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RDI Watch Winders Are Functional Objets D’Art

RDI Watch Winders Are Functional Objets D’Art Luxury Items Sponsored Post written for aBlogtoWatch by advertiser.

Like athletes, automatic watches need regular workouts to keep them in good working order. A watch winder is therefore like an essential piece of equipment at the gym: it keeps your watches in good shape. But a beautiful timepiece deserves a beautiful winder, so it shouldn’t look like a piece of workout equipment. Swiss watch winder company RDI, makes sure its RDI watch winders also serve as decorative objects in their own right, crafted by hand and designed for display.

RDI Watch Winders Are Functional Objets D’Art Luxury Items

RDI Watch Winders Are Functional Objets D’Art Luxury Items

As counterintuitive as it sounds, keeping automatic watches constantly moving avoids unnecessary wear on the movement. Every time a watch is unscrewed to be wound and reset, it erodes the screw threads and wears down the gaskets that make it water resistant. A winder prevents you from having to constantly rewind and reset the watch because it keeps it in a programmed cycle of motion. This ensures the rotor keeps the mainspring coiled, but not too tightly. A winder also helps prevent oil from pooling when the watch winds down; as long as a watch is running, the oil is being evenly distributed throughout the movement. A winder, therefore, keeps it properly lubricated. A good one has a variable rotation setting, as not all automatic watch rotors wind in the same direction. It should also periodically cycle into a rest mode, as if the watch were actually being worn. A winder should also be relatively noise free - you don’t want to hear it grinding away while you’re sleeping or watching TV.

RDI Watch Winders Are Functional Objets D’Art Luxury Items

RDI Watch Winders Are Functional Objets D’Art Luxury Items

The latest collection of RDI watch winders is the Mémoire, and it answers all of these requirements. In addition to fulfilling the technical specifications of the high-end watch winder – it has 16 program options that have been determined appropriate for different models of watches – the Mémoire is a technical achievement in the decorative sense. The case is finished with inlaid petrified wood. Part vegetable and part mineral, petrified wood is fossilized wood that is formed by the combination of water, ash, and minerals such as iron, copper, and manganese. Every specimen is unique, with its own pattern formation. Before they are used in RDI Mémoire winders, the thin layers of wood are polished to perfection, bringing out a rich palette of colors, using a technology that is proprietary to RDI. Options include black, sand, green, occasionally with some blue, and sometimes with inlaid gems.

RDI Watch Winders Are Functional Objets D’Art Luxury Items

RDI Watch Winders Are Functional Objets D’Art Luxury Items

The sides and top are surrounded by columns of soft black metal. The front is covered in leather, under a glass door. “Each is a unique piece, finished by hand, and functions as a beautiful objet d’art,” says Charles Kaeser, CEO of RDI. “We don’t need to hide them in a cupboard. They can take their place in a dressing room, bedroom, living room or office, as a genuine work of art on display.” RDI watch winders have even been used as decorative displays in retail stores. In essence, the Mémoire is like a fine watch, combining technical prowess with the art of hand finishing. And because the winders are modular, they can be stacked or arranged together to accommodate more than one timepiece and create interesting display arrangements. They are attached together using rings that click to the top of the winder legs and allow other units to rest on top. It runs on AA batteries.

RDI Watch Winders Are Functional Objets D’Art Luxury Items

RDI Watch Winders Are Functional Objets D’Art Luxury Items

RDI was established in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2006 by the Kaeser family, which also makes cases, and creates automata for pharmaceutical laboratories. “We take great pride in the reliability of our winders,” says Kaeser. “They are crafted to the exacting standards required by the Swiss-made label, and they are among the most silent on the market.”

RDI Watch Winders Are Functional Objets D’Art Luxury Items

The Memoire retails for approximately $6,500, which represents the mid-range in terms of pricing for RDI. The Horizon line runs about $627, and the Safe Lift – a tower with four winders in one and a decorative gold gear train on the front – will run you about $156,000. rdi-remontoirs.ch 

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  • $6500 and it runs on batteries with no option to either plug it into a socket or chain more than one together to be powered by a shared source? And what’s the frame constructed from – powder coated steel? What exactly is “soft black metal”?

    Sorry, this looks like something that would have been sold by Skymall in 1989.

    • Get a nice Wolf winder and put your own stone side and top plates on it for a butt-load less.

    • PoopSimpson

      Reading this article, looking at the pictures I thought these would be $100-150. $300 in Skymall.

  • SuperStrapper

    All electric watch winders produce a magnetic field. Minute, sure, but still no thank you.

    • Yes, I use water wheel powered watch winders for precisely that reason. 😉

      • SuperStrapper

        So tranquil….

      • Mikita

        You can also try a hamster powered one. But don’t forget to get some seeds as well.

    • elanjacobs

      So do the electrical impulses of your nervous system.

      • SuperStrapper

        And…? In for a penny, in for a pound? Might as well store my watches in a box full of magnets made out of magnets in a magnet factory protected by a magnetic field across the street from Magneto’s house?

        • elanjacobs

          My point is that mechanical watches are not and will not be perfectly accurate and that thinking that the field from a winder is going to make any meaningful difference to its timekeeping is silly

          • SuperStrapper

            Post proof.

            You’ve obviously measured the fields put out by every single type of winder on the market, otherwise you wouldn’t be posting with such confidence. So let’s see it.

            You can see YouTube videos of noteworthy magnetism being detected when some of them are turned on, and oddly enough (this will sound fake) they were higher than what a human nervous system puts out. Some wonders are shielded, but you can also go see teardown of more expensive units ($1500+) that are not shielded at all. And you can probably go on eBay an get a chinesium winder for under $100.

            I think ‘stock’ eta movements are naturally resistant to about 4500 A/m, and as unlikely as it might be that a winder could do real damage, my point was why leave it to chance?

            But you’re the expert.

          • elanjacobs

            So you essentially agree with my opinion that it probably makes bugger-all difference.

            This leaves two options: a) you are playing the pretentious twat who couldn’t bear the thought of his precious watch losing/gaining a single second more than the factory says it should for the sake of the argument, or b) you actually are that person, in which case a $20 Casio would probably cater better to your time-related OCD.

            I really hope you’re the first and not the second.

          • SuperStrapper

            Pretentious twat calling someone a pretentious twat is basically dividing by 0. Tread lightly in these unknown waters.
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d46037265b6cae746dfee9581f2bc19a82cb7cb0524f766f134d25b27d3c16fa.gif

          • elanjacobs

            So I decided to do some actual research and this is what I found.

            A basic non-anti-magnetic watch is good for about 20 Gauss and an anti-magnetic watch to 60 Gauss. JIS magnetic performance standard: http://www.jcwa.or.jp/en/time/qa/qa10.html also ISO 764 and DIN 8309

            The magnetic field around an operating microwave oven at a distance of 1 inch is about 2 Gauss. http://www-ehs.ucsd.edu/LBCI/LIPA_Magnetic_Field_Levels_Around_Homes.pdf

            A 3 volt watch winder is not putting out a bigger field than a 110/240 volt microwave, that’s just physics.

            I’m pretty confident that watch winders make no practical difference.

          • SuperStrapper

            Cool. Let me know when you finish your research. Gauss is density and A/m is strength.

          • I love division by zero – it’s magic. You can prove any number is equal to any other number.

  • Saul Sloota

    I need to know what this is inspired by before I consider a purchase. Just give me something, anything really.

  • Word Merchant

    $6,500? Are you winding me up?

  • MEddie90

    It’s well made no doubt but does it its at the nexus of art, design, and engineering?

    • Mikita

      Hodinkee edition will get it right.

  • IG

    Having only hand-wound watches and sundials I couldn’t care less.

  • Phil leavell

    Wow I really like the petrified wood. I actually https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1bf47998f575e251640c09c684f60c0dbdea405cad70f6ffeb91c66594ac60f1.jpg have a really big chunk of it as a display in my house cost me 45 bucks I thought that was a long but it is cool. Can I must say I would have to be stoned to the point of petrification to drop this kind of money in a watch Winder