Watchwinders


I’ve owned a few Orbita Sparta deluxe winders, and the older ones that I own, though still only 10 months old, the motors they shipped with were quite noisy. Not a huge problem for a winder that only winds for 5-10 seconds every 10 or 15 minutes depending on the cycle. I ended up selling one of them, but still have two of the deluxe models, one with a noisy motor, and one with a nice quiet one. The noisy one bugged me, so I emailed Orbita.

My Sparta Deluxe Winder looks like this:
p23617b.jpg

A nice lady named Cheryl emailed me back quite promptly, and we conversed via email and she said that it would be replaced under warranty if I could provide the serial number to her as proof. WOW! That made me a happy guy. I was perfectly willing to pay money for the new quieter motor, but she said that it would be replaced free of charge, which really made my day.

I sent her the serial number and she sent me an email a few days later indicating it would be shipped out. I received it a couple weeks after our emails via Fedex, installed it in my winder, and it is now dead silent! I love it.

I really have to say that my experience with Orbita Watchwinder’s customer service was among the best I have ever experienced, and that all my further winder purchases will be made through them, not just due to the customer service (other winder companies have also been good) but because of the excellent product as well.

A good friend of mine, somewhat new to automatic watches, wrote a review on his initial impressions of the Garinin Dual Tower watch winders. Here you go:

After endless hours of internet scouring and discussion with a fellow watch enthusiast I finally bought a Watch Winder. My collection of auto watches had grown to 5. So I definitely needed a winder to keep them all up and running. But I couldn’t bring myself to buying an Orbita or any other quality (and costly) winder. My previous watch purchases have left me rather baron in the wallet. Plus the wife has me under probation till further notice.

Garinin Watch Winder

I was told and warned about the cheap China Made watch winders that spawned on Ebay. They were of low quality craftmanship and sub par motors that would only last a few months. So I spotted Garinin Winders during my extensive net search. I liked the look and function of the dual tower winder and decided to try one out. Price wise they were low enough to sneak under the wife’s radar.

Garinin Watch Winder

Upon receiving my winder I quickly scuttled to my den, just narrowly missing the scouting eye of my better half. I carefully unwrapped everything and inspected the quality of the unit. The first thing I noticed was the “Made in China” label. Really, what isn’t made in China these days? The dimensions come in at L 6.5″ W 6″ H 11.5″inches with glass windows 3″ in diameter and weighing 2 lb.

I opened up the front door and noted that it was at a slight angle leaning back. That way the door doesn’t swing forward while your trying to get your watch out. And I notice a slight resistance just before the door opens. Turns out there are small magnets discreetly built in to keep the door securely closed without a complicated latch system. Very nice!

Garinin Watch Winder

The watch holders are nothing terribly ingenious in design. Simply spring loaded pushers that add tension to the band when the watch is wrapped around it. You can remove the face of the holder to reveal a smaller face to accommodate smaller bands.

I then load up my two Seiko divers for a test spin. One with a jubilee metal band and the other a rubber strap. The Holders had no problems adjusting to either. My thick Formex AS1500 Auto (About 20mm) on the other hand just fitted in.

The holders slip back into the rotator drum with a click and they were ready to roll. Taking a look at the back there are a few switches. First rocker switch is for On and Off. The second rocker allows you to select counter-clock, alternate and clockwise rotation. The third is the rotation frequency slide switch. You have 4 choices.

> Rotates 33 seconds rests 12 minutes
> Rotates 10 minutes rests 90 minutes
> Rotates 30 minutes rests 180 minutes
> Rotates 60 minutes rests 180 minutes

Garinin Watch Winder

I plug in the 3 volt adapter and holding my breath I flick the on switch. Brrr-gurgle-gurgle!!! then silence. My heart sunk. Did the winder poof out? A quick peek thru the winders show the watches rotating together nicely. All was silent! Brrr-gurgle-gurgle!! This time my stomach felt something. Ooooh! It was my stomach making that noise as I had yet to have dinner. Ok……..

After realizing that I was very happy to hear how quiet the Garinin winder motor was. I was expecting a Can opener grinding whirr noise but quite the contrary. I had to come within a few inches to really here something going on inside the winder. Leaving this winder on my nite table wouldn’t be a problem at all. After playing around with all the other switches everything appeared to be in working order.

My initial impression of tis Garinin Dual Tower Watch Winder is Excellent. I am very happy with this product BUT it remains to see how long the motors will last. If the motors are brushless I would expect a few years of use. If you don’t see another review then you can assume all is well and running. Otherwise a long, detailed and angry rant will be posted in the near future.

Check out this cool video review of the Orbita Sparta Deluxe watch winder! Shows and explains how its used and how it works. Very neat video. Yes that is me speaking there, I’m not a public speaker, but I don’t mind doing a review once in a while. The Orbita Sparta is a fantastic winder and very affordable. I highly recommend it! Works well with heavier watches such as Breitling.

I have reposted this from a forum.. but it is my writing:

I own several watchwinders, and have owned yet more others in the past. Currently I am running 2 Orbita Sparta Deluxe single winders, and 2 Rapport Cherry Duo winders. I’ve also had different incarnations of the Sparta, the Orbita Geneva, Steinhausen/Cheap Chinese Winders, and also seen several in action such as the Wolf Designs and Orbita Bellino.

Not all winders are created equal.

You need to decide a few things when buying a winder… How quiet does it need to be? How many watches does it need to wind? Does it need to be Battery or AC Operated or both? and How much control over the directionality do I need? The watches that you use in it, whether they are Rolex, Omega, Breitling or whatever.. will determine the answers to your questions.

Some of the more popular brands out there right now are Orbita, Wolf Designs, Scatola del Tempo, Eilux, and Rapport. On ebay however, there has been a large number of chinese made cheap watch winders available. I have bought some of these… and in my experience, there has always been problems with them. They all have cheap wood… very thin, and poorly finished on the inside, and lighter than you’d expect. Some are very noisy (however expensive winders aren’t always quiet either!) and some have inferior pillow/mounts for the watches.. one of the chinese units I purchased couldn’t fit my watches on them because my wrists are too small!

I really do like the Orbita watchwinders out there, but I’ve encountered many noisy models. A lot of sellers are selling outdated old stock of Orbita winders that generate a lot of noise… the Geneva range and the older Spartas can be noisy. They Spartas aren’t so bad since they only make noise for about 5 seconds every 10-15 minutes, however the Genevas can grind on for 10-15 minutes at a time!

The Wolf Designs winders are among my favourites. They are programmable, and they are quiet. They even store settings! They are however expensive. If you want a good, quiet winder on a budget, I would recommend Eilux or Rapport. They don’t have quite as many programmable options, but the are very well made, and they are quiet, and they are of good quality. Eilux in particular is extremely quiet.

Make sure that you check what direction your watch winds in. If it is a Breitling that is listed on the Breitling Source site, going to the watch model page will tell you which direction the watch needs to be wound in on a watch winder. The Breitling Caliber 13 that is in the Breitling Chronomat Evolution and Super Avengers in particular on winds one direction, and it is very common. It needs to be wound a bit more than bi-directional winding movements in order to stay fully wound, so keep that in mind. Orbita’s website also has information on just about all watches and the direction of winding: http://www.orbita.net/pages/17100.htm

Look for some upcoming reviews of watch winders such as the Rapport and Orbita Sparta winders.

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