Wolf Designs Viceroy 6 Piece Watch Winder Review

Wolf Designs Viceroy 6 Piece Watch Winder Review

Wolf Designs Viceroy 6 Piece Watch Winder Review   luxury items

An interesting fact that I've come to learn is that many people (even quite a few watch loving people) have no idea what a watch winder is. It is one of those things that you can show people, in action, and they still don't know what it is. I've actually had people come to my office and see a bunch of watches in winders on shelves and remark "oh really? You have to show them off like that?" Which I later learned (after some probing) was a misunderstanding thinking that a watch on a winder was some special way of displaying them in a fancy manner. I just can't anticipate misunderstandings like that in advance.

It is possible that I take for granted knowing what a mechanical watch is, and that I know how it works. There isn't a lot of sense required (in my opinion) to understand that a little weight in a watch movement winds it when you move your wrist around. Further, if you are not wearing the watch on your wrist, you can artificially create the movement necessary to keep that watch wound. I know, very simple stuff here but I have encountered plenty of people who simply aren't familiar enough with automatic mechanical watches to know all this. The point is that the pool of people on this planet who know what an automatic mechanical watch is, is not super big. Among those people, the ones that know what a watch winder is, is even smaller. Therefore, I guess I have to keep telling people about watch winders, and why they might want one.

Reviewed today is a winder that has the capacity to keep six automatic watches running. I have reviewed winders in the past from such venerable brands such as Orbita and SwissKubik, and today I review one from Wolf Designs. Wolf Designs has a history in making watch and jewelry boxes which later included watch winders. Wolf Designs is continually improving their products and offering a range of relatively affordable and functional watch winders (among other things). Today I review their Viceroy 6 Piece Watch Winder. Plus, look below for a generous discount offer on any Wolf Designs watch winder for aBlogtoRead.com readers.

The Viceroy is part of their nicer collection of winders and comes in models that wind from one to eight watches. They are housed in padded black boxes that have a closing, clear acrylic front. According to Wolf Designs the boxes are put together by hand, and have a wooden frame. All it needs is a handle on the top and you could tote it around like a suitcase. The dimensions of the 6 Watch Winder units are 16.5”w x 6.25”d x 12.75”h.

Wolf Designs Viceroy 6 Piece Watch Winder Review   luxury items

I like that the front portion opens and closes to protect from dust, but that you can also see the watches when the cover is closed. However, you'll need to have the cover closed most of the time or it just lays flat and sticks out rather far. The unit is weighty enough, but you'll still need to put a hand on it to secure it while pulling out the "cuffs" that hold the watches in place.

While the door of the winder box technically does lock, it is a very simple lock and not one that I would recommend for real security purposes. It is just sort of them to prevent it from accidentally opening and the most easily deterred thieves. The lock does however use a small key that Wold Designs provides.

Wolf Designs Viceroy 6 Piece Watch Winder Review   luxury items

This unit is powered via an AC adapter - which plugs in via a removable cord in the back of the unit. There is an ongoing debate among watch winder makes as to whether long-life batteries or plug-in units are the best way to go. Some units even offer both. Space and convenience permitting I tend to feel more comfortable with the plugged-in units.

With space to keep six watches wound, this Viceroy unit contains six different winding module mechanisms. They are the Wolf Designs module 2.7, and are their most advanced modules today. They are also easy to use and understand. I also want to add that they offer functionality you probably won't use, but still appreciate is there.

Wolf Designs Viceroy 6 Piece Watch Winder Review   luxury items

Wolf Designs Viceroy 6 Piece Watch Winder Review   luxury items

Looking at the control panel you'll see two knobs, two buttons, and a backlit LCD display. The left knob is for indicating the direction of the winding. You can choose, clockwise, counterclockwise, or both directions. The other knobs is to turn the module on or off (you don't need to have all of them running at the same time) or to activate time delayed winding. The buttons around the screen are to select either the number of rotations per day, or to indicate the time delay until it starts winding.

