How Does a Watch Winder Work? A Complete Guide

If you are a watch collector or own more than one automatic watch, then you may have encountered one problem. Keeping your watches wound when you do not wear them for weeks or months. Well, others solve this problem by using a watch winder. So, what is a watch winder, and how does a watch winder work?

How Automatic Watches Work

Inside a mechanical watch or an automatic watch is a small coil-like metal called the Mainspring. Basically, this component is used to store energy. When it is wound, energy is stored on it. This energy is released gradually as the mainspring unwinds. Once released, this energy is used to operate the watch to keep time accurately.

Unlike mechanical watches, an automatic watch has an internal oscillating weight instead. The weight swings as the wearer move the hand. This keeps the mainspring wound. So while you are active during the day, the watch on your wrist uses your hand movement to wind itself.

What is a watch winder?

showcase of a watch winder with two watches inside

A watch winder is a small device you can use to wind your automatic timepiece when it’s not being worn. So if you have a collection of automatic watches, the best way to keep them wound up is by using a watch winder. A winder will keep your perpetual calendar running and save you the hassle of correcting the time every time you pick up the watch.

Watch winders come in different shapes and sizes. Some are designed like small jewelry boxes, while others act like watch safes.

How a watch winder works

As discussed, watch winders are designed to imitate the motions that you make when you wear your automatic watches. It ensures that the oscillating weights in automatic watches are moved back and forth or up and down. When the watch winder rotates, the oscillating weights begin storing energy. This energy is utilized to keep the movement of the gears.

If you’re wondering whether a watch winder will overwind your watch, the answer is no. This is because automatic watches’ mainsprings are designed not to get overwound.

Do you need to own a watch winder?

Watch winders are neat tools for watch lovers, not just due to the fact that they maintain your watches, but due to the fact that they give you a secure location to keep your automatic timepiece when it’s not on your wrist. You can also use them as display boxes to showcase your watches. There’s no need to buy a watch winder if you don’t own an automatic watch.

For someone who rarely collects watches, these elegant boxes are not required. However, as a watch enthusiast, buying this lovely component of modern technology isn’t a bad idea either.

How to Pick The Right Watch Winder

Many watch winders have a couple of features that you may need to focus on.

The Optimal TPD

TPD stands for turns per day. This represents the number of complete turns the winder makes in a 24-hour period. For a watch inside the winder, there is a magic number of turns per day that it needs to run best.

A good watch winder will certainly give you the option to adjust the TPD. However, the default setup will normally be around 650 TPD, which is best for a lot of watches.

To wind a watch not fully wound, it’s best practice to wind it by hand first before putting it in your winder set to optimal TPD. This way, your watch will certainly come out of the winder at its ideal mainspring stress.


Magnetic disturbance can make some watches run quickly, needing a demagnetizer to correct them. However, with watch winders, there’s an extremely marginal danger that your watch could be magnetized. Nonetheless, a top-quality watch winder will have a protected motor that won’t allow its copper spindle to transfer a magnetic field to your watch when it’s running.

Direction of Rotation

You should get a winder that will certainly revolve in both the clockwise and also counter-clockwise directions. Generally, this setting enables the winder to alternate directions throughout the day. It is necessary to vary the path of the motion of the oscillating weight to ensure that the wear is equal in both directions. Some older automatic watches only wind in one direction, so it
is very important to acquire a winder that will certainly turn both ways.

The time between on and off cycles

Another distinct must-have function is the time between on and off cycles. The winder should have the ability to vary the run time and also the remaining time. This helps maintain different types of watches.


An excellent watch winder will typically be quieter when it’s running. This indicates that the electric motor will not be grinding or whimpering when in operation.

Overall, a quality watch winder needs to last you a while. If this is not the case, make sure to protect your purchase with a warranty. Many manufacturers have warranties that cover their winders. It’s good practice to look for watch winders with warranties.[the_ad id=”1435″]

Some Good Watch Winders

Like watches themselves, watch winders can be extremely affordable or inordinately costly. The majority of are sensibly low-cost, yet choosing out the right watch winder depends on your tastes as well as budget plan.

Wolf Heritage Automatic Watch Winder

This winder comes with a smooth black vegan leather material that is both durable and presentable. It has nylon gears that run silently; hence you can place it anywhere. You can operate the box using power or batteries if you are traveling.

The winder comes pre-programmed with 900 turns per day, and its rotation is bi-directional. For heavy watches, it has a lock-in cuff that holds them in place as they rotate.

JQueen Quiet Motor Watch Winder

This JQueen watch winder comes in a high-value varnished wood that is attractive and solid. Its operating motor is extremely quiet and runs smoothly. It has a dual-power option. This means you can also power it with batteries. The winder rotates counter-clockwise, clockwise, and alternate, mimicking all movements of your wrist.

Triple Tree Watch Winder For 10 Automatic Watches

This watch winder has four winder spaces and 6 storage spaces. It is most recommended for watch collectors. It comes with a stylish lock with a stainless steel key. This keeps your watches protected.

CHIYODA Dual Watch Winder

If you want to go with an affordable double watch winder box, this Chiyoda option is a sweet steal. It comes with four pre-programmed TPDs to choose from depending on the watch you intend to wind. Owing to its quiet motor, you can keep this winder anywhere, including your office.


Please let us know if there’s something we missed out. Using a watch winder will keep your watch ticking and ready to wear at all times.

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