Lepsi Watch Analyzer Review

Lepsi Watch Analyzer Review

Lepsi Watch Analyzer Review Luxury Items

I put forth that those of us who find ourselves drawn to mechanical watches are of a curious sort. Though quartz watches are superior in their overall accuracy, reliability, and robustness, we are attracted more to watches with fully mechanical micro machines built for one purpose, and one purpose only - to mark the passage of time. In some ways, I suppose that we are similar to those who are really into old cars - while new technology might dazzle, we are still drawn to the ways of the past. Much like those petrol heads, we of the mechanista (to coin a phrase) want a way to know what is going on inside our movements. For those of us who have not studied the art of watchmaking and repair, this can be daunting. That is, until a tidy tool came along in the form of the Lepsi Watch Analyzer that attaches to a watch, measures important indicators of its health and performance, and tracks it handily on your smartphone.

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Prior to something like the Lepsi Watch Analyzer coming on the market, you really did not have many good ways to check the accuracy of your watch at home. Sure, you could set it against a known reliable source (say, a GPS- or atomic-synced clock) and then observe if it gains or loses time over the ensuing days. This is the concept that sites like ToolWatch.io work on. Those will give you a basic feel for the timing performance - sort of like the "Check Engine" light on your dashboard. You get one measure, and that's what you have. If you want something more in-depth, like what you might get on a report from your local watch shop, then something more is required.

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That, of course, is where the Lepsi Watch Analyzer comes into play. Carrying that car analogy forward, this is like plugging into the ODBII port under your dashboard and getting a wealth of information on what is going on with the engine and drivetrain. Here, the Lepsi Watch Analyzer is instead getting into the details of how the movement in your watch (or watches - more on that in a bit) is running. This is accomplished by means that anyone at home will be quite comfortable with. You plug in what looks to be a very beefy 1/4" to 1/4" cable, one end going into a pillow on which you strap the watch, and the other end going into your phone or tablet (apps are available for both Android and iOS). With the cabling connected and the watch strapped in place, you pinch the pillow on the sides and slide it into the U-shaped metal base.

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Why this metal base? By using this, the Lepsi Watch Analyzer is held absolutely still (as it is quite heavy, at 418g) and gives you a reliable platform for measuring the watch in six positions (yes, the same six positions that a COSC-certification would test for). Before you get into that, though, you need to calibrate the Lepsi Watch Analyzer to the watch being tested. While there is a quick mode for this, I opted instead to use the longer (or standard) calibration, which runs for three hours. I would set this overnight, and then get into the actual timing/testing the next day.

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That is where the real fun starts with the Lepsi Watch Analyzer. You set the watch on the special cushion in its base, select the position in the app, and set it to time. The app gets ready and then goes through its analysis cycle. Once that is complete, you can then move on to the next position for the watch and so on, until all six positions have been measured. Once things are done, you then get into the information of the rate in each position (ie, how much time the watch is gaining or losing each day), what the amplitude is, as well as the beat error.

Now, if this were a one-time thing, it might not be quite so interesting (even if you can get into some graphs). No, for the collector, the interesting bit is that you can store each watch separately (noting the brand, model, and movement) and compare things over time. In this way, you can build up a history of what is going on with your watch, and if you notice that it's trending in a bad direction (or had a sudden jump to lose accuracy), then you know it's time to bring the watch in for service.

Lepsi Watch Analyzer Review Luxury Items

I will admit, at a price of $908, the Lepsi Watch Analyzer is certainly not an inexpensive tool to add to your watch collection. If you have an extensive one, or simply have some watches that you want (or need) to keep a closer eye on (perhaps those vintage pieces), then something like this could be an invaluable tool that prompts you to get the movements maintained before real problems occur. Then again, if you are using a tool like this, you're probably pretty good about keeping up on movement maintenance. I simply found it informative (well, yeah, and kind of fun) to be able to get this kind of information out of a consumer-grade (rather than a professional timing machine) device.

I think Lepsi realizes that their price point might be a hard sell for some, as they also offer a less expensive model (the Watch Scope at $360), which eschews the steel base and pillow for a measuring device that is set onto the front or back of your watch. While this means you won't reliably get the six position measurements, you can still get a good idea of what is going on in your watch. If the build quality on this less expensive tool is similar to the Lepsi Watch Analyzer we reviewed, then I would give it a similar recommendation, especially since the app is the same.

Lepsi Watch Analyzer Review Luxury Items

In the end, I feel the Lepsi Watch Analyzer can indeed be a valuable tool for those maintaining finicky watches, or keeping an eye on a larger collection. For a casual user, some of the less-intensive methods (manually checking it or using a website) would certainly be an easier route to follow - or, you know, having your repair guy throw it on their professional timing machine. For myself, I rather liked the view it gave me into the inner workings of the watch movement, and the additional research it drove me to for learning what the measures actually meant.

