Should I Keep My Automatic Watch On A Watch Winder Daily?

 
Michael I. from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA asks:

For an automatic watch is worn daily, is there any benefit or harm from using a watch winder every night?

Technically speaking, if the watch is worn daily, then by the end of the day, the mainspring should be fully wound and thus have plenty of power left when the watch is worn in the AM. Of course, that assumes you move your wrist around a lot. People with desk jobs sometimes move surprisingly little, so the automatic watches they wear don't get wound too much. Also, we are assuming you don't wear your watch while sleeping... if yes, then that's a whole new question which we won't address here and which might require a bit of psychological counsel as well Should I Keep My Automatic Watch On A Watch Winder Daily?   ask watch experts anything

Back to question at hand. Some early automatic watches (really old, like 1950s and earlier) did not have a way to limit the winding when done manually using the crown, so for these rare cases putting the almost fully wound piece on the winder could have the same effect as over-winding with the crown. However, most (all) modern automatic will limit the winding once the main spring is fully wound.

That said, I would see no issue with putting the watch on a winder at the end of the day. Though, do check that your watch will limit winding the mainspring when it reaches its limits. This is info that manufacturers should be happy to share.

I'm guessing that after a few weeks, a wearer might skip using a winder every day, since the acts of putting it on the winder and removing the watch from the winder might be a chore that can be avoided with daily wear and regular movement. I happen to be someone with a slew of winders where I keep my automatic watches wound and ready to go, because I rotate several watches often and rarely wear the same watch two days in a row, so putting my watch on the winder at the end of the day is a necessity in my case. When it comes down to it, most people who need watch winders have more than one automatic watch that they rotate through wearing.


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4 comments
avalonmed11
avalonmed11

I used to use a watch winder but, really, I think they are a waste of time.  How hard is it to wind a watch you haven't worn in awhile? Also, it does accelerate wear of the watch.  Or maybe it doesn't, but I just think watch winders are silly.  Another point is that they don't work with Tag Heuer watches.  One reason, besides they don't keep time for shit and are junk, that I sold my Tag watches once I began to get interested in fine watches.

Lesthepom
Lesthepom

will keeping a watch wound all the time shorten its life is it better to let it stop for periods of time or keep it going ????? Like you Ariel I have several + auto watches on winders and it can be several weeks if not months before I get round to wearing them all would it be better to let them stop ???


PhilMaurer
PhilMaurer

I think a post to variable winders, and the links to MFG specs for winders would be nice... Or you can google...

tobygilles
tobygilles

Why do different winders wind in different directions and different numbers of rotations per hour? I've read in places that certain watches "prefer" to be wound in one direction (either clockwise or anti-clockwise), while others still "prefer" to be wound in both directions. Also, while I understand an auto watch can't, in the main, be overwound, why does it matter how many rotations per minute/hour a winder does? Presumably the winder manufacturers don't just do it because they can - it must be because individual watches will remain "healthier" if wound a certain amount and in certain directions?