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Automatic Watch Winders


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#1 Well Played

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:27 PM

Any automatic mechanical watch owners out there?  Just starting to get into watches... Got my first automatic mechanical and was wondering how important it is to have a watch winder.  And if so, what is a good watch winder?  This will generally be an everyday watch for me, so most days will be on my wrist except for in the evening when sleeping.

Thanks!


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#2 jwrogers

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:33 PM

I've had a good Breitling for a little over 8 years (since my 10th anniversary) without having a watch winder.  I wear it almost every day.  They aren't necessary.    That said, I wouldn't mind suggestions for a good affordable watch winder.   I see a few on Amazon for under $100 but I've never pulled the trigger on one yet.

#3 SilverBullets

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:12 PM

If you wear it everyday you won't need one.  I have a couple automatic watches so having one is nice to keep the watch I'm not wearing up to date.

Orbita makes the best wonders but they are pricey.  I had a cheaper one (like a $125 one) and it wasn't heavy duty enough to wind my Baume and Mercier.  That's when I stepped up to the Orbita.  With winders I think it's a lot like automatic watches... You get what you pay for.  If you want something as precise as your automatic watch, than you have to pay the price.
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#4 jh19

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 07:18 PM

If you're going to buy a watch winder, spend the money and get a good one! I have 4 automatics and I don't worry about keeping them wound.
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#5 w8liftr

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:47 PM

I'd suggest Orbita, too. No problems with mine.


#6 PutterHo

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:20 PM

^ This .... I went with a preowned Orbita.  The only problem is that you begin to run into the same issue as a putter rack.  You end up wanting to fill each slot up.

#7 lumberman2462

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:05 AM

Orbita is the best but you need to be careful and make sure that the winder will work with your wach.  I've got several watches that require a winder - when not being worn - and all but one will wind on my Orbita.  Not sure what the deal is - keeps excellent time on my wrist but I can leave it on the Orbita for a few days and it will begin to lose time.  I talked to a watchmaker and Orbita re-seller and he told me that some watches require a slightly different motion or cycle to keep working correctly.

They are expensive.
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#8 SilverBullets

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 11:05 AM

View Postlumberman2462, on 13 January 2013 - 09:05 AM, said:

Orbita is the best but you need to be careful and make sure that the winder will work with your wach.  I've got several watches that require a winder - when not being worn - and all but one will wind on my Orbita.  Not sure what the deal is - keeps excellent time on my wrist but I can leave it on the Orbita for a few days and it will begin to lose time.  I talked to a watchmaker and Orbita re-seller and he told me that some watches require a slightly different motion or cycle to keep working correctly.

They are expensive.

Have you looked online at the various different ways to set the Orbita so it provides a different motion?  I know they have a chart somewhere where it tells you based on the watch you own how to set the motion.
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#9 Bogeyman82

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:22 PM

If you just have one and you wear it everyday I see no need for a winder.  I have had my Omega for 2 years now with no winder and I don't think it's stopped once.  Most high end mechanical watches have power reserves of over 40 hours.  A winder definitely won't hurt, but isn't necessary.

#10 Jim Clark

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:00 AM

Get a good quartz watch. Automatics generally keep lousy time. My Rolex that I've had since the mid '80's is awful and I've had it maintained well. It's pretty and I like it, but it doesn't keep time for S#!*.

My Chase Durer is the most accurate watch I've ever owned.


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#11 jwrogers

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:48 AM

View PostJim Clark, on 14 January 2013 - 10:00 AM, said:

Get a good quartz watch. Automatics generally keep lousy time. My Rolex that I've had since the mid '80's is awful and I've had it maintained well. It's pretty and I like it, but it doesn't keep time for S#!*.

My Chase Durer is the most accurate watch I've ever owned.

Everything you say is exactly true.   Still, you don't pass your quartz watch along to your kids as an heirloom.   Automatic watches have a place, and that place is with people who appreciate exquisite workmanship and old-world style.   You can keep time on your cell phone.   An automatic watch is about more than keeping time.

