Types of Watch Winder and Features

It's worth taking the time to look closely at the various types of watch winder available - and the many different features they can include - in order to ensure you buy a device which ticks the right boxes for your needs.


A single head winder box is the obvious choice for someone who owns just one automatic watch, whereas a multiple rotator box, which can display and wind up many timepieces, is the natural choice for any devoted watch collector.


Single head boxes are probably the most common choice, but there's no shortage of other options available including double, triple, quad and multiple head devices, which can wind up six, eight, 10 or even more watches.

A cheap and cheerful winder box won't break the bank and will be perfectly capable of keeping an automatic watch running efficiently. But this type of box will have a limited number of on-board features and is not something that is likely to appeal to someone who is dedicated to maintaining a collection of expensive, sleek automatic watches.


The number of features a watch winder has will vary from device to device - but, as you would expect, high-end features such as an atomic-clock-synchronised time display, remote control or built-in heater to keep a watch at body temperature, come at a price.


Watch winders come in many shapes and sizes, and they can be made of a variety of different materials. Some devices, particularly the plastic or chrome round ones for winding a single watch, look very modern and trendy in style, making them a popular choice with young people who want something with high-tech appeal and design.


Plastic cases usually feature a stylish matt or shiny high gloss finish and are available in various colours including black, white, cream, grey, blue, pink, purple, red, silver and gold.


There are, however, many other small or large winder boxes, such as those made of wood, which look much more vintage and traditional in appearance. These may be more likely to appeal to an older collector of ladies or men's automatic watches who likes a more ornate winding box with discreet charm and style.


Wood is a popular choice of material for a watch winder and options include ebony wood, teak, mahogany, oak, rubber wood, beech and walnut. You will also find rotator boxes where the main structure is tastefully finished in faux crocodile or snakeskin, light or dark piano lacquer paint, wood shell or marble-effect.


Watch winder cases can also be made from various other materials including aluminium, stainless steel, chrome, steel, leather, carbon and glass. Popular shapes of watch winder boxes include spherical, oval, square, rectangular and hexagonal. Some have a domed top, similar to that found on many jewellery boxes.


The direction of winding varies between devices. Some watch winders operate clockwise only, others operate counter clockwise and some employ a combination of both.


These clever devices are very energy efficient and normally have an LCD display for the various settings. Quietness of operation is important to most people and many top quality winders have ultra-quiet motors.


There are obvious benefits of having a silent motor movement - not least of all if your motorised winder case is operating in the evening while you are in bed.


A few top of the range electric watch winders have undergone treatment to eliminate magnetization and anti-static treatment on their motors and circuit boards, which limits the risk of the build up of undesirable static.


Sleep mode is desirable feature to be found on some rotating watch boxes - this mean the winder will introduce period of rest in between winding sessions, thereby attempting to create the typical periods of movement and stillness of the human arm.


Another nice feature on some winder boxes is the ability to adjust the size of the cuffs and pads to accommodate varying sizes of watch strap.


Many winder boxes are just mains powered but some are dual-powered, meaning they can operate by mains - usually with an AC/DC adapter - and also with batteries. The batteries option is great if you are away from home and don't have easy access to a power supply.


Some winders, particularly those which have four or more winding heads with individual motors, also double up as handy storage boxes. This means, as well as being able to wind up several automatic watches, the box can also display several other watches in a series of soft and secure little cushioned display slots below the winding heads or even in separate pull-out drawers at the base of the main unit.


As you can see there's plenty of choice available when it comes to buying a watch winder. It makes sense to take your time before purchasing to ensure you find the best budget or deluxe device that's right for you.