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MJJ's Guide to Watch Winders

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Whether you’re a huge watch fan with a braggable collection or you’ve just bought your first high end watch, a winder should be high on your priorities. This guide lays out all the info you need to make an informed choice when you come to buy a winder.

Watch winders are pretty impressive machines, but we’ve tried to keep it as simple as possible and included a technical breakdown whenever needed. So try to keep up, Einstein.

If you can’t face reading more than 5 sentences, we’ve got ya. Just click on the links below to fast track to the info you need.

  • What do watch winders do?
  • Why do you need a winder?
  • Why use a winder?
  • How do watch winders work?
  • Why it’s important to buy the best winder for your watch.
  • MJJ’s Top Picks.
  • Why MJJ only recommend WOLF winders.

 

WHAT DO WATCH WINDERS DO?

What do watch winders do? Watch winders are more than just a place to store your watch, they're actually big players in the world of high end watches. In technical terms: Automatic watches work by using the kinetic energy created from your movement. A winder is a machine that mimics the movement a watch would experience when worn. Allowing it to create and store the kinetic energy it needs to keep running. .

 

WHY DO YOU NEED A WINDER?

Watch winders keep your watch powered and accurate when you’re not wearing it. This reduces the stress on the mechanism and parts, which means it runs better and needs servicing less often. Technical breakdown: Your movement winds your watch. So, If you take your watch off to wear another, or to sleep, the watch will stop winding. This means that it won’t be creating kinetic energy during this time. Most high end watches have an impressive power reserve. But eventually, the stored energy created from your movements will run out and your watch will lose the time, day and date



WHY USE A WINDER?

You can wind your watch by hand, but not only is this a ball-ache, it can actually damage your watch.

Technical breakdown: Attached to the crown of your watch (a protruding knob on the right-hand side of the watch case, used to change the time or date) is a pin that connects all the hundreds of tiny parts inside your watch. Each time you pull the crown out and wind it to change the time, day or date, you’re putting pressure on all these parts. Remember that even the tiniest jolt from an unsteady hand will be like an earthquake inside your watch.



Some watch geniuses also argue that letting your watch battery run completely flat can cause damage.

Technical breakdown: All these hundreds of tiny parts inside your watch are lubricated with synthetic oils, created specifically for use in watches. Some believe that when a watch’s power reserve runs out (causing the mechanism to stop) these oils congeal. Winding your watch from a flat battery when these oils have congealed causes friction where the parts aren’t lubricated, resulting in damage.



HOW DO WATCH WINDERS WORK?

In simple terms: Watch winders work by recreating the movement your watch experiences when worn. This motion creates the kinetic energy that your watch uses and stores for power.

Exotic Double Watch Winder

Why it's important to buy the best winder for your watch

Buying a watch winder should be seen more as an investment than a one-off purchase. Proper use of a decent winder can keep the maintenance costs down at your next service.

Note: Buying the best winder doesn’t always mean buying the most expensive. MJJ advise considering the following factors when buying a watch winder:

Cost:

Your budget is obviously going to influence your decision. But it’s worth investing in a winder with the best technology suitable for your watch.

Like everything in life, you get what you pay for. Some cheap winders won’t perform well and can in fact cause unnecessary stress to the mechanism and parts of your watch.

TPD:

TPD refers to turns-per-day. Each watch will need to turn a specific number of times to fully wind and refill its power reserve.

It’s important to get a winder that suits the TPD requirements of your watch, or can be adjusted. Because over winding your watch can cause unnecessary stress on its mechanism and parts, damaging it over time.

If you don’t know how many TPD your watch needs, give us a call (free) on 0330 124 3591 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm), or drop us a message and we’ll help you out.

Magnetisation:

Magnets mess with the mechanism of a watch and cause it to run faster. Some cheaper winders have been found to magnetise watches. This doesn’t damage your watch, but it kinda contradicts the purpose of a winder.

Directional Winding:

Some watches require clockwise winding, some counterclockwise and others are bi-directional. Winding your watch in the wrong direction won’t damage it, but it won’t power it at all either.

If you don’t know which direction your watch needs winding, check your watch manual, give us a call (free) on 0330 124 3591 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm), or drop us a message and we’ll help you out.

Though if there’s a chance you’ll ever own more than one watch, we’d advise investing in a decent winder that’s able to operate all three directional requirements.

MJJ's Top Picks

WOLF 4.1 Modular Winders

A watch winder for a growing collection

£355

If you own a high end watch, you’ll know that one is never enough. But even if a high end watch is a goal to work towards for you, keeping your future collection in mind is always a smart move when buying a winder. That’s why WOLF’s Modular Collection is perfect if you’re after a single winder, or want to build up your collection in a unique, eye-catching customised design.

In WOLF’s own words: “Take control of your growing collection with WOLF's collection of modular watch winders. Our multiple winders effortlessly connect, allowing you to build any shape, with any number of winders, to suit your needs”

This is a watch winder perfect for the ultimate watch collector to expand limitlessly.

Note: Image shows multiple watch winders

 

WOLF Cub Watch Winders

A Fuss-free, uncomplicated watch winder that's affordable luxury

£205

WOLF’s 1.8 Modules, a.k.a the Cub, are the brand’s entry-level winders. These are the only winders by WOLF that have an unchangeable pre-set TPD count.

