If you’re a one watch person, you might want to skip this article, but if you have, or plan to have, a collection of automatic timepieces, a watch winder is an accessory you should really own. But only if you don’t plan on wearing all your watches at the same time all the time, which would be… over the top, to say the least.
Automatic watches use the motion of the wearer’s wrist to keep time, storing a few days worth of energy in a power reserve mechanism that’s then used to power the motion of the watch’s hands.
But when they’re not worn for a few days, that power reserve runs down, and time stops. This is where a watch winder comes in to save the day. Or your automatic watch’s power reserve.
Before we dive into a selection of affordable watch winders, let’s first understand what these accessories are.
- What are Watch Winders?
- What to Look For in a Watch Winder
- 15. Swiss Kubik Startbox
- 14. Wolf Heritage Single Watch Winder
- 13. Barrington Automatic Single Watch Winder
- 12. Leader Watch Winders 4 Watch Winder
- 11. Triple Tree 6 Automatic Watch Winder
- 10. Watch Winder Smith Bamboo Watch Winder
- 9. JQueen Automatic Wood Watch Winder Display Box
- 8. Lukdof Watch Winder
- 7. JQueen Quad Watch Winder
- 6. Mozsly Double Watch Winder
- 5. Aestoria Orbit Watch Winder
- 4. JQueen Double Automatic Watch Winder
- 3. Versa Automatic Single Watch Winder
- 2. Hipai Single Automatic Watch Winder
- 1. Triple Tree Single Watch Winder
What are Watch Winders?
Watch winders are electronic devices that store automatic watches and keep them winded through automatic rotations, timed and predetermined to mimic the natural movement of the hand.
Though they aren’t always needed, as you can do without, they are very helpful when you have several automatic watches already and don’t want to set the time and date every time you choose to wear them, or even worse, have a perpetual calendar watch which is more complicated to set, and you don’t want it to run out of power reserve.
What to Look For in a Watch Winder
The very first thing you need to consider is if you really need to have a watch winder, as you don’t want to spend money on an accessory you’ll end up never using. Quartz and hand wound watches don’t need one, so make sure you’ve got automatic watches, as those are the only models that benefit from a watch winder.
If you decide you need one, then you should look for a few things before buying.
The first thing is the size of the watch winder, or capacity. There are quite a few options on the market, from a single winder to multiple ones. So, depending on how big is, or you plan your automatic watch collection to be, choose a watch winder that has that many slots. You can even have watch winders with 8 or 12 slots, but mind the price as well, as the bigger it is, the more you’ll pay.
Also, regarding size, this time the watch’s size, make sure the watches you own will fit inside the respective watch winder. This is usually judged according to the watch’s case diameter.
Then, and this is an obvious one, there’s the cost aspect. There are a plethora of options on the market, some of them with extremely high prices, but if you don’t need something for showcasing and impressing others with your exquisite watch collection, there’s no need to pay those exorbitant amounts.
Also, some watches store energy when they’re turned clockwise or counterclockwise, and others need a certain amount of turns per day, so make sure you know what your watch needs beforehand. There are programmable watch winders on the market, so you can match it with the exact needs of the watch, but those, as you might expect, cost more.
Now that you know what to look for, let’s take a look at some of the most affordable watch winders you can have today.
15. Swiss Kubik Startbox
The Swiss Kubik Startbox is the most expensive watch winder we’ll feature on this list, at around $500. This watch winder is a beautiful one, featuring a minimalistic design that will look absolutely great anywhere you put it.
For the money, you’ll get a very good system for rotating your watch, with 1800 rotations a day, half clockwise and half counterclockwise, so more than enough to keep most automatic timepieces winded properly.
The Swiss Kubik Startbox comes with two different sizes for the c-ring slot, one larger than 6.75 inch wrists, and the other smaller.
14. Wolf Heritage Single Watch Winder
Another single watch winder of very good overall quality is the Wolf Heritage Single Watch Winder with Cover. For the price of about $325, it offers flawless and silent operation of the rotating mechanism, and it comes with a rest function, a feature that prevents the over winding the watch inside.
Other than that, it’s programmed to 900 turns a day, and it comes with directional settings, allowing you to select either clockwise or counterclockwise, or bi-directional. The cuff inside fits watches up to 52mm in case diameter.
13. Barrington Automatic Single Watch Winder
For just a little bit less than $300, the Barrington Automatic Single Watch Winder is a very good option. It’s an understated yet premium quality single watch winder with silent rotation and intermittent rotation cycles.
Probably one of the most interesting functions on the watch winder market is that if you purchase more than one, they can be stackable, allowing to connect several together and power them from the same source. And for $295, it’s a good one, especially since you can start with one, and expand as and when needed.
12. Leader Watch Winders 4 Watch Winder
For about $289, you can have a watch winder with 4 slots. The Leader Watch Winders 4 Watch Winder with Storage also gives you storage space for up to 5 watches besides the 4 winder slots.
This winder also comes with an LCD display, and the possibility to select between 15 different winding programs to suit your needs. It’s a very balanced option, considering the price, the storage offered, and the presets.
11. Triple Tree 6 Automatic Watch Winder
The Triple Tree offers several watch winder variants, but the 6 Automatic one is one of their best, costing around $215.
