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Bennett Winch Watch Roll Review: What Nearly $800 For Timepiece Storage Gets You

Bennett Winch Watch Roll Review: What Nearly $800 For Timepiece Storage Gets You Luxury Items

Bennett Winch is an English leather-goods maker that recently set about to produce what it believes is the best-in-category watch storage roll of its type. “The Watch Roll” is the brand’s simple name for a not-so-simple category of wrist watch storage products. This version costs $785 USD but arrives with an experience that leave little to be desired.

“Watch rolls” tend to be a broad category of leather or fabric-based timepiece storage pouches that typically secure between three and six timepieces. Once the timepieces are secured in some form, the entire assemblage rolls up or has some rolling over wrapped around it. These make up a very large percentage of the watch storage containers — especially for travel or carrying purposes — used both by wristwatch consumers and timepiece industry professionals.

Bennett Winch Watch Roll Review: What Nearly $800 For Timepiece Storage Gets You Luxury Items

Even though I have hands-on experience with a great number of watch roll products, I by no means have tested them all. That Bennett Winch makes a high-quality watch roll is clear; that it is the best in category is a claim I’m not sure I can make. It really matters little, namely because $785 is still a pittance in the scheme of fancy wristwatch carrying, storage, and display accessories. Some watch storage and display cases (basically elaborate furniture) can cost tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Watch winders and desktop storage solutions can often cost into the thousands. Though it is certainly true that one can purchase a leather watch roll in the same general style as the stately Bennett Winch for not much more than $10. Even “name brand” watch rolls can come in at under $100. What then does this several times multiplier in cost deliver?

Details, mainly. I think the most viable use case scenario for the Bennett Winch Watch Roll is as a “presentation case.” If you are showing people watches (well, up to three of them) and don’t have something with your own brand’s name on it, then The Watch Roll is a very slick way of doing so. It looks well-made, and those in the know are familiar with the fact that Bennett Winch charges for what they do. The British company will be able to charge this much up until a competitor is able to come out with substantially the same thing for far less. I doubt that will happen anytime soon. There are just too many expensive little details here to make a copycat simple. This watch roll feels less like the mass-produced flimsy “hard rolls” you may have experienced in the past. It feels more like high-end leather luggage or similar products.

Bennett Winch Watch Roll Review: What Nearly $800 For Timepiece Storage Gets You Luxury Items

There are a few common problems with watch rolls of this style. All but one of them Bennett Winch overcame. I will cut to the one they did not overcome, and that is size. This isn’t an issue if you want to use The Watch Roll exclusively for presentation purposes (larger is more impressive — no pun intended), but for actual travel purposes, the size of the case is more than is necessary to keep three watches safe. This is a minor issue and is a trade-off given the theme with an otherwise really good watch storage and carrying product. Three problems The Watch Roll overcomes is instability in the closing mechanism, poor protection between watches, and poor long-term wear and tear resistance.

Bennett Winch produces two versions of the Watch Roll, the difference being the color of the smooth Tuscan leather. This is the black roll, while Bennett Winch also sells a brown version. Under the leather is said to be a strong Kevlar fabric lining which is the tough material that holds The Watch Roll together. That and the solid-feeling stitching make for a product that should age gracefully.

Bennett Winch Watch Roll Review: What Nearly $800 For Timepiece Storage Gets You Luxury Items

The distinctive hexagonal design of the Watch Roll is part of how it both closes securely and so that it can double as a presentation surface. The soft padded Alcantara lining is ideal to lay a watch down on (non-slip, as well), and it also wears very well on top of that. Given how the roll is made up of several flat sections, they roll flat forming a presentation tray, which gives the Watch Roll welcome added utility.

When you close the Watch Roll, the flat sections help the structure retain shape. This also means that you never have to feel like you are tugging it closed, or that deformation of the shape can make the button connection flimsy. Again, I say all this as it happens with other similar watch rolls. I’ve had some that don’t close properly on day one. Others close properly until you actually put watches in them. Bennett Winch designed the Watch Roll interior space to be more than ample for large watches and small ones — which no matter what don’t make the case and are more or less challenging to close.