#12 Jim Clark

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:32 AM

View Postjwrogers, on 14 January 2013 - 10:48 AM, said:

View PostJim Clark, on 14 January 2013 - 10:00 AM, said:

Get a good quartz watch. Automatics generally keep lousy time. My Rolex that I've had since the mid '80's is awful and I've had it maintained well. It's pretty and I like it, but it doesn't keep time for S#!*.

My Chase Durer is the most accurate watch I've ever owned.

Everything you say is exactly true.   Still, you don't pass your quartz watch along to your kids as an heirloom.   Automatic watches have a place, and that place is with people who appreciate exquisite workmanship and old-world style.   You can keep time on your cell phone.   An automatic watch is about more than keeping time.

I agree with everything you said. I don't have anyone to leave the Rolex to. It's a really nice looking piece of jewelry. You interested in buying it? ;)

#13 SilverBullets

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:31 PM

View PostJim Clark, on 14 January 2013 - 11:32 AM, said:

View Postjwrogers, on 14 January 2013 - 10:48 AM, said:

View PostJim Clark, on 14 January 2013 - 10:00 AM, said:

Get a good quartz watch. Automatics generally keep lousy time. My Rolex that I've had since the mid '80's is awful and I've had it maintained well. It's pretty and I like it, but it doesn't keep time for S#!*.

My Chase Durer is the most accurate watch I've ever owned.

Everything you say is exactly true.   Still, you don't pass your quartz watch along to your kids as an heirloom.   Automatic watches have a place, and that place is with people who appreciate exquisite workmanship and old-world style.   You can keep time on your cell phone.   An automatic watch is about more than keeping time.

I agree with everything you said. I don't have anyone to leave the Rolex to. It's a really nice looking piece of jewelry. You interested in buying it? ;)

haha well played.

I think automatic watches, if maintained and regularly (every 5 or so years) serviced will keep fantastic time.  My Baume from 2004 is very accurate.  I wear it prob 3-4 times per week and keep it on a winder... it's always spot on.

Automatic watches are like high-end cars.  They are intricate as hell, can cost a fortune, and are a pain in the a** to maintain (my Baume had a issue in 2006 and had to be rebuilt... $900 and 8 months later I could wear my watch again).  Many cars will get you from point A to point B and a Honda is certainly more reliable, requires less attention and is significantly cheaper than a Ferrari, but, the Ferrari is more coveted.

I can't explain it.  I can't explain why as a 26 year old I am fascinated with watches and most specifically Automatic watches.  The size, the intricacy and fact that they are lot more rare just get me.  It's probably a lot of the same reasons why I carry a MacKenzie
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#14 cpeck12

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:35 PM

Wolf Designs makes nice winders. They're not as nice as Orbita, but they get the job done and they're not as expensive. I have a single Wolf Designs winder and it works great for my auto watches.

If you wear the watch enough then you don't need a winder. Like someone mentioned above, most autos have somewhere around a 40 hour reserve so if you wear it at least every other day you're fine. If not, then you can just manually wind it once in a while. A winder will become more of a necessity once you add to your collection and don't wear the watches enough to keep them going. Although I know some people who simply let the watches stop and just wind/set the time each time before they wear them.

#15 lumberman2462

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:31 PM

View PostSilverBullets, on 13 January 2013 - 11:05 AM, said:

View Postlumberman2462, on 13 January 2013 - 09:05 AM, said:

Orbita is the best but you need to be careful and make sure that the winder will work with your wach.  I've got several watches that require a winder - when not being worn - and all but one will wind on my Orbita.  Not sure what the deal is - keeps excellent time on my wrist but I can leave it on the Orbita for a few days and it will begin to lose time.  I talked to a watchmaker and Orbita re-seller and he told me that some watches require a slightly different motion or cycle to keep working correctly.

They are expensive.

