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In this months BHI (May 2021) mag there is an excellent article covering watch mainspring winders. The winders reviewed/ tested were Bergeron, Rolex, Chinese, Marshall,Kendrick & Davis (‘K&D’). The conclusions made replicate what I have said many times. One set does not cover all requirements with regard to barrel and arbour sizes. 

The Bergeron winders are supplied in either caliber specific (ETA) or by barrel size. The problem with this to cover all options 31 barrel bodies and cranks(arbors) have to be purchased. Not only is this above most horologist budgets the arbours are often too fat or too thin.  

The Chinese winders come in two sets. Red & Grey. The reviewer comes to much the same conclusion as our Marks opinion that the hooks on the arbours are made of Brass so wear could well be an issue. However the Grey version has a slightly better build as the arbours are Brass but are Nickel/ Chrome plated. He therefore lent a Grey set to a pro horologist for a month to see how it performed.Wear was evident with the hooks but not significant so these might still be good for the  keen amateur. 

His most favoured winder is the Rolex manufactured winder supplied to  accredited Rolex horologists. The reason given is superb build quality and the barrel covers are loose so when the arbour is removed from the wound spring the cover can still be held in place to stop the spring flying away. However cost is a big problem. I found one on the net with a price tag of $2900. However Cousins supply a clone of the winder, but in only 3 sizes with a cost £300 for the 3 or £109 each. 

I have attached a chart which shows the barrel and arbour sizes which is real handy to avoid duplicates or to find appropriate arbour to fit the spring being wound. 

This is just a snapshot of the article and I would have liked to have given more detail but I might well be in breach copyright issues with the BHI.

 

 

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Interesting article for those who are confused about watch mainspring winders and which to buy.  Thanks clockboy.   

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Interesting review, especially on the chinese mainspring winders. For a hobbyist watchmaker which do maybe one per month or less, it might be a worthwhile option as long as care is taken for the arbor hook.

the chart is also very nice to buy just the necessary based on what movements you work the most often and not all 31 (if you don't want the chinese version).

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