Lepsi Watch Analyzer Review Luxury Items

To that end, it was an invaluable tool. For those who pick one up, I dare say that you will not be disappointed with it, as you get precisely what the brand promises - quick and accurate readings. It remains to be seen, of course, how well the timing pillow holds up over time (given the nature of electronics and the squeezing action), but that should be easy enough to replace. And who knows, there may be improvements over time to the tech they have built in as well. So, to that end, it may be an unknown, but it's not something that would prevent me from picking one up. In the end, I liked the Lepsi Watch Analyzer and the data it gave me, and I think it could be fun to use with the various watches that cross my desk for review. Again, price is $908 USDlepsi.ch

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Tech Specs from Lepsi

  • Compatibility
    • iOS: iOS 8 and above (with iPhone 5/5S/5C/6/6 Plus, iPad 3/4/5, and iPod touch)
    • Android: Android 4.4 and above (with a high end device like Samsung Galaxy S5/S6, Sony Xperia Z3 or equivalent)
  • Connectivity: 3.5 mm jack, 4 poles (no separate AC supply)
  • Measuring range
    • Rate variation: -1000s/d to +1000s/d (+/- 0.1 sec/day)
    • Amplitude : 80° to 360° (+/- 1°)
    • Beat error : 0 to 10 milliseconds [ms] (+/- 0.1 ms)
    • Lift angle : Adjustable from 10° to 90°
What do you think?
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  • Or buy a Timegrapher for under $150 and use a spreadsheet to record the results. No phone required. And no training of the unit either – for standard frequencies, a Timegrapher figures out the base rate and then graphs the beat error, isochronous precision, etc. in all 6 positions, plus any in between positions you might want to test.

    Thanks for the review Patrick. Always good to know about more available tools.

    • DR

      “… graphs the beat error, isochronous precision, etc. in all 6 positions, plus any in between positions you might want to test.”

      Sounds like the Kama Sutra. 🙂

      • Bill W

        I love your avatar. 🙂

        • DR

          Thanks, Bill! After a few years, it was time for an avatar, and that Morgan thread the other day seemed a good enough excuse finally to pull the trigger.

      • Yes, the “watch reclining with wrist inserted” position among others.

        • Bill W

          Align the Buben with your Zörweg.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      Is this why nobody buys Witschis anymore?

      • Witschis are expensive compared to a Chinese made Timegrapher. Nice I’m sure, but not cheap.

    • Andrew Hughes

      Yeah, why is there no mention of the timegrapher that shows a graph in real time? That is cheaper and does the same thing apparently… and does not tie up your smartphone. If you have a new lightning-only Apple iPhone then you might need the headphone convertor too. The timegrapher seems to be a better value.

  • Bill W

    The one that costs $360 is called the Diet Lepsi.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      In Europe it`s a epsi light.

    • Bill W

      The one that has trouble staying on is called the Narco Lepsi.

  • Razzcal

    I’m pretty sure the connector is a 1/8″ (3.5mm) plug rather than a 1/4″ (6.3mm) one. This is clear from a) the pics, and b) the fact that a 1/4″ plug is really only used in certain audio applications (high-end headphones, guitars etc.) and it can’t be plugged into a smartphone, tablet or computer without a 1/4″ to 1/8″ adapter.

    • Donald Ford

      You’re right unless there is an adapter not shown in the photos. It’s just an aux cable connecting the headphone jack to a microphone in the pad. You can use the mic on the headphones included with your iPhone 6s or older and the app Hairspring to do the very same thing as this.

  • word-merchant

    This device could add some useful stats to your watch reviews in a new ‘does it keep time?’ section.

    • Shawn Lavigne

      that’s a great idea – every watch reviewed should have some real world performance analysis. amplitude, beat error, positional variance, etc…

      • That’s why WatchTime magazine is amongst my monthly glut of horological consumption.

        • Donald Ford

          I never understood why watch time was the only watch periodical/blog that did accuracy tests… anyone care to chime in??

          • I am surprised it isn’t more common but I also think it’s important not to place too much emphasis on a sample of one. Some of the watches that go for review have been around the block a few times and I can imagine a brand being reluctant to have a whole model line judged on the performance of one watch that has spent the last 4 weeks with 7 different journalists and been shipped all over the place.

          • Donald Ford

            I feel like as a manufacturer you’d want to service your product between tests, the way car makers replace worn tires, change engine oil, check wheel alignments etc before getting a car back from Motor Trend then sending it to Road and Track. That’s just laziness. I wonder if they throw their weight around with the watch blogs and refuse to send them review pieces if they publish accuracy information.

