Watchwinders as Centerpieces in their Own Right
Amidst other beautiful watch winders, Oil Baron Silver from Kunstwinder is featured front and center in an article written in the Centurion magazine. The magazine article urges the need to maintain the tradition and ceremony of mechanical watch winding, offering the combined functionality and beauty of newly imagined and unique watch winders as the perfect solution. Directly below the full page close-up image of the elegant Oil Baron watch winder before the article begins is a quote from Alex Doak:
“A must-have accoutrement for any self-respecting horolophile, watch winders are becoming centrepieces in their own right.”
Read the full Centurion article:
Osvaldo Patrizzi, founder of horological auctioneers Antiquorum and Patrizzi & Co, once said that the favorite part of his day was just before he went to bed. Every night, he’d remove his gold Patek Phillippe, wind it up and place it on the bedside table before switching off the light. It was his favorite moment because it was his daily connection with his beloved watch; he was breathing life into it. It’s almost a shame, then, that the rise of self-winding — or “automatic” — watches more and more of us are losing out on this tiny ceremonial passage each morning or evening, as the movement of an arm alone is enough to spin the rotor inside and charge the mainspring. What’s more, the average automatic’s power reserve rarely stretches beyond 42 hours, meaning you need the patience to reset the time every time you switch watches. And what if you leave it for longer? Well, leave a mechanical watch dormant for more than a few months and, like a car engine, the movement’s oils gravitate away and congeal. Start it up again and the unlubricated points of contact grind against each other, to disastrous effect.
“With the mechanical watch’s unflagging rise, so the watch winder has become fashionable.”
A watch winder is the solution to all of these issues — restoring that bit of ceremony to the daily act of removing and storing your watch, as well as running it accurately until you decide to wear it again. And with the mechanical watch’s unflagging rise, so the watch winder has become fashionable in itself. Not only are people putting their collections on display, but the displays themselves are becoming covetable, too — often crafted with equivalent standards of design and finish.
Like watches, there’s a broad spectrum to choose from — anywhere from the simple boxes produced by Orbita (orbita.com) and stylish Italian brand Scatola del Tempo (scatoladeltempo.com), all the way up to elaborate, cabinet affairs from the likes of Buben & Zörweg (buben-zorweg.com) with secret compartments that rise at the touch of a button, champagne fridges, cigar humidors, safes or all of the above. Indeed, the über-luxurious German firms Stockinger (stockinger.com) and Döttling (doettling.com) started out as safe manufacturers before branching into combined watch winders. No wonder Jaeger-LeCoultre chose a Döttling safe as the presentation box for its recent $2.5m “Hybris” trilogy.
For a touch of stripped-back, utilitarian charm, MTE (mte-motors.de) has always made its industrial service winders available for general purpose. But in stark contrast, its sub-brand Origintimes (origintimes.com) is now mixing things up at the very high end. Their Texan oil pump and Bugatti Veyron engine block (one watch per cylinder) show fresh wit and imagination. “The main difference with Origintimes,” explains Sales Director Rainer Schlumberger, “is that we’re turning away from the traditional boxes; we think the watches should be at the center of attention. Alternatively, we’ll just sell you the winding units and fit them to your requirements. Recently we fitted a wall of winders at a Formula 1 driver’s house — 400 of them!”
It’s surprising that the watch brands themselves — experts at mechanics — generally don’t bother making their own winders. But one notable exception is Erwin Sattler (erwinsattler.de). The company’s “Rotalis” winders use gold-plated gear wheels from its clock workshop to connect the electric motors to the watch mounts. Which isn’t to say Sattler would rather shun technology — its patented USB interface means you can program and upload the optimal winding patterns for over 5,000 different automatics. “By incorporating our expertise as clockmakers in collaboration with an electronic specialist,” reveals CEO Stephanie Sattler-Rick, “the idea was ultimately to make attractive objects for watch collectors.”