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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
OK folks, so for those who have been around this forum for a while, you know that I've been looking for a VERY SPECIFIC type of watch box for quite some time. My requirements were the following:
  • Glass top
  • Single level, so the entire collection could be seen through the glass top
  • High quality cushions (pillows preferred, but hard cushions are fine if they're good quality)
  • A nice dark finish as it's a presentation piece of furniture and needs to aesthetically fit into the environment
  • Needs to hold minimum ~25 watches - I'm tired of always running out of room ? ? ? ?

The closest thing I ever found was from AceTimer, but they never responded to me and now seem to have gone out of business. Also, their product was clearly a mass produced one, so no idea on the quality...... Over the years, I've ended up with everything from a 6 watch box, to a 6 watch + ring storage box, to a 12 watch box in carbon fiber, to a 36 watch box across three levels, etc etc etc. Despite owning more than a half dozen boxes, nothing has ever met exactly my wants and desires.

One day, I see a post from N&N Watch Case (this thread, if you're curious: N&N Watch Cases - Design solutions for Watch storage ). Immediately I think "yes, I've found my box". Now, the term "box" is actually a disservice to, what is really, a custom made high end small piece of furniture. I think about this for a while, even chatting with the brand's owner, @nikitanaz (who is a member here on WUS).

I mention this idea to my wife (who is actually rather supportive of the timepiece obsession, even if she doesn't really understand the point of it ( ? ? ? ?)), who tells me not to buy this as maybe I'll get it as a gift one day.... ?‍♀

Fast forward to my birthday which was a few days ago, and check out this parcel I had waiting for me:

Wood Triangle Rectangle Font Automotive exterior


The fragile sticker written in Russian and the N&N sticker gave some hints to what's inside ?

Rectangle Grey Floor Flooring Wood


The packing job was pretty nuts on this. I don't know of any other company I've ever ordered something from where the packing job (the effort spent on ensuring the packaging was done in a way to protect the contents from damage in shipping) was this good. Ironically, the box and the peanuts ended up as a perfect play-toy for the kids that were present, as they pretended it was an indoor hot tub ?‍♀

Rectangle Grey Art Road surface Wood


The presentation box is superb.

Rectangle Wood Flooring Floor Road surface


Wow. I mean, my expectations are usually pretty high (perhaps even unreasonably high) for things like this. A custom box that requires pre-ordering and custom manufacturing taking ~3 months lead time - I'm expecting something that's exceedingly better quality than in-stock, mass produced, cheap, basic stuff made in China. But this was a level beyond what I was expecting. One thing I immediately noticed was the weight of this thing. This is a serious chunk of wood. No fiber-filled MDF pressboard junk here. The latches are smooth operating and feel high quality. The hinges look and feel high quality. I will follow-up on this post with better pics of those, as I haven't gotten the time yet to really get into the details, so these are just initial first impression thoughts.

Rectangle Grey Material property Tints and shades Flooring


The material used for the cushions and the lining of each watch cubby is superb. I don't really know how to describe it at the moment, but it feels like a quality fabric. Not the cheap stuff that's kind of smooth, kind of grainy, that you get with the cheapo boxes. For what it's worth, as mentioned, I've owned a lot of boxes and not a single one has had material that "felt" like high quality. Admittedly, this is a completely anecdotal observation on my part, but I do believe that I've had enough experience with different vendors and products to objectively make a comparison.

So there you go, my initial impressions on the custom made N&N Watch Case for 30 watches. As mentioned, I didn't get to spend a lot of time with it yet, so I will be updating this thread with some follow-up replies. I'm especially interested in looking closer at the glass top - apparently the glass is museum-grade refined, which makes it give off less reflection, and offers better visibility through it. I'm also curious how well the cushions fit my watches, as 99% of my watches are on sized metal bracelets.

For this first part summary, I'll say this - so far, this is an absolutely stunning watch "box" (again, it's not a "box", it's a custom made small piece of high quality furniture). I know some people will look at this and think it's ridiculous. I've seen comments on other threads like "who cares about the box, save your money and buy more watches !". Personally, I enjoy high quality accessories and I pride myself on how I store / display my luxury goods. I use the analogy of not bothering to build a garage for your Ferrari, because you could use that garage money and buy a Porsche instead. I won't argue with someone who chooses to do that, but I don't agree with that train of thought. Where my watches "live" is something that matters to me, and I want to use something that I feel is deserving of the high quality timepieces that are going into it.

