James Feldman knows how to make a really nice watch winder. I don’t know whether he knew this about himself before or after he founded JFA to makes watch winders, but I have been very impressed with the company’s JFA Four Watch Winder. Further, JFA watch winders are made in Germany.

I haven’t used a ton of watch winders in my time as a watch lover, but enough to know what works well, and what just plain stinks. There is not nearly as many watch winders on the market as there are watches. Probably because watch winders such aren’t as sexy and don’t have the same initial appeal. They are more like tools, but they can be really reliable and useful tools, or merely help you to get by. A good watch winder should do a couple of key things. 1. Keep your watches wound without breaking them. 2. Make it really easy to insert and remove watches. 3. Require little to no maintenance, and last a long time. 4. Take up only as much space as necessary. 5. Not make you worry about placing an expensive watch in them, which is related to number 1, but also in terms of cosmetic damage. These are pretty simple requests, but you’d be amazed at home in frequently watch winder makers mess this up. It would also be nice if the winder did not cost an arm and a leg. Yes, some are made out of exotic woods, but honestly, this is not rocket science we are talking about.

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Most of the watch winders I have owned or operated are not worth the money, at all. But when I first laid eyes on the JFA Four Watch Winder, I knew there was a lot of thought put it to it. The system is dead simple. A revolving carousel like system with four spinning arms. It basically looks like a carnival ride, but for watches. The winder has no buttons or controls, just plug it in. You simply place as many watch on the carousel as you want, and they spin for a bit…stop…and then go back the same way. This ensures that the watches are always wound, without being over wound.

Equally simple is the watch clip. Good for watches with straps or bracelets, you squeeze the clip with your finger and place the watch over it, then slide it on the arm. You can do this while the hands are turning or stopped, the system is not that fragile (don’t try that with other winders unless you want to cry). The clips hold the watches snugly without damaging them. It is really a wonderfully engineered little system.

The JFA Four Watch Winder is also really quiet and only takes up as much space as necessary. I have two of them sitting next to each other, and I love them. They are easily the best watch winders I have ever owned. At a retail price of just under $400, they are not especially cheap, but they are a bargain given the market. If you are looking for a well designed watch winder at a reasonable price that is function first, and actually looks interesting while operating, my advice is to go with a JFA watch winder.

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