Have you looked online at the various different ways to set the Orbita so it provides a different motion?  I know they have a chart somewhere where it tells you based on the watch you own how to set the motion.

I have.  It's a really weird deal.  My winder holds four watches and I've tried every combination (and permutation) of settings.  Every watch I own will wind any of the winders in the box except for this one Breitling.  It's a mid 90s Chronomat with UTC and just will not wind on there.  I sent it off to Breitling last year for a complete service: new hands, crystal - the whole ball of wax.  I received a telephone call from Breitling wanting to know if I wanted to replace the crystal on the UTC  - I asked the guy a few questions and he confessed to me that they really don't service those  "older" models as much as just replace the movement!  Not kidding - they just take the old movement out and throw it in the trash and put a new one in your case, polish it up and send it out.  Fine with me.  I got it back and it looked brand new and kept perfect time.  I decided to switch out and wear another watch and put the Chronomat in the box.  Looked at it about a week later and it was over an hour slow!?!  My Steelfish and Transocean wind perfectly on the Orbita.....defies explanation.....and I've spent some time thinking about it - But I guess I should admit that I'm pretty dumb.....

If anyone has an idea - please let me know.  

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#16 SilverBullets

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:54 PM

View Postlumberman2462, on 14 January 2013 - 04:31 PM, said:

View PostSilverBullets, on 13 January 2013 - 11:05 AM, said:

View Postlumberman2462, on 13 January 2013 - 09:05 AM, said:

Orbita is the best but you need to be careful and make sure that the winder will work with your wach.  I've got several watches that require a winder - when not being worn - and all but one will wind on my Orbita.  Not sure what the deal is - keeps excellent time on my wrist but I can leave it on the Orbita for a few days and it will begin to lose time.  I talked to a watchmaker and Orbita re-seller and he told me that some watches require a slightly different motion or cycle to keep working correctly.

They are expensive.

Have you looked online at the various different ways to set the Orbita so it provides a different motion?  I know they have a chart somewhere where it tells you based on the watch you own how to set the motion.

I have.  It's a really weird deal.  My winder holds four watches and I've tried every combination (and permutation) of settings.  Every watch I own will wind any of the winders in the box except for this one Breitling.  It's a mid 90s Chronomat with UTC and just will not wind on there.  I sent it off to Breitling last year for a complete service: new hands, crystal - the whole ball of wax.  I received a telephone call from Breitling wanting to know if I wanted to replace the crystal on the UTC  - I asked the guy a few questions and he confessed to me that they really don't service those  "older" models as much as just replace the movement!  Not kidding - they just take the old movement out and throw it in the trash and put a new one in your case, polish it up and send it out.  Fine with me.  I got it back and it looked brand new and kept perfect time.  I decided to switch out and wear another watch and put the Chronomat in the box.  Looked at it about a week later and it was over an hour slow!?!  My Steelfish and Transocean wind perfectly on the Orbita.....defies explanation.....and I've spent some time thinking about it - But I guess I should admit that I'm pretty dumb.....

If anyone has an idea - please let me know.  

haha I wouldnt say you're dumb I mean you hit on everything I would have done...

I had the same issue with a watch not winding.  At the time it was definitely the watch as it would barely wind while wearing it.  I mean i would wear it for a week and it would loose hours.  So it got sent back, rebuilt, and then came back perfect.  Then I noticed the watch wouldnt wind on the winder.  My dad had the same winder and one of his watches wouldn't wind either.  Both of our watches were pretty damn heavy and ultimately determined the winder wasn't strong enough (I mean you could hear the motor running on it like it was struggling to turn over).  That's when I bought the Orbita.

