Your automatic watch winder is an amazing marriage of beauty and precision, craftsmanship and functionality. It is a beautiful storage box and a prestige piece, while simultaneously working in a very deliberate and exact way to ensure that your automatic watch remains fully wound even when you are not wearing it. In addition, your automatic watch winder will actually pay for itself over time. This is due to the nature of automatic watches themselves. These timepieces must remain wound to function properly. If they stop, their lubricants cease to flow. In the long run, this can lead to a time-consuming and expensive factory overhaul of the timepiece. A much better solution is the one you have chosen: to use an automatic watch winder. Once you understand how this device works, you can make it a regular part of your routine. At that point, you will never experience the annoyance of placing your automatic watch on your wrist, only to find that it has stopped and you need to go through the tedious process of resetting all of its functions.
Chances are, you are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of how an automatic watch winder works. In simple terms, an automatic watch winder is a jewelry box equipped with a motor and a micro-processor that is responsible for rotating the watch in a prescribed way. All winders today are equipped with a security program that ensures that they can never over-wind a timepiece. Some models run only on AC power, while others give you the option of using batteries as well. You can even purchase winders that can accommodate as many as six automatic timepieces at one time, all with their own customized settings. Perhaps the most important concept you need to grasp about automatic watch winders is turns per day (TPD). Whether on your wrist or on the winder, your timepiece needs to be turned numerous times in a day. This happens effortlessly when a person is actively going through his day and more slowly if he is sedentary. The purpose of a watch winder is to simulate the motions of the human wrist by making a set number of TPD. The exact amount your particular timepiece needs will be specified by its manufacturer; therefore, it makes sense to check the user guide. However, as a general rule, most automatic watches need somewhere between 650 and 950 TPD.
Depending on your TPD setting, your watch winder will rest for a prescribed number of minutes between turns. In general, most winders will turn for anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute and then stop. Exactly how long the winder rests is determined by the TPD setting. For example, your watch might need to wind 10 times in 30 seconds. If it needs 650 TPD to function properly, the automatic winder would need to turn on 65 times per day. Since there are 1440 minutes in a day, you would divide 1440 by 65 and arrive at 22. That means the automatic winder will go through its full cycle every 22 minutes.
Another variable is the direction of the turns your watch winder makes. These can be clockwise only, counter clockwise only and bi-directional. Again, your manufacturer’s specifications will be your most accurate guide as to what your timepiece responds to best. If you have several automatic watches and have purchased a winder that accommodates two or four timepieces simultaneously, it probably also contains an “auto-alternating” function that enables the mechanism to rotate in both directions automatically.
If you do not have access to your watch’s user guide for whatever reason or if you would just like to experiment, here are some more detailed tips that will help you set up your timepiece with your new automatic watch winder:
- Because your winder will not wind a watch that has totally stopped, begin by manually winding your watch by turning the crown 20 to 30 times.
- Carefully place your watch in the winder, making sure that it is fully seated in the holder. Then adjust TPD to its lowest setting and select bi-directional rotation mode.
- Turn the winder on. Over the next 48 hours or so, periodically check to see if the watch is still keeping accurate time. In general, automatics have approximately 40 hours of reserve from the time they have been wound. If the time is still correct after two days, this is the right setting for you and you don’t need to do any more experimenting.
- However, if the time is wrong, increase to the next TPD setting and repeat the above process.
- If the time is correct after two days, you have found the right setting.
- If the time is wrong, set the winder to rotate clockwise only and repeat the procedure.
- If the time is still correct after two days, this is your proper setting.
- If the time is incorrect, set it to rotate counter clockwise only and repeat the procedure.
As you can see, the initial procedure of synchronizing your automatic watch with your winder can be a bit tedious. It involves a certain amount of trial and error. However, once you get to know what your timepiece requires and how your winder can provide it with the full winding it needs, you will never have to guess again. If you begin to see that your watch runs better when it is on your wrist than it does on your winder, first make sure your TPD and directional settings have not been accidentally changed. If they are where they need to be, you might need to take your watch in for servicing. This is because the lubricants in a watch that does not work in its winder might be starting to congeal. Taking your watch to a reputable jeweler and potentially sending it back to the manufacturer are recommended in this case.
In general, however, your automatic watch is designed to furnish you with many years of faithful and accurate service. Using your automatic winder to ensure that your timepiece remains in operation at all times can help to maintain this performance. We’re sure you will enjoy the elegance and functionality of your automatic watch winder for a very long time.
