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I would like to know if anyone has any idea why hand winding watches that are affordable (at least to me, which means sub $500 US) are so hard to find? Why is a simpler technology than automatic winding watches more expensive and more difficult to find? There are some I already know about, Vostok, Raketa, Hamilton come to mind. But why are quality, hand winding watches so difficult to find? I'm talking new, not vintage or used. Why do so many manufacturers not even offer hand winding at all?! Also, does anyone have a list of sub $500 hand winding NEW watches? Could you please post it here?

A little background. Back in my 30s I wanted to get a mechanical hand winding watch. I really enjoy the tactile feeling of winding a watch. The watch depends on me to wind it every day and I love that. I had fond memories of what was available years ago. I started looking around. The ONLY ones I could find for less than $100 (a lot of money for me at the time) were Vostok and Raketas. I purchased a couple and was very let down with the build quality, the cheesy designs and poor accuracy. (Before anyone starts about how they are durable and can be regulated, let me just say I know. I don't want to have to go through the trouble to learn and do a regulation myself and I don't have a watch guy within 100 miles of me.) The least expensive hand winding watch I could find that wasn't of questionable Russian manufacture and provenance was a few Hamilton watches. I have purchased a couple of the Hamilton Khaki Mechanical watches and have been quite pleased for the most part. They cost between $220 and $350. But even Hamilton seems to be moving away from hand winding. The Hamilton Pioneer I was looking at from a few years ago isn't available in hand winding version anymore. It is rarely available at all and when it is, it's $500. They now offer it only with a date window and automatic movement. I've been in the market for a high quality hand winder that doesn't cost a fortune. Not being able to find many, my original question keeps popping up in my head. Why in the world are hand winders so rare and why would they be MORE expensive than automatics?

Thanks in advance for thoughtful answers and help from a life-long watch lover.
 

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I suspect that hand winding, while often a selling point for the watch enthusiast, might be considered a negative by the general public. If I know nothing about watches and am looking to drop $250 for my one watch, why would I chose a hand wound watch as compared to an automatic or (more likely) a more accurate, less fiddly quartz movement? Once someone gets into the hobby, learns about some horological history, enjoys looking at the movement, etc. the hand wound variant suddenly seems advantageous. Perhaps that is why you see more hand wound expensive watches (along with many other reasons).
 

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mass production and greed. If you can claim it as "rare" and charge extra paid by customer, than good for you.
If your automatic watch produced in 100000 (add 000 as you like) and you have machine in place stamping ETA, Miyota or Seiko at rate of heartbeat your caliber will cost from 20$ and up... final watch could be affordable.
If you need to build a machine and tooling for relatively low volume watch , than price per unit will be up. Because you need to build return on investment into price of the product.
 

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Hand-winders are more rare because hand-wind-only movements are more rare.

Prices are generally a function of production costs and brand desirability. The most common Swiss hand-wind movement, the Unitas, is actually quite expensive. Don't ask me why. I don't know.

If you like hand-winding, check out the new Aevig Thor, and the Gruppo Gamma Peacemaker, both of which use the Miyota 8N33 hand-wind movement.
 

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I like handwinding from both a retro standpoint (I had a bunch of handwinders as a kid .... late 70’s-early 80’s) and also because it’s a simpler movement that should last a long time. Autos that handwind too are a different beast. At this point the only hand wind only (no auto) watches I have are Komandierskie’s a Seagull and a Khaki Mechanical. I’m in agreement that there should be more, but I don’t think it appeals to the large scale watch buying public. I guess “Enjoy them while you can”.
 

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I’ve had extremely good luck with the Chinese Sterile dial 44mm Aviators, both the 6497 and 6498. The 6498 in the photo I’ve had for over 3 years with no problems. It was < $100.




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Does it need to be exclusively hand-wound? The only true affordable hand-winders I could think of would be those using the 6497 movement clone found in Parnis and the like. Pretty solid and accurate movements so no need to regulate them. Then there's the hybrid hand-winder/automatic movements like the NH35 or 4R36. If you really feel the need to wind, then those movements would be happy to oblige. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Does it need to be exclusively hand-wound? The only true affordable hand-winders I could think of would be those using the 6497 movement clone found in Parnis and the like. Pretty solid and accurate movements so no need to regulate them. Then there's the hybrid hand-winder/automatic movements like the NH35 or 4R36. If you really feel the need to wind, then those movements would be happy to oblige. :)
I prefer hand winding only. The issue with auto/hand winding movements is there is no "hard" stop. You don't know when the movement has been fully wound with an automatic, unless you have a power reserve indicator. And while these can be done quite well, I find them an unnecessary distraction on the dial. I like a hand winding only movement. I wind it fully when I put it on and I know it is fully wound. I don't have to worry if I have moved around enough that day to keep it wound or if I wound it by hand enough when I put it on. It would be so easy for some of these companies to dig out the old tooling from the 1960s and make these again, but they just won't. I'm inclined to agree, it's greed and just following the trends. I guess hand winding is going the way of the manual transmission. :-(
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Does it need to be exclusively hand-wound? The only true affordable hand-winders I could think of would be those using the 6497 movement clone found in Parnis and the like. Pretty solid and accurate movements so no need to regulate them. Then there's the hybrid hand-winder/automatic movements like the NH35 or 4R36. If you really feel the need to wind, then those movements would be happy to oblige. :)
I prefer hand winding only. The issue with auto/hand winding movements is there is no "hard" stop. You don't know when the movement has been fully wound with an automatic, unless you have a power reserve indicator. And while these can be done quite well, I find them an unnecessary distraction on the dial. I like a hand winding only movement. I wind it fully when I put it on and I know it is fully wound. I don't have to worry if I have moved around enough that day to keep it wound or if I wound it by hand enough when I put it on. It would be so easy for some of these companies to dig out the old tooling from the 1960s and make these again, but they just won't. I'm inclined to agree, it's greed and just following the trends. I guess hand winding is going the way of the manual transmission. :-(
 

