Watch winders, the custodians of automatic timepieces

A deep dive into the fascinating world of watch winders. Discover how these fine instruments revolutionised the way we take care of and maintain in flawless condition our automatic watches.

By Edouard Bierry

Mechanical watches are the embodiment of precision and technology but require special care to stay perfectly on time. It’s no surprise then that watch winders feature prominently among the automatic watch collectors’ essential tools. These instruments do more than just keep your watch from winding down, they can be a stylish accessory, a way to extent your watch’s longevity, and a device that ensures your watch works correctly. Let’s dive into the mechanisms, the history, and the development of these instruments, dedicated to the safeguarding of automatic watches. And what better example than SwissKubik to showcase all of this.

The purpose of watch winders

Unlike its quartz movement counterpart, the automatic watch requires a complex mechanical movement to function. This movement needs to be cared for, especially the automatic, or ‘self-winding’ movement, which derives its energy from the movement of your wrist. But when you don’t wear your automatic watch for a certain amount of time, it will stop, and you will have to wind it up manually.

This is where watch winders come in. Winders can help you avoid the hassle of manual winding by simulating the movement of your wrist. By keeping your watch in motion, a watch winder guarantees the at your watch stays on time, doesn’t stop ticking, and cancels the need to adjust your watch whenever you put it on.

Watch winders: a brief history

Their story begins in the 18th century, a time when mechanical pocket watches were the best way to keep time. Watchmakers would construct cases fitted with simple mechanisms to wind up the automatic pocket watches – cutting-edge technology back then. These mechanisms were usually key wind movements, requiring a clock key to function.

Over time, with the progress of horological technology and the invention of the wristwatch, watch winders evolved too, becoming more complex and started to house electric engines and programmable settings. These new features meant that watch winders could adapt themselves to different calibres and kept watches in motion even when they weren’t being worn. This ensured the watches stayed precise and lasted longer.

In recent years, watch winders have become far more than mere utilitarian objects. Watch collectors can pick winders made of fine wood with elegant lacquer coatings, befitting their personal taste. When watchmaking evolves, so too does watch winding technology, as it plays a vital role in the maintenance and care of mechanical watches while at the same time echoing watchmakers’ passion and creativity.

How to pick the perfect winder for your automatic watches

A watch winder has three main functions: storing watches, winding watches, and properly lubricating of the calibre inside the automatic watch. When a watch is unworn for a couple for months, the lubricant dries out and the watch loses its ability to self-lubricate, which can lead to jamming.

Here are five essential criteria to pick the watch winder that’s right for you:

Storage capacity: Gauge how many compartments are needed for your watches – don’t forget to exclude quartz and manual-winding watches. Also consider if you want to grow your collection and pick a winder with enough storage space.

Size: Consider where you want to place your watch winder. If you want to put it away in a safe, a winder with a single compartment is recommended. However, if you want to put in or on a piece of furniture, a winder with multiple compartments is a better option. Make sure to take measurements in advance for an optimized arrangement.

Design: Pick a design that suits your taste and that aesthetically compliments the space where you intend to place your winder.

Power supply: Depending on where you place the winder, as well as your personal preferences, you can pick one that is connected to AC power, a battery powered one, or a hybrid one. Batteries are practical but require regular replacement, however cumbersome the charger connected to AC power is, it certainly avoids the constant battery replacement.

Brand: Pick a prominent brand like SwissKubik. Features such as the ability to adjust the number of rotations per day and the ability to connect to an app can also influence your choice.

A collaboration with Swiss excellence: SwissKubik

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, and founded in 2007, SwissKubik upholds fine Swiss watchmaking thanks to its high-end products, specially created for the maintenance of automatic watches. The SwissKubik watch winders set themselves apart with their elegant and streamline design, expertly crafted to blend function and form. Never out of place, these instruments seamlessly fit anywhere, in office, in a bedroom or in a living room.

SwissKubik watch winders are equipped with state-of-the-art technology including precise and silent winding mechanisms that keeps your watch in motion and ensures its optimal performance. Certain models are even equipped with advanced customizable settings, allowing you to program the winder for specific watches.

The various SwissKubik winders give each collector a large panel of options to choose from. Whether your collection has just begun or if you are a seasoned watch collector, SwissKubik has a watch winder for you: from the single winder to the expanded 12-space model. In addition to their technical excellence, SwissKubik winders are unique thanks to the high-quality materials used for their construction, their overall durability, their reliability, and a expert craftsmanship. Rest assured; your watch is in good hands.

The SwissKubik Startbox is the very incarnation of Swiss quality with its modern and streamline design, this ultra-silent watch winder can run without being connected to a power supply for three years. Adapted to most automatic watches, this model performs 1,200 rotations per day (80 cycles of 20 rotations). A special blue Pantone Startbox – born of a collaboration between Frank Sans C and SwissKubik – bearing the motto ‘Even stopped, a watch tells the correct time twice a day. With SwissKubik, it never stops!’ A perfect gift idea for automatic watch enthusiasts, and further proof that the watch winder is an essential tool for any collector, especially those that own perpetual calendar watches.

It can’t be said enough, watch winders are more than mere accessories, they are indispensable for watch afficionados and collectors that care deeply about the maintenance of their precious timepieces. SwissKubik is committed to excellence, their prestigious collaborations testify to this fact, and are making their mark on watch winding history.