Even though I personally have not handled a lot of watch winders, I find them fascinating. Basically, they are a purpose-built machine that serves only to keep another very purpose-built machine (your watch) in running and ready-to-wear condition. As with all things watch-related, there are a range of prices you can find for these, with very inexpensive ones that are probably noisier than they are worth, all the way up to some massive ones that are basically a piece of furniture or a safe. Then, we have a sort of comfortable middle ground, where pricing is in the range of a good mechanical watch, with materials and motors that are worth the price. That is where, it seems, we will see the new Benson Watch Winders Black Series residing.
Let’s just clear up one thing at the start – while it’s called the Benson Watch Winders Black Series, there will be other colors available (carbon and white). Here, black is used to denote a sort of high-end exclusivity and luxury, much like a black credit card. Now, we have not seen a Benson watch winder in person (though we are working with them to rectify this), but it does seem like they have done quite a nice job of building a tidy winder. For starters, it is not just a winder.
No, the Benson Watch Winders Black Series has a few tricks up it’s sleeve. For starters, it has additional storage up top (perhaps for those quartz or manually wound watches, or some cufflinks, pen, and a pocket knife). On top of that, they have built in a USB port for charging your phone (on the back of the case, 5V at 2A). Makes sense to me – at the end of the day, you pop your watch on the winder (which is already plugged in) and then you put your phone on the charger; both will be ready for you in the morning. If this is going to be running overnight, though, you cannot be bothered by excessive noise, and I believe (from what I’ve read elsewhere) that the Mabuchi motors they have used should run fairly silently; this is also evidenced by other high-end winder brands using these motors.
Should you be getting into the top storage of the Benson Watch Winders Black Series late at night, the soft-close hinge will be much appreciated, as is the LED lighting. This LED lighting only shows up in the winder compartment, as there is some light provided by the touch-screen control panel in the storage portion of the box. In normal lighting conditions, you are more apt to appreciate the surface finish (12 layers of paint over the wooden surfaces) and stainless steel feet. Though the photos are limited (as delivery is not expected until December), the overall presentation is one of a modern sleekness – something that, while being very much a gadget (it’s a machine for machines, after all) it looks like the perfect addition to your nightstand.
Should you want to pick up a Benson Watch Winders Black Series winder for yourself, pricing starts at $350 (or €399 incl. VAT) for the 2-slot winder, and tops out at $875 ( €999 incl. VAT) for the 8-slot version. Whatever one you choose, you will have the full complement of functionality (setting turns per day, turn direction, etc) that you would expect from a competent winder. As I mentioned at the outset, this winder looks to me to present as an affordable luxury item, and one that is built with a very modern eye to style, and will be available in December. Once that happens, we will be working to get one in to do a proper-hands on review. In the meantime, feel free to let us know in the comments what you look for in a watch winder. benson-watchwinders.com
Watch Winder Overview
- Brand & Model: Benson Watch Winders Black Series
- Price: $350 and up
- Who we think it might be for: You want a multi-slot watch winder with a modern design that projects a feeling of luxury
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: Possibly – the ability for it to store additional items (and charge a phone) makes for a compelling argument for the nightstand
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Why not make two USB slots available?
- What spoke to me the most about this box: While the style is great, I like the additional storage and USB charging
Tech Specs from Benson Watch Winders
- Models; for 2, 4, 6 and 8 automatic watches (4 models/sizes)
- Storage capacity for other watches
- Colors: black, carbon and white
- Material: wood (12 layers of paint)
- Stainless steel feet
- Mabuchi motors
- Specially developed gearing system
- Touchscreen controller
- Adjustable TPD (turns per day)
- Winding directions; CW, CC and alternate
- Adjustable watch holders for big and small wrists (ladies and gents)
- LED light
- Power winding function
- USB connection (to charge mobile phone or other devices)
- Soft-close cover
- 2 year warranty