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      08-23-2013, 05:16 PM   #23
First Lieutenant

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Originally Posted by rennis
more importantly, does it matter which setting you put the winder on? My winder has like 4 different settings. clockwise, counter clockwise, both directions, and all have different revolutions per 24 hours.

I have no idea what setting is best...
Rotation direction and number of revolutions per day are very critical! Wrong direction and too many revolutions can damage the timepiece and too few revolutions will not keep the watch running. Watch manufacturers usually post requirements in the owner's manual as well as on their website. Also, the requirements are usually different between brands as well as between models of the same brand.
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      02-04-2014, 07:02 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by MineralWeiss View Post
Rotation direction and number of revolutions per day are very critical! Wrong direction and too many revolutions can damage the timepiece and too few revolutions will not keep the watch running. Watch manufacturers usually post requirements in the owner's manual as well as on their website. Also, the requirements are usually different between brands as well as between models of the same brand.
Sorry to rehash this conversation from last year, but I came across this page at Orbita's website. If you use a watch winder, it is a useful guide to getting everything dialed in correctly.

I have a Wolf triple winder and each of my automatic watches rotates bidirectionally, but the turns per day (TPD) is different for each one, depending on the movement and power reserve, etc. This website was incredibly helpful and takes the guessing out of using your winder properly.

Below is a stock photo of my Wolf winder:

2013 Jet Black 135is | 6MT | Coupe | #381/586

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      02-04-2014, 10:16 PM   #25
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Thanks for posting this, very useful database for automatic watches!
2011 Space Grey E90 M3, DCT, Comp. Pkg.
1974 2002tii, Inka, 5 sp manual
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      02-12-2014, 07:32 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Poohbore View Post
So i have been given a Breitling Transocean as a wedding present and want to look after it as it will be dress watch for the more formal occasions.

I've just realised that an automatic watch winder is recommended to prevent premature wear so can anyone recommend an automatic watch winder that is not going to break the bank or the watch ?

You are the first person I've heard say an autowinder (AW) prevents premature wear. I'm aware that with mechanical watches it's recommended to operate the watch for half an hour or so every two to three weeks to prevent the lubricant inside from "clumping up" and to keep it evenly distributed. As more and more watch companies transition to using more and more silicone parts, that's supposedly becoming less and less necessary. So the theory goes, silicone parts can get by with no lubrication so there's no need to "stir up" the oil from time to time; however, the jury's still out on whether any lubrication is needed. You can read this and decide for yourself:
After reading that, the only thing that I'm totally certain of is that if there is lubricant inside of a watch, it's probably best to "stir it up" once in a while.

As for watch winders, well, just about any motion will be enough to keep an automatic watch going. If you are going to be bothered enough about a watch to put it on a winder so you don't have to set it when you do want to wear it, just be aware that the time changes twice a year, so hopefully you wear it more often than that. The other thing to keep in mind is that winder or no winder, all entirely mechanical watches will gain or lose ~4 to ~12 seconds a day. Leave the watch on the winder long enough and you'll have to set it anyway.

Anyway, as go winders, you'll also want to consider whether your watch is a chronometer. If it is, you'll want a winder that rotates something like a gyroscope. The reason is so that gravity isn't always affecting the watch from just one or two directions. Based on the chronometer certification documents you received, you can use a chronometer compliant winder to tell whether your watch is living up to the standard to which it is documented to be able to, that is if you are anal enough to keep up with that sort of thing. I don't give a damn, but some folks do. Suum cuique.

Another thing is that if you do keep it running 24x7x365, you are also going to have to have it serviced as per the recommended servicing schedule. Sure, you can buy winders that come on for a few minutes, do their thing and then chill for some period of time before doing it again, but then you aren't really talking about winders that don't "break the bank."

For watches I wear relatively infrequently, I don't service them anywhere near the recommended schedule.

For example, one of my watches recommends servicing every three to four years. I wear it about 20 or 25 times a year for a few hours at a time and the rest of the year it sees about 15 or 20 minutes of operation (usually not even on my wrist) every few weeks. I send this watch in for service about once a decade, give or take a year or so. That watch happens to have a manufacture movement inside.

