Rapport has been involved in the watch winder business long enough now that they can well be considered veterans. Their range covers some classic designs, such as the ‘Mariners Chest’ series, as well as more futuristic units like the ‘Commander’ line (not to mention the more exotic ‘Time Capsule’ reviewed here). However, every winder company worth their salt needs a solid performer in the single unit category. This is the area most watch buyers visit first, either to house the one automatic watch they own and choose to wear occasionally, or because they are taking the first tentative steps into owning multiple watches.
The classic cubic winder should, in its purest form, leave very little to separate the competition. However, the key elements with any winder comes down to some basic rules around materials, longevity, noise, style – and that is the same for a single winder as it is for a cabinet. This ‘Evo Cube’ (and at 120mm x 120mm x 135mm it’s still legitimate to call it a cube) comes in a variety of colours, ranging from the somewhat outlandish (see the vibrant yellow) to the more subdued and probably more popular greys and whites.
The front of the unit is kept clean and simple, with a nice wide portal to show off the watch. The subtle LED blinks green when the winder is working and red if the batteries are low. However, what really separates the winders at this entry level is the simplicity. Allowing battery power is a must (but often overlooked) feature. In this winder Rapport has opted for four chunky LR14 batteries which balance a decent lifecycle with availability. There’s also the power cord if that makes more sense for the location you choose to keep it in.
Many winders will claim to be quiet or silent, but this little box really is just a whisper when in motion. The close seal between the outer unit and the rotating cuff ensures that everything sits together nicely and keeps the motor from leaking almost any sound when in motion. That is especially important given the unique nature of the winding action here – it is a rocking motion rather than a full rotation. It is similar to Orbita’s Rotorwind system, but without the swinging weight process. This video explains better than words can.
In terms of winding options there are three settings, controlled at the back of the unit. Low will rotate for 1 minute then rest for 59 mins. Medium winds for 8 minutes first (to ensure the watch has a basic level of power), then moves to 1 minute cycles between 29 mins rests. The highest setting does the same as Medium, but with 14 min rests, although most watches will be fine on the lower settings.
With a price tag at around £300 it is certainly in the mid-high end range for single-header units, but the build quality and utility ensures there is plenty of value here.