A watch winder is a device that you can use to keep your watch wound and operating when you aren’t wearing it. Most mechanical watches these days can be automatically wound by converting wrist movement into energy through the use of springs, gears, weights, rotors and complex mechanisms.
The issue with this, however, is that you must wear your watch in order to keep it wound, so not wearing it causes the movement to run out of power and stop. This is where a watch winder comes in. They work by moving your watch in a way that is similar to the wrist movements that wind an automatic watch while it is being worn, thus preventing it from stopping.
While some people are against the use of watch winders, it must be understood that their grievances are often derived from misinformation. So the question is, will a watch winder harm my watch?
Orbit Winder 'Black Piano'
Will it harm my watch?
Whether they are made from titanium, ceramic or gold modern watches are designed to handle the stresses everyday wear and tear can put on them. Watches are made to be worn and hit off desks, doors, dropped onto tables and everything else.
With the incredibly unique gyroscopic motion of our orbit winders, no part of your watch is put under more stress than any other part. Winders that don’t have a gyroscopic motion might cause more stress on some parts of the watch as they won’t be able to dissipate their energy evenly across the mechanism, however.
Why should I get one?
Aside from the obvious convenience of being able to take your wound watch off a winder after a few days of not wearing it and going about your business immediately, there are some additional benefits. The main advantage of this is not having to wind and set your complications after your unworn watch has stopped functioning.
While some complications like a date might only take a few seconds to get back to speed a perpetual calendar, moon-phase indicator or annual calendar are all going to take quite a while to get back into sync. There is also the additional risk of setting them at the wrong ‘time’ which might throw your whole movement off.
Another thing to mention is that modern self-winding movements are designed for exactly that – being self-wound. They are intended to be wound due to movement, not through manual winding. While manual winding is always an option for a mechanical watch, it should only be a last resort as the parts involved in manually winding a modern self-winding watch aren’t as robust as they would be on a fully manual winding watch.