Nowadays, mechanical watches are much more than just timepieces. The fascination of complex technology in the smallest of spaces and the enthusiasm for a functional as well as attractive piece of jewellery with the highest aesthetic standards have often made them sought-after collector’s items. Also because of the variety of interesting objects, enthusiastic collectors and wearers often own more than just one watch with a classic, mechanical interior.
This development, the watch as a piece of jewellery, and certainly several of them, entered our society with the idea of a colourful plastic watch. With it, the Swiss watch industry succeeded in making the possession of several watches and the constant changing of them, the focus of consumers. If these watches were then mostly mechanical, the owner quickly got into the embarrassment of not being able to spontaneously switch back and forth between the models, because the watch of choice had mostly stopped in the meantime.
Until then, watch winders were only used in watchmakers’ workshops to check the automatic wristwatches repaired there. But now, in a modified form, they are also interesting for home use. From then on, private users could keep their mechanical watches, which were of course only automatic, permanently in motion and thus ready for use. Changing the watch no longer required time-consuming adjustments of the various displays. The more different displays the watch had, the greater the positive effect of the watch winder. The perfect example of this is a perpetual calendar with the day, date, month, moon phase and leap year displays. This usually takes several minutes to be perfectly adjusted again, now it could be taken off the watch winder and immediately “wrapped” around the arm.
Another positive effect of the watch winder is that the said wristwatch is permanently being moved. Thus, the wheels in the bearings rotate constantly, successfully eliminating the danger of “gumming up”. Of course, it must be said here that lubricants have improved permanently over the past decades and this “gumming up” no longer has the same significance as in the past.
There will certainly also be some critics who prefer the lubrication problems to a constantly running movement. However, one must also take into account here that the materials and thus also the wear of automatic watch movements have been significantly improved in recent years and thus the additional burden can be subordinated to the practical advantages (as described above).