Your wife will hate it, but it's so cool you won't even care.

We need to take a moment and give a shout out to all the car crazy people in the world who have auto parts either as decorations or a full-on pieces of furniture. Not everyone understands the aesthetics of such things, but there’s a glorious artistic symmetry to be found with mechanical bits that are so often taken for granted. Whether it’s a clock made from transmission gears and disc brakes, a lamp built from suspension components, or abstract art using valve springs, push rods, and spark plugs to make mini metal robot soldiers, we approve.


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As such, we approve of this most unlikely use for a BMW engine block. It’s called the VI52, and yes, its primary function – aside from looking unbelievably cool – is to wind watches. It’s made by a Los Angeles-based company called Vulcan Innova, which repurposes the much-loved BMW M52 inline-six that served the E36 M3 so well. You can probably guess where the name VI52 comes from, but some of you are probably wondering why anyone would turn an engine into a watch winder. Do people even wear watches that need winding?

To answer the second question: absolutely. In fact, there’s a curious connection between fine timepieces and the appreciation of automobiles that we suspect many of you are already aware of. As for the first question, this isn’t a watch winder. It’s a multiple watch winder.


Vulcan Innova VI52
Vulcan Innova VI52
Vulcan Innova VI52
Vulcan Innova VI52


Aside from the obvious clean-up and detail work to the cast iron engine block, Vulcan Innova repurposes the M52’s six pistons as custom watch holders fitted with special cushions and mechanical bits. Each piston has motors that allow them to extend and retract into the cylinders, protecting and displaying the watches. The pistons do the winding, and can be custom-calibrated with eight distinct winding modes. It’s all controlled via buttons at each cylinder; LED lights let you know when the watches are winding, and should additional programming be desired, Vulcan Innova can provide updates to the VI52 via USB connection.




Only 52 (yes, again with the 52) of these special watch winders will be built, and if you still don’t understand why anyone would want such a thing, don’t worry. We suspect VI52 buyers aren’t actually interested in a watch winder. They’re interested in the design, the form, and the mechanically artistic flavor that simply makes this one of the coolest auto-themed items we’ve ever seen.

Source: Vulcan Innova

Gallery: Vulcan Innova VI52 Watch Winder

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Designed Using a BMW Straight-Six Engine Block, the Vulcan VI52 Offers Multiple Modes for Winding up to Six Timepieces Simultaneously


LOS ANGELES, CA — Vulcan Innova proudly introduces its brand new VI52 watch winder utilizing a unique engine block design. Carefully crafted to accommodate up to six fine timepieces, Vulcan Innova fused its passion for high performance sports cars with fine timepieces to develop the all-new automatic watch-winder sure to appeal to watch enthusiasts and car aficionados alike. Made to order, each custom built VI52 harnesses the unrivaled beauty of the vaunted BMW M52 engine block. The celebrated straight-six engine from the iconic Bavarian automaker earned renown during its 1994 - 2000 model years for setting performance benchmarks, particularly in the legendary E36 M3.


Vulcan Innova was inspired by the inline-six engine configuration and utilized the celebrated cast iron block as a naturally conducive framework for displaying collectible timepieces. The Vulcan Innova VI52 winder was designed to seamlessly compliment the beautiful engineering aesthetics of the naked engine block. For each VI52, Vulcan CNC-machines all winder components from billet aluminum, hand crafting them to integrate into the original design.


Each piston in the Vulcan Innova VI52 is reimagined as a watch-holder with timepieces secured onto custom cushions, which then slot into each of the pistons. For added security, the pistons submerge within the cylinders during winding. When the security key unlocks the VI52, the watches smoothly rise from out of the block. Each of the six watch winders can conveniently be removed from their respective pistons by depressing two buttons. Vulcan specially designed the VI52 winder so that timepieces cannot be removed when the pistons are encased in the engine block.


Each VI52 piston is individually driven by robotics-grade stepper motors, resulting in quiet and fully controllable movement. The watch-holder pistons can be custom-calibrated to wind any specific timepiece for clients. Up to eight distinct winding modes — including individual ones for each watch — can be easily programmed using a button located at each cylinder. Two generic pre-set synchronized winding modes that wind all watches at the same rate are also available. Vulcan Innova is also able to add or modify more modes for clients via USB updates. During each winding cycle, LED indicators at each cylinder blink periodically.


Vulcan Innova VI52 watch-winder production is limited to 52 units. Each block is completely custom made, and every VI52 watch winder is hand-assembled in Los Angeles. Clients can choose to have their VI52 assembled to their exact specifications to accommodate their watch collections. Customizable options begin with different engine block finishes: as-cast, paint, and chrome-plated to name just a few. Piston finish can also be specified, as can color and grade of the leather straps for the holders, cushion size, as well as LED indicator colors. Approximate weight for the VI52 is 125 pounds. Vulcan Innova also offers customized floor stands for clients upon request.


For more information, please visit Vulcan Innova at or email