SO you’ve kickstarted that watch collection with a few automatic pieces. But with just one wrist to put a watch on, you realise you can’t keep all the power reserves juiced up. The novelty of setting the same prized timepieces each time you have to wind them is kind of wearing thin as well.
If you’re ticking all those boxes off, it’s time for a modest investment into a watch winder. These are basically the equivalent of a ‘charging dock’ for automatic watches. You mount the timepiece, and a mechanism keeps the watch turning slowly, spinning the rotor and thus juicing up the mainspring. In this way, you can keep anywhere from several to dozens of watches winded and ready to accompany you out of the house.
Whether you’re just starting out with a couple of watches, or halfway through building a massive collection and want to look at functions such as added security and humidity control, we’ve got you covered. These all come with a multitude of options for how long and frequently a watch should be rotated, and have been certified to be adequately shielded so electromagnetism doesn’t wreak havoc on your watch innards.
01: The lazy one
Wait, what? You have a single automatic, but can’t be bothered to wear it out often enough, or wind it? Well, more power to you, friend – this excellent single winder from California-based Versa will dispense the TLC that you won’t. It’s particularly noteworthy because of it’s spherical shape – a rarity in the world of watch winders, but perfect in this use case.
02: The Casual
If you rotate between three or fewer watches (and you should, based on the occasion), Diplomat’s basic double-stacked winder is for you. The neat column takes up very little space on your desk or dresser and doubles up as an impressive display case. Don’t dig the plastic look? Go for the Burlwood finish.
For those who only bring out the couple watch on special occasions, there’s no better place to house them than in this stylish, bamboo-and-metal affair from Watch Winder Smith, which comes with 2 sets of large and small pillows for the corresponding bracelet size. Reviews indicate it’s also deathly quiet, as advertised.
04: The Fashionista
You’ve expanded your collection to cover a variety of looks, and never wear the same watch two days in a row. You plan your outfits a week ahead. Brilliant. Now you just need a place to house a watch for each day of the week – you can set them all at one go on, say, a Sunday evening, then line them up accordingly in Barrington’s six-watch mini-safe. Oh, your precious tickers get their own LED lighting now.
05: The Magnate
At this point you’re fostering an entire boutique’s worth of watches. Why should they receive anything less than the best treatment? A few premier brands jostle in the ultra-luxury space, but none are quite as extravagant as Buben & Zorweg’s 2018 creation, the Grande Infinity, cloaked in Italian nappa leather and also available in walnut.
It doesn’t hold as many watches as the brand’s Grande Collector XL, but it’s unparalleled in terms of dramatic elements: it’s got its own opening mechanism, a limited-edition tourbillon and a timekeeping device resembling a grandfather clock. Additional options such as alarm functions are available to further safeguard your prized cache.
But are they necessary?
The watch winder’s been a topic of debate between collectors for a long time now. Do you need one, or do they actually do the watches a disfavour? The answer, as is often the case, is that it is a highly individualised answer.
There are, naturally, arguments against getting a watch winder. For example, if you take pleasure in that evening ritual of winding your beloved pieces individually, just purchase a regular watch safe. If you’re planning decades ahead and are afraid of wear and tear in the gears, leave the watches dormant instead. Do remember to have them serviced before use; while the contained oil doesn’t ‘cake’ or ‘coagulate’ these days, it does thin out over time.
In any case, there’s no reason why you can’t have the largest watch winder protecting your investments, while activating only a couple of cells for, say, a packed weekend hosting visiting relatives – when you know you won’t have that pocket of time to yourself and your watches.
IMAGES: Respective brands.