Bennett Winch Watch Roll Review: What Nearly $800 For Timepiece Storage Gets You Luxury Items

When closed, Bennett Winch chose traditional-feeling brass buttons — three of them that secure the roll close like some vintage military jacket. Inside the roll is where a removable padded cylinder sits. You can fully remove it and it rests securely between grooves formed on either end of the roll.

The green interior is solid but gives just enough give to let the cylinder in and out without hassle. The cylinder comes with two sectional rings that add a padded buffer between your watches. This is a crucial component and, if you lose one, then you’ll immediately need to replace it with a poofy woman’s hair tie. That sectional piece protects watches from rubbing up next to each other. Many other watch rolls do not come with this protection and its unwise, in my opinion, to carry around watches that might slide and rub over one another; scratches will likely result. Bennett Winch’s Watch Roll is not the only company to have inter-watch padding, but they do offer their own unique hex-shaped rings which are the right size for the roll and are well-designed to keep the stored timepieces safe from unnecessary harm.

Bennett Winch Watch Roll Review: What Nearly $800 For Timepiece Storage Gets You Luxury Items

My experience has taught me that there is no perfect way to carry, store, or travel with watches. It depends on a number of things — especially, the watches you are seeking to keep secure. The size, material, strap-type, and age will have a big impact on how you carry your watches. This type of hard watch roll does a very good job of being safe storage for a large number of watch types. It isn’t the most compact option, but it does look good in the process. Bennett Winch’s Watch Roll lives up to its promise of delivering more than most others for the money, and also for being a finely made luxury product. You can find less expensive watch storage, but for a mixture of solid building quality, considered design, and current bragging rights, the Bennett Winch Watch Roll is a slick act to beat. Price is $785 USD. Learn more at the Bennett Winch website here.

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  • SuperStrapper

    The best leather goods are hand stitched.

    • SMB

      I haven’t ever tried stitching leather so I was wondering why hand stitching is best for leather goods?

      • JosephWelke

        It’s the loooooove.

  • TheChuphta

    I’ve always found that the best way to travel with watches is to put one of them on some type of appendage, generally a wrist (either wrist works if you have two; if you only have one, then your options are more limited). This strategy also helps facilitate using the watch to tell time.

    “This version costs $785 USD but arrives with an experience that leaves little be desired.”

    Can we stop describing products as “experiences”? Sky-diving is an experience. LSD is an experience. Owning a leather tube is not an experience (unless you’re lonely and feeling experimental, but I digress).

    • Raymond Wilkie

      I concur.

    • Ariel Adams

      When you need or wish to present your watches to third-parties and they see how you are carrying them, then the act becomes an experience.

      • TheChuphta

        Mr. Adams, I enjoy your blog and articles very much but I don’t like the trend of defending luxury purchases by deeming them “experiences”. Are we so desperate to justify our conspicuous consumption that we have to pervert language and pretend we are doing something other than just buying stuff we think is neat?

        This product is what it is; an $800 accessory for an accessory for someone with a lot of disposable income. It has no utility that could come anywhere near justifying its price. That’s fine. But it ain’t no experience.

        • Independent_George

          Owning and wearing a luxury watch is, to me, an experience, and one that i enjoy very much.

          Since they are not experiences to you, then what are they?

          • TheChuphta

            That’s all well and good, but this isn’t a watch. It’s an $800 hexagon in which you can put 3 watches for traveling (I assumed the watches aren’t included, if they are, then this is the deal of century).

        • Ariel Adams

          I think your issue with the term “experience” in this context is that it is vague. Similar to the term “influencer” (that irks me). I don’t agree with you that what we are discussing aren’t experiences because owning anything is an experience since ownership itself is a social construct. When we create an idea and then live that idea, we have an experience. Perhaps you don’t like your particular manifested experiences to be bulked with other dissimilar ownership experiences. Perhaps you don’t want your relationship with watches too closely associated with the relationship other enthusiasts have. I am sympathetic to all of this. Some people want the experience of having the most expensive, some the most complicated, some the rarest, some the highest value, some the most beautiful, and yet others like to blend all of this when assigning value to their own watch ownership experiences. I hereby protect your ownership experience (sorry to use the term, there aren’t many others which apply) from being associated with those of others. Your relationship with watches is very unique to you, but nevertheless you are still welcome as one of us in this community 🙂 Thank you.

