Watch winders are a relatively new phenomena in the world of horology. Funny, really, but for all the popularity of collecting rare timepieces, it is only over the last couple of decades that the winder has come to prominence.
Launched in 2007, Swiss KubiK produces some of the finest examples you’ll find anywhere today, with a focus on modern designs stylish enough to house their precious cargo. But before we dig deeper into the Geneva-based company, let’s cover some of the necessary science behind how watch winders work.
Automatic watches operate on the simple principle of winding themselves using an oscillating weight inside the watch - the weight swings or rotates while the watch is worn, it turns the winding mechanism inside the watch, and there you have it. The trouble with this is if the watch isn’t worn then it no longer receives power and will run down — a particularly tedious situation if you happen to rotate between several timepieces at any one time.
A watch winder gets round this problem by moving the stored watch in a rotating pattern that emulates the human motion that normally powers the self-winding mechanism. It’s like having someone wear your watch for you to keep it in time, without any of the risk.
Watch lovers may have a single watch winder to keep their timepiece ticking over when it’s not in use, but seasoned pros (with larger bank accounts) may opt for a display case style winding cabinet where they can wind any number of watches at a time.
It’s certainly a power play walking into someone’s home to find their entire collection slowly whirring away inside a winding unit…
Swiss KubiK comes from the mind of founder Philippe Subilia who has created his winders as perfect 10cm x 10cm cubes (hence the name). As well as the resulting minimalist elegance this design creates, it also allows Subilia’s winders to be stacked neatly in innumerable combinations or simply stowed more efficiently. It’s an exercise in Swiss practicality. The high-grade materials throughout the product mean that this is both one of the most attractive winders and also long lasting.
The KubiK is battery powered, but a USB port in the rear of the unit provides access to a wealth of additional functions on your computer. The optional software, downloaded from Swiss KubiK’s website allows you to change the default winding program (set at 1900 rotations a day, 950 turn in each direction), as well as checking the unit’s battery life and testing the various functions of the winder are operating correctly.
It’s a handy addition to an elegant device, and goes some way to justifying the healthy £425 starting price tag. In the round, this is a stylish winder that would an excellent addition to any watch collector’s arsenal.
Prices from £425. For more information, see swisskubik.com