The first thing to note with the Swisscave range is that the base cabinet is shared between both the Premium and Classic ranges, it's just the smaller details that are different which we will mention later.
The build is excellent, high quality and is clearly built to last and for something that is produced in China - it does not feel 'cheap' in the slightest. The new Swisscave cabinets are like nothing we have seen before in terms of how they are manufactured, all round very good and a fantastic piece of kit.
Aesthetics and external features
Externally, all the Swisscave cabinets are black and the door is frameless so from the front it looks like one sheet of glass which is very impressive - you will also note from the photos below that the door can be reversed although you will need to transfer the logo to the top again.
The new models have the option to purchase a handle to go with the unit, these are available in; black, red, gold, silver and copper. The handles themselves, we think are very nice and manufactured from metal which has been anodized so you still have the metal finish rather than a solid powder coated finish.
At the bottom of the unit you will find a lock which is installed in the grille at the bottom where a set of fans are placed behind the grille to draw in the cool air to cool the compressor. Just behind the door and on top of the grille, there is a roller which is used to keep the door shut at all times and also keeps the door level.
Internal features and lighting
Internally the cabinet is finished nicely inside and with it being the 'Classic' edition, there is fewer shelves inside compared to the Premium edition but these are very sturdy telescopic shelves that allow you to stack two layers of bottles and can still slide out very easily and access them.
On the side of the rails, you will find a release mechanism which you need to push up/down at the same time to release the shelf. You can also add shelves to this unit should you decide to increase the number of shelves but do remember that you will need to add the sliding rails as well as there is only a limited number inside the cabinet as standard.
The interior lighting is one of the other big differences from the Premium edition - in the 'Classic' range you only have the ceiling lighting and as standard that can only be set to blue. Once the bottles are in the cabinet, it does restrict the visibility slightly but is far more powerful than some comparable units we have reviewed before.
On the back wall you will find a set of powerful fans, two to push the cool air around and there will be a PTC heater fan which is used to raise the cabinet temperature when the ambient temperature - you may not see this spinning very often as on the most part, the ambient temperature will be above 8°C.
Equipped with all wine storage requirements
All the Swisscave models are equipped with everything you need for ideal wine storage; charcoal filter, active humidity control, UV treated glass doors and low vibration components such as the compressor which is mounted on rubber bushes at the back.
There is also a lock to keep the wine locked away and this isn't your typical 'Allen key' lock - this is an actual lock with a key!
Noise level and reliability
We have been running the WL455DF in our office for a few weeks now and it is a quiet running cabinet, yes you will hear it but it's not intrusive and definitely a noise that you get used to.
Models included in the Swisscave 'Classic' line
Swisscave has 6 models that are included in the classic line of varying sizes but the features are all the same throughout the range:
WL155F Single zone
WL155DF Dual zone
WL355F Single zone
WL355DF Dual zone
WL455F Single zone
WL455DF Dual zone
Overall, the Swisscave Classic units are a very good alternative to the Premium range and adding this range to their line up has opened their cabinets up to the wider market as they are far more cost effective than the Premium range and the reduction in quality is very little as underneath they are constructed from mostly the same components.
The Classic range is a very good buy and in particular the larger models, compared to some of our other cabinets they are priced competitively with the features they have such as sliding shelves and of course they look fantastic!