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What is a Watch Winder and Why Do I Need One?

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If you own even one automatic watch that you don’t wear every day, a watch winder can come in very useful. However, if you own several automatic watches, then a high-quality watch winder is indisputably worth its weight in gold, giving you:




Aesthetic appeal

Lower risk of expensive repairs

Peace of mind

In this article, we’ll show you why a watch winder can help you maintain your watch collection. We’ll also explain how a watch winder works, as well as how to find out how many turns per day your watch needs. Read on to learn the importance of a premium watch winder to your collection.

“You will not go wrong by purchasing a Barrington product.” - Lee Fielding (satisfied customer)

How does an automatic watch winder work?

Watch winders are only used for automatic watches, which are wound by the motion of your wrist while you wear them, rather than quartz or manually wound watches.

Many aficionados own more than one watch, with some amassing a serious collection - and who can blame them? But what that means is that as you substitute your watches depending on the occasion, your outfit, or your mood, each of them will have a period of rest. And if an automatic watch is off your wrist for even a few days, the mainspring gradually loses energy and the watch will eventually come to a stop. Then, the next time you wear it, the time, date and any complex calendar displays will all need to be reset.

Unless, of course, you put your watch in a watch winder box.

A watch winder, as the name suggests, winds your watch while you’re not wearing it. By gently rotating your watch(es), it replicates the movement of your body, ensuring that the mainspring keeps its energy and tension and the watch’s display remains accurate. Then it’s ready to be slipped onto your wrist whenever you want it, without needing any adjustments, to save you time and hassle.

But more importantly, owning a good-quality watch winder means that the complex engineering inside your watch remains lubricated and functional, reducing the need for expensive maintenance. After all, you want your favourite watch either on your wrist or close to hand, rather than in the shop undergoing lengthy repairs.

How to use a watch winder

To keep your watch wound precisely when you’re not wearing it, remove the cuff from the winder and secure your watch around it. Then place the cuff back inside the watch winder and set the rotation direction (clockwise, counter-clockwise or alternating between the two) and choose how many ‘turns per day’ you want it to do. We’ll talk about that later in the article. Then just close the door and let the winder get to work.

These devices are generally very easy to use, but the best watch winders have a high degree of functionality and precision, matched by the superior build quality. Barrington watch winders are the best-selling watch winders in the UK. And while we’re not in this business just for the numbers, we do believe that the fact so many watch-owners put their trust in our products speaks volumes.

Choosing the right watch winder

When choosing a watch winder, the most important thing to keep in mind is the program settings. Can they be adjusted to exactly meet the requirements of every watch in your collection? And how many turns per day does your watch actually need?

All Barrington watch winders, including our multi watch winders which can accommodate up to 12 watches, have individually programmable rotors. That means you can be confident that every single watch in your collection is being wound to its precise requirements - clockwise, counter-clockwise or alternating. Plus, because watch mechanisms are so delicate, Barrington watch winders operate on a principle of gentle rotation to protect them, with regular intervals and for just 12 hours in every 24.

And, as you would expect from a well-manufactured product, the rotors are near-silent, creating minimal disturbance whether the watch winder box is placed in your bedroom, the office, or elsewhere.

How many turns per day does my watch need?

We’ve developed the Barrington Watch Database so you can immediately find out exactly how many turns per day your watches require and which direction they should be turned in. All you need to do is enter each watch’s brand name and model. So for example, a Breitling Caliber 14b should be given 650 turns per day, in either direction. A Patek Philippe Calibre 310, meanwhile, ought to be given 800 turns per day, clockwise.

Why is the number of turns important?

If a winder just rotates constantly, with no regard for the watch’s particular specifications, there is a risk of damage over time. It may sound counter-intuitive, but what you’re actually looking for in a winder is a device that does the bare minimum.

Most watch manufacturers, as well as professional resellers, will provide information on how many turns per day their products require. But if you’re not sure, you can use our turns per day tool or give our friendly customer service team a call.

Why choose a Barrington watch winder?

Good time is worth keeping.

At the heart of Barrington watch winders is a passion for precision combined with quality design. Our automatic watch winder boxes, designed in the UK, don’t simply function exactly as you want them to. They also look good while they’re doing it.


Due to our turns per day tool and rotors that can be individually programmed, a Barrington watch winder gives you the convenience of having your timepieces always wound precisely, ready to wear whenever you open the box. It also saves you the effort of fiddling with the watch’s fragile crown, which through frequent use can be damaged, potentially leading to expensive repairs.

Aesthetic appeal

Our aim is that your watch looks just as stylish on the mantelpiece as it does on your wrist. Barrington watch winders have a simple, elegant form, with the controls to the rear for an uncluttered appearance, while the winder’s smooth engineered finish grabs the attention.

AC powered

Unlike many inferior products, our watch winders can run on AC power as well as battery. Mains power is not only less wasteful but as batteries wear down they tend to affect the rotation speed and turns per day measurement of the winder. However, battery power does come in handy when travelling with your watches, as the box continues working in transit and can easily be placed in a hotel safe.

Best-selling watch winders

Barrington watch winders are available in a range of sizes, to suit the extent of your watch collection, as well as several attractive finishes.

Our flagship Single Watch Winder is ideal if you have just one or two luxury watches that you want to maintain at peak performance. While it’s compact enough to keep on your bookshelf or desk, it loses nothing in functionality. Additionally, the ‘Jump’ feature means that multiple Barrington watch winders can be connected via a cable (provided), and powered through a single mains source.

For the collector, our 12 Watch Winder Safe offers the ultimate not only in convenience but also peace of mind. It requires a pin code or access card to open and can also be bolted to the wall. Weighing 35kg, made from steel and bulletproof glass, and finished in sleek leather, it’s just as secure as it looks. After all, your watch collection may be expensive, but if you plan to pass it on to your loved ones, then it’s priceless.

Watch winder advice

“On receiving the No. 4 watch winder, I couldn't have been happier. The detailing and quality were better than anything else I have seen on the market at that cost. The piano black finish allows it to be a showpiece even without my watches inside. The motors are super silent and are standing the test of time with the weight and size of my Oris divers watch (In Steel). You will not go wrong by purchasing a Barrington product.” - Lee Fielding

One last thing to note. Even the best automatic watch winders are nothing without superior customer service to match. We pride ourselves not only on the quality of our watch winders but also on the knowledge and care that our expert team provides. Our testimonials bear that out.

If you need advice, support or questions answered, we’re always happy to help.

Barrington watch winders: Designed with precision, built with quality, bought with confidence. Find the best luxury watch winder for your collection.

Published by: Julian Ryder

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