When it comes to owning an automatic, self-winding watch like most Rolex watches, you will always find a time when it just runs out of steam.
Automatic Rolex watches are great, if you wear them all the time, but left for a couple of days the spring power runs down and you are left to set the time again, and hope that a day of wearing it is enough to recharge it completely.
That is where a quality watch winder comes in. You can place your watch in it when you go to bed, and wake up the next day (or even days later) and know that the time is still set correctly and it is charged and ready to go. Usually for over 40 hours, depending on the Rolex model you have.
So, the big question is how much do you need to pay for such a quality watch winder, and what options do you have?
How I Chose These Rolex Watch Winders
If you go to a high-end watch dealer, they are going to try to sell you a watch winder that is hand made with rich oak and gold hinges and it will cost you at least a thousand bucks. Try it, and you will learn your lesson very quickly.
So, instead, I will cover the more affordable options that are available online on Amazon.
The challenge is that many overseas manufacturers these days try to save money and end up producing rubbish. Anything below $100 bucks seems to be the quality border for a watch winder, so all models I have found that are worth buying are at least that much. Sure, you can try the $60 one, but read the reviews on Amazon and you will find dozens of unhappy customers (not including the silent ones).
With that in mind, what I also looked for is something that looks stylish (either leather or wood) to suit the prestige of a Rolex. And, something that is reliable and quiet. So, you can keep it by your bedside if you like, and still sleep.
On top of that, it needs to offer power options (usually battery and wall plug). Although that is up to you in the end, and depends if you can place it near a power socket.
Some have a limited 900 turns per day, which should be adequate for most people, although personally I liked the Heidens more as they give you options. This helps protect against overwinding and also makes sure your watch is fully wound. Although according to Bob’s Watches, a Rolex cannot be overwound! Which, given the money you have spent, is great news.
Wolf Unisex 461103 Wolf Cub Single
Wolf have been making leather accessories for watches and jewelry since 1834, so they have certainly honed their expertise.
This silent watch winder is the perfect match for your Rolex to help keep it wound when you are not wearing it.
Like all well made watch winders it follows a variety of patterns and pauses to help simulate normal wear and wind the watch correctly. It covers 900 turns per day which should be enough for most watches, but the Heidens give more options here (from 650 to over 1200).
You can use AA batteries with it if you want to use it away from power, however it can also be plugged in.
The case is faux- leather and comes in a huge range of colors (see image), to match any tastes. The front cover is glass, which is a nice addition when most manufacturers choose plastic.
Note: The only limit to be aware of is that this winder is designed to fit larger watches. So, if you have your watch fitted to a small wrist then you may need to either squeeze the holder into the watch when closed or buy an additional smaller holder from Wolf directly (some people manage to fit it with the clasp open too).
WOLF 270002 Heritage Single Watch Winder
Another Wolf option for those who like their aesthetic. This one is also a leather case with a simple hinged bottom and sliver latch buckle at the top.
This winder is specifically designed to be able to handle heavier watches, and can easily be altered to fit various sizes. It is also very quiet and can easily sit near you when used.
The only big downside of the Wolfs compared to the Heidens (below) is that the turns per day is fixed at 900. Which might be too little or too much, depending on how often you wear your watch. It is also not great for watches that can be overwound, which is rare these days with Rolexes, but you never know. For anyone want more winding options, keep scrolling.
Heiden Single Watch Winder
Heiden is on the same level as Wolf when it comes to watch winders. Mid-range, but no where near as crazy expensive as some watch collectors would have you spend (thousands).
This single winder comes with all the options you would expect including
- Quiet motor
- Wind values: 650-950-1250-1850 (turns) either clockwise, anti, or both
- Batteries (Size C) or AC power adapter (included)
- Simple on/off switch
The case is wood in either brown or black, with a plastic cover that would have been nicer in glass, but it still looks great.
Heiden Monaco Single Watch Winder
Heiden continue to make great watch winders for those that want quality at a reasonable price.
This model comes with a stitched leather exterior and padded linen interior. The watch pillow can be turned to accommodate smaller or larger watches. And, the Mabuchi Japanese motor and gearbox are renowned for being very quiet.
Like it’s brother above, this winder can turn in both directions and has settings for 650-950-1250-1850 turns per day, to ensure your watch is wound enough, but, not too much (some can be overwound which is not great for the mechanism). You can clearly see the settings and on/off switch in the second image above.
In terms of power, you can run this from D sized batteries, or power, depending on where you want to place it, so you have flexibility there.
Perhaps the biggest downside is that it only comes in black, kinda like the original Model T Ford :>
Watch Winder Smith Double Winder
If you have more than one watch then a double winder might be on the cards.
This watch winder from Watch Winder Smith caught my eye because it displays the watches so well. With a metal stand and curved glass front, it looks very modern and stylish. The sides are bamboo, which is all the rage these days too.
Another aspect of this winder that impressed me was the various winding modes available. Watches vary in terms of how much winding they need, and some don’t tolerate overwinding, so you need to be careful. This watch has 4 modes that wind the watch different amounts.
It uses, like most top quality winders, a super quiet Japanese motor, and it comes with 2 years warranty (most only have 1, at best).