Anyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for E36s. Having owned one for almost ten years, I fell in love with it, despite its infuriating faults. My specific car was an E36 328i, which used an M52 2.8 liter inline six engine. It’s still one of my favorite engines I’ve ever driven. If you know me, you’ll also know I love mechanical watches. Can’t afford them, really, but I love them. So when someone tells me that a company built a watch winder from an M52 engine block, my heart skips a beat. But you don’t have to be an E36 freak to know that this is cool. If you like both cars and watches, this watch winder is awesome.
Okay, so many watch aficionados will scoff at the idea of using a watch winder because half of the enjoyment of owning a mechanical watch is setting it and winding it yourself. However, for people who have multiple watches (no more than six in this case), a watch winder can be very helpful. And this is is as cool and as mechanical as the watches themselves.
This specific watch winder is made by Vulcan Innova and is built from the block of an M52 I6 engine that’s been stripped down and cleaned up. The pistons were then flipped upside down, so as to fit a luxury fabric to hold the watch. Behind the pistons are small stepper motors that can actually push the piston outward, so as to easily get the watch on and off of the fabric. Next to each piston, in place of some head bolts, are buttons that control the stepper motors and the winding motion. The latter of which has three different rotation cycles, all of which can be programmed through your computer.
There are also two different modes to control all of the winders. So you can either have them all rotate and wind randomly, or all of them work in unison. Watching them rotate, inside the cylinder walls of an engine block, is a wonderful little mechanical dance to behold. It combines two of the coolest things in the world, watches and cars, in a wonderfully cool package. The only downside is that it costs $20,000. Not sure my Seiko Diver would be at home in there.