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automatic watch winders?

Discussion in 'Fine Watches, Jewelry, & Clothes' started by spike308, Dec 7, 2021.

  1. spike308

    spike308 F1 Rookie
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    Nov 8, 2003
    4,175
    Austin TX!
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    Mike Z
    what are your thoughts about keeping your self winding watch (Rolex, etc) on an automatic winder?
    if you have one of these watches that is worn infrequently, do you use one?
    Any downside to using one?
    This was a relatively inexpensive one which does the job well!
    your thoughts are appreciated...
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  3. Extreme1

    Extreme1 Formula Junior

    Jun 27, 2017
    852
    Santa Clarita, CA
    I kept our Rolex’s in a winder on the chest of drawers in the bedroom. I got freaked out one day thinking about how much money was just sitting there in case my house got burglarized.
    I keep them in a winder in a safe now, but the safe doesn’t have power inside it yet.
    This morning I put my green hulk on my wrist and had to reset the time. No biggie, but resetting the date is a big pain.

    Definitely keep yours on a winder. But store them safely.


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  4. E60 M5

    E60 M5 Moderator
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    Jan 2, 2006
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    I use a winder for my Rolex as well, no worries, keeps it working perfectly.
     
  5. Jdubbya

    Jdubbya The $10 Trillion Man
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    Dec 28, 2003
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    I used to have a winder. Don't have a Rolex. I have quite a few automatic watches though. In my mind it just adds to wear and tear by keeping them in a winder though. I know there are two schools of thought. The other is that it keeps it wound and the oil moving.

    I kind of like the ritual of setting the time and/or date though on a watch I haven't worn in a while so no winder for me any more.
     
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  6. BD-Chrono

    BD-Chrono Rookie

    Oct 16, 2015
    16
    At the lake
    Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login As a watchmaker I have often had people ask me about using a watch winder. I typically answer their question with a question, “When you park your car at home do you leave your car running?” Watches have a very small amount of oil lubricating the pivots of the moving parts. This oil degrades and dries up after several years which leads to wear of the moving parts. Most manufacturers recommend a service interval of around 5 year. This interval can sometimes be extended by infrequent and careful use. When you see exactly how small the amount of oil that is used in a watch , it can help you understand that the small amount of oil has a finite life. Jewels in a watch are made from synthetic corundum (ruby) and are very hard. Without proper lubrication they can wear and damage steel parts. The jewel shown is about one tenth of a millimeter in diameter. The dark ring in the second picture is the amount of oil in a properly oiled cap jewel. The remaining pictures are of a watch in need of service. As you can see the pivots are dirty from wear and dried oil. So again I ask, do you leave your car running when you park it in the garage?
     
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  8. TestShoot

    TestShoot F1 World Champ
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    Sep 1, 2003
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    Well I do start my cars every now and then to make sure the battery isn't dead and they stay lubricated. Nobody that is serious in the watch game doesn't factor in service schedules, sometimes that's the only time some pieces see the light of day.

    I use a winder and the adjust the knob to not run constantly, I don't know a single winder that is always running, they rotate a minute or two and then have a lengthy interval between rotations, but most all of us already know that. Being low voltage those of you with safes can actually power them off a USB battery pack.

    I'm not going to argue with a watchmaker, but then again, do we always take our Dr's advice?

    Then again you could be this guy and go for a little jog every few days...

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  9. QtrItalian

    QtrItalian Karting

    Jan 22, 2021
    166
    I work on watches as a hobby and have done so for over 30 years. If the watch is serviced regularly there is no difference in wearing it daily or keeping it on a watchwinder daily except it is safer on the winder as it is less likely to be knocked, dropped, etc *LOL* The point about service intervals applies to any watch in constant use however. Many wristwatches will run poorly, stop or slow down indicating drying oil but will cause less wear than pocketwatches or clocks which have stronger mainsprings and larger bearing surfaces. Compared with clocks I've rarely seen a watch where a part can't be re-burnished, polished, jewel replaced etc if needed to rejuvinate - and that is still a rare event. So compared with running a clock with dry pivots the damage (if any) to a watch is ridiculously minimal. Every time this subject comes up it is simply overblown but as always, to each their own...I say enjoy them and service every 5 years if proactive or longer if you so desire....
     
