Top watch winders by brand are Eilux, Orbita, Buben and Zorweg and Wolf.
Reviews are listed below. Please read.
WatchCases.com is located in Charlottesville Virginia and run by a retired Algebra teacher and watch collector. We are the experts on watch winders. Everyone else just sells products. We give you the advice you need to hear before buying a watch winder. We sell only products that we know will work for you and your specialized watch winding needs. We sell only products proven to have usable life spans of years not mere months!
The best brands of watch winder are expensive. Expect to pay at least $200 per winder head or more if you really wish to take care of your watches. The brands we carry are listed here in Alphabetical order our overall rank in parenthesis:
Buben and Zorweg(1), EILUX winders(3), ORBITA winders(2), Ragar, Rotolution(5) and WOLF winders(4) We often simply refer to Buben & Zorweg as BUBEN winders.
We feel Wolf Viceroy Winder is Wolf's best winder. The reviews below are in random order....
Buben & Zorweg Winders Review
Buben & Zorweg Winders made in Germany/AustriaThe German made Buben & Zorweg winders are the finest in the world. With a rock solid reputation and a 5 year warranty, Buben & Zorweg winders are the best choice when only quality matters.
Buben & Zorweg makes the most expensive watch winder on the market. They are proud of their luxury position and they do not allow discounting. This is why they are hard to find on the Internet. If you can afford Buben do not even consider another winder. They will safely wind every automatic watch made and do so with impeccable looks and styling.
These winders use the best materials and craftsmanship that Europe has to offer. No one beats this company in terms of design and quality, and the price reflects that! We do not sell very many of these units. But they will last for decades, and they are repairable if anything goes wrong.
Pros and Cons of Buben Winders.
Best Fit and Finish in the Business. Beauty is Buben!
Buben Winds every watch made.
Buben Warranty is full 5 years!
Buben is made in Europe and therefore expensive, but you get what you pay for in a winder.
Buben is Made and Repaired in Austria/Germany.
Snob appeal: Expensive most people can not afford this quality winder.
Note Orbita makes two winder motors and they operate differently and should not be confused. Their standard Programmable Winders which we call their Pro Series and their ROTORWIND series also know as SPARTA Winders.
Orbita Pro Winders Review: Programmable Review:
Orbita was the first company that initially refused to allow us to sell their product. Why? We were an online store. Many online stores are unreliable and undependable. We (I) was bummed out. I went to a trade show event in New York, the JCK show and there I met Chuck Agnof in person.
He is an extremely affable man and Thomas O'Brien introduced me to Chuck. Thomas is the owner and founder of Venlo Company a maker of fine watch cases. Long story short was Chuck changed his mind. Took an initial order from us and since then we have become one, if not the best online store
for Orbita Winder in the world! Orbita makes an amazing winder. They now make 2 distinct models you could almost call them brands, their Programmable Motors, the bread and butter of winding and their newer ROTORWIND system (see below). An Orbita Watch Winder is not the easiest winder to program, though Rotorwind solved that, an Orbita Programmable winder requires a directions card and flipping some toggle switches. Usually you only need to do this once, though the factory setting works to wind almost all watches. Dependability is a strong point on Orbita.
As is long life. Service and quiet running. Since this winder will wind every watch, big ones, skinny ones even ones with chicken skin straps! Never has an Orbita Winder failed to wind a watch for one of our customers! That is saying something considering how many we have sold and considering we have been doing this for over 10 years. By far Orbita is my #1 winder company when all factors are taken into account.
Pros and Cons of Orbita Pro Winders.
Orbita has the best customer service and #1 watch forum reputation.
"Orbita Pro" Winds every automatic watch made. (Programmable versions)
Orbita Warranty is a full 2 years!
Repairable for life.
American made so Orbita is Expensive, but you get what you pay for in a winder.
Please see all of our RotorWinders by Orbita Watch Winders here.
You should consider the Orbita Sparta or Rotorwind system separately from the Orbita Programmable Winder series. Though both have the same American made components and quality, they operate differently. The Rotorwind system uses gravity and a long life lithium battery to wind watches. The watch holder is placed on a cylindrical drive shaft, but instead of spinning the entire watch and watch holder the shaft simply spins once 360 degrees. On part of the shaft has a small arm that extends to mesh with
and catch another small protrusion on the Watch Holder. This causes the watch holder to move and slowly spin up till it is released and drops with the force of gravity. Since the Watch Holder is weighted like the Rotor of an Automatic Watch it swings. (Hence the name RotorWind). From the 12:00 O;Clock position the watch sways in a circular motion losing a little momentum with each swing. Until finally it comes to rest and waits 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the setting you choose most watches need 10 minutes setting, meaning it turns on every 10 minutes.) until the process starts over. In this way the Automatic Watch is wound in the exact same manner as when worn, instead of the artificial one direction at a time movement of most winders. This also makes gravity do the majority of the winding and thus allows the battery to last forever. Orbita claims 5 years, but independent testing shows on medium weight watches the battery may last almost double that amount of time!
The only drawback to this system is the RotorWind does not move for a long enough a period to wind every watch on the market. Some watches, especially Chronographs, require more turns per day than the Rotorwind will give. Basically the Rotorwind will wind any watch that winds in Both directions and needs about 650 Turns Per Day.
