With automotive season fast approaching – both figuratively and literally – how about a winder to reflect the obsession for all things mechanical us watch lovers share with the petrolheads of the world? From racing red leather to aerodynamic shells, the choice is yours. Or at least, your wallet’s. Because let’s be fair, if you’ve not tried a watch winder before, you might want to dip your toe in first. Here then are the coolest automotive inspired watch winders for every budget.
WOLF British Racing Green Six-piece Watch Winder, £2,829
The classic combo of gold and green is as appealing as ever in winder form, particularly when said green echoes the golden age of British racing in a way that should see Sir Stirling Moss make an appearance. Though the vegan friendly, pebble-grained leather is a distinctly modern twist. It’s contrasted with fluted borders to the winding apertures ripped straight off a Rolex Cellini for an inimitable dash of glamour.
Equipped with space for six watches, the winders themselves are among the most advanced out there, despite the classical surrounds. WOLF’s are the only winders which count the exact number of rotations rather than an estimate. They also let you factor in the power reserve left in the watch, meaning there’s no risk of over-winding. Pair that with more customisable settings than a Savile Row tailor and you have one of the best winders around.
Available at WOLF.
Scatola Del Tempo Rotor One Red, €495
If you need a winder for a single watch, it’s more likely that you want a place to show off your grail piece than actually needing to keep it wound. Most of us can keep up with winding a single watch. Whatever the case may be however, Scatola del Tempo’s entry-level single watch winder is a fitting vessel in which to preserve your piece, especially if you happen to have the matching Rolex.
Pepsi Cola GMT Bezel aside, this high octane take on the Italian brand’s seminal Rotor One is draped in racing red livery with a tactile, soft touch finish as suited to a classic car interior as a winder. Mechanically it’s one of the simpler winders out there but for good reason: the streamlined, battery powered winder will last you for up to three years without any need to replace. If there’s a better travel partner for your grail watch, we’ve yet to find it.
Available at Scatola Del Tempo.
Infinite Italy UNICO 3, €2,290
Wish your geartrain could wind your watches? Wish granted, courtesy of Italian studio Infinite Italy. The UNICO range is a collection of 1-, 2- and 3-watch winders where the box has been stripped away entirely, right down to a cog turning at the base of each watch. For the mechanically minded, this is it. Of the set, the 3-watch version has by far the most impact, with all three cogs and the watches on them turning in unison. It’s mesmerising.
There’s an LCD display on the back and a remote control for changing the various settings, but honestly the UNICO feels like it should be hand cranked. Sure, the lack of a box means dust can get to the watches, but the unobstructed view is worth it, especially if you have a Royal Oak-level bracelet.
Available at Infinite Italy.
Rapport London Formula Duo Watch Winder, £795
Nothing says high performance quite like carbon fibre, the material de choix of hypercar designers and adrenaline junkies the world over. Or in this case, arguably the UK’s most innovative creator of avant garde watch winders. While the Formula Duo doesn’t have quite the same visual impact as, say, Rapport’s Time Capsule, it’s a good deal more practical and, let’s be honest, accessible – and I mean that in both price and style.
The regular pattern of the carbon fibre will suit most modern interiors nicely. Lined with soft velvet and equipped with an LCD screen to adjust not only the winders but the interior lighting, you can choose how you display your perfect pairing of, ideally, modern racing chronographs. And of course, you can lock it. After all, for everyone bar you, looking is better than touching.
Available at Rapport London.
MJJ Exclusive Armoured in Luxury Safe, from £37,400
Ever demanded the watch winding equivalent of a bulletproof Rolls-Royce? This is the one for you. Custom watch and jewellery specialist MJJ Exclusive know what their clientele need and apparently it’s a (up to) 12 watch winder surrounded by a sleekly designed, heavy-duty sheet of armour. Hard and impenetrable as the outside is though, the inside is lined with sumptuous quilted leather straight out of the nearest Roller. Tech-wise, this safe has it all.
Each of the 12 winders can be individually set, allowing you to customise the winding speed of each of your watches. When we’re talking about high complications – as befits a safe of this stature – that genuinely matters. Sealed by a six-digit pin code with a million possible combinations and the kind of attention to detail you expect from the jeweller and watch customiser to the elite, this is about as high-end as a winder can get. And as heavy.
Available at MJJ Exclusive.
Modalo Watch Winder Sport 4, €1,427.73
While this intense watch winder might well look like a cross-section of the next land speed record holder, it’s aerodynamic shape is more sculptural than practical. That said, the fourth generation of Modalo’s incredible Sport winder pushes the technical envelope, with a fingerprint lock, touch screen display and the kind of ease of use you would expect from any decent dashboard.
Designed for four watches – with plenty of space between them for the perfect aesthetic display – it’s specifically kitted out to hold heavy timepieces, meaning big, chunky chronographs with equally macho bracelets. It’s definitely not the kind of watch winder meant to blend into the background; this is a tour de force more unmissable than a blacked-out Lamborghini.
Available at Modalo.