This week, we take a look at the Barrington Watch Winder – a high-end watch winder designed in the UK.
Barrington Watch Winder Review
Watch winders divide opinion: some say they prolong the life of your watch; others say they will shorten it. I have no firm view either way – indeed, a winder can do no more harm to your watch than merely wearing it every day, but I accept the argument that it will add wear and tear to the movement and that – for the most part – setting a watch is not a great deal of trouble.
Is using a watch winder a good idea?
Unless you have a very accurate watch, all automatics will lose or gain time, and so a watch winder is not a grab and go solution comparable to just having a decent quartz in your watch box. However, there are some use cases where a winder makes absolute sense: moon phases or annual calendars are a pain to set up, and having them at more or less the right time is an easier adjustment than setting them up from a standing start.
My vintage Rolex Datejust 1601 has a movement without a date quick-set function, and so if I do not wear it for two weeks then it the hands have to be wound around the face 28 times! It worries me how much stress that puts on the delicate crown mechanism. For that reason, I’ve been keeping it on a cheap Amazon watch winder during the lockdown, when I have not been wearing it to the office. That winder, after a couple of years’ service, finally gave up the ghost last week and so I reached out to Barrington to enquire about their high-end winders and they kindly provided me with one to review.
Barrington Watch Winder – First Impressions
I was immediately impressed by the quality of the Barrington Shadow Black watch winder. The packaging is spot on, with a real premium feel and feels just the right weight. The motor is extremely quiet compared to the cheaper winders I have been using, and everything feels solid – right down to the decisive click of the control switches at the back as you set up its winding pattern. The only criticism is that the high gloss finish started attracted dust, lint and fingerprints from the moment I opened the box!
The branding is minimalistic and classy; the corners are all finished smoothly with no sharp edges. It looks great on the dressing table. The cushion – which is available in one of two sizes – is covered with a carbon-fibre patterned material and has a neat “click in-click out” size adjustment. It perfectly fits my Datejust on the smaller setting and can comfortably accommodate a bigger, more substantial watch. I was surprised that the watch, when in-situ, is not covered or protected in any way, It stands proud of the winder, and there is not a windowed lid like you find in some winders.
Features of the Barrington Watch Winder
The Barrington watch winder has some handy features. You can adjust the number of rotations per minute from 650 to 1,950 and rotate either clockwise, anti-clockwise or alternate between the two. Barrington provides a handy reference guide on its website for many common watches so you can set it up.
My favourite feature is that on the back, as well as a space for two batteries and a socket for the supplied AC adaptor is a second socket marked “Out”. This socket, along with a supplied cable, allows you to daisy chain multiple Barrington watch winders together and run them all from a single power outlet. Daisy-chaining is a brilliant feature and means if you can’t afford the outlay for a multi-watch winder, you can gradually build up a collection one by one.
[Update 14th May 2020 – I now have bought a second Barrington watch winder and can confirm that they work really well together. You can see a short video of them in action at the WRUK Instagram Page]
Barrington Watch Winder – Video Review
What I Liked
- The Barrington watch winder looks and feels like a premium product.
- It is immediately obvious how much better this product is than the cheap winders I have used in the past.
- The reference guide on the Barrington website with settings for various watches is handy.
What I Didn’t Like
- This is an expensive product but remember it is likely to last a lot longer than a cheaper winder at a quarter of the price
- The high gloss finish looks great but attracts dust and fingerprints.
- The option of a windowed lid or cover to protect the watch would have been nice.
Is a Barrington Watch Winder Worth the Money?
The Barrington watch winder absolutely feels like a premium piece of equipment. It stands head and shoulders above the plasticky feel of a cheap watch winder from eBay. If you are in the market for a winder, spend a little bit more and get a quality product – the Barrington is easily the best watch winder I have used. In fact, I liked it so much I have just ordered a second one.
Buy a Barrington Watch Winder
Barrington sells direct to the public from its website where you benefit from free shipping and excellent service direct from the founders, or you can buy one at £139 from Amazon.co.uk.