(This however happens to coincide with the movement requirement of over 85%-95% of the watches on the market!) If the watch winds in a single direction at say 900 Turns Per Day or more it will need to be placed on the Programmable Module. Pros and Cons of Orbita Rotorwind Modules.(Sparta)
Orbita has the best customer service and watch forum reputation.
Rotorwind by Orbita is "Self Programming" Winds nearly every watch made without looking up!
Orbita Warranty is full 2 years!
Repairable for life.
Orbita is made in America and therefore expensive, but you get what you pay for in a winder.
Rotorwind Battery will need replaced in about 5 years and costs a lot to replace, but less than $100.
Rotorwind is best for Bi-Directional wound watches, like Rolexes but not good for hi turn Chronographs.
Because Rolex watches are so popular, most watch winder manufacturers claim that their winder is the best for Rolex watches. In our opinion, Orbita winders, which are made in the USA, take the crown.
The pendulum motion used in all of the Easy Winders is patented, so no other brand of watch winder works the same way. Orbita calls it the Rotorwind system, and it has some nice advantages.
The winding cycle is powered by gravity, so only a small amount of energy is needed to get the winder going. This means the lithium batteries that come with the winder will last 5 years. Orbita guarantees it. That's right, the warranty covers dead batteries. My laptop warranty doesn't even cover the battery.
In addition to long lasting batteries, Orbita winders are super quiet. The motor is only on for a few seconds every 10 minutes, and you have to put your ear right up against it to hear the faint whirring sound as the motor raises the cup up for its winding cycle.
This winder is easy to use. Just put your watch in and turn it on. There are no settings to mess with.
It comes in a nice burl or teak wood box that keeps the dust off. It also has a viewing window so you can show off your watch while it is in the winder.
Wolf Watch Winder Reviews.(Formerly Wolf Designs.)
Review of the Viceroy Series
The Viceroy winders are an upgraded version of the winders Wolf has been selling successfully for years. The new version lets you choose a number of turns per day all the way up to 1200, which is enough for even the toughest to wind watches.
The winder is a little louder than some of the other products we offer, but it has the option of doing all its winding during the day while you're not home. Just put your watch in the winder when you take it off in the evening and use the delayed start option. The winder will switch on the next day and run for 6 hours while you're at work.
The Viceroy winders have a sleek looking leather finish with gray interior. Leather goes with anything, so the Viceroy winders fit beautifully in our offices in downtown Charlottesville.
When we first got the Wolf Designs winders, we thought the pillows that came with them were too large. Wolf Designs offers a smaller pillow option, which we found to be just right. If you have a small wrist, or even an average wrist, we can send you the small pillow/holder for a discounted price if you buy it with the winder, or at retail if you wait.
Pros and Cons of Wolf Winders.
Wolf Winders are sold by almost all Jewelers, so a good rep in the business.
Wolf Winders we sell will meet the winding requirements of all automatics. (Programmable module 2.7 versions only.)
Wolf Winders Warranty is full 2 years!
Wolf Winders might not be repairable after warranty expires.
Wolf Winders are made and repaired in China.
Wolf Winders do not do well with big and heavy watches as reported to us by consumers.
Rotolution offers the most programming options. You can set the number of turns per day from 1 to 6,000. No matter what kind of watch you have, the Rotolution is guaranteed to have a setting for you.
Eilux Winders made in Hong Kong.
Don't let the price fool you. Eilux offers a quiet, reliable product for just a few dollars more than a lower quality Steinhausen winder. Made to Quality standard of Luxury Winder at Value Prices in Hong Kong "The City of Watches!"Eilux will work for almost any watch, and are a great choice for a watch collector that can't afford one of the luxury brands.
Winds every brand of watch and almost every watch made!
Originally made exclusively for the Japanese market. Very demanding consumers!
Best Value for the money. We hate to sell it at these prices, but you benefit!
Review of the Eilux Single Winders
If you're looking to save money on a watch winder, you have 2 choices. You can get a super-cheap winder that you'll have to replace in 6 months, or you can get an Eilux. If you plan on sleeping anywhere near the winder, you'll want to go with option 2. Eilux winders are the quietest I've tested. They are even quieter than the Sparta winders, and those things barely make a sound.
All the Eilux winders use a spring-loaded mounting system that works really well for all of the watches I've tested it on. You can see it in action in the video below. It's designed to be used with a watch band that is already fastened, which makes it good for deployant-buckles. It doesn't have as much padding as the Orbita pillow, but it won't scratch your watch.
The Eilux winders are all set for about 900 turns per day. This is perfect for most watches. There are only a tiny number of watches that require more than 900 turns. If your watch requires fewer than 900 turns, an Eilux will still work fine. Automatic watches have a built-in mechanism that prevents over-winding. As long as the winder doesn't spin 24/7, a few extra turns won't hurt it.
Eilux winders have a switch on the bottom (you may need to use a pen to get at it) that controls the turning direction. The bi-directional setting would be used for a Rolex. Pros and Cons of Eilux Watch Winders.
Eilux is without a doubt the Best Value.
Eilux has a USA based repair center.
Eilux offers a Warranty is a full year.
Repairable for life.
Eilux does not wind every single watch, 99% but not all of them! (Only winds watches needing 900 turns or less)
Fit and Finish could be better.
Relatively short warranty for such a high quality winder at this price point. But they almost never break! Warranties are expensive, so this is how they compete on price.