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You should unwind -- but your favorite timepiece shouldn't

Wound Up: 5 Best Watch Winders

A self-winding mechanical watch only lives up to its name if it’s kept moving. On your wrist, there’s no problem — the motion of your arm keeps the rotor spinning, which winds the mainspring. But leave it on your bedside table for a couple of days and you’ll need to crank it by hand and set the time and date. While that’s no great hardship with one or two watches, once your collection grows to more than that, you’re going to want a watch winder.

So which one to get? The one in the SkyMall catalog should be fine for your $40,000 Patek Philippe, right? Wrong. We’ve rounded up five of the best winders, from $40 to $7,000, to help you choose the right one for your budget and your quiver of timepieces.

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Think inside the box

Swiss KubiK Startbox

Watch winders can seem like pretentious, esoteric toys for one-percenters with six-figure watch collections until you own more than one automatic watch. Unfortunately, many of them are trimmed in padded leather, faux carbon fiber, or built into a 16-cylinder Bugatti engine block. These excessive centerpieces for the nouveau riche can be as expensive as that self-winding OMEGA you just bought, or much, much worse. The Swiss KubiK Startbox ($460) isn’t part of that snobby crowd.

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KubiK's Cube

Swiss KubiK Watch Winder

Automatic watches are cool but collect a couple and you suddenly have the chore of winding and setting them regularly, or you have to maintain a strict schedule of wearing them to keep them running, which is no fun. A watch winder, which simulates the movement of the watch on your wrist, eliminates the annoying…