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Orbita Piccolo Single Watch Winder Review

Orbita Piccolo Single Watch Winder Review Luxury Items

I’ve always been a little hesitant about watch winders, mostly due to the cost and reliability questions involved with them. However, I’ve been using the Orbita Piccolo single watch winder for almost four months now, and I have to say that I am thrilled with it for a number of reasons. The quality of build, the manageable size, and how quiet it is are successes of the product and its design. However, as someone who is frequently switching out watches that I personally own as well as watches that I am reviewing, I often end up feeling a little ADD with options.

Having a single watch winder has been great because I often have two watches in rotation at one time: a personal watch and one I’m reviewing. The single watch winder has been ideal for making sure I have two fully wound watches at any given time between the one I’m wearing and the one that’s housed in the winder. It’s a handsome accessory that’s proven to be a really useful addition to my everyday life, but it doesn’t come cheap.

Orbita Piccolo Single Watch Winder Review Luxury Items

Orbita Piccolo Single Watch Winder Review Luxury Items

Orbita Piccolo Single Watch Winder Review Luxury Items

Orbita uses a patented technology they refer to as “Rotorwind” which has the watch swing back and forth rather than rotate. Orbita says that this mimics the motion of a wrist, but the real benefit is that the oscillations that are triggered by the movement of the motor require a small amount of power and physics does the rest. Powered by two D-Cell lithium ion batteries, the Orbita Piccolo can run on one set for up to five years. I’ve heard of watch winders that don’t last a fraction of that time, so it’s a real plus.

Also, something I want to mention about the Rotorwind system is that it keeps the watch winder really quiet, with only the slightest sound heard when it activates every 10 minutes or so. I have to be in a quiet room sitting right next to it to even notice the sound.

Orbita Piccolo Single Watch Winder Review Luxury Items

The Orbita Piccolo single watch winder measures 6″H x 4 3/4″W x 6″L and comes with a display bezel (which I don’t really use) that adds another inch to the length. The top, bottom, and sides are done in a black leatherette, and the model I have has a red face panel. Speaking from my personal experience, the winder has moved apartments with me and gets handled pretty regularly without any visible signs of wear or tear. The leatherette is actually really resistant to scratches which, combined with the five-year (advertised) battery life gives me confidence that I’ll be using it for years.

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Orbita Piccolo Single Watch Winder Review Luxury Items

Orbita Piccolo Single Watch Winder Review Luxury Items

The Orbita Piccolo weighs just about three pounds, which is substantial enough to make me feel like I’m handling a durable and solidly built watch winder, but not one that is excessively heavy. It’s perfect for a shelf or a desk, but you’ll want to make sure the back is facing a wall or something else because the battery access is through the back, and it’s not the most attractive angle for viewing. It’s also worth mentioning at this point that the winder can easily fit into many, if not most, safes.

Orbita Piccolo Single Watch Winder Review Luxury Items

Orbita Piccolo Single Watch Winder Review Luxury Items

Design-wise, I was first a little annoyed by the fact that the on/off switch is accessed when you take off the “bezel” and pull out the mount. All the way in the back is a not-easy-to-access switch that turns the winder off and on. I wasn’t crazy about this at first, but when I consider the fact that the battery life is so long, it makes sense to have the switch somewhere that doesn’t take away from the aesthetics of the winder or have it be somewhere I can accidentally turn the winder off.

Orbita Piccolo Single Watch Winder Review Luxury Items

Orbita Piccolo Single Watch Winder Review Luxury Items

I am a big fan of Orbita, and their Rotorwind system is absolutely one of the most useful and impressive general watch winder mechanisms if you’re not looking for a programmable system (which Orbita does offer as well). They offer the front leather panel in red, green, and black but are expecting to add more to the collection. Orbita also invites interested buyers to send a sample of a custom leather or material which they can use for a unique piece (if the material is deemed suitable). For many people, the cost of a watch winder is something they’d rather use towards the purchase of a watch, and that’s absolutely reasonable. However, if you’re looking for a high-quality, reliable, and attractive watch winder then I highly recommend taking a look at the Orbita Piccolo, which is priced at $395. orbita.com

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Comments

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  • Juan-Antonio Garcia

    Why are winders so expensive?

    • Ariel Adams

      A few reasons. Here are some of them. 1) Production of these devices is low and comparatively speaking not high volume like other products that might be cheaper. That increases price per unit in both cost and need for margins. 2) As watches themselves are expensive sometimes the people making these feel that there is less price sensitivity.

      • Yojimbo

        You can buy a mechanical/electric carousel be it a children’s toy or some form of Xmas ornament for under $40 retail. Tear that down and stick something you can wrap a watch around on