          • TheChuphta

            Thank you for your thoughtful reply and I have no wish to split hairs over the definition of “experience” but I will point out that we’re not talking about watches; we are talking about a smallish box and at the end of the day, I suppose I find an $800 box very silly (and I think attempts to expound upon the manifold merits and qualities of this smallish box at best fatuous and at worst pretentious shilling on a Gwyneth Paltrow – Goop level).

            I have a work friend who is into purses. She follows the trends, buys the new ones, etc. It appears to be an expensive passion. While I’m not personally interested in these things, I can respect the craftmanship, design, and such. Now, if she started talking about an $800 sack to put her purses in when she traveled I’d probably have to push her down the stairs.

            Regardless, we can agree to disagree and I thank you again for you blog and your thoughtful responses.

          • Independent_George

            Now, if she started talking about an $800 sack to put her purses in when she traveled I’d probably have to push her down the stairs.

            Wow, what an awesome friend!

          • TheChuphta

            Oh please. Take a deep breath and go experience your luxury watches for a while.

          • Craig A Clark

            haha Push her down the stairs LOL

      • tmvu13

        So the “experience” now is showing off your watches to your buddies, so they can be in awe of your stride as you fondle said case.

    • Berndt Norten

      I know, I know
      I’ll probably scream n’ cry
      That my little world won’t let me go

      But who in my measly little world are trying to prove that
      My watch is made out of gold and -a can’t be sold

      So-er, are you experienced?
      Have you ever been experienced?
      Well, I have

    • DanW94

      I purchased a 7.99 pair of sweatpants at the Wal-Mart yesterday and put my 10 dollar quartz watch in the pocket. Now that was an experience I’ll never forget!

  • Playboy Johnny – Team Mariu$

    Spend that money on a watch.

  • Independent_George

    This is, this is . . . I really like this.

    But I am not sure about $800.00. Maybe if I were a international journalist covering the glamorous and high-stakes world of The Watch industry, this would be pimp! But alas, I am but a middle-aged lawyer. I with have to make due with my sensible but overpriced by 25% travel case from The ‘Dink.

  • SMB

    Thanks for the review. It looks like a well made and designed product, and I understand that it is nice to have nice things. $800 is well beyond what I would pay for a watch case, but the review is helpful for pointing out things to look for in other designs. Things like separating watches so they don’t rub, impact protection, durability of the closing system, whether the design works for bracelets as well as straps and overall size.

    When travelling I like to have a couple of watches so I’ve used a few watches cases. Most came with a watch. The most useful I’ve seen is the simple one that came with my wife’s Traska Freediver. It just holds one watch in a compact vinyl pouch lined with felt. It has a removable flat piece that you can strap a bracelet around and a simple closure that can’t break. I’m still looking for portable watch cases, but it is hard to find something that is reasonably priced and performs well for most of the factors above.

  • Craig A Clark

    By Crikey! Now that’s a nice watch roll/display case right there, I’ll admit that right at the start, but $800.

    You can buy an awesome timepiece for that sort of money, and I cannot rationalise that by comparison. Now if I owned three or four $20/30K watches, then $800 would be neither here nor there.

  • LetoAtreides69

    This is a bit of a complicated design to get everything to slot together properly – hence the price tag (you are paying for the pattern too). The cost isn’t too egregious as there are a lot of pieces to assemble and finish properly. Designer purses are much more expensive and easier to make. I don’t like the alcantara (aka ULTRASUEDE) and would prefer all leather. Kevlar-schmevlar – all you need is a stiffener…

  • I think for a $600 savings (yes, 1/4 of the price) I could do without the”presentation” feature. This Wolf watch roll also holds 3 watches with separators and is $199. https://www.wolf1834.com/blake-watch-roll#93=24.
    I have 3 Wolf winders and a Wolf watch box and their quality is very high. Sure the Bennett is perhaps made with narwhal foreskins or some such rare leather, but really, $800?

  • I do get your point and in the case of black polish on screw heads or anglage on plates I completely concur. However for things like Cote de Geneve, a machine finish is fairly impossible to beat. Some operations best by hand, others best by machine.

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