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Reasons not to buy a budget watch winder

Posted on 23 July 2020 at 10:51 AM

You have probably heard someone telling about a watch winder. Perhaps a friend who likes automatic watches or a colleague who has bought one. But what exactly is a watch winder? The answer is simple; A watch winder is a device that provides the automatic watch with energy by rotating one or more automatic watches, so that it continues to run. For this, the watch does not stop and you do not have to wind it manually and reset the time and date.

A watch winder is the number 1 accessory for automatic watches. The device is not only very handy because you never have to set the time and functions of the watch again, it also ensures optimal preservation of your automatic watches. The oil remains well distributed among the parts of the timepiece inside the watch. In addition, you no longer have to open the crown to manually wind the watch and reset the time when it is standing still. The crown is one of the most vulnerable parts of a watch. In other words, using a watch winder has many advantages. Advantages valued by real watch fans and watch collectors. A real watch enthusiast who owns automatic watches certainly has a watch winder! Brands such as Swiss Kubik, Benson, Bernard Favre and Orbita are world famous, and wind watches from brands such as IWC, Rolex, Breitling, Omega, Tag Heuer and Panerai well and safely.

Different types of watch winders

Watch winders come in all shapes and sizes. The differences between brands are large. You can think of the design, the amount of watches that fit in it, color, materials and operation. In addition, there are large price differences. In short, there are many different types of watch winders. There are also many different brands, which come from various countries. Good watch winders are produced in the Netherlands, Germany, the US, Switzerland and Italy. Watch winders are also made in cheap production countries. Are these always of bad quality? No, but you have to be careful and be well informed. Cheap can quickly become expensive and you prefer not to take risks with your automatic watches, right?

What do you have to pay attention to if you want a watch winder to wind your automatic watches properly and safely? In this blog we write why you would rather not buy a budget watch winder. We substantiate why this type of watch winders is normally not a good purchase.

Budget watch winders

It is important to first determine what a budget watch winder is. A budget watch winder is a watch winder that is made of less good materials and where minimal time and care has been taken to assemble it properly. The result is a cheap watch winder that does not have the qualities you need to safely supply automatic watches with energy. The producer is often not interested to produce a good quality product that you can enjoy for many years. The producer is committed produce a low-end product from which he can earn money quickly and easily.

Budget watch winders are relatively easy to find on Ebay, Amazon and Aliexpress. You actually recognize them immediately. Most budget watch winders offered are not from a brand, or the brand is unknown and insignificant. In addition, the price is often too good to be true, especially compared with well know watch winder brands. Yet the producers of budget watch winders often manage to create a nice design to mislead the consumer. You have the idea that you buy a good watch winder, because it looks good, while the quality is absolutely disappointing.

Most budget watch winders are made of plastic or fake wood. In addition, Chinese motors are often used that eventually produce a lot of noise or even stop functioning completely. In addition, watch winders from, for example, Aliexpress are not really intended for the European market. The devices are produced according to Chinese standards, where we in Europe have stricter guidelines for products in terms of materials, quality and safety.

Make no mistake, budget watchwinders are also offered in Europe and are produced in China, Taiwan, Vietnam or Indonesia. There are many small jewelers and web shops that offer such watch winders. Of course, the above written above also applies. So make sure you buy a good watch winder of a well know and respected brand from an official dealer who can also provide you with advice and warranty should a defect occur.

Disadvantages budget watch winder

What are the disadvantages of a budget watch winder? First of all, you should think about problems with winding your automatic watch. Most watch winders have all the functionalities you need to wind a watch, regardless of brand or model. A budget watch winder obviously does not have all the options and usually only has one preset mode that is absolutely not suitable for winding every automatic watch. Often the watch winder is set to 900 TPD clockwise. This works for a large part of the automatic watches, but certainly not for all watches. If you just have a watch that needs a different TPD (turns per day) or a different direction of rotation, you cannot use the watch winder for that specific watch. The will simply not get any energy via the budget watch winder. Watch winders with good functionality can be found, for example, at Swiss Kubik or Orbita.

Another important disadvantage of a budget watch winder is that they are equipped with cheap Chinese motors. These motors consume a relatively large amount of power, are often noisy and have the property of not being particularly durable. Since the motors are one of the most important parts of a watch winder, the lack of durability of the watch winder as a whole is therefore a fact. You better choose a watch winder with Japanese motors, for example from the Dutch brand Benson, or from Paul Design that comes from the United Kingdom.

Budget watch winders are often unbranded and are not supported by existing brands in terms of parts and repair. If you have a defect in your watch winder, parts are not or hardly available. Actually, the watch winder has become virtually useless. With respected brands you can always go back for repair or replacement parts, so you can repair the watch winder even after the warranty has expired. This allows you to enjoy the device for a much longer time. Most well-known brands have a dealer network in Europe, Asia and the USA. This saves you a lot of time, annoyance and shipping costs.

But perhaps the most important is the safety of a watch winder. It is an electronic device that you want to use with confidence. Because budget watch winders do not spend a lot of time and money on good parts and materials safety is not the producer's greatest priority. This while a watch winder should not only be safe for your automatic watches, but especially for you and your environment.

As a final drawback, we would like to talk about the warranty. With the above in mind, you have a good chance that you will soon have to make a claim under warranty. Given the level of quality and durability of the watch winder, you should not bet on a good service from the manufacturer. If you still want to send the defective watch winder to the manufacturer in China or another country in Asia, take a look at the shipping rates. The shipping costs can turn out to be an unpleasant surprise. Cheap then quickly becomes expensive.

Is every budget watch winder of poor quality?

We'll say exceptions confirm the rule. Not every budget watch winder is of poor quality. There are a few brands that manage to offer a reasonable quality watch winder for a very low price. However, these watch winders definitely do not achieve the degree of quality, finish, durability and low noise for the brands described above.

If you want a good watch winder for your automatic watches, you must be prepared to spend at least 150 euros on this. For this amount, as a minimum, you buy a watch winder for 1 automatic watch with a Japanese motor. For example the Benson Compact watch winder. This model is compact, simply designed and works on batteries and mains power. If you want more luxury, you can check the popular Smart-Tech II and Black Series watch winders at Benson.


Do you want a good quality watch winder? Then you will also have to pay for it. Good watch winders are not cheap. A watch winder that does offer quality and has good functionality to wind every automatic watch costs something. However, there are several brands that offer good watch winders for a relatively low and attractive price. Brands such as Boda Concept, Benson, Paul Design and also Heisse & Söhne. All brands where you can buy a great watch winder without having to pay a big amount. 

In any case, what we advise you in your search for a watch winder is to ignore budget watch winders from Amazon, Aliexpress and Ebay. These do not offer the quality that a good watch winder has so that you can enjoy it for years. In addition, you do not want a product for your watch collection that actually does more harm than good.

If your budget is limited and you still want a watch winder for a low amount, take a look at the Benson Compact watch winders. These watch winders offer everything you need, have good motors from Japan and wind every automatic watch without any problems. These models are available from € 169 for one watch, and from € 249 for two watches. Is this still above your budget? Our advice, save a little while for a watch winder that has everything you need and that is definitely a better choice than a budget watch winder in terms of durability and functionality.