I'm no expert by any means so idk.
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#17 lumberman2462

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:17 AM

View PostSilverBullets, on 14 January 2013 - 04:54 PM, said:

View Postlumberman2462, on 14 January 2013 - 04:31 PM, said:

View PostSilverBullets, on 13 January 2013 - 11:05 AM, said:

View Postlumberman2462, on 13 January 2013 - 09:05 AM, said:

Orbita is the best but you need to be careful and make sure that the winder will work with your wach.  I've got several watches that require a winder - when not being worn - and all but one will wind on my Orbita.  Not sure what the deal is - keeps excellent time on my wrist but I can leave it on the Orbita for a few days and it will begin to lose time.  I talked to a watchmaker and Orbita re-seller and he told me that some watches require a slightly different motion or cycle to keep working correctly.

They are expensive.

Have you looked online at the various different ways to set the Orbita so it provides a different motion?  I know they have a chart somewhere where it tells you based on the watch you own how to set the motion.

I have.  It's a really weird deal.  My winder holds four watches and I've tried every combination (and permutation) of settings.  Every watch I own will wind any of the winders in the box except for this one Breitling.  It's a mid 90s Chronomat with UTC and just will not wind on there.  I sent it off to Breitling last year for a complete service: new hands, crystal - the whole ball of wax.  I received a telephone call from Breitling wanting to know if I wanted to replace the crystal on the UTC  - I asked the guy a few questions and he confessed to me that they really don't service those  "older" models as much as just replace the movement!  Not kidding - they just take the old movement out and throw it in the trash and put a new one in your case, polish it up and send it out.  Fine with me.  I got it back and it looked brand new and kept perfect time.  I decided to switch out and wear another watch and put the Chronomat in the box.  Looked at it about a week later and it was over an hour slow!?!  My Steelfish and Transocean wind perfectly on the Orbita.....defies explanation.....and I've spent some time thinking about it - But I guess I should admit that I'm pretty dumb.....

If anyone has an idea - please let me know.  

haha I wouldnt say you're dumb I mean you hit on everything I would have done...

I had the same issue with a watch not winding.  At the time it was definitely the watch as it would barely wind while wearing it.  I mean i would wear it for a week and it would loose hours.  So it got sent back, rebuilt, and then came back perfect.  Then I noticed the watch wouldnt wind on the winder.  My dad had the same winder and one of his watches wouldn't wind either.  Both of our watches were pretty damn heavy and ultimately determined the winder wasn't strong enough (I mean you could hear the motor running on it like it was struggling to turn over).  That's when I bought the Orbita.

I'm no expert by any means so idk.

Yeah, weird deal.  My theory is that particular watch gets lonely on the winder and is punishing me for not wearing it everyday.  Apparently the rest of my watches aren't so sensitive and enjoy their time spinning in a circle.
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#18 mljones99

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:34 AM

I have 2 mechanical watches and never used a winder.  I wear my Super Avenger practically everyday but when I do wear my other one I just wind it and set the time before I put it on my wrist.  Takes all of 30 seconds, if that.

If I was to get a winder, get a good one.  These $100 and under "winders" on Amazon are all junk.  Orbita is great. Wolf Designs is good too.

#19 SilverBullets

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:44 PM

Anyone in the market for a winder should check out Gilt.com

If you don't know the Gilt Groupe they are more or less a flash sale company dedicated to fashion.  Some stuff is hideous euro trash, some is awesome, all of it is a fraction of the normal price.  

Right now there is a watch winder sale and it looks like they have some decent deals on Steinhauser winders.  I don't know a ton about them but have read pretty good reviews.  It's worth a look at the very least.
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#20 prsgtrman

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:09 PM

ive heard its fairly important to keep your watch on a winder when not it use. kinda like running a car every now and then to keep the fluids from getting stagnant. It travel 6-8 months out of the year to foreign countries(watch stays home) and keep my watch on a winder when not it use


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#21 Well Played

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:33 PM

Lotta great feedback. Thanks.

In terms of actual watches, what are some good brands that offer automatics at a lower/beginner price point - say under $2k?  I know many aficionados and purists will tell you not to waste their time unless you invest at least $5k, maybe more, but for some that's just not practical, at least to start.

So, I've heard Tissot, Seiko, Tag Heuer, Sinn, Hamilton are all respectable brands, again, considering price point...  True, not true?  Any of these stand out?  Others?