As a result of it stopping for 20 minutes throughout the day, my Rolex was not keeping time. I would have to wind it each time I removed it from the winding box.
Can you please suggest a watch winder that will not stop so often or one that I can set myself?
It will mean to set it 350TPD right since it’s is bi-directional to make it 700TPD. Am I right?
1, Establish the correct direction (or directions) needed first, this may need to be done by trial and error and could take several days of experimentation.
2, Set the minimum TPD and the correct direction(s) and install your FULLY wound watch and switch on.
3, After 40* hours in the winder remove the watch and lay to the side, note the time and date.
4, After another 40 hours the watch has more than likely stopped, calculate how many hours it ran for after removal from the winder.
5, If it continued to run for around 40* hours then the watch was fully wound when removed from the winder and therefore TPD setting is good. **
6,If the watch stopped running after just say 20 hours then the watch was only half wound and you can adjust the TPD up a little.
7, Repeat steps 2 to 7
*40 hours is a typical time a fully wound watch may run, if you know the running time of your watch (or care to find out what that is first) then use your own number here.
** some cheap watch winders may not have a low enough TPD setting that suits your watch, you may need to consider this if your watch is fully wound after using the minimum TPD setting.
I've been using, successfully, a two-watch Songmics winder for some time now for my Fossil watches. A month ago I replaced one of my watches with a new one, and this one slides and slips around it's cushion even though it seems secure when I place it on and then in the box. Consequently, the watch doesn't wind effectively, and it scrapes against the box.
Do you have advice or suggestions to help?
Also, I have realized after visiting here today that I don't have the ability to select directions or TPD. So, thank you for your resource. I'll be looking at Fossil specs and then for a more appropriate box.
And what tpd would you suggest
And what tpd would you suggest?
I thought it couldn't be overwound.
And what TPD would you suggest?
One more question: What is TBD? I saw many in the TPD column.For example TBD instead of 600-850 turn per day...
winder? Thanks in advance for your help.
I have the 2018 Santos de Cartier auto watch (MC 1847 movement).
Could you please advise on the TPD settings for this watch?
Any idea what the ideal setting it? Thanks!
Tag Carrera - 650 TPD bi-directional, if it's a chrono model I would do 800+ or more
Frederique Constant Healy - 650 TPD bi-directional, if it's a chrono model I would do clockwise only 800+ or more
Zenith Defy Classic - 650 TPD bi-directional
Bremont Mach 3 - Not sure on this one but based on other models I would say 650 TPD bi-directional OR 800 TPD clockwise
What TPD and direction settings should i use. Thank you for you help.
I assume it would be bi-directional but unclear on TPD?
Their official site is offering a watcher winder that does over 2,000 TPD (which they claim is ideal) but sounds far too much.
Do you happen to know the correct settings?
It is Mint condition..... no wear scratches at all.
I am a professional drummer and use both hands in my work, so my watch will be turned.
Will it be turned too much?
Does Rolex only make watches for certain kind of jobs, so it will be turned enough.......???
I don´t think so. Their watches are made for being used and turned many hours per day or very few hours per day or no hours at all.
Rolex HQ in Geneva does not recommend any watch winders. Have a friend working there.
Please explain why I would need a watch winder.
A watch winder is for convenience and to make sure it is always ready to wear. A normal automatic watch only lasts at most 40 hours when fully wound. If you do not wear your watch every day or have more than one watch, the next time you go to wear the watch, most likely, the time and date will be wrong. You will have to pull the crown and wind it manually while setting the date and time. If you have a moon phase watch this is an even more daunting task. This also causes unnecessary wear to the watches crown. If it is a screw-down crown for a waterproof watch, the threads sometimes get worn off or cross-threaded and the crown stems get bent. These are both expensive and common repairs. So you can have the convenience of always having the right time and ready to wear and also prevent some common wear and tear. A watch winder provides these conveniences for you.
I currently have a Rado Centrix R30156152 and a Tag calibre 16. I would like a double watch winder but don't know what to go for. The Tag is C/W 800TPD and I don't know what the rado needs. Any advice would be great.
If you want something that looks nicer and is more refined, this is very popular:
As for settings I generally recommend starting at 650 bi-directional and moving up until it keeps time for 2 days. If by the time it keeps time you are at a very high setting like 1850 then I recommend coming back down and trying CW/CCW.
what do you suggest ?