Does a Rolex Need a Watch Winder?

The Rolex self-winding movement, or Perpetual movement, uses the movement of the wearer’s wrist to stay wound and to maintain an accurate reading.  The idea is that, if worn regularly, a Rolex that runs on a self-winding movement should never need to be wound.  If you don’t plan on wearing your Rolex regularly, the movement will eventually stop. While this can be inconvenient in the sense that when you wear your watch again you will have to re-set it, this, according to some collectors, can also be detrimental to the movement if left sitting for an extended period.  The idea is that the material that keeps the parts lubricated will start to harden and will significantly affect the movement’s ability to maintain a precise reading.  There are arguments as to if this statement is true or not with many believing that modern lubricants don’t harden and that the only real threat to your timepiece is the natural aging that happens over time.

If you’re among those who believe that a stagnant movement will harm your Rolex or if you own an older or even vintage Rolex that might use the type of lubricant that is capable of hardening over time, one option is to invest in a watch winder.  Watch winders are boxes that gently move a watch when it isn’t being worn.  The watch winder will keep the rotor in movement, thus keeping the watch wound and allowing it to maintain an accurate reading.  Maintaining a precise reading also means that watches with more complication functions, such as a date or annual calendar, will stay set, even when the watch isn’t worn and don’t need to be adjusted every time the watch is worn.  This is an important factor to consider as some of these functions are very difficult to set.  Watch winders are also a great way to store your expensive watch as they will protect it from exposure to dust, moisture, or sunlight



If you choose to invest in a watch winder, there are many options available to suit any budget.  Single watch boxes can start as low as $40, and more expensive options boast a price tag that exceeds $10k.  Both options have their benefits, with the more expensive options offering quieter motors as well as the ability to set the turn per day (TPD) to avoid excessive movement of the watch.

Diplomat Economy Single Watch Winder: $44.95

Diplomat Black Carbon Fiber Pattern Single Watch Winder & 6 Watch Additional Storage: $199.95

Diplomat Black Carbon Fiber Pattern 3 Watch Winder & 12 Watch Additional Storage: $299.95

Diplomat Black Edition Eight Watch Winder with LED's: $349.95

Diplomat Estate Collection Ebony Wood Nine Watch Winder: $595.00

Why Some Believe that a Watch Winder Isn’t Necessary

Some collectors argue that there is no need for a watch winder as it can potentially harm your watch by wearing down the parts more quickly as opposed to letting the movement rest.  Those who subscribe to this theory argue that simply winding your Rolex every morning or moving it around from time to time should be enough to keep the movement in perfect working order.  Furthermore, having your watch serviced regularly should also keep the movement in tip-top shape and properly lubricated regardless of how often you choose to wear it.  However, as previously stated, if you choose the right watch winder, you can ensure that your timepiece stays wound without causing excessive wear to the movement over time.

If you choose to forgo a winder, consider a high-quality tray or box to store your timepieces in, such as the Watch Box Co. Volta 8 Carbon Fiber Watch Box that sells for just $159.95

In the argument for or against owning a watch winder, what it comes down to is a matter of convenience.  A watch winder prevents the wearer from having to hassle with setting complicated functions every time they wear their watch.  If this is an important factor to you, then a watch winder may be an ideal investment.  If you fall into the category of collectors who enjoy setting the complications that accompany their Rolex, then a watch winder may not be necessary.  Regardless of which option you choose, the most important take away from this article should be to remember to service your timepiece regularly and to consider investing in a quality storage option to keep your Rolex in excellent condition when not worn.