Technical features: Operating on a 900 turns-per-day bi-directional cycle, the most common winding criterion for the vast majority of industry standard watch movements. The cub winder executes 4 cycles per day during a six hour period. Each cycle rotates 225 turns per clockwise and 225 turns counterclockwise. After that there is an 18 hour sleep-phase period. These cycles over a 24 hour period most-closely mimic how one wears the watch on a daily basis (in terms of periods of activity and rest) - thus exercising the mainspring inside the watch naturally.

Note: If a watch has a clockwise only / counterclockwise only rotor, a bi-directional cycle won’t damage to the movement, but it won't be winding the watch when turning the other way.

WOLF Windsor Watch Winders

A watch winder that operates in 3 directions

from £255 

A great all-rounder that operates clockwise, counterclockwise and bi-directionally is the Windsor range.

Technical features: The Windsor range of watch winders operates on the Module 2.5 system. On this system, you have control over the directions of the cycle.

A. Clockwise

B. Counterclockwise

C. Bi-directional

A full rotation cycle includes four sets of rotations executed within a 6 -hour period, followed by an 18-hour sleep phase, before the whole cycle restarts after 24 hours.

In the A (clockwise) or B (counterclockwise) settings, the winder will turn 225 rotations within approximately 32 minutes; it will then rest for approximately 58 minutes.

The cycle will repeat three additional times. After the fourth cycle, the winder will enter an 18-hour sleep phase.

In the C (bi-directional) setting, the watch will rotate at a rate of 450 TPD in both directions. The four cycles (2 x CW, 2 x CCW) being segmented into the same 225 turn phases.

Why MJJ only recommend WOLF winders

WOLF is the only brand MJJ recommend when our clients need a watch winder.

We believe that you should only trust your watch to the best winders, and we genuinely believe that WOLF winders are the best. So we’re proud to say that MJJ are an Official Authorised UK WOLF Distributor.

This fifth-generation, family-led, specialist company is world-famous and have been creating watch winders, jewellery cases and watch boxes for over 184 years.
Every WOLF winder is designed in-house and handcrafted. And you can’t really argue against the quality when the company boasts a seriously impressive less-than 1% defective rate. Yet, for your peace of mind, every item is guaranteed for 2 years and stamped with a serial number for quality assurance. WOLF also has a UK repair centre and will look into resolving any issue should anything go wrong outside of warranty.

WOLF Watch Winders

  • Are completely silent...Unlike other brand winders that use belted mechanisms, causing a constant dull -clunking noise, WOLF winders run on nylon gears and a direct-drive mechanism. This allows your watch to rotate silently. A factor you’ll thank us for if you dislike annoying continuous background noises, or plan to keep your winder in your bedroom.
  • Exercise your watch with authenticity...This one’s a bit technical: Watches are wound by the movement of your arm creating kinetic energy. WOLF winders are designed to mimic this movement in an authentic way, so they also include sleep phases in the winding cycles. Because, as much as it may feel like it sometimes, no one is on the go 24/7. Everybody stops to relax and sleep. These sleep phases mimic this and also give your watch the opportunity to exercise the mainspring and use the stored power. It also saves money as the winder is on a low power usage during this time.
  • Maintain the optimum mainspring...WOLF winders maintain your watch’s mainspring at 85% for accurate timekeeping. Without a winder, your watch’s mainspring can be under-wound as much as 30%.
  • Use WOLF patented technology to turn the specific number of times required for your individual watch...  TPD = Turns per day: Every watch will need to turn a specific amount of times to fully refill the power reserve.
    Other brand winders will wind for a set period of time. But this is never really accurate, as the power supply and even the watch’s weight hugely affects the TPD.

    Technical breakdown:
    This means that if your watch is a heavy model, the winder may fail to complete the TPD required for that specific model. Alternatively, if your watch is a light model, the winder may in fact overwind it. By completing more TPD than is required for that specific model.

    WOLF winders use a Quartz-Eye rotation sensor and a WOLF patented computer chip (patented meaning no other brand is able to use this technology) to count the precise number of completed TPD.
    When using a WOLF winder, instead of inputting a set time, you’ll input the exact number of TPD required for the specific model of your watch. The WOLF winder will complete this specific number of turns before moving into a sleep phase.

    It may seem fussy, but this keeps your watch performing exactly as intended by the manufacturer and prevents any potential stress caused to the mechanism by under or overwinding.
  • Reduce the need to service your watch...Due to the patented WOLF technology, regular use of a WOLF winder ... regulates the winding of your watch (we know, shock!). This is one of the main reasons we recommend WOLF winders above all other brands, as this not only helps in the maintenance of your watches, but also saves you money.
  • Can be customised... A cuff is the centrepiece of the winder, where your watch sits. WOLF offer a huge range of winder cuffs, allowing you to customise your winder to match your unique style.
  • Save you ball-ache and protect your watch in style... We’re all busy and can get distracted from time to time. Sometimes forgetting to put your watch back on is just an inconvenience of life. But this can lead to further inconvenience if your watch happens to be a high end automatic watch. If the power reserve has run flat and your watch has lost the time, day, or date, you’ll then have to spend your time resetting each of these. This can be time consuming, especially if you own more than one watch. A WOLF watch winder can not only prevent this ball-ache (and any damage caused by manual winding), it can also prevent any damage caused by wrongly storing your watch.

    WOLF is a fifth-generation company who’ve been creating luxury leather goods since 1834 and specialise in jewellery cases, watch boxes and watch winders. It’d be an understatement to say that WOLF winders are just that. Each handcrafted winder is an top quality storage piece with a sophisticated style.
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