I've had a love/hate relationship with watch winders like this Leltnsou 12 Watch Winder. The convenience is great, but inexpensive ones don't tend to meet expectations. You can buy one from a brand like Wolf or Orbita, but then you're spending thousands of dollars. There isn't a middle ground value brand that I'm aware of.
I thought I had given up on watch winders, but I have a lot of watches now to use for photos on the website (or I tell myself that anyway). I find myself wearing the same watches a lot to avoid having to set some of the more cumbersome ones. After finding this 12 watch winder on sale on Amazon for $475, I decided to give it a try.
It arrived double boxed, with Styrofoam protecting it, and inside a soft protective bag. It appeared however, that it had been opened, as it had a few small scratches, and a small chip out of the back, luckily where you can't easily see it. It's possible that it had been returned by a previous customer, and that Amazon's fulfilment center didn't catch it. They did fulfil the order, not the seller. Since it was on the back and didn't affect the function, I decided to overlook it.
Two switches on the back are for master power, and to choose if the winder stops or continues running when you open the door.
I opened it up. The latch felt secure and not difficult to open.
I then popped out one of the watch holders to check it out. It was nicer than others I had owned in the past, with soft padding, and spring-loaded ball bearings to help them clip securely into place.
They have plenty of space even for a wide watch with a huge crown, like a 43mm IWC Big Pilot.
It also came with a remote, a polishing cloth, and a set of keys to lock it. Not pictured are two small foam pads, which I think can be used to insert (only two) watches sized for smaller wrists in the winder.
This is the "wooden" version. For a bit more money, you could choose one with a carbon fiber finish or a fingerprint lock. There are also 6 watch versions available.
I then plugged it in and started it up. I heard a scratching sound coming from the winder, which had me worried at first. I started pulling out all of the holders and found that two of them had silica moisture packets inside, which was creating the noise. Crisis averted!
Once those are removed an audible hum is noticeable. It's very quiet and not annoying. The winder also has a 12-hour on, 12-hour off operation. I couldn't find a setting for that, so I believe it starts the countdown from when the winder is powered up. I'll re-report if I find something different, but if you keep it in your room I'd recommend turning it on the first morning that you have it, so it's off while you are sleeping.
An LED light emits a blue glow (and luckily can be turned off). It seems to have a lot of UV in it, as watches like my Swatch Neon to the Max started glowing brightly when under it.
As with most winders, there are a number of turns per day settings, ranging from 650 to 1900. You can also choose clockwise only (like the Omega Planet Ocean Chronograph 3313 movement and Blancpain x Swatch Fifty Fathoms System 51), counter-clockwise-only (like the Porsche Design Chronograph with Lemania 5100 movement, and Timex M79 with Miyota movement), or bi-directional (like most other movements including).
Settings can be adjusted by the remote, or a backlit touchscreen panel. An LCD display indicates what is going on.
One thing to note is that the winders are paired, so there are only 6 settings. After figuring this out, I paired watches in the winder with the same winding directions. It wouldn't damage a watch to turn it in its non-winding direction, but I figured it would be more efficient.
Overall, for under $500, I am pretty pleased with the result. The winder appears to be well-made and secure. It's not silent as advertised, but is as quiet as one should expect.
These winders had limited reviews on Amazon, but they were mostly positive. When issues did occur, it sounded like the manufacturer took care of them as well.
I'll update this review in the future if any reliability problems show up as I continue using the winder. With that caveat in place, I do recommend it.