In my experience a winder really only needs to turn in the right direction (I usually just have it turn in both to be safe), and to rotate enough times. The majority of modern automatic watches simply cannot be over-wound. Some super discriminating watch collectors like to play with this function for a variety of "enthusiast" reasons that I won't get into, but for most people the basic settings are enough. If you don't want to investigate and learn how many rotations per a day your watch needs to stay wound, 900 is a good amount.

Wolf Designs Viceroy 6 Piece Watch Winder Review   luxury items

I actually like the module 2.7 for its ease of use and intuitive operation. One suggestion I would make is that there is a memory function. This means that when you turn the unit off, it recalls what the last setting was. By default when turned on, it will automatically go to 600 turns per day. Not a huge issue though. Technically I believe that Wolf Designs recommends you turn off the module when placing and removing a watch cuff, but I don't think it will hurt too much not too.

The winder drum is pretty silent (especially with the cover closed), and seems to run smoothly. I really don't have complaints about the unit when it is operating. The large cuff unit comes out with a snap and clicks back into place with ease. With a springy back, it is meant to collapse to handle large to small watches. I found that it was able to accommodate most, but not all watches. Women especially might find it a bit tough to put their watches on this unit. For whatever reason winders tend to be mostly made for larger sized bracelets. An interesting feature that I like about the module 2.7 is that if there is a problem with the mechanism or something is stuck or not inserted properly, the little red light will blink. Otherwise the green light will blink (slowly, but it does blink all the time).

Wolf Designs Viceroy 6 Piece Watch Winder Review   luxury items

Back when I started out my collection of automatic watches I wanted them to be all wound - all the time. I didn't have a winder, so I just sat there hand-winding them constantly. It was a pain. After getting my first watch winders I vowed to never go back to that. These days I have watches in winders, and watches just laying around. Nevertheless, I find that I almost always go to the ones in the winder first. Something about them feeling fresh and wound, and running that makes them a default choice for the day. The benefits of a watch winder are clear, but it can be a daunting purchase to a new collector. Though you won't regret getting one. The Wolf Designs Viceroy 6 Watch Winder is a fair deal at $1,799. It looks attractive, is relatively affordable, and serves up to 6 watches without whining. Best of all is that until October 17th, 2011, aBlogtoRead.com readers can score 50% off any Wolf Designs product ($100 minimum) by using the code "822500" during check out (US and UK customers only).

Thanks to Wolf Designs for the review unit. Opinions are 100% independent.

23 comments
EdeaKrammer
EdeaKrammer

Wow the upper right winder is delaying. I think about whether it is a problem. It's unquestionably is not as smooth as the one in the center! For a $599, I believe on some point it's worth to have for those who have deep pockets.

www.watchcases.com

kroysm
kroysm

Buyer beware!!!!  I purchased a Heritage 6 back in July 2009 (retail at that time $2700, I of course did not pay retail), and I absolutely love it, it keep my watch collecting ready to wear with out have to set time or dates.  It worked flawlessly until about a week ago (May 2013) when it stopped working.  I did not have the same problem as DHBWolf had with customer service in fact they were quite quick to respond to my email.  I had a simple request who or were would I send my winder to have it repaired.  I was told that it was out of warranty since it was older than two years (which I understood before contacting them) I just wanted to get it fixed, but instead of telling where it could be sent to have it fixed I was told that they would give me 20% off a new one.  WOW!!! Now that is a deal.  So I think that before anyone purchases a winder they need to understand that some of them or I don't know maybe all of them after 2 years are not repairable.  I have decided to hire someone to come to my house once a day and shake my watches I think in the long run I will much happier.  Good luck with your watch winders..

DNBWolf
DNBWolf

Wolf Designs products are cheaply made and their customer service is horrendous.  I bought a quad winder and within 1 year the product made clicking noises and the movement was not a smooth rotation.  I called called customer service and worked with Daniel, my replacement was authorized in the end of November, it's now mid January and I have not received my replacement.  The worst customer service I have ever dealt with.

sidecross
sidecross

I bought the one shown in the video for half off.

The prices are high because of the volume in the market is very low; I am happy I got mine at this price.

Thank you 'aBlogtoRead.com' and for the interview you had done on 9/9/11 with Simon Wolf.