I have an Air King that I bought in the mid '80s. I've sent it in for service two times since I bought it. I don't even bother with operating it periodically. I just put it on when I feel like it and it just works. I have a Swiss Army mechanical that I know I haven't worn in ten years or more. (I got it as a teenager and I'm 56 now.) I happened to just look at it back during the holidays and low and behold it works just fine.

So after reading the foregoing, I imagine you are wondering what the point of a winder is. Well, there are three reasons that make any sense to me for having watches on winders.
  • Jumbo power supply watches. I'm talking about he ones that have five days or more of power reserve. Now, it's not that such watches need winders; they don't. It's that it's a pain in the ass to sit there winding and winding those damn things until they are at the point where they want to start running again. Some of them won't start from dead stopped until they are 80% full again. Others are good to go at 25%. It just depends on the watch.
  • Large collections of "often enough" worn watches that have dates. This assumes one gives a damn about the date the watch shows. I'm one of those folks who can't tell you the last time my dated watches showed the correct date. I suppose I could look at the date on my servicing papers for that's one time I know it would show the right date. Anyway, if one wears several watches somewhat frequently, maybe every other week or something, the watch's power reserve will likely run out and the watch will stop. That will mean constantly having to reset the date and the time if one cares about both. If you wear the watch less than every month, however, it's not going to do you any good except from July to September and from December to February. That's because those are the only periods when you can go for more than one month and not have to adjust the month. And that brings me to the next possible good use, IMO, for a winder.
  • Watches that have some complication pertaining to the Sun, Moon or rotation of the Earth. This would include perpetual and annual calendars, along with Moon phase watches and other specifically astronomical watches. Such watches know when a month is 30, 31, 28 and 29 days long.

    First off, winding a perp calendar watch can take some time, so this is the sort of thing you will want to put on a winder. Now bear in mind that most perp calendars cost well upwards of $25K, so now you understand why a good winder costs a ton of good money. The folks who actually need and want the convenience of not winding their perpetual calendar automatic won't see it as a huge expense. They won't think it's cheap, but they'll pay for it because they can, and that's really all that matters.

    Also, most such watches aren't the kind of thing you can just adjust at any time of the day or night, and when you do, it has to be done in a very specific way. Indeed, you can quite easily break them if you mess with them incorrectly. So these are the kinds of watches one wants to keep running if they are automatic. In any case, I don't think the Transocean is such a watch. (Is it?)
Now, after all that, you are still determined to put your watches on winders, aren't you? Okay, fine. Here are my suggestions.
  • Read this first:
  • Scatola Del Tempo - Check out the entry level line which starts around $700. You can get as elaborate a winder as one could want from these people. ((~$700 to $100K+)
  • Swiss Kubik - Programmable, quiet winders for a sensible price. (~$800) ( <--- Read this. It's good info not just for the Kubik but for winders in general.
  • Wolf -- These folks make very quiet winders (~$700)
  • Orbita - Good quality and programmable. Tons of models. (~$600 to ~$4K)
  • Underwood - pretty basic, but well made and reliable. (~$750 to ~$40K)
So with that out of the way, here's one last consideration having to do with winders. One can certainly buy a single watch winder. If you know you'll only have one watch that's really going to need to be kept on a winder, that's all you need, so you're done. If you are going to buy more watches that specifically beg for a winder, you probably will want to buy a multi-watch winder. That brings me to the "break the bank" aspect of your question.

The one person I know who keeps any watches on a winder also is a pretty hardcore collector who buys things like perp calendars and astronomical watches. His idea of a good price for a winder is something around $10K or so, which adjusted down to a one watch winder (he buys the multi-watch type), still works out to to a nice chunk of change.

Now you said you don't want to break the bank, but I have no idea of what that means as your target budget. The thing is that a budget commensurate with a B-ling Transocean is not really going to go too far with winders. If you someday buy a second watch that needs a winder, there you are spending more for another one watch winder. So, I'd suggest if you really are committed to buying a winder, and you are committed to being a watch collector, buy a three or four watch model.

Now if you are just lazy, then by all means, but whatever $50 winder crosses your path. When it breaks, toss it and buy another one like it.

Last consideration: power outages. For your B-ling, this won't matter. For the jumbo reserve and perp cals, you'll be winding if you don't have a battery backup or an emergency generator on your house and the power goes out at an inopportune time. And lets just be pragmatic; when the power goes out, your fancy watch is likely going to be the last thing on your mind. I think you see where I'm going with that.

All the best.

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