Anyways, questions, comments, throw them out there - happy to chat ! ?

Also just for clarity - this is not a paid review, I haven't received and have not been promised anything for this review, nor does N&N / Nikita (the owner) know I'm writing this review.
 

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That looks beautiful.!
Do the cushions have enough give or small enough to accommodate for short straps and bracelets?
Can we see some more pictures and with the lid up?
What’s the price range on these? Thanks for the sweet review
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That looks beautiful.!
Do the cushions have enough give or small enough to accommodate for short straps and bracelets?
Can we see some more pictures and with the lid up?
What's the price range on these? Thanks for the sweet review
There are 3 different watch cushion sizes and you can pick what size you want at time of ordering. Their way of determining what size cushion is based on the size of your wrist.

Yes, I will absolutely be making replies with more pics as I get them.

So I could be totally wrong here, and this was a present so I'm not sure 100% sure what the final cost was, but it's something ~$1,000.00 to ~$1,500.00 USD. It's not cheap. This isn't something you will find on Amazon with free Prime shipping. It is, however, in my initial first impression, something that is heirloom-quality and can (and in my case, will) be passed down to the next generation.
 

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N&N Watch Cases
Tudor, Omega, Universal Geneve, Exacta, Seiko, Casio, Vostok, Pobeda
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Oh wow, didn't expect to see such a review!

You know guys, day to day I work on updating processes, finding new ideas and improving products and all stuff like that.
Because I want just to make nice items.
It's hard to explain, but during everyday job, you forget about feelings and emotions products deliver.

But then we receive feedback from customers, from people in other countries and part of the world.
And you are full of emotions!
That became our fuel! That's our real engine to proceed!

Great to read! Thanks so much for your words and your support!
Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
OK, more pics and info !

Hood Bumper Wood Rectangle Automotive exterior


These hinges are really smooth, quiet, and just have a great feel to them. There is very little side to side play, and virtually no wobble.

Motor vehicle Wood Automotive exterior Hood Gas
Hand Musical instrument accessory Wood Bumper Automotive exterior


So the latch mechanism here is very interesting. It's super small, and it activates (you need to engage it in order to release the clasp and lift the lid) by applying pressure horizontally. The activation distance is very short, crisp, and requires a degree (albeit a very acceptable amount) of pressure to be applied. This means you're very unlikely to "accidentally" trigger it. Because of the amount of force required, and its short travel distance, it feels very high quality and very "premium". There is very little wobble or play in the mechanism, and it feels "solid". Since this is an element of the case that you will regularly interact with, it's nice to have that "feeling" of quality every time you use it. Many times, this type of thing is missed with luxury goods manufacturers. It's like the $100,000.00 sports car that has a wobbly door handle..... Having used the mechanism numerous times already myself, every time I have done so, I've thought "this feels really great and solid", which certainly adds to the luxuriousness of this small piece of custom furniture.

Rectangle Material property Gas Flooring Tints and shades


@thewatchidiot asked for a pic with the lid open. Here you go ^^^^

Textile Comfort Beige Wood Grey


Here is the bottom of the case. It came with these surface protectors already applied, which is awesome and will protect the shelf that this case will be going on. If I can make one observation (and I'm being extremely critical here and perhaps completely unreasonable - but I'm doing so just in the interest of being as critical as possible), perhaps it would be better to use a slimmer profile surface protector, and maybe it should be black vs this beige colour ? You can't really see the surface protector when the case is sitting, so it's kind of a moot point..... And like I said, I'm being nit-picky and super critical just for the sake of doing so...... ? To be clear, this is, thus far, the only thing I could see improving (and it is certainly by no means a deal breaker, or even material).