#22 w8liftr

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:48 PM

View PostWell Shafted, on 15 January 2013 - 01:33 PM, said:

Lotta great feedback. Thanks.

In terms of actual watches, what are some good brands that offer automatics at a lower/beginner price point - say under $2k?  I know many aficionados and purists will tell you not to waste their time unless you invest at least $5k, maybe more, but for some that's just not practical, at least to start.

So, I've heard Tissot, Seiko, Tag Heuer, Sinn, Hamilton are all respectable brands, again, considering price point...  True, not true?  Any of these stand out?  Others?

Check out Lüm-Tec as well.

#23 hbear

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:26 AM

Just be careful your winder doesn't "overwind" the watch.  I know there is a slip to prevent the overwinding, but that part will wear out or fail if constantly being stressed.

Really you only need to wind your watch every week or so if you are worried about keeping the gears and movement running smooth.  Winders are mostly helpful when you are running a watch with complications that are a PITA to set (e.g. perpetuals and moon-phases).
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#24 hbear

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:33 AM

As for under 2K; Hamilton, Oris, Ball, Rado (they have auto's), Movado Red Label, even Stowa would be worth a look.  
I wouldn't let "others" sway your decision. A timepeice is VERY personal and at the end of the day, you should buy one because you love it....not so other people can love it or to use as a status symbol.
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#25 SilverBullets

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:15 AM

View Posthbear, on 16 January 2013 - 12:33 AM, said:

As for under 2K; Hamilton, Oris, Ball, Rado (they have auto's), Movado Red Label, even Stowa would be worth a look.  
I wouldn't let "others" sway your decision. A timepeice is VERY personal and at the end of the day, you should buy one because you love it....not so other people can love it or to use as a status symbol.

Very good advice here.  Buy what YOU like and what YOU think is special.  I, personally, don't look at watches as investments.  I have some expensive watches and some cheaper watches which I rotate in and out.  Most people, have no idea.  I get the most compliments on a $200 TW Steel watch I bought that looks really cool.

For under $2k for automatic watches I would look into Hamilton and Oris (like the poster above me said).  I have seen some automatic Tag Heuer watches, but, not too many for around $2k.  Raymond Weil is another who is typically around that $2k range as a starting point... they have some really cool designs that are automatic.

Personally,  I think Baume and Mercier has some really cool stuff.  Classic looks, yet, some updated trends/styles.  Most of their watches are in that $3k-$4k range, but, I know they have some starting around that $2k range I just don't know how many/what models.

A good place to look is amazon and then filter by the price range you want... I don't really recommend buying high end watches from Amazon but its a good way to get a sense of what is out there and what can be had in your price range.

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#26 prsgtrman

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:21 AM

you can check out used watches at ticktock/wingate watches. reputable used watch dealers. 2 buddies have bought panerais from them. probably the only used watch website i would purchase from.

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:22 AM

for 2k id be looking to get a used omega.

#28 Bogeyman82

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:00 PM

+1 on the used Omega.  You can get an Omega Seamaster used for around $2K if you like Dive watches.

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:54 AM

For around $2,000, I'd be looking for the following:

Longines Legend Diver
Hamilton Pan Europ
Nomo Club
Oris (in general)

I purchased a brand new Oris GT Artix from my local AD for well under your budget and it's a great watch, maybe not right there with my Breitlings, but very close.
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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:04 PM

View Postjh19, on 23 January 2013 - 10:54 AM, said:

For around $2,000, I'd be looking for the following:

Longines Legend Diver
Hamilton Pan Europ
Nomo Club
Oris (in general)

I purchased a brand new Oris GT Artix from my local AD for well under your budget and it's a great watch, maybe not right there with my Breitlings, but very close.

That Hamilton and the Nomos Club watches are pretty cool.

For $2k I would look into the Raymond Weil Freelancer.  Sporty, automatic, high quality, timeless.

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