Looking for some advice, completely new to electronics so please bear with me.

I am currently working on a project to build an automatic watch winder, I have a 12v 10rpm motor which should be suitable for the application.

I am looking into options for starting the circuit on a cycle say, 15mins run time for every 3hrs.. As opposed to just an on/off switch.

The initial research I did lead me to believe a '555 timer' might be in order, but it would seem the length of time I am talking about is unsuitable for this.

So onto using a micro controller of sorts and there seems to be ALOT of different options!

Was hoping someone could point me in the right direction for something which looks more suitable ?

Thank you in advance,


  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you tried a plug timer yet? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 7:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi thanks for your quick response, I did think about a plug timer. However aesthetically I would prefer it to be a single unit, with the timer built into the box itself. \$\endgroup\$
    – cross90
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 7:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ In my personal opinion what you would choose depends somewhat on what you want to accomplish: If you are ok with programming then a micro is an option. If you don't want to build much electronic hardware an Arduino might be the right option (and the wrong choice if you want to learn building a circuit board). \$\endgroup\$
    – 0x6d64
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 8:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ CD4060 works better than LM555 for timing periods longer than 1 minute. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 8:15
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What sort of watch requires 15 minutes winding every three hours? Is there an over-run clutch on the winder mechanism? What is the advantage of this system over a battery powered clock mechanism? \$\endgroup\$
    – Transistor
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 9:57

1 Answer 1


If you want bells and whistles (perhaps literally) you can use an Arduino. You can buy or make a relay interface to switch the motor. If you want it to flash LEDs, have a menacing red LED countdown display, play a song, or coordinate jets of water into the air as your Tourbillon self-winding watches are wound.. it's all pretty straightforward.

If you just want a silent electronic timer with rough timing but fairly precise on/off ratio, a 555 and CMOS counter (plus a gate or analog switch to determine the on/off cycle) will do it.


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