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I prefer hand winding only. The issue with auto/hand winding movements is there is no "hard" stop. You don't know when the movement has been fully wound with an automatic, unless you have a power reserve indicator. And while these can be done quite well, I find them an unnecessary distraction on the dial. I like a hand winding only movement. I wind it fully when I put it on and I know it is fully wound. I don't have to worry if I have moved around enough that day to keep it wound or if I wound it by hand enough when I put it on. It would be so easy for some of these companies to dig out the old tooling from the 1960s and make these again, but they just won't. I'm inclined to agree, it's greed and just following the trends. I guess hand winding is going the way of the manual transmission. :-(
Alas, I think you are right. Manual transmissions seem to be following the same general economic trends. Mainly the benefits (or lack thereof) of economies of scale. In cars, it causes the Honda Accord to have a manual option, while it has been fazed out of the Acura because it doesn't have the volume to support the tooling cost/support.

If you find any other economical hand-winds, please post them. Those of us who still love the manual transmission (and the hand winders) will appreciate them.
 

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I remember seeing that Bernhardt used to have a handwinder with the Officer's watch.
Don't see any on his site now, maybe check in with Fred if he has plans to offer them again. Or you can always pick one up later.

And didn't Victorinox have some hand wound movement options at some point.

Not in your budget parameters, but see that Laco and Stowa both offer hand wound movements.

Guessing the demand isn't quite there for that particular kind of movement.
 

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Don’t wear it a lot, but have no complaints about this Sea-Gull hand-wind. Got it in the neighborhood of $125, if I remember correctly.




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If you find any other economical hand-winds, please post them. Those of us who still love the manual transmission (and the hand winders) will appreciate them.
I have the Toc Ulysses on pre-order through kickstarter. It uses the Seagull 1700 - hand wind with small seconds hand. The pre-order price was lower, but they will go for $300 new.

Hands-On Impression with the Toc Ulysses Collection - Worn & Wound

I ordered the Burren Gold 36mm, which is E259 ($300) on the Toc website.
 

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Everything shown here is Swiss.

There are lots of hand crankers ... you just need to look and be diligent. I just picked up this Glycine for 400 USD ... there is a SS case version and a rose gold case (NO sub-seconds on the rose gold - a BASE movement if you will) and the movement is really nicely decorated. A big selling feature for me ...





There are a number of sub 500 USD models out there but they must be hunted for ...







 

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I have a TC-9 watch (also from Kickstarter as I recall) that's handwound with a Seagull movement. Quite nice and amazingly accurate.
A friend just got a Maurice LaCroix (at least I think it was) that's handwound... Stunning!
 

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I would like to know if anyone has any idea why hand winding watches that are affordable (at least to me, which means sub $500 US) are so hard to find? Why is a simpler technology than automatic winding watches more expensive and more difficult to find? There are some I already know about, Vostok, Raketa, Hamilton come to mind. But why are quality, hand winding watches so difficult to find? I'm talking new, not vintage or used. Why do so many manufacturers not even offer hand winding at all?! Also, does anyone have a list of sub $500 hand winding NEW watches? Could you please post it here?

A little background. Back in my 30s I wanted to get a mechanical hand winding watch. I really enjoy the tactile feeling of winding a watch. The watch depends on me to wind it every day and I love that. I had fond memories of what was available years ago. I started looking around. The ONLY ones I could find for less than $100 (a lot of money for me at the time) were Vostok and Raketas. I purchased a couple and was very let down with the build quality, the cheesy designs and poor accuracy. (Before anyone starts about how they are durable and can be regulated, let me just say I know. I don't want to have to go through the trouble to learn and do a regulation myself and I don't have a watch guy within 100 miles of me.) The least expensive hand winding watch I could find that wasn't of questionable Russian manufacture and provenance was a few Hamilton watches. I have purchased a couple of the Hamilton Khaki Mechanical watches and have been quite pleased for the most part. They cost between $220 and $350. But even Hamilton seems to be moving away from hand winding. The Hamilton Pioneer I was looking at from a few years ago isn't available in hand winding version anymore. It is rarely available at all and when it is, it's $500. They now offer it only with a date window and automatic movement. I've been in the market for a high quality hand winder that doesn't cost a fortune. Not being able to find many, my original question keeps popping up in my head. Why in the world are hand winders so rare and why would they be MORE expensive than automatics?

Thanks in advance for thoughtful answers and help from a life-long watch lover.
PARNIS comes to mind immediately.

Anything with ST-36 (Unitas 6497/98 clone) will do :-!

Here are mine :


https://www.watchuseek.com/f101/parnis-pilot-pvd-6498-a-4067258.html








https://www.watchuseek.com/f101/parnis-pilot-824430.html







MM is also an option (same movement) :

https://www.watchuseek.com/f101/jackson-mm43-radiomir-4497863-post45551549.html#post45551549







https://www.watchuseek.com/f101/mm4...ch-band-435925-post45465001.html#post45465001








https://www.watchuseek.com/f101/mm34-black-dial-4450474.html







Only downside with this movements, the size :-d it makes pretty big watches (> 42mm Ø).
 

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I’ve had extremely good luck with the Chinese Sterile dial 44mm Aviators, both the 6497 and 6498. The 6498 in the photo I’ve had for over 3 years with no problems. It was < $100.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Is it a Parnis?
 
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