome metal clasps, control knobs along and its tempered glass cover makes this winder a truly special purchase.

The product also gets high scores from the buyers we spoke with regarding its ease of functionality. It has pre-programmed pause, sleep and rotation modes. The watch operates on lithium batteries and/or AC power. 

Watch the Wolf Double Watch Winder in action

Pros

  • Modern design case with cushioned winder recesses makes it an excellent gift option, even if it is expensive
  • Operates on AC power and lithium/cell or D batteries
  • Nylon gears provide silent operation
  • Lock in style cuff is apt for heavy and big watches

Cons

  • The winder has a relatively long start delay
  • Glass door in front flops down when the top opens as it does not have a snap or indent to keep the door closed

Watch maintenance tips

Customer tips & feedback

  • Some automatic watch winder manufacturers will actually custom make watch winders for your particular style of timepiece.
  • Most users found that their automatic watch winders had pillows that were adjustable enough to accommodate the timepiece they were automatically winding.
  • Another strong benefit is the warranties that the companies include with their winders- they are pretty generous considering how mechanical the winders' operation is, this is a great feature.
  • One of the primary complaints is motor noise. It appears that noise from the winders' motors can bother some people, while not bothering others.
  • That said, if the winder is it all noisy you probably won't want to keep it in your bedroom.
  • One user who own a large Rolex Submariner as well as a Breitling Chronomat found that both easily fit into his Chiyoda winder.
  • Some watch connoisseurs are unaware that the units need to be turned in different directions- this makes the winders' ability to turn counterclockwise, clockwise or in either direction during one turning session an especially convenient functionality.
  • In terms of design, Chiyoda users were particularly pleased with the viewing window, the cherry wood veneer as well as the creamy interior fabric.
  • Users of the Wolf Heritage describe it as an ideal birthday gift for their husbands and boyfriends. It is attractively packaged with a protective sweater and operates quietly inside of its highly attractive finished case.
  • Because of their adjustability leather strap watches are not usually strained during winding.
  • If you are considering purchasing an automatic watch winder, take note of the reviews here and be confident that you can find a high-quality device for a reasonable price.
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