The one and only recurring section dealing with accessories on Fratello Watches is the Watch Strap Review, which we publish roughly once per month. In this section, I usually introduce a craftsman to the readers of Fratello Watches, a brand worth considering when thinking about “new shoes” for your watches. Of course, accessories in the watch world does not only mean straps or your occasional watch rolls. We try to bring you some of the more interesting companies of custom-made safes like Stockinger, cool watch winders like Barrington or budget brands like Dapper Watch Winder. This article will have 2 parts. In this one we will look at something every watch guy should have at home who has an excessive collection that includes automatics: the watch winder. The one I have on my table as I type this is no ordinary watch winder though. The design itself is nothing groundbreaking. No, what I am referring to is the company behind it. They have been in the business for a long time and actually, believe it or not, were the ones who played a role in introducing the idea of a watch winder to the public back in the early 90’s.
Scatola del Tempo is the “child” of the late Sandro Colarieti. He is responsible for the introduction of the watch winder to the world. Before his invention there was no similar item available on the market for consumers. Of course this does not mean that there had been no winders used by the watch industry. Sure there were, but they were big and bulky and nothing like the image that pops into your mind today when we hear the phrase “watch winder”. Today, it is compact enough to place in a safe or take on a trip. Signore Coralieti, like many other “fathers” of famous inventions, came up with the idea of a compact winder out of necessity. He had a vast collection of Quantièmes Perpétuels and he needed something that would keep the watches wound and running even if he did not wear them. So this idea came a little after Scatola del Tempo was born in 1989. His company already produced watch boxes so he took a simple box and turned it into a single watch winder. This prototype was the 1RT. The box was an instant hit. In fact, it was so successful that Patek Philippe ordered a large number of winders to supply them with their selected watches. Other brands also started ordering Scatola del Tempo watch winders and boxes and the company took off immediately. Today they still reside in Italy in the beautiful region of Como where assembly and quality control takes place. The motors for the winders are produced in Switzerland exclusively for Scatola del Tempo. Every item coming out of the factory bears the prestigious “Made in Italy” symbol which means that only the best of the best are allowed to use on their goods. Scatola del Tempo offers excellent quality and a large variety of goods from single winders or watch boxes to bespoke built-in watch cabinets and safes.
Now let’s look at the winder Scatola del Tempo graciously provided for this article. The rather lengthy name, Rotor One Sport Soft Touch, refers to one of the most successful lines of the company in the entry category. In the Rotor One line there are many different models like the Carbon, the Sport, or the Hdg: all referring to the different cover material. The winder has a very distinct porthole-like shape with a square base. The chassis is made of strong plastic and the chosen material (leather or carbon) runs over the body of the winder giving it a bit of a contrast as well as the feeling of something high-end. The chromed ring that serves as the window covering the watch can be pulled out and if we place our timepiece back into the winder can be pressed back on. With the Rotor One Sport Soft Touch you can choose between plain chrome with the company named laser engraved into it or, if you have a Rolex, you can ask for the one, which resembles the bezel of the Rolex GMT: nice touch and something I would love to see with many different bezels like the Submariner or the Speedmaster for that matter. The winder weighs 612 grams without a watch or batteries. It’s not particularly light but not really heavy either – kind of a great weight. Regarding the measurements, we are looking at 11cm in width, 9 cm in depth and about 12cm in height. You can easily place 2-3 next to each other in a smaller sized safe to have your watches wound at all times. One of the most important features of a winder is how loud it can be. The motor of the Rotor One Sport Soft Touch is silent enough that it’s not bothering anyone even at night. If you have troubles sleeping I recommend putting it in a different room than the bedroom though as it is not entirely silent. I used decibel software to measure how “loud” it can be with a watch inside and the results are roughly around 45 decibels which is still considered silent. As far as energy supply goes you can either use a wall plug (provided) or 2 LR-20 batteries (not provided) to power up the device. On the bottom of the winder you can set the rotation programs.
This particular model retails for €600 which is in the highs of the entry-level winders of Scatola del Tempo. You can pick up a decent winder from them for as low as €255. Of course for every one that buys these items there are the ones who say ‘Well I can get one for the fraction of the price from China’. As this may be true there are other things to consider here; Scatola del Tempo is probably the most prestigious brand on the market with 25+ years of experience. The materials they use (regardless if it is leather or plastic) are second to none. The goods are 100% hand made in Italy with a unique serial number and a warranty card that bears the holographic logo of the company to ensure the customer that he/she is purchasing the real deal. They offer a 2-year warranty with every product and if you go to their site and fill out this form you will get an extra year for free.
The market is packed with winders in every shape, color, material and price. Everyone can find the perfect match to his or her needs. Scatola del Tempo offers exceptional quality and craftsmanship and they are one of the key players in this market. I can only encourage you to try one of their winders if you can afford to do so. If you are looking for a nice watch box instead, don’t worry as we will be back with something special soon!
Balázs joined Fratello Watches in 2014 and he has been a fan of watches as long as he can remember. His passion for watches really took off in 2007 when he purchased his first fine Swiss timepiece. From 2007 up... read more