The 5 Best Watch Winders in 2018

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I still remember the day I saw my first Rolex.

And it just so happens that the reason the memory is so vivid has little to do with the watch itself.

SLĒK Watches

That’s right. The name, the iconic crown logo, the unique style—all a sidenote.

No, I still remember it to this day because of the winder the Rolex was sitting in.

I was in high school staying over at a buddy’s place. My friend’s Dad had told us he was going out and that we could do whatever we want while he was away. Except go in his study.

So what do you think a couple of teenage boys did the minute his Dad zoomed off down the driveway?

You guessed it.

And that’s where I saw it. In all its spinning, shiny, mahogany glory. Yes, I thought the the watch was cool, but it was the winder that was making the biggest statement.

I can’t quite pin down the model / make all these years later, but it was a thing of beauty to my impressionable teenage self.

And I knew that one day, when I had a job that paid more than the paper route I was working at the time, I’d have one of my own.

Do you need a watch winder?

First things first, I’m aware it’s unlikely that many of you shared the same level of youthful *ahem* excitement about getting a watch winder as me.

And obviously, if you don’t own (or plan to own) an automatic watch then you’d almost certainly be wasting your money.

But there are several good reasons to get one:

Convenience

A big one is convenience. If you own an automatic watch that you wear often, but not permanently, a watch winder will allow you to have it ready to go at all times. This also reduces the amount of hand winding you’ll do on your watch which causes unnecessary strain on the automatic movement.

If you own multiple automatic watches, the above point is even more relevant because most of us don’t wear more than one watch at a time (yeah, don’t be that guy).

Perpetual calendar

Another excellent reason to get a watch winder is if your piece has a complex perpetual calendar. A winder can bypass the need to go through any commonly elaborate resetting requirements if your watch has been stopped for some time.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the best watch winders that we think are worth splashing your hard earned on in 2018.

The 5 Best Watch Winders in 2018

1 WOLF 270402 Heritage Double Watch Winder

Last update on 2018-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

WOLF have one of the more interesting watch winder company founding stories out there.

All the way back in 1834, Philipp Wolf I (why don’t we number people anymore?) created the company after coming to the quite profitable realisation that his silver pieces sold a heck of a lot better when he presented them in beautiful boxes.

I’m sure if he were alive today he’d delight in the reception of the WOLF 270402 Heritage Double because it’s a beautiful box indeed.

It has a stunning faux leather exterior with chrome finishing and a glass cover.

The technical standout to this bad boy is it’s unique intermittent rotations which means it supports pre-programmed sleep and pause phases.

What reviewers like:

  • It’s quiet—the motor is as silent as described when in operation.
  • A lot of storage space, it can comfortably house large sized watches.
  • Pre-programmed for 900 turns per day (which is sufficient for most automatic movement).
  • Beautifully designed and of sturdy construction.
  • Simple to use.
  • Nicely packaged.

What reviewers don’t like:

  • Only 30-day warranty.
  • Several reviewers commented that it’s physically larger than they expected, so keep that in mind if you’re buying it for a specific location.
  • If you unlatch the latch to access the upper storage area, the glass door won’t stay closed.
  • The LEDs may be too bright for a bedroom. One reviewer solved this by placing a thin layer of electrical tape over them.
  • A small portion of reviewers feel the lock isn’t of expected quality.

2 Barrington Single Winder

£125.00 at BarringtonWatchWinders.com

Next up is a watch winder I’ve personally tried. Yep, it’s the Single Winder from UK’s own Barrington Watch Winder Company.

I chose the ‘shadow black’ colored winder for neutrality, but they have about eight or so styles to choose from, including ‘electric yellow’ which looks pretty damn sexy indeed.

Who are Barrington?

Founded in 2009 and based in the UK, the Barrington Watch Winder Company state their aim as being to deliver a winder which not only looks as good as the higher end ‘brand names’, but also has the same level of functionality. All at a reasonable price point. And by dandy, at less than $200 a piece, they may just have achieved it.

Features

Boasting the uber-quiet Mabuchi motor, the winder runs on AC mains or two AA batteries. I tested both methods to work equally as effectively as each other. And oh does it run quiet while winding. And I mean so quiet you really need to get close and concentrate to even know that it’s running.

It has a nice and sturdy feel to it, and while it’s clearly made of hard plastic (hey, it’s a sub $200 winder after all), the curved edges and purposeful design gives it a high end look. In combination with your favorite watch, and the LED light (when winding), the Barrington will be a genuine statement piece in whichever room you choose to showcase it.

In terms of functionality, it will rotate clockwise, counterclockwise or alternating (fairly standard), and it has all the necessary turns per day settings you’d need for nearly any watch.

