Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean review! This Sunday, I’ll be review the Windsor 15 Piece Watch Box by WOLF.
WOLF is one of the leading brands in the watch accessories market – their products are stocked in retailers all over the globe, with much more established press such as Revolution raving (and sometimes selling) their products. So are they any good? Let’s find out.
WOLF – the Brand
I sent some questions to the current CEO (and descendant of founder Phillip Wolf) Simon Wolf – here are his replies!
1) Tell us more about WOLF, and what WOLF seeks to achieve.
SW: As a 184 year old company that is still family owned WOLF is fast becoming the authority of watch care, we are the only company that counts turns per day (TPD) as we invented the patent to do that, so no other company can accurately keep a watch wound. We always want to be the very best and strive, every day, to be.
2) WOLF has quite a long history! Could you elaborate on the story of WOLF?
SW: It is 5 generations starting in Hanau Germany in 1834 and stretches all the way to Los Angeles. For more information, one can read the history that can be found here.
3) In your opinion, what should one look out for when buying a watch box/winder?
SW: For a watch winder it has to counts turns per day, not magnetize your watch and be silent. For watches that are hand-wound automatics or quartz the watch box needs to have enough space so that cases don’t touch and crowns have space to breath. The winder or box must be aesthetically pleasing and you must have the ability to satisfy your individual needs. WOLF does all those things!
4) What differentiates a WOLF watch box/winder from the competition?
SW: We count turns per day and design to care for the watch better than anyone else.
5) Which product(s) has been the most popular thus far?
SW: Our Viceroy collection has been a mainstay for over a decade and the new AXIS has been the most successful launch we have ever had!
6) Any new models for the incoming year?
SW: You will have to come visit us at Baselworld because the answer is yes, the best ever!
WOLF Windsor Watch Box – Review
WOLF is one of the household names in watch storage accessories, and with the Windsor, it’s clear why.
Firstly, the Windsor features a glass cover, which allows you to admire your watch collection before one even opens the box. I often find myself staring at my watches through the glass cover, trying to make up my mind (often successfully) which watch should grace my wrist that particular day. I love exhibition glasses on watches, and it’s safe to say that I enjoy them as much on watch boxes as well!
It should also be noted that the aforementioned glass cover is locking, due to the provision of a lock and key here to keep your collection safe. The hardware (pictured above) is chrome finished, adding a touch of luxury to the watch box. Chrome can sometimes get overwhelming (think vintage mustangs!), but it’s used in moderation here, and I think it’s the perfect amount. The piano hinge used here should also translate to added durability, which is important given that the hinge is probably the most abused part of a watch box!
The pillows of the Windsor watch box are textured, and silk lined. Upon touch, it feels soft and premium. As compared to the cardboardy watch pillow I’m currently using (right), it’s definitely an instant upgrade, both in looks as well as quality! As evident, I’ve quite a number of watches, and I wear each watch about once a month on average. To me, it’s important to have good watch pillows as that’s where my watch will reside most of the time. A better built, softer watch pillow will help protect the strap of the watch from being misshaped as well!
The lining of the Wolf Windsor watch box uses the same textured silk material of the watch pillows. The overall effect is quite visually appealing, giving off a luxurious vibe. As compared to lower quality linings, I believe the textured silk lining used here will age better and will not yellow, or peel off, with age. Furthermore, I like the contrast in texture present between the vertically striped purple lining, and the circular grained leather. Speaking about the leather, WOLF uses vegan leather here, which means that vegan can purchase, and use the Windsor watch box without worry. However, because vegan leather is artificial leather (as it did not come off an animal), this means that the leather used here will not patina as good quality leather will. I personally think that that’s a shame – then again, I’m not vegan.
To stress the importance of having quality lining, I’ve decided to include a picture of my current watch box. My current watch box uses a cheap, rough cardboardy lining (akin to the lining on cheap leather straps), and over time (1 year), has already started yellowing and developing dark spots pretty badly.
The stitching on the Windsor watch box is nice and even, without any major faults. I really dig that chrome finished lock – I think it provides such a visual contrast to the black leather surrounding it!
As you may have noticed from the previous photo, the Windsor watch box possesses curves. It’s an intentional aesthetic – as the name suggest, the Windsor collection is inspired by the luxury and opulence of the previous century. The smooth curves and retro colours (Black/Purple, Brown/orange, or if you’re boring, full Black) makes the collection iconic, in my opinion. WOLF started out as a manufacturer of jewelry boxes, and in this Windsor watch box, that heritage is evident – the box looks like a bigger version of the jewelry case my mum has!
The Windsor watch box (15 Pieces) costs $151 USD/ ~$207 SGD (after promo code below). For comparison, my current watch box cost me around $50 SGD. Yes – the Windsor watch box cost more than quadruple the price! Do I think it’s worth it, getting the Windsor watch box from an established name such as WOLF, versus a no-name, straight out of china watch box? In my honest opinion, I think so. As shown in above photos, the cheaper watch box uses an inferior quality lining that yellows and stains rather quickly over time. I had it for a little under a year, and I’m ready to throw it away as a result of the yellowing and stains – I don’t want my leather straps to be dirtied otherwise! In addition, the build quality (quality of the hardware, watch pillows, and leather) of the WOLF Windsor watch box is far superior to my old watch box. Lastly, the WOLF Windsor watch box is simply more aesthetically pleasing – the Windsor watch box makes my watches pop. In contrast, my current watch box makes it look like I’m hawking counterfeit watches at a flea market. It should also be noted that the WOLF Windsor watch box uses significantly more leather in its construction than my current cheap watch box. Overall, whilst the Windsor watch box is significantly more expensive, I can clearly see the upgrades that the money has went to, and I think it’s worth the premium. Like I said, I’m likely to throw away my current watch box after less than a year – in contrast, I think the Windsor watch box will last me quite some time!
Conclusion – so the Windsor Watch Box “shiok” or not!
If you’re on the prowl for quality watch boxes, I think the Windsor Watch Box will do the treat very nicely. I’m pretty impressed with the build quality of the watch box, and it is also very aesthetically pleasing. Sure, there are tons of nameless watch boxes out there who can get the same job (of storing your watch collection) done, but that’s like saying a Casio F91W can tell us the same time (arguably more accurately) as a Rolex Daytona. Fans of mechanical watches understand that it’s not about getting the job done, it’s about the way it’s done. In that regard, I think the Windsor Watch Box does a great job at not just storing your watches, but displaying them in a way that makes your heart yearn. However, I do wish that they had a variant whereby top-grain leather is used – I would love to have seen some patina.
For those interested, WOLF has kindly offered readers an exclusive discount! Simply use the code “WAHSOSHIOK” for a 20% discount off any WOLF product, until the end of the year. After the promo code, this Windsor Watch Box (15 Pieces) would be $151 USD/ $207 SGD! Overall, I think that the Windsor watch box by WOLF is a good product for the price, and it should last you for quite some time.