Watch winders are useful objects that many collectors own. These are practical for automatic watches, especially if you tend to swap watches regularly. They are all the more useful for watches with annual or perpetual calendars that are not always easy to set. Winders are extremely rare for manual wind watches… A specialist craftsman in the field, Bernard Favre, had repeated requests from clients for a watch winder dedicated to hand-wound movements. He ended up developing the Crown Ultimate, a beautiful “universal” winder for manual watches.
Once a professional musician, Bernard Favre has been crafting tailor-made watch winders for over 20 years, often lending his skills to some of the most prestigious names in the Swiss watch industry. In 2009, he designed the Planet, a mesmerizing gyroscopic watch winder inspired by historical marine chronometers in a gimbal box.
There are, however, several challenges to face in designing a winder for watches with hand-wound movements. First, as the watch has no rotor, you need to wind via the crown and you need to adapt to all sorts of watches and shapes. Then, as your movement’s barrel has no sliding bridle, you should not overwind the watch (which can cause severe damage).
In this respect, the Bernard Favre Crown Ultimate can be adapted to various watches thanks to mobile rods. The watch support can also be rotated or moved vertically to ensure perfect positioning of the crown, regardless of the design of your watch and of the position of its crown (watches with a crown at 2, 4 or 6 o’clock won’t be a problem). Secondly, Bernard Favre developed a sensor-based system that adjusts to your watch’s movement, analysing its state of winding and stopping just as it is about to be fully wound with no risk of damaging the movement – the over-winding issue has thus been tackled.
Besides its practical interest, the Bernard Favre Crown Ultimate is a beautiful object inspired by yesteryear watchmaking tools. It is made of satin-brushed and polished steel and gold-plated brass. Its functionality is enriched by a wide array of traditional artisanal decorations: screws are flamed-blued screws, wheels feature circular satin finished, knurling adorns knobs…
The Bernard Favre Crown Ultimate launches in a first limited and numbered edition of 68 pieces. The price is set at CHF 13,800. For more information, please visit www.bernardfavre.ch.