In 1898, a twenty-year-old Londoner named Maurice A. Rapport set about making his first timepiece. The acclaim he received for the finished product was staggering, and so, riding the wave of his initial success, he founded M.A. Rapport & Co. to continue on this ambitious path. The company would go on to become a household name in clockmaking and horology — not just in London, or even the U.K., but around the world.
Over one hundred and twenty years and four generations later, the company is still family run. “A cabinet maker, a clockmaker, and an electronic engineer” may read like the beginning of a postmodern children’s rhyme, but it’s actually an integral part of Rapport’s heritage; the skills that come with each of these professions have been married to create a stellar and innovative product range.
Of course, plenty has changed in the world of horology since the dawn of the 20th century. The digital age means clocks on our phones, and the question of how analogue timepieces can compete with automatization, convenience, and the Internet of Things.
There is arguably a hunger for beauty in the wake of Silicon Valley and its global counterparts — of things artisanal, curated, one-of-a-kind. For the pleasure of experience. Millennials crave mom-and-pop culture. The butcher shops and milliners of yesteryear are popping up as bespoke, beloved brick-and-mortars, a revival of the better parts of the past.
It’s perhaps this sort of sentiment that allows a brand like Rapport to thrive in a special niche. Do we need watch winders these days? Well, for most of us, no; we’ve traded in wristwatches and wall clocks for our smartphones. (And if we do wear watches, they answer our phones for us and measure our heartbeats.) Rapport’s luxury products feel like heirloom pieces, a return to fine and quality craftsmanship. However, the company achieves this with a touch of futuristic beauty, as seen in the watch winders below. The point of these watch winders is that they’re exclusively niche. They’re conversation pieces for those who can afford them — luxe décor items with a classic, curiosity-inducing function.
These pieces caught our eye for their unique designs; they’re timepieces with an opulent blend of timelessness and timeliness.
The Optima Time Capsule Watch Winder
This single watch winder looks like it was plucked straight from the control room of the International Space Station, and there’s a reason; its design is intentionally futuristic, conceived as a cylindrical time capsule. Made from a chrome plated aluminum tube, it features brass cogs on a heavy, bevelled glass base. The hinged door, behind which the watch rests while being wound, is made with magnifying glass, a fun detail that showcases the beauty of the watch’s face. Inside, the watch carrier is made from soft, adjustable black leather.
Turbine Watch Winder
Inspired by the design of airplane engines, this luxurious piece is the sort of item we can see the elite coming home to after a long day spent crossing continents in private jets. (Like we said: niche.) Meticulously engineered, it’s a sophisticated display piece, ideal for the home but also a desk at work — it certainly makes an impression. Its sleek base features a black veneer finish and silver-plated fitments, while its rotation direction can be altered accordingly.
Cosmic Single Ebony Watch Winder
One of the most advanced watch winders on the market today, the Cosmic Single Ebony Watch Winder offers almost complete user autonomy over the process, allowing for the control of revolutions per day and rotation programs. Toting itself as “the perfect present for the modern gentleman,” this model is available in two highly polished cases, with either Ebony or Macassar finishes. Both feature grey velvet interiors with soft leather watch carriers, as well as interior lighting. An LCD display screen blasts this classic product firmly into the future, allowing the user to monitor the progress of the winding.
Images via Rapport