It comes with a silent motor that rotates the watches, a synthetic leather interior with plush memory foam watch slots, soft blue LEDs, and a natural hardwood exterior with a polished high gloss finish.
10. Watch Winder Smith Bamboo Watch Winder
The Watch Winder Smith Bamboo is a beautiful one. It comes with two watch slots, but they can operate separately on one of the five presets. The build quality is impressive and the finish is first class.
Also important to note is that it doesn’t take much space, and the operation of the winders is smooth and silent, which adds to the overall appeal. And at $210, it’s a very good option.
9. JQueen Automatic Wood Watch Winder Display Box
Another gorgeous looking and affordable watch winder is the JQueen Automatic Wood Watch Winder Display Box. It can wind up to 4 watches, and has additional storage space for 9 more.
At $180, it’s a very good value for the money, and it does its job well. It’s very silent, with only a slightly audible hum when in operation. Sure, there are others almost completely silent out there, but considering the price and the storage space, you can’t criticize it.
8. Lukdof Watch Winder
The Ludkof Automatic Watch Winder is one of those winders that also offers additional storage space for other watches, two of them to be more precise. The winding function is available for one watch only.
What’s most impressive about this watch winder, besides its affordable price of about $140 and the functions it comes with is the overall luxurious appearance, with wood grain panels and nice metal accents, plus display windows for both the winder slot and the storage space.
7. JQueen Quad Watch Winder
Another very appealing option from JQueen is their Quad Watch Winder priced at $140. It’s not the best, but it’s a very dependable all around watch winder, with four slots, a quiet motor, and good looks.
Even more interesting is that it’s handmade, features acrylic glass on top, and 2 turntables with soft watch cushion. The motor has 3 direction settings to choose from, clockwise, counterclockwise, and bi-directional. The number of turns per day can also be set.
6. Mozsly Double Watch Winder
The Double Watch Winder from Mozsly is a gorgeous one, and that primarily due to its minimalist aesthetic and the variety of colorways it comes in. It’s different from other watch winders out there by having two separate cavities for each of the watch slots, which makes it look a lot more interesting.
The unit is crafted from a mix of PU leather and metal. They can also be paired together through an adapter, so you can control several of them at the same time.
It’s one of the more modern looking alternatives and very well priced, costing only about $150.
5. Aestoria Orbit Watch Winder
For around $100, you can have the gorgeous Aestoria Orbit Watch Winder. It’s got space for a single watch, but it comes with a very interesting design.
It’s in fact called a gyrowinder, or orbit winder, and it fits well with those who want both a winder and a nice way to showcase their watch.
4. JQueen Double Automatic Watch Winder
Moving under the $100 mark, we’ve got the JQueen Double Automatic Watch Winder Black & Ebony, priced at only $90. It’s probably the best budget option, since it’s a double winder at this price.
The winder has a case made from environmentally friendly ebony wood, which is resistant to corrosion, and is powered by a Japanese Mabuchi motor, that runs very quietly, with less than 10db. The winder features the usual clockwise, counterclockwise, and bi-directional modes of operation, and can be set to work at either 650 or 950 turns per day.
3. Versa Automatic Single Watch Winder
Moving into the top three most affordable watch winders on our list, we’ve got the Versa Automatic Single Watch Winder, priced at just $50. It’s an excellent option for any minimalist out there, one that takes up very little space and that fits within any kind of budget.
It’s made from plastic, so don’t expect any fancy materials here, and it comes with the usual direction settings, clockwise, counterclockwise, and bi-directional, and four modes regarding speed. The modes include 650, 850, 1050, and 1250 turns per day.
The design, though some may not find very appealing due to the plastic material, it’s still very pleasant and modern looking. The winder is very simple to use, so no useless frills here, and the Japanese Mabuchi motor is extremely quiet.
2. Hipai Single Automatic Watch Winder
The Hipai Single Automatic Watch Winder is so good looking that it leaves the impression it costs $500, not the $49 it does in reality. It’s one of the best looking watch winders in the very affordable range, with a nice and sleek white color scheme paired with a soft blue LED light to showcase the watch inside.
Beyond the futuristic and modern design, this Hipai model comes with 4 different rotation modes, and with a very reliable motor inside.
1. Triple Tree Single Watch Winder
The most affordable option on our list, the Triple Tree Single Watch Winder, priced at only around $47, is also a very classy looking one, crafted from wood and covered in faux leather. It can wind one watch only, and it comes in a compact form factor.
The operating modes are clockwise, counterclockwise, bi-directional, and non-intermitent bi-directional. One more advantage over other watch winders is the possibility of being powered by two AA batteries when needed.
The design is well made, with a pleasant aesthetic, though some will not love the textured leather on the outside. But for those money, you can’t ask for more. The motor is similar to others on this list, so you get the same Japanese reliability and quiet operation.
Though this is a niche market, there’s numerous watch winders out there for you to choose, from very little money to tens of thousands of dollars. For the owners of very expensive watches, spending several thousands more on a watch winder makes sense, but for the average collector or those who just got their first automatic timepiece, there’s no reason to spend so much.
The good news is there’s plenty of good options in the affordable range of watch winders as well, and we’ve rounded up some of the best in the list above. With that, we hope we’ve given you a good idea of what’s out there in terms of watch winders that won’t break the bank.