When Rolex launched Tudor, or when Toyota created Lexus, both brands probably went through a similar line of thinking to when Scatola del Tempo launched this ‘Soft Line’. Toyota was aiming discernibly upwards with their new marque, but the question remains the same – how much of the parent brand should be tied to any new production line?
If the brands are completely unassociated then the company is starting from scratch, but too closely tied and there is no real difference for consumers to see. For example, despite their tremendous production value, Tudor suffers from the simple fact that they are ‘not a Rolex’.
This is relevant for the winder you see here because Scatola del Tempo have launched a new line of winders aimed at a markedly lower price point to their usual range.
The target market is a sensible one. As declared on their stand-alone Soft Line site, the new pieces are designed for people who “approach for the first time the world of rotors” and are looking for quality, but still at an affordable price. ‘Budget’ is not a word that is normally associated with Scatola del Tempo, so it is an interesting reflection on the industry that even the big players are looking for a slice of the mass market pie.
The result is a simple, sturdy cube with a magnifying glass viewing port at the front. The square design is basic, but still refined and will satisfy those in the market for a SwissKubik or maybe even a Boxy. Unlike some manufacturers, Scatola has not opted for ingenious ways to connect or stack these winders together. Instead they have created reliable internal mechanics and one of the most easy-to-operate winders available.
There is just one switch on the whole winder – on/off. This means that there are no ‘Turns Per Day’ cycle options, but Scatola insist that their pre-programmed winding motion means this is not required. The unit rotates watches 2,800 times per day (1,400 in each direction); or roughly one rotation every 30 seconds.
Some watch owners prefer more control over their winders, but for those of us who like to ‘plug-and-play’ this unit is a nice addition to the market. High-end enough to have good build quality and excellent brand backing, but also well within the realms of an affordable piece.
The fact that this takes 2 D-cell batteries as well as the standard socket opens up the uses further. Whilst the battery life is short (1.5 months), it challenges some of Orbita’s “Travel Winders” in terms of mobility.
The whole unit is compact at 5.5″ x 4.5″ x 5″ and weighs in at 1.75lb, while still being able to carry the majority of modern watch sizes (although anything over 45mm may be a problem, so IWC Big Pilot owners beware).
With a name like Scatola del Tempo standing behind this new line, there really is a lot to admire here. For those in the market for a well presented and classy single-headed winder this should definitely be on the list of considerations.