Veterans of the watch industry know that automatic watch winders are a relatively new addition to the horological enthusiast’s world. Such an odd thing really. What did the last several decades of collectors do when they had large collections of automatic winding mechanical watches? I really don’t know. In my ongoing coverage of watch winders, I seek to find the perfect winder for you. Each model and brand has something unique to offer, and will be right for many people. Personally, I have a growing collection of all sorts of winders. No winder is perfect, and the right one will depend on where you store watch, how large your wrists are, and of course your budget. For you right here is a review of the very nice SwissKubiK. It is a very modern and well designed watch winder that for some will be the world’s most perfect winder.
SwissKubiK watch winders are all perfect squares (10cm x 10cm) for the single winders. Though the company does make units that are meant to wind multiple watches. They also offer grid-like units that allow for you to insert a number of winders. At the same time, the cubic nature of the winders makes them easy to be stacked neatly. SwissKubiK winders are made in Switzerland with all Swiss, and some French parts. My understanding is that the French parts mostly come from auto industry suppliers. This makes sense as the materials used in the winders has that high-grade feel.
In the past I wanted to give Asian made watch winders the benefit of the doubt. I really wanted the low cost alternatives to the more expensive European or American winders to be better options for the economically minded. Unfortunately this was not the case. My experience with Asian made winders has been that they always break, it is just a matter of when. If you purchase Asian made watch winders, simply expect to replace them frequently. Probably every 6 months or so. At the same time, European and American watch winders that I have been operating for years are doing just fine.
The SwissKubiK watch winder is an attractive, diminutive, and hardy device. You can stick your finger in the winding portion while it is running and it won’t break the motor. Even though the instructions recommend turning off the unit when adding or removing a watch – if you don’t, nothing bad will happen to the device. On many Asian winders this will literally kill your unit. SwissKubiK adds a lot of intelligent features to the device. For instance, if you lay the winder in a position where the watch is not facing horizontally, the winder will pause and resume when the winder is in the right position again.
Like most watch winders your watch is secured via a little plastic spring loaded holder. here the holder is made from a really high grad plastic with a flexible section that won’t hurt your watch. The entire holder compacts via a central spring. This makes it useful for many watch strap/bracelet sizes. Still. the largest or smallest watches will have problems. For my smaller wrists, the bracelet did not fit around the holder as the bracelet size was too small. Though this is not an issues for watches with adjustable straps. Again, I have smaller wrists, so this is not likely to be a problem for most people. There are very few “one size fits all” watch winders. So if you have a very large or small wrist, send your measurements to SwissKubiK to ensure that the unit will work for you.
The SwissKubiK watch winder is powered via two standard C batteries. These should last for about 3 years. When the battery life is low, the light built into the switch in the front of the winder starts to blink red letting you know it is time to change the battery – this is a nice feature to have. Orbita for example often has a longer battery life, but requires harder to find lithium ion batteries. To replace the batteries you unscrew the rear metal place that has a nice polished finish to it.
Operating the watch winder is really simple. Basic operation simple involves a small on/off switch in the front of the unit. While in operation, the switch occasionally blinks green. The number of blinks has to do with the mode it is in (which can be changed via connecting the unit to your computer). I like the little pulsing green light, and the ease of operating the winder. Over the watch winder access area there is a folding transparent door that protects the watch. The door click into place via the hinges, and has a good solid built quality to it.
You’ll notice a USB port in the rear of the unit. This isn’t for charging or power, but rather to connect the SwissKubiK to your computer to access some addition functions. It actually would have been pretty cool if this could be used for power as well. To get the necessary software to access these special functions, you will need to download it via SwissKubiK’s website. This is optional software, and you don’t need it to use the winder. The default winding program is 1900 rotations a day, 950 turn in each direction. You can see an screenshot image of the software here, which allows you to customize your winder. People will appreciate being able to indicate the exact amount of rotations a day, and in which directions. The software also lets you check the battery life, and test the various functions of the winder to make sure it is operating properly. Easy to use, and a good companion to a luxury watch winder.
SwissKubiK did a good job with this watch winder, and it is even available in a number of styles and finished. Lots of colors and materials. The one I am reviewing is black and wrapped in calf leather. Prices for the SwissKubiK are high, but not unreasonable for a high-end Swiss made device. The units start at $595, with this leather wrapped version going for $695. I can’t see anyone being disappoineted after getting one. Don’t forget to check out all the decorative options to make it “yours.”