A debate is brewing inside Prodigal Towers and on our lurching site about the role and value of watch winders. This debate will not be over quickly. Indeed, initial exchanges indicate it may never end given the entrenchment of both camps. But we promise you will enjoy it.
Our opening salvo was H-Bomb’s introductory post to the wonderful world of watch winders, providing a good overview of the range and criteria to consider when slapping your cash down for one. Sure enough, the first response stated there was absolutely no objective reason, other than owning a watch with several complications, to ever consider a watch winder.
The two main arguments of the naysayers revolve around the potential for increased wear, through over-winding, and the perceived lack of interaction with your collection given you no longer need to set the time/date and wind your puppy yourself. The winder supporters point to the reality that timepieces are meant to be worn every day, with a service every 3 years or so ensuring everything runs smoothly. Also, most appear not to understand that you can adjust the turns per day on a good winder, along with the direction of rotation, or even shutting the bloody winder off for a day or so, should you choose. Bottom line: everything is adjustable on a good winder, which doesn’t actually wind the watch all day long, folks.
Beyond the mechanical benefits, two other gold stars stand out: your watches are always wound and displaying the correct time/date/day. For folks with anything more than 4 watches, including vintage pieces, this is a serious plus. You can change watches several times a day without the hassle of resetting everything, thereby completely avoiding any potential owner-induced damage, through threading the crown, etc. Best of all? You get a dizzying selection of gorgeous designs, materials and smart presentation techniques to choose from, making your little watch box look decidedly stupid. And passive.
Wolf Designs have been making jewelry boxes since 1834, and their line-up today includes standard watch/jewelry boxes and winders, which they call rotators. Their offerings are vast and the brand well-respected in offering solid value-for-money given their private manufacturing facility in China.
It was therefore a fortunate coincidence that Straight-Six just so happened to be suffering from an over-flowing and seriously shabby watch box. Why not use the opportunity to test out a solid, sober 8-watch winding version of the Wolf Designs Viceroy? A brief exchange with gregarious owner, and family heir, Simon Wolf found Six in possession of the elegant and restrained Viceroy. And one seriously pissed off spouse. But that’s another story.
Anyways, the horological exodus from the rapidly disintegrating Buben & Zörweg 6-watch box (leather sides peeling off the watch cushions and overall box interior wear) rivaled anything the Bible crowed about given the speed and jubilation of this mass migration.
And before Six could blink, he was standing in front of his very first watch winder.
We’ll let you run screaming into the wild weekend with these initial photos of the splendid Viceroy. But please note you are expected to return for the full review, so don’t lose your way…
Unscrew and pop: Wolf Designs Viceroy watch winder
Watch winders divide horological enthusiasts and nincompoops everywhere. Some believe they wear down the mechanicals faster, while other think they’re a blessing. We wanted to find out for ourselves. Enter the Wolf Designs Viceroy.
Straight-Six had a proper job as a journalist for Dow Jones before lowering himself gently into the warm, forgiving waters of The Guide. He’s our resident fanatic: he relished detailing his BMW M3 for two full days at a time before crashing it at Eau Rouge in the wet; he spends insane amounts on his home-cinema system and has thrown tens of thousands of euros at vintage Rolex sports watches. The little fool simply does not understand the concept of restraint or the meaning of excess. He also – following a legendary "heavy" lunch – once nibbled (yes, like little dogs do) a dear lady friend of ours.
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