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  10. Shorn355

    Shorn355 F1 Rookie
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    Jan 13, 2011
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    I keep 4 of my watches on a winder when not wearing them and wear one so all 5 are constantly in motion - all are automatic/perpetual obviously. There are some super-expensive ones out there but I have had great luck with the Versa 4-watch winder - Very quiet / accommodates various wrist sizes / has a cool blue light and thus far has been quite dependable - Lastly, each holder has its own controls for direction and TPD - Have had it close to a year now and no issues - Hope this helps - Cheers :)
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  11. AEHaas

    AEHaas Formula 3

    May 9, 2003
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    Ali E. Haas
    I used to use winders but stopped after several watches I sold needed parts related to excessive wear.

    AEHaas
     
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  13. QtrItalian

    QtrItalian Karting

    Jan 22, 2021
    166
    Everyone needs to think about this for a minute: A watch winder simply allows multiple watches to be in use constantly. It is as if you cloned yourself 3 or 4 times and all of you are wearing a watch daily. If the watch failed on the winder it would have failed with you wearing it. Therefore it is either bad luck, a bad or poor design or insufficient/poor servicing. There are many Swiss brands that use mass produced movements which are not all created equally. I've worked on watches that really require a wheel replacement as cleaning and oiling didn't do the trick and it wasn't excessive wear but a poorly machined original part....The initial price of the watch doesn't always correlate to what's under the hood.
     
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  14. desmomini

    desmomini F1 Rookie
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    Nov 18, 2003
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    I have a number of watches, but only keep the Rolex Sky-Dweller on my single winder.

    My rationale is I enjoy the "connectedness" to the watches of picking a different watch and setting/winding it, but the Sky-Dweller is an annual calendar watch, that I'd only need to reset when each Leap Year's February 29th rolls around.

    It's a cool enough complication that I like keeping it going!
     
  15. Smiles

    Smiles F1 World Champ
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    Nov 20, 2003
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    The Sky Dweller is an awesome watch. But it’s an annual calendar that’s also fairly easy to set, even after a few months of being idle.

    If you have a perpetual calendar, like an IWC, then the winder makes sense.

    Matt
     
  16. desmomini

    desmomini F1 Rookie
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    Yeah, my choice makes me happy. ;)
     
  17. Smiles

    Smiles F1 World Champ
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  18. bobzdar

    bobzdar F1 Veteran

    Sep 22, 2008
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    #15 bobzdar, Jan 4, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2022
    It's a good point - but generally doesn't the oil dry up before it degrades, unlike a car which is based on either usage or oil life? Whether you drive a Ferrari or not, you change the oil every year, coolant and brake fluid every 3-5 etc, unless you drive it a lot, then the intervals shorten. Most watches are expected/intended to be run 24/7 so you'd think they'd have oil and materials that are not going to be affected by that, but more by time (ie service it every 5 years whether it's been run or not).

    I have heard that keeping an auto watch constantly fully wound can wear the main spring, but either way it wouldn't be much of a concern for me unless the movement was very rare and/or difficult to service. I only have one watch that fits that (ESA 9210), but it's also a very robust movement so I'm not overly concerned - it's not an auto but a tuning fork so some people pull the crown to hacking mode to save wear/battery, but w/e, it's a watch and I need it to be somewhat accurate. Any relatively modern Rolex/Omega etc. you can just send it back in for service and they'll replace anything worn, I wouldn't worry at all about those.
     
  19. BD-Chrono

    BD-Chrono Rookie

    Oct 16, 2015
    16
    At the lake
    I often get Rolex and other watches in for service and quite often, the owner of the watch has no idea when it was last serviced. I have have seen watches that were way over due for service and left on a winder to grind away until they no longer run. I view watch winders as a convenience for people with multiple watches who want to grab a watch to wear and not have to worry with winding and setting the watch. I understand using a watch winder as a convenience, but would never use one for any other reason. Some of the oils and lubricants, especially the oil in the cap jewels for the balance wheel do dry up. Other lubricants (greases) degrade as they age and don’t have as much of a tendency to “dry up” but rather degrade as they become contaminated with wear. Most modern high grade watches have 5 or 6 (or more) different lubricants specified for the various parts of a watch.
     
  20. AEHaas

    AEHaas Formula 3

    May 9, 2003
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    Ali E. Haas
    Bottom Line - on the winder, over the days you do not use it the time will be off. Automatic watches are not accurate enough to not need to be reset to the correct time. Since you have to reset the time anyway why not just wind it up some to get it started every time you use it. And no extra wear for it.

    Ali
     
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