I went pretty quickly from a guy who owned a mechanical watch to a guy who owned too many mechanical watches. Not too many in an absolute sense (that would be crazy), but too many in the sense that I can’t keep them all wound by rotating through my collection. If this sounds similar, you need a watch winder. The good people at Barrington were nice enough to ship one over for me to check out, and I think that the Barrington Single Watch Winder is a real solid option for a single winder.Barrington does sell double, quad, and larger watch winders, but I like the concept of a modular, or at least modular looking, single watch winder, where you can simply add more winders as needed. The Barrington Single Watch Winder is a very clean, simple design, with a click-in cushion for your watch and a small led light on the front of the winder. There are 7 color options (plus a black version with a smaller cusion as well) so you can build a bank of single color winders or mix and match if that is your style. Instead of a wood laminate, the exterior is a smooth plastic, which gives it a more modern industrial look.
The watch itself is exposed , so there is no door to close it off or bubble to pop over the top. This may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. I like the look, and without the door, you have to worries in making sure that your watch fits. No matter how tall, there is no front obstruction. It also gives a better view of the watch itself. On the down side, there is nothing to protect the watch from anything that may bump against it, or from dust. Also, a door may attenuate noise, but since the winder is already quite, this isn’t a huge concern.
I tried the winder out in my office, so I didn’t bring it home to put on the bedstand, but testing it with a sound meter app on my smartphone barely budged the reading from baseline. My office measured a background of about 48 to 50 db, and the winder kicked it up to 50 to 51 db. For comparison, my typing on the keyboard would get the needle into the low 70s, and normal conversation is in the 60s. The video above was shot in a pretty quiet room in my office, with a couple of finger snaps at the end for comparison of the noise level.
Controls are simple and adequate, with a control dial for on, clockwise, counterclockwise and alternating rotation, and another dial for 650, 750, 850, and 1,000 turns per day (tpd). I tested the watch with my Anstead dive watch (housing a Seiko NH36a movement), setting on CCW rotation and 750 tpd (the Seikos wind in either direction, but this way I could also use it for one of my Miyota 8250 watches. If you are frequently swapping out watches and have a variety of movements, the lack of controls up front could be an issue. Also, it would be nice to have a single power button up front to deactivate the winder when you are wearing the watch, but these would change the look of the winder. You need to decide if you want the more accessible controls or the cleaner look.
The last important consideration is how the winder holds the watch. With the Barrington, the watch is very secure. There is a rectangular block with some padding, along with a string loaded tensioner in the back, which keeps the watch from rotating in the holder. the holder then clicks into the winder body or is removed by squeezing the wings on either side of the watch. The largest watch I have is a 46.5 mm with a canteen crown, and the watch fit comfortably in the holder with room to spare. I can’t guarantee it, but the holder looks like it would accommodate a 50mm watch case with no issues. I have shopped for other winders, and some use a simple pillow that slips into a holder, which is not going to be as secure.
Overall, I think it is a solid product. The winder runs on AC or two AA batteries, and mine was shipped with a US adapter, so make sure you get the right one for your power grid. The Japanese motor and housing are quite and well constructed. It looks clean, and the controls are functional without being overly complicated. It is also versatile enough to handle a wide variety of watches, including the larger cases you can find on the market. The single winder sells for £99, about $150 at the current exchange rate. This is certainly something that would also work as a gift item if you have a collector on your gift list. barringtonwatchwinders.com
- Brand & Model: Barrington Single Watch Winder
- Price: £99 (~ $150 USD at present)
- Who we think it might be for: You are tired of hand winding the automatics you are not wearing.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: I would definitely consider it as the basis for a collection of winders
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: A power switch on the front.
- What spoke to me the most about this winder: I like the clean look.