Since its establishment in 1995, Buben & Zorweg has transformed from a small firm producing packaging for high-end timepieces and jewelry into a manufacturer of watch winders, fine mechanical watches and – since 2008 – luxury safes as well. This time we are looking at the brand’s latest safe called the Magnum, designed to be a solution for (nearly) all problems of the concerned watch collector.
Safes play a subservient role most of the time. They are heavy, cold, uniform and (mostly) uninteresting objects which only serve to protect the rare, the unique, the brittle and the priceless that is stored inside. The problem this creates is the stark contrast between the aesthetics, the sentiment and the general ‘mood’ represented by ordinary safes and the invaluable objects which they are meant to keep secure. In other words, ordinary safes scarcely match the levels of refinement that is seen in high-end timepieces and nor do they fit the styling of a luxury apartment’s bedroom… and who wants to stroll around his or her mansion only to pick up the watch for the day from an overprotected cupboard hidden away somewhere in the basement?
For those having to deal with such depressing issues, luckily there is an alternative way of keeping your cherished watches safe and close at the same time. The solution comes in the form of luxury safes which incorporate some of the finest materials in their construction and are designed to look unique, aesthetically pleasing and not like the unlawful child of a tank and a fridge. Buben & Zorweg avowedly aspires to create such a blend of security and design that will meet those aforementioned criteria and the expectations of the most discerning buyers. With their new Magnum safe they have followed this goal and styled it to sport a clean and relaxed, sort of an art deco inspired look. All of its surfaces will be covered in materials of the buyer’s choice, but on this particular version the hand-crafted housing is done in German bull’s neck leather, the interior is covered with the ‘finest velour’ and polished ‘Ebony Grigio’ and there is hand-polished stainless steel inlays around the front. All this is lit up by ‘state-of-the-art LED lighting with fading technology’ to complete the luxurious atmosphere.
But is all that really necessary? Surely not. While fine materials are indispensable in the case of any luxury product, when you aspire to sell something to a watch enthusiast you have to do a lot more than merely use expensive materials. You have to change your approach to quality in order to consistently achieve it even at the level of the smallest of details. Chances are that someone who loves watches is fond of mechanics, craftsmanship and perhaps even perfection itself – and someone who collects fine watches is used to seeing all that on the level of micro-mechanics. So when you are manufacturing something that easily weighs more than a thousand pounds, you clearly have a lot of space to work with and so you are expected to deliver. Apparently the people at Buben & Zorweg know this, and so they equipped the Magnum with a set of features so as to make it a bit more user-friendly… and less boring to someone who is treated to some of the finest mechanical timepieces.
To begin with, they installed a unique ‘pull and slide’ opening mechanism for the doors. While I am certain that I have seen doors open in a similar way before, their decision to use this idea for a safe makes it rather unique indeed. What this mechanism does is enable the doors to be moved completely out of the way once they are opened. In practice this means that as the doors are being pulled to the sides they silently retract and disappear between the side walls and the internal storage compartment. As a result the doors are not in the way at all and the interior can now be easily pulled out from the safe itself to reveal its 16, 32, or 48 watch winders and a set of drawers.
Beyond the previously mentioned (and fairly intimidating) list of fine materials which can be used for the safe, the Magnum also features a Buben & Zorweg signature clock positioned on the top of the safe. It has a German-made, mechanical, spring-driven movement with eight days of power reserve and a balance wheel that is visible through an opening on the rhodium plated dial. I have to say that I genuinely like how they paired these two trades from within the company. They managed to do it in a tasteful, cohesive manner without making it look like an afterthought or ruining the appearance of the case. It’s something that somewhat justifies their motto: “from high-security safe to presentation shrine.”
In summary what Buben & Zorweg did with the Magnum then is create a convincing blend of luxury materials, a few design-tweaks, the achievements of two separate in-house departments… and hid all that behind the name of a gun, a TV series and an ice cream. This unusual mixture of weird awesomeness can be yours for $155,000 – speaking about the smallest version, that is. Prices go up from there. buben-zorweg.com