Sunday, November 13, 2011

What is a watch winder, and do I need one?

Collectors who have more than one automatic watch may have "difficulty" keeping any one watch going continuously. This leads to increased inconvenience especially if perpetual calendars and moonphases must be reset. A solution has been invented - the automatic watch winder.
The idea is quite simple, to strap the automatic watch on to s socket which is mounted on top of a geared motor, which then moves the watch enough to keep it wound when not worn on the wrist. That way, one can choose to wear any watch at any time, and not have to reset the time or calendars. In theory, this device should be simple and cheap.

In practice, it's not as easy as it sounds. First, while an automatic watch has an overwind protection mechanism to avoid damage to the movement, if the overwind mechanism is constantly used for hours at a time (i.e. though constant turning, rather than the unpredictable movement of the human wrist), the lubrication of the mechanism is worn out faster. This means that watch winders must be designed to only make so many turns per day, and to let the watch sit and run itself through its power train. Furthermore, since automatic winding mechanisms vary from watch model to model, the winder must be designed to have an adjustable number and direction of turns per day. Finally, mechanical watches are considered luxury items, which means watch winders are doubly so - due to the small number of people who would actually want one.

An important factors for Watch winder is the magnetic flux leakage. It should not have significant leakage that would magnetize your Expensive Watch. Battery driven motor is preferred as it is quiet and less electrical interference. Two size A battery cells can run continuous for two years. Some of the cheapest one of watch winder is HKD$800 and more expensive Watch Winder is sold at HKD$1,000,000.00.

A Mechanical watch is prone to get easier for wear and tear if they are set to run on timer for more than one year. If I had too many watches I had rather manual set the time before I wear it, only concern is Perpetual calendar that is hard to set-up. I know many people even does not care the day and date on their calendar perpetually at all,

All of this means that manufacturers for the consumer market must not only make their winders mechanically foolproof to avoid damaging watches, but they often construct the winder comparably to a jewelry box. The upshot of all this is that most consumer’s watch winders with programmable winding are expensive - often costing several hundred or thousand dollars.

While cheaper professional models exist, these often do not come with programmable settings, as the maker assumes that they would be used in a watchmaker's shop.

Some Cheap Watch winder has a lousy watch capture and lock device, you expensive watch may drop out and get scratched when you are travelling.

Last word - winders are not a necessity, they are a convenience. You should decide whether they are worth it based on whether you feel inconvenienced resetting your automatics occasionally.
HK Snob

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