Rectangle Gas Flooring Cuisine Eye shadow


Here is the N&N case next to my current, three-tier case. You can already see that there is definitely less reflection coming off the museum-grade glass on the N&N (y)

The next update will be after I load some of my watches into it ! Through the course of taking these pictures last night, I again have to comment about the weight of the "box". It's heavy. It's solid. For anyone who has owned multiple watch boxes and uses them regularly, the weight of this one is something you will notice right away and is something that will "stay" with you. This is not pressboard MDF garbage. This is not a "luxury product" that's being sold mainly for the name, with the product itself being as cheaply made as readily available Amazon boxes eligible for Prime shipping. This is a quality piece of custom made small furniture. I firmly believe that, if cared for and not abused, this will outlast my lifetime and is something I can pass down to the next generation of my family.

Again - happy to answer any questions, comments, etc ?
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all that. Very impressive
No prob ! I'm trying to be as objective and critical as I can be as I go through this review - but I have to say, I've been looking for the "perfect box" for years and have never found it anywhere, until now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I didn't get a chance to do much more with the case yesterday. I'm hoping within the next few days I can try loading up some watches and get some more pics for everyone !





EDIT: Nevermind, I'm stupid 😅 😅 😅 😅

Uhhhhhhhhhhh, did something happen with the forum ? I wrote another reply yesterday with more pics, but it's gone ? I guess I'll have to write it again........
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK, next update !

Let's take a look at the individual watch cushions.

Rectangle Chair Wood Grey Stairs


As can be seen, the cushions are a very snug compression fit. They're not "hard" to get in and out of their respective slots, but they are snug, which I think is a good thing. Most of my other boxes (with firm cushions vs squishable pillows) are materially smaller than the slot, so they have some left and right "play". That isn't that much of a functional problem per se, but it's certainly not "luxurious feeling". The "snugness" makes it feel like THESE cushions were made for THIS box (and I realize that's a completely subjective statement, but it's how I feel).

Outerwear Textile Sleeve Grey Road surface
Glove Grey Road surface Flooring Tints and shades


The cushions themselves are very well constructed. You can't actually see any stitching, which is one difference I noticed right away, compared to cheaper, mass manufactured boxes found on Amazon and elsewhere. The side "lip" is also a lot lower profile, almost not even there. This is another thing that's markedly different from the cheaper alternatives.

Automotive tire Headgear Audio equipment Wood Cap


And finally, the first watch on a cushion ! Sorry the lighting isn't so great, but hopefully you can still make out how much bracelet overhang / play there still is under the cushion. I have a ~7.5" wrist, so I ended up with the "Medium" cushion size (N&N lists their "Medium" as being for wrist sizes between 7.3" and 7.9"). I have found, in the past, that other watch boxes with the firm style pillows were either much too small, leaving far too much bracelet overhang / play, or they were far too large, creating unnecessary pressure on the bracelet (and potentially, as I worried about, stretching it). If I'm being honest, the fact that the N&N watch case (again, have to say it, custom made small piece of luxury furniture) had firm pillows as the only option almost stopped me from purchasing. I've had such a bad experience with firm pillows, I wasn't convinced that these would be any better. Thankfully, I decided to roll the dice anyways, and, well, it worked out (y) In my opinion, these are sized pretty much perfectly. There is just the right amount of bracelet overhang / play, and for a firm pillow option, I think these are as perfect as you can get.

I will say, and this is a very personal opinion and probably not supported by the masses - I wish there was an option for squishable pillows. I personally like them better for whatever reason. That's not to say these are inferior in any way, shape or form, but it's kind of like saying you prefer the colour blue to the colour red. It's just a subjective thing, and I think it would be cool to at least have that option. In fact, if it became an option later on, I'd probably buy some and do a comparison. Who knows, maybe I'll end up liking these firm pillows better over time.

That's it for the cushion review ! Next update will likely be when I start loading the box with my actual watches (yeah, yeah, I'm getting there ????)
 

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Firstly, Happy Birthday!

Everything looks amazing and I'm glad that it's meeting expectations. :)

It's terrific that someone is doing custom ( and even more readily available) watch storage like this. While other boxes carry higher price tags, nothing that I have encountered before has quality like this.

I am looking forward to see it all loaded up with watches and if it's heavy now, I can't imagine the weight when filled with 30 watches, mostly on bracelets.

Congratulations and thank you for sharing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Firstly, Happy Birthday!

Everything looks amazing and I'm glad that it's meeting expectations. :)

It's terrific that someone is doing custom ( and even more readily available) watch storage like this. While other boxes carry higher price tags, nothing that I have encountered before has quality like this.