Before I get bombarded with emails from every scrupulous watch aficionado out there, note that I modeled it below with my Sinn Regulateur because I don’t currently own an automatic watch. I tested the winding capability with my buddy’s Rolex Submariner.

What we like: 

  • You can adjust the spring behind the cushion to fit different band lengths.
  • Sleek, modern design and of firm build.
  • It’s super quiet—you can only hear a light whir of the motor, and that’s only if you’re listening for it.
  • You can use batteries! I’ve found this to be fairly rare among low-mid range winders.
  • Very simple to use, the two knobs are self explanatory.
  • NEW: You can attach multiple winders together via their Barrington ‘Jump’ feature which allows you to expand your winder capability as your watch collection grows.
  • Tightly packaged in foam, and covered in a mesh bag for extra protection. You can choose your region specific power adapter on purchase (hooray, there’s nothing worse than having to buy your own adapter).
  • 12-month quality guarantee from date of purchase.

What we don’t like: 

  • While the motor is very quiet (and as quiet as any other good winder I’ve tested), it’s still a motor, so it’s probably not suited for your bedroom, especially if you’re a light sleeper.
  • This final point is more about subjective taste. The Barrington is very minimalist in design. I love the minimalist style, so it suits me. However some may feel the simple plastic finish isn’t up to their aesthetic standards having seen other winders with higher quality finishing touches like leather panels, for example. But again, you need to consider the price point here.

3 Versa Automatic Single Watch Winder

Last update on 2018-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This thing might look like you’d expect to find a “FIRE ZE MISSILES” button inside instead of a watch, but it’s a solid option if you’re on a budget or you have just the one watch to wind.

The Versa is made of plastic in a ‘wood color’ (hey, it’s a sub $100 winder after all), and is confirmed to fit a surprisingly large range of watch models. It houses the reliable Mabuchi motor and its fairly standard direction settings should satisfy your needs.

What reviewers like:

  • Accommodates oversized watches—confirmed to house a 60x70mm case at 14mm thickness.
  • Simple direction settings which are easy to understand for novice users.
  • Multiple reviewers stated it kept their watch in perfect time.
  • Very quiet when in wind mode.
  • Well working spring holder which will snap close smaller wrist bands.
  • Looks great for the price, and the light effect is a nice touch to illuminate your watch.

What reviewers don’t like:

  • Operates on line voltage only, there’s no battery capability.
  • Doesn’t work with Seiko Kinetic watches and doesn’t maintain a wind with a Tag Heuer Carerra.
  • One reviewer claimed that it worked great for the initial 10 months or so, but then it started to have issues winding correctly, and would make loud squeaky noises when it turned.
  • A couple of reviewers stated that it is too noisy to be placed beside your bed while in use.

4 OLYMBROS Wooden Quad Automatic Watch Winder Organizer

Last update on 2018-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

We promised a winder for every budget, and the OLYMBROS Wooden Quad is another fantastic pick in the sub $200 range.

It boasts a motor by Japanese mega-manufacturer, Mabuchi, who just so happen to be the world’s largest manufacturer of small electric motors.

The OLYMBROS has five program settings and it can house eight watches—four wound, and four in storage.

What reviewers like:

  • Remains very quiet when running.
  • Inexpensive for the quality of the box and product.
  • Support very responsive.

What reviewers don’t like:

  • For one reviewer, the knobs on the product were broken when the product arrived.
  • For another, one side stopped rotating after three weeks of use.

5 Heiden Quad Watch Winder

Last update on 2018-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Based in California, Heiden craft their winders by hand and it shows in the finish quality. The Heiden winders have the solid feel you’d expect from a product falling squarely in the entry to mid level bracket.

The Quad comes in a black leather finish as pictured (our favorite), as well as in walnut  or cherry  if you prefer nuts or fruit in your aesthetic diet.

What reviewers like:

  • It feels and looks of solid workmanship; the hinges work well and the case door is smooth to open and shut.
  • Intuitive set up and simple to control the direction settings.
  • Excellent packaging, presented in a beautiful box.
  • Comes with additional pieces to expand the mounting pad to fit larger sized watches.
  • Very quiet with minimal motor noise.
  • No issues after 2 years + of regular use.

What reviewers don’t like:

  • No internal light displays when front panel is lifted to display watches.
  • No instructions included for winding suggestions for different watches, however another reviewer mentioned that these are easily found online.
  • One reviewer claimed that the winder stopped working at just under 2 years of use.
  • One reviewer mentioned that one of the winder buttons was non-operational on arrival.

Conclusion

Alright, time to wind this up (come on…how do I possibly resist that one?).

If your watch winder didn’t make the cut and you’re pretty bummed about it, chat with me about it in the comments. We’ll be keeping this list fluid.

If you’ve got a Rolex, you might like to check out AskMen’s awesome guide Choosing a Watch Winder for Your Rolex.

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