            In the time the watch is in a journalists hands he or she could use watch tracker every day and the readers would be able to see how that particular watch performed over a week or whatever the time frame is.

          • I don’t think it’s laziness, it’s about information and risk. If you are sending it to WatchTime for a test you will want to send it to them straight from factory testing. If suddenly the whole watch media industry starts publishing rate/amplitude data I would imagine it would lead to far less journalists getting the watch because the manufacture will need to send several factory-fresh models concurrently. I expect that they are very pleased that this isn’t the case right now and that they would indeed start being more restrictive if you were taking their watches and having a non-watchmaker publish data on a sample of one. I don’t blame them for that.
            Although I would personally like to see it, I don’t think the answer is for every watch blog to publish the rates. I think the brands themselves should be more transparent about rate bands and then the consumer can judge for themselves if their exact model is underperforming.

  • Donald Ford

    I use Hairspring… it’s a few dollars from iTunes and performs the very same functions as this does. I did have to engineer (neé bodge) my own method of checking the six positions, but between purchasing the app and making the positioning device I spent around $20 and an hour and a half of my time. While this is much more refined than my thrown together setup and Lepsi is a fantastic idea for it’s name (kidding), I don’t think most here would agree that this is $888 worth of better and more refined.

    • Joe

      Do you combine it with a microphone like this?
      I’ve been thinking about timing my watches but wasn’t sure how best to record the sound.

      • Donald Ford

        I haven’t seen one of those, that seems like an excellent idea. I use a microphone but it’s just a plain one. Depending on the watch I usually use a bit of double sided tape to attach it. One watch was particularly well sealed and the mic was having trouble keeping the signal constant, I wound up unscrewing the case back so the mic received a clearer sound. Then to position it I use a wooden block and dowels. I’ve only set things up to test in 4 of the 6 COSC positions, but I’m a hobbiest not a professional so that’s been plenty for my purposes.

    • JC

      Kello and Timegrapher are two other options on the app store, as well. Plenty of much less expensive options to choose from. Twixt Time is another option that’s handy for more casual monitoring.

  • WMWM

    such a nice way to waste huge money and time.

  • SuperStrapper

    Not dusting off and bringing in Britney Spears as part of a marketing effort for this offering is a big missed opportunity.

  • Shinytoys

    I have similar electronics for my antique clocks, without which, would make for diagnosis of gremlins and measuring beat and amplitude among others, a much more tedious process. Once a clock movement is cleaned in an ultra sound and rebuilt to factory specs, the electronic meter is next in line so we can make sure the piece is running correctly. I do the same practice if I have a problematic wrist or pocket watch to diagnose time keeping issues. The two offerings here are a lot less expensive than our primary testing unit, but essentially do all the same functions without the extra cost. If you’re serious about your time keeping equipment and you have a large collection, this is a device that is a needed if you want to get into the tech side of watch collection and repair. Excellent coverage Mr. Kansa, if the Lepsi proves reliable, it’s a steal at the offered price.

  • A $900 Timegrapher? And let me get this straight…you still have to connect it to a smartphone or tablet? I bought a $13 app for my iPhone that, while considerably less elegant, does everything the leather-clad Lepsi does. Hell, you can buy an actual Timegrapher on Amazon for $385.99 and you don’t need another piece of expensive electronics. Damn nice box, but you’ve got to be kidding me.

  • Donald Ford

    Just thought of this… you won’t be using this with any apple (iOS) device from here forward without an adapter… I wonder if lepsi has thought about this

  • The Victorious Boogur T. Wang

    Very nice wrote-up Mr. Kansa.
    I applaud including reviews of the technical products available to the horological community.
    And also, the discussion of these items by the learned members here.

  • Mike Darwin Brown

    Would be nice if it was a winder as well!

  • Andras Csaki

    Thanks for the article. I’m more interested in the watch pictured on the Lepsi than the Lepsi itself. 🙂 What watch is that?

  • Jason

    I’m happy with my £116 Timegrapher 1000

  • Bfsp

    Couple quick things: COSC tests in five positions, not six. Also, is this able to work on watches where the lift angle isn’t normal like in-house Coaxial? Most cheap (by that I mean under the thousand-plus for a Witschi machine) timegraphers cant run on any mechanical Omega after 1999 or so.

  • Tristan

    I’ve gotta say, I think this one is a product for people with more money than sense. Sure, it comes in a fancy wooden box with a nice stand and pillow, but functionality is presumably less than an actual timegrapher that can be had for 1/4 the price. Actually, the same can be said for a mechanical watch vs a cheap quartz. I’ll get off my high horse 🙂