Still dreaming about putting the gorgeous Bugatti EB 16.4 Veyron into your (probably, nonexistent) stable? Have a good collection of expensive wrist watches, but sort of lack a good taste? Or perhaps you are an R&B star who likes blingy stuff? Well, then the ridiculously expensive and defiantly kitschy, the new Big Block Winder by OriginTimes automatic watch winder may be the right choice for you.
Although most people owning automatic watches do not actually need devices known as watch winders, there is a certain amount of people that do.
You see, as all archaic things, mechanical movements have their own weak points like, for example, they tend to start losing time when their mainspring (or even mainsprings -like, in plural- when it comes to pieces with longer power reserves) get critically unwound and are not able to supply the balance wheel with enough energy to oscillate at a proper frequency. And, while it is usually a pleasure to tinker with your brand new three-hander for a couple of minutes adjusting time and date and, in rarer cases, the day of week indicator, it may become a real hassle if you are in a hurry and have to set correct reading for your Grand Complication watch equipped with a perpetual calendar with moonphase and at least one extra time zone indicator.
A watchwinder, as the name tells quite explicitly, is a device that, by constantly rotating a timekeeper at a relatively slow speed in its comfortable cradle, allows the oscillating weight of the device to constantly “fall” under the force of gravity thus keeping the timepiece constantly fully wounded.
There is a popular belief that such a device may shorten your watch’s life because of constant friction and all, but, seriously, I don’t think that wear will be noticeable during the time you will own the piece. Also, I would argue that there is a lot higher chance that you will damage the mechanism by over-winding it by hand (or damage it in some different way by applying too much force to the winding stem) than a properly configured winding machine that was sort of designed to help you wristwatch last longer in all meanings of the expression.
The kind of highly complicated watches mentioned above often cost like a full-size luxury SUV (something of a fully loaded Porsche Cayenne Turbo variety, not a Cadillac Escalade kind of thing) with a year-long supply of gasoline, and, if you own a dozen of such devices, you, (1) don’t want to spend countless hours per months winding them, (2) don’t want to break one by your own morning clumsiness, and (3) most certainly can afford buying a bespoke watch winder that costs $115,000. Now, that’s the conspicuous consumption at its best!
As you can see on the photos, the Big Block Winder by OriginTimes is a real Bugatti EB 16.4 Veyron W-type engine cylinder block. Inside each of its sixteen 0.5-liter cylinders is installed an OriginTimes watch winder, each of which is individually controlled and calibrated with a complicated-looking touch screen device. The long list of functions includes start and stop timing, sleeping modes and this sort of stuff.