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The BEST Watch Tools & Accessories Every Watch Collector NEEDS To Own In 2022
If you own any automatic watches at all, especially enough of them to ensure that you’re not wearing the same one daily, you will inevitably face the issue of keeping those watches running, and set to the proper time and date, when they’re not on your wrist. Some collectors choose to simply commit to re-winding and re-setting their automatic watches when their power reserve runs down — it’s a ritual that many traditionalists actually enjoy — but others would rather invest in some high-tech hardware to lend a hand. Here is where a watch winder comes in. These helpful and often luxuriously appointed machines are designed to store your precious self-winding timepieces while also keeping them charged via electronic, motorized rotations — the timing, direction, and duration of which can often be pre-set and monitored — that mimic the natural movement of a wearer’s wrist. For those ready to dip their toe into the wide world of watch winders, we’ve gathered 10 favorites from 10 brands representing as wide a variety as possible in terms of styles, sizes, and price points.
Wolf watch winders, known for their fusion of leather, wood, glass, and steel, work on a 24-hour cycle, with six-hour periods of intermittent activity followed by “sleep” periods that allow the tension in the watches’ mainsprings to ease, avoiding over-winding. Fifty different cycles are possible, allowing the owner to specify factors such as direction of rotation and number of turns per day (from 300 to 1,200). The large drums, with secure lock-in cuffs, can accommodate just about any watch size, and the winding is controlled by a Japanese Mabuchi motor. The Roadster model shown here takes its inspiration from classic British motorcars from the likes of Jaguar and Aston Martin, with ebony macassar polished wood details that evoke aged wood dashboards. (www.wolf1834.com)
Today the largest provider of premium watch winders in the world, Orbita came on the scene relatively recently, founded in 1996 by Chuck Agnoff in Wilmington, North Carolina. Its products are notable for their use of high-grade leather, multi-layered lacquer finishes, ultra-modern materials like carbon fibers, and hand-applied marquetry. The sloped-front case of the Siena 3 Burl has a beveled glass viewing panel offering a view of the suede-lined interior, in which watches can be mounted on three independently programmable, ironless core gear motors. Power comes from either the supplied AC/DC adapter or by c-cell alkaline batteries; a user-friendly low-battery alert light flashes to let the owner know it’s time to change the batteries. (https://www.orbita.com/)
Italy’s Scatola del Tempo has been making engine-equipped winding cases for automatic watches since 1989, when it was founded in Lake Como by avid watch collector Sandro Carloleti; one of its first customers was then-Patek Philippe president Philippe Stern. The revamped version of the company’s innovative Rotor One model was designed by Colarieti himself. The single-watch rotator has a rounded frame of leather-coated ABS polymer and is offered in a choice of seven leather covers and eight colorful bezel options, including the blue-and-red “Pepsi” style pictured here, echoing the popular colors of Rolex’s iconic GMT-Master model. Inside is a magnetic-resistant, virtually silent, Swiss-made micromotor that makes 1,800 rotations per day — 900 in both directions — to optimally charge the timepiece in the box. Two alkaline c-cell batteries give the motor three years of running autonomy. (www.scatoladeltempo.com)
Established in Hamburg, Germany in 2003, Modalo makes watch winders as well as boxes and other watch storage items with a high dedication to “superior materials” and “innovative technologies.” Made by hand in Modalo’s German factory, the Showtime MV4 has a case made of New Zealand wood, with a high-gloss piano lacquer finish, and incorporates a high-tech touch-display technology on its glass surface that allows the user to program the rotations of the motors. The rotations of the watches (three of them in the model pictured) can be set from 600 to 1,000 turns per day (TPD) and in the “rest” position will always be displayed right-side up, with 12 o’clock at the top, for an elegant presentation, enhanced by the inclusion of a soft interior light behind the glass front panel. (https://modalo.de/en)
From Austria’s Buben & Zorweg, founded in 1995, come some of the world’s most luxuriously appointed (and correspondingly pricey) watch winders. The Revolution 8 model from the maison’s Time Mover series features a brushed aluminum case with a carbon fiber inlay and a security glass front window equipped with Buben & Zorweg’s hallmark “soft close” mechanism and security lock. The interior, covered in Italian Nappa leather, provides cushions for eight watches up to 55mm in diameter, whose rotations can be individually programmed via a built-in control panel. The LED lighting system with fade function illuminates the timepieces under the crystal top and adds to the striking presentation. (https://www.timescapeusa.com/collections/buben-zorweg)
Swiss design house Kross Studio teams with iconic pop culture purveyors to create horological machines and accessories with equally high levels of technical excellence and nerd appeal. This single-watch winder, developed in collaboration with Lucasfilm, originator of the Star Wars sci-fi franchise, is a “functional collectible” that meticulously re-creates in miniature the TIE Advanced x1 starfighter, the ship piloted by Darth Vader in the very first Star Wars film (retroactively subtitled A New Hope). Made of solid black anodized aluminum, the sculpture stands upright on a tabletop with its two side-mounted “wings” and features in its center a “winding capsule” in which an automatic watch is placed. In keeping with its futuristic inspiration, the winder is equipped with an infrared sensor that detects the presence of a watch in the capsule to begin winding; when the capsule is empty, the device remains in energy-saving standby mode, helping to preserve the promised two-plus year battery life. There’s even a Kross Watch Winder smartphone app that allows for remote fine tuning of the settings. (https://kross-studio.ch/en)
Based in Austin, Texas, with a design team in Dallas, Juvo makes high-end watch winders with relatively affordable price tags thanks to the company’s direct-to-consumer online business model. The Juvo A4 Quadruple Automatic Watch Winder holds four timepieces in a hand-made case that combines high-gloss wood panels, patented aluminum extrusions, a glass cover, and automatic COB lights. The rotators’ cushions, powered by a Japanese motor, are made of PU leather with memory foam and are large enough to comfortably carry watches up to 55 mm in diameter. The owner has four options for setting the rotation speed, ranging from 650 TPD to 1,500 TPD, and can also choose between three different settings: clockwise, counterclockwise, and bidirectional — making the A4 suitable for just about any self-winding watch — even the large, heavy ones. (https://juvoluxury.com/)
Now in its fourth generation of family ownership, London’s Rapport — whose vast product line includes watch cases and rolls, jewelry boxes, wallets, make-up kits, humidors and briefcases in addition to its array of winders — speaks to car and automotive design enthusiasts with this single-watch model that is molded in the shape of a wheel, with matte silver-tone spokes. The timepiece is secured by a leather-covered clip and rests behind a dust-proof magnifying glass lens in the center of the case, which is made from aluminum, steel, and glass. Both fast-wind and timed rotation settings are available, from a motor powered by a DC adapter with a battery backup. (https://www.rapportlondon.com/)
A popular choice for the budget-conscious, JQueen offers a variety of winders under $100, including this double-winder whose case is made of environmentally friendly, corrosion-resistant ebony wood and whose Japanese-made Mabuchi motor runs extremely quietly (under 10db). The motor powers four soft leather cushions suitable for nearly all watch sizes, in four rotations modes that can be customized for each individual watch — clockwise, counterclockwise, or both, either 650 or 900 TPD. The dual power supply works with either the included AC adapter or with a pair of 1.5v batteries. (https://www.jqueenwatchwinders.com/)
Founded in 2009, TripleTree describes itself as “an international B2C Synthesis e-commerce platform,” primarily targeting consumers in Europe, the Americas, Australia and the Middle East and offering a wide range of household and outdoor goods as well as more niche luxury items like watch winders. The exterior of this six-watch model is made of natural hardwood polished to a high-gloss mirror finish; the synthetic leather interior with high-quality memory-foam watch cushions is lit by a soft blue LED light. The German-made motor that rotates the cushions is virtually silent. (https://www.tripletreebrands.com/)
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