I am looking forward to see it all loaded up with watches and if it's heavy now, I can't imagine the weight when filled with 30 watches, mostly on bracelets.

Congratulations and thank you for sharing!
Thanks ! ?

It really is. And @nikitanaz is very response in PMs, if anyone ever wants to chat with him. I found that some options exist for "custom furniture", but those are carpenters that will make anything from tables to chairs to watch boxes. Not saying they couldn't make a high quality product, but there's obviously intrinsic nuances and understandings that one doesn't have if they aren't in the "horology game". I feel that N&N has this understanding, and is able to execute well on it.

I had some house stuff to do and also got bogged down at work the past few days, so it will likely be next weekend or so until I'm able to start transitioning to this new case and properly documenting it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update - I meant to update the thread a while ago, and also transition over to my new case ! However, between work getting extremely busy, and being sick (not C19, thankfully), I haven't had a chance to do either of the two. So this is just an update to let everyone know that I'm still alive, and I will update this thread when the transition happens !
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OK, I'm back !!! So sorry for the delays folks, I've been a bit sick (not C19), and am finally just getting over it now, so this has been delayed so much longer than I wanted. So everyone knows, I JUST transitioned to the new watch box today, so it's not like I had done it before and was procrastinating on doing the update to the thread 😅 😅 😅 😅

First, I'd like to point out how much N&N ( @nikitanaz ) pays attention to details. You see the watch cushion below ? There's a small "flap" where the seam is (most hard foam cushions have these):

Road surface Automotive tire Rectangle Textile Wood





Now, check out this pic:

Automotive tire Wood Asphalt Road surface Rectangle



You can see that the "flap" is, of course, only one one side. Here's the thing - every cushion was placed in its slot with the "flap" upright, pointing to the top of the box. There are 30 cushions in total. Statistical probability says that it's virtually impossible that this is pure coincidence. That means that whomever the person was who put the cushions into the box (presumably right before it was packaged up to ship across the ocean), purposely placed them all pointing upright, in symmetrical alignment. Let's be honest here, this is a detail that 99% of the time would never be noticed, and 99% of people would say is completely insignificant. None the less, it was done. Wow. That's kind of all I can say.


Here are the first few of my watches getting comfortable in their new home:

Watch Photograph Motor vehicle Analog watch Automotive design


This picture was taken with the top lid closed. N&N isn't joking when they say they use the highest quality museum glass. You can't really tell it's there, other than reflections from a lightbulb or something. The cushions are the perfect size. I was able to get all my watches onto them (except my wife's there on the right) by sliding the cushion into the bracelet without having to open the clasp. Now I realize this is subjective specifically to me, because my particular wrist size allows this to take place, but it's very convenient when you're swapping watches on the winder, etc. Not a single cushion seemed to be of "lesser" quality than any other - they're all basically perfect.


Rectangle Gas Wood Stairs Font



And that's it, folks ! My watches now have their forever-home, and I couldn't be happier. N&N makes some really high quality stuff here folks. If you want the best, if you want something that's going to last, if you want something that is worthy of housing the collection you're proud of, then N&N needs to be on your list for consideration. I absolutely love mine, and I'm sure you would too ! (y)
 

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You've never seen one of these then:
Food Font Cuisine Natural foods Magenta

I talked to the owner many years ago (back when they were at the corner of Matilda and El Camino). He said he had a couple elderly Japanese ladies who enjoyed sorting and stacking these all day, day in and day out. As a twenty-sumpin aerospace engineer, my mind boggled.

And yeah, they looked just like this, shelves full of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I talked to the owner many years ago (back when they were at the corner of Matilda and El Camino). He said he had a couple elderly Japanese ladies who enjoyed sorting and stacking these all day, day in and day out. As a twenty-sumpin aerospace engineer, my mind boggled.

And yeah, they looked just like this, shelves full of them.
Crazy, right ? Certainly attention to detail.
 

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@Yukoner1
I keep re-reading your review. I placed my order for a custom build in December..eagerly awaiting getting confirmation that it is close to shipping. I went glass top also. Mine is a different color pattern than yours inside and out. Nikita said no one has done the color selections I picked so far..so we shall see how bad my style is lol
 
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