Collecting watches can be a rewarding pastime, not to mention a great way to stay accessorised to the nines, but every owner of automatic (self-winding) watches soon finds out that if you don’t keep them moving, they’ll slow down and stop.
This is where watch winders come to the rescue. These boxes can act as storage solutions and display cases, but above all else they rotate periodically to keep your watch’s power reserve topped up.
That way, no matter how long it is since you last wore a certain automatic watch, the winder will ensure it is topped up, at the right time, and ready to be worn.
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A watch winder should feature a considered design which will serve to highlight your investment and suit your interiors.
Some watch winders can cost less than £50, while others, in the case of the beautiful Rapport Time Arc, they can be as expensive as the watches they contain.
For the best meeting between form, function and competitive pricing, our top pick comes from Smythson in the form of their Grosvenor Rotary Watch Box.
Elsewhere, there are options for large collections (the 8-capacity Wolf Roadster) small spaces (the diminutive Perpetua II) and more besides to suit all kinds of collectors.
1. Smythson Grosvenor Rotary Watch Box
The most mysterious box outside of Super Mario
Reasons to buy
From the outside, the Smythson Grosvenor watch box could be near enough anything, and therein lies its charm – it’s subtle, it’s smart, and it’s mysterious, the perfect bedside accessory.
If you or your better half are partial to shiny things, not just watches, its top compartment comes in handy as a jewellery box or corral for small valuables. Meanwhile the front panel comes down to reveal a double watch winder with removable Swiss-made rotators. To top off, the whole thing’s wrapped in luxe full-grain leather, making this a real investment piece.
2. Barrington Single Winder
Sleek and sophisticated watch winder for not very much money
Reasons to buy
Made from MDF but with an incredibly smooth gloss finish, the Barrington Single Winder is perfect if you own one automatic watch or if you’re short on space. Inside is a Japanese motor which rotates almost-silently, and is powered by either a mains plug or two AA batteries.
There are settings for the direction of rotation, as well as the number of turns per day. Knowing which setting is incredibly easy thanks to the Barrington Watch Database, which suggests the best setting for your watch model.
There are seven colours to choose from, meaning it shouldn’t have a problem fitting into your room, and, at a price of £125, we think it’s tremendous value for money.
3. Rapport London Perpetua II Watch Winder
A single watch winder for small collections
Reasons to buy
A leather-bound watch winder-meets-jewellery box might be enticing, but if a three grand price tag takes it out of the realms of accessibility, consider this dinky version instead. Testament to the old adage that good things come in small packages, it’s ideal if a single watch winder is all you need, with its practical small footprint and high-end-looking lacquered box made from solid walnut.
The low-voltage motor keeps things moving constantly and quietly on a choice of timed or fast modes, by DC adapter or batteries, making for a superbly versatile winder.