If you are relatively new to the watch collecting world and have only recently felt the warm embrace of this specific addiction then the concept of a special jewellery box that coddles and gently rotates your watches in your absence may seem odd or even unnecessary. To the contrary, the idea of a watch winder is actually both simple and practical, much like a garage for a exotic car, a watch winder provides the best care possible for your watches and ensures they are ready for you to enjoy. Wolf Designs is one of the most respected watch winder manufactures in the business with nearly 180 years worth of experience making watch winders and designing their modules to meet the needs of hobbyists, collectors and aficionados alike. Naturally, we jumped at the chance to spend a couple of weeks using a Wolf Designs Roadster Triple with our humble (and ever changing) collection of watches. The Triple, as the name suggests, allows you to simultaneously wind three watches while still providing room for the storage of an additional six timepieces. The Roadster Triple sits roughly in the middle of Wolf Designs winder line up which ranges from single watch winders to the eight winder Viceroy or the modular 4.1 series of winders.
- Wood frame (17.75″w x 7.75″d x 8.75″h)
- Black pebble leather
- Glass panelled door
- Macassar wood veneer faceplate
- Chrome control plate with backlit lcd panel
- Rotating drum design (71mm deep – 77 mm wide)
- Cuff design accommodates up to a 10+ inch wrist
- Space for additional watches in top level
- Available 300-1200 rotations per day
- Clockwise, counter-clockwise, or bi-directional
- Removable travel compartment
- AC or battery power
The Roadster Triple operates almost silently thanks to its nylon gears. When the lid and front panel are closed there is no audible way to tell it is running, the watches rotate silently and you would have to place your ear against the winder to hear any noise from the motors. This is a fairly crucial point, if the winder were to make any considerable or noticeable amount of noise while operating it would be too annoying to have on a desk or in a quiet study and that is generally where an item like the Roadster Triple would make the most sense. A careful inspection of the Roadster shows a considerable level of attention to detail and training was used in its design. The winding cells are large enough to accommodate modern sized watches (no trouble at all with the Halios Laguna) and the drums are even deep enough to suit a watch fitted for a large wrist (10+ inches).
The Roadster series relies on Wolf Design’s Module 2.7 which allows for a start delay so if you were just wearing your watch it can expend some of its stored energy before being wound again. The Roadster Triple can be operated via battery for up to six months if you need to house it in a location that does not have access to a power receptacle where it could be connected via the included power adapter. The Module 2.7 also features rotation programming that further prevents over-winding of the timepiece by using rotation cycles and, once these cycles are complete, the module will rest the watch for 18 hours which allows the watch to run under its own power reserve. Lastly, these Module 2.7 winders also feature lock-in cuffs that can hold overly heavy or thick watches.
So how well does it actually work? I tested eight different watches in the Roadster, and found it to work with any bracelet or strap I had and it seemed to function perfectly regardless of the size or weight of the watch (36mm vintage compared to the Halios Laguna on its steel bracelet). The convenience factor is excellent as well as I routinely kept the Halios Laguna, a Tag Heuer Aquaracer and a Seiko SKX007 on the Roadster Triple and it essentially meant I could choose from any of the three at any point in the day and not have to worry about resetting the watch. The Tag Heuer really took to the programming, running +1 second per week if kept on the winder vs. +2 seconds per day when left on my desk over night. A properly regulated watch should keep its best time on your wrist, so this accuracy is more impressive than surprising. If you like to change between a few watches depending on your outfit or activity, this is a good way to avoid the process of the watch expending its power reserve and needing to be reset and wound.
Generic watch winders are widely available online but unfortunately, just like watches, they are not all made to the same standards. The conventional $50 winder from eBay will certainly wind your watch but may lead to over winding and possibly magnetization of the movement causing the watch to become inaccurate. Additionally, a brief search on eBay shows that most of the bargain watch winder options are also fairly ugly and rather cheap looking, not really the kind of place you will want to keep the Rolex you saved for or the vintage Omega you inherited. Wolf Winders has taken decades to develop and perfect its craft and the Roadster Triple is a great example of their endeavour. The Roadster Triple is simple to use, features reliable and well designed technology and is a beautiful way to show off your collection while keeping your watches primed for use. The Roadster Triple is sold directly through Wolf Designs and carries a price tag of $1099 USD. While we admit that is quite a lot of money, Wolf Designs has many winders to choose from in a wide range of prices. To make a new Wolf Designs winder even more appealing, they have offered WatchReport.com readers a 50% off promocode for any purchase over $200 so if you find one that is just right be sure to use the promo code “WD50WR” at checkout any time in the next two weeks.
We would like to thank Wolf Designs for the sample winder and the generous promocode.