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FAQs About Watch Winders


FAQs About Watch Winders

Q. What types of watches are there, and which ones benefit from watchwinders?

A. AUTOMATIC or SELF-WINDING: watches wind themselves as the wearer moves their wrist. The wearer's arm actions cause a weight behind the movement to rotate, winding the mainspring. They can also be wound manually. These are the watches that are benefit from our watchwinders.

These kinds of watches DO NOT work on a a watch winder:

  • MECHANICAL: the traditional "wind-up" watches. They work because of a mainspring inside the watch which the wearer winds by turning the crown on the side of the watch. The spring gradually unwinds and turns tiny interlocking wheels which move the watch hands to measure seconds, minutes and hours.
  • QUARTZ: powered by batteries, rather than a mechanical spring. The batteries send electronic impulses through a small bar of synthetic quartz crystal which vibrates more than 32,000 times per second. Those vibrations are channeled through a series of gears that result in one impulse per second.
  • KINETIC: these appear to be self winding, but are really not. Similar to mechanical automatic watches, the movement of the wrist moves a weight that charges a battery in the watch. The watch is really a quartz watch that generates power for the storage cell. It is similar to a quartz watch in functionality.
  • The terms ANALOG and DIGITAL refer to the way time is displayed on the dial. Analog simply refers to a watch with traditional time-telling "hands." Quartz analogs are watches in which the hands are moved by the electronic impulses passing from the battery through the quartz crystal to a step motor which moves the hands. A quartz analog watch may look like an automatic or self winding watch, however, it is still a self winding watch.
  • Digital watches display the time with digits-- numbers--instead of hands. The numerals are created by either light-emitting diodes (LED) or liquid crystal displays (LCD).
  • Quartz watches are generally more accurate than mechanical watches, for two reasons. One, mechanical watches have many moving parts. That means more friction and less accuracy as the parts interact. Digitals have no moving parts. Two, the quartz crystal's constant and amazingly frequent vibrations per second enable watches to measure the second with unprecedented accuracy. A quartz watch should function properly for years with a battery life of one to up to five years. When the battery needs to be replaced, do not do it yourself. Take it to an authorized jeweler. Make sure they replace the "O" ring seal as well. This will maintain the integrity of the water resistant seal. Too often, customers take their watch to the local "watch battery" place to save money. The result is often quite costly for repair once the water breaches the water tight seal.

Q. How do I use the watch winder?

A. A few simple steps provides safe and effective winding of your automatic watches. Your winder comes with detailed instructions.

Q. What are the differences between polymer and metal retaining springs?

A. Please Note: We have discontinued the polymer watch retaining springs and replaced them with metal.

The differences are: Polymer springs do not collapse as much as metal.

Polymer springs come with two adhesive strips to apply, at the user's option, to each end of the retaining spring. This increases the distance or size of watch that will be accommodated on the spring. The strips are used to hold metal watch bands to prevent slippage on the polymer.
Polymer springs may break if collapsed too much. Broken springs are not covered under warranty.

Metal springs come with rubber strips attached to each end. Metal springs, if not used properly, may scratch metal watch bands. To properly place watch on retaining springs, place your thumb and first finger in the rounded ends of the spring and squeeze to collapse the retaining spring. Then slip your watch on the spring and release. Properly used the metal springs will NOT scratch any metal watch bracelet.

Q. Is there a danger of over-winding when the unit is turned on 24 hours, 365 days a year?

A. There has been a lot of discussion about self-winding (automatic) watches and the use of watch winders. Here is the discussion that is presented by ROLEX in a booklet that accompanies their Rolex Oyster watches.

"The perpetual rotor is an innovation...patented by Rolex in 1931. ...a semi-circular rotor...winds the main spring. Once the optimum tension is reached, a special slip clutch prevents overwinding...and has been generally adopted throughout the watch making industry."

Some manufacturers have also prevented their watch from being wound in the counter clockwise direction to add additional reduction in the winding of the main spring. All of our winders either can be set to run in either direction or they automatically change direction to incorporate both clockwise and counter-clockwise winding of your watch.

Watchwinders will not wind a watch that is not already wound. Make sure your watch is properly wound prior to placing it on the winder. Winders will maintain the power reserve but normally with not wind a watch that is not at least 50% of the reserve prior to being placed on the winder.

Q. How long should one keep a watch on the unit? 8 hours? 24 hours?

A. You can not overwind the watch. It needs about 8 hours if it is run down, less if the power reserve is higher.

Q. Which is the recommended direction for a Rolex watch? Setting the mechanism continually to the left or right?

A. It does not matter with a Rolex made after 1972. We've found if you have a very heavy rotar in your watch, like a Breitling, you may want to set it in the counter-clockwise direction. 

Q. The watch holder (the plastic part or metal part on the one-watch winder) are quite big ! My wife's watches can't fit into the holder. Do you have anything smaller?

We have just introduced new watch springs that are smaller. They are available only in metal but do compress enough to get small watches on the winders. Please go to the parts and accessories page and you will see the new retaining springs that may be ordered.

Q. I have noticed that some of my watches do not rotate, but sometimes slip on the rubber gasket.

A. We have developed a retaining spring that incorporates rubber in the "wheel." Sometimes this "O" ring gets dirt or oil on it, as can the rubber track that surrounds the center of the four-watch winder. Dampen a cloth with Windex, soap and water or other cleaner that does not contain alcohol, and clean the rubber parts. This should restore the traction to the unit.

Q. I want to keep my watchwinder near the headboard of my bed. What is the sound level of the motors?

A. If you are keeping your watchwinder near the bed, here are the sound levels you can expect:

One-Watch Battery Winder:
Noticeable--for very sound sleepers, you can hear the motor easily.

Cordoba Two-Watch Genuine Leather Winder:
Almost Silent--hard to hear, can be kept near bed.

Four-Watch Electric:
Almost Silent--hard to hear, can be kept near bed.

Collector Nine-Watch Winder with Storage:
Very Quiet--can be kept near bed if sound sleeper, there is some minor motor noise.

Q. Why is there a black residue on my winder?

We have received reports of a black residue accumulating on the JFABE2i Two-Watch, JFABE2ic Classic Two-Watch and JFABE1I One-Watch Winders. At first glance, the residue appears to be oil or graphite. However, there is no oil or graphite inside the winder or the motor housing. The residue is the result of improper use of the winder resulting in the aluminum shaft subsequently grinding on the rosette.

To avoid this from happening, please make sure you have seated the retaining spring properly on the winder. For the JFABE1i One-Watch Winder, the retaining spring should be pushed down far enough so that the "arrow" is almost touching the face of the winder.

For the JFABE2i and JFABE2ic Classic Two-Watch Winders, the shaft must be engaged with the cross shaft on the winder. In order to assure that this is far enough, please make sure that the retaining spring can not be easily,turned by hand. The engagement of the notch on the retaining spring and the cross peg on the shaft of the winder should be in full contact. There should be no play between the two.

FAQs About Warranties

Q. What is your warranty coverage?

A. Unless otherwise noted, all new JFA watch winders purchased by retail customers directly from JFA have a one-year warranty (depending on the model), and refurbished JFA watch winders carry a 90-day warranty. The warranty covers the winder only. Springs, adapters, domes, and other accessories are not covered. The warranty starts on the date of purchase.Please see the Warranties page for more information.

Q. I did not buy my winder from Do I have the same warranty coverage?

A. No. Only consumer purchases directly from our websites have a one or two-year warranty. We do not have parts for all of the other watchwinders out there, so we would not be able to fix those other watch winders. Please see the Warranties page for more information.

Q. Are warranties transferable?

A. No. All warranties, standard or extended, apply only to the original owner of the watch winder. Please see the Warranties page for more information.