Neil K
Neil K

I deal for Canadians would be nice, i would love to get a well built watch winder instead of using the cheap amazon I have.

Arnaud
Arnaud

Re. people not knowing about automatic watches: I offered my wife an automatic Longines Evidenza last year. After a few days, she asked me to look in the children's bedroom because she could hear a grasshopper when she was putting laundry in the cupboard. I looked but didn't find any insect. It took me a few days to realize that it was the rotor of the watch she was hearing when lifting things up and getting her wrist closer to her ears :-)

If that's any indication of how normal people perceive watches, no surprise a winder may look like a weird machine.

MichaelG
MichaelG

About a year ago I purchased the 15piece Wold Designs watch box which is similar to this and I can say I'm very satisfied with it. The interior fabric and padding is very nice. Someday I'd like to have one of those minimalistic and darn expensive German watch boxes but for now, it was an awesome purchase.

Jeff Leggett
Jeff Leggett

Code still says "Error: Coupon is either invalid, expired or reached its usage limit!" FYI

Jonathan
Jonathan

And what about your neighbors to the North? Canadians like watches/winders too...

Tristan
Tristan

I have always felt that watch winders are a bit excessive in the price department. Fundamentally, they are very simple devices. I'd wager that a watch winder could be assembled for 1/10th of the cost (or even less).

It bothers me that people insist that a box for a very expensive thing be very expensive as well.

I guess I just don't understand how buying and selling works...

Niels
Niels

Too bad it only works in US and UK. I live in Europe and would be interested in this one. Also, I have a suggestion concerning the blog: wouldn't it be better if you would only put the titles on the 'homepage' ? If people want to read the review they could just simply click it and see the story behind it. Imo the site would be more clear and look cleaner ;)

Greg
Greg

I really want a watch winder and think I'll finally get one at the end of the year but they just seem overpriced alot of the time (not aimed just at wolf designs btw). On the other hand I'm also concerned about buying an overly cheap one and coming home one day to a smoldering heap where my house used to be.....
Any chance of extending the offer to all your fans in Asia? I'd definitely buy one of these at that fantastic discount!

j.w.
j.w.

The code didnt work for me... Said it was expired or used too many times.

:(

admin
admin

My pleasure.

admin
admin

Sorry about they. I keep telling Wolf Designs that keep telling me the code is working for them. Are there people for whom the code has worked properly?

admin
admin

I will try to get Wolf Designs to do that.

In terms of your suggestion, it is a good one. The concern is that people might miss interesting info and images by not clicking on articles that don't immediately appear interesting. Though we have been talking about your idea for at least a year now and might test it for a while.

admin
admin

I am sure Wolf Designs are reading these comments. So maybe they will open the discount up to Asia.

admin
admin

That is odd. I have informed Wolf Designs to see if there is an issue. Please try again later today.

DaveC
DaveC

Looks like the code doesn't work for products that are already discounted (i.e. the entire Heritage collection) but works fine otherwise. On the up side the discount does seem to work even if you put in a Canadian shipping/billing address.

Arthur
Arthur

I completely agree with MichaelG on the way the site is laid out. Because I read other blog sites, autoblog.com and what used to be luxist.com, I don't tend to get to every website right away. So when I do go to your site, I can just keep clicking previous until I find the last article I read by your site. Much, much easier. Plus, you have all the articles on the side by maker, it's very easy to just click on that if you what to read about those watches.

MichaelG
MichaelG

Ariel, I strongly support leaving the blog's format as it is. There are other blogs and sites that use the title only format (usually with thumbnail) and many times I have missed some interesting news or I can't be bothered to read every entry if I'm on a speed browse. I like how your posts stand out, bold and meaty, urging me to read them and study the large photos closely, even if the item at hand is not 'my cup of tea'. With the updated design, daily content, and unbiased reviews, ABTR is spot on.

Niels
Niels

Thanks! I will keep visiting the site though, no matter what the lay out is.

J.W.
J.W.

bingo - it only applies to full-retail-priced items. I just ordered up a 3-spot Viceroy with the storage space up top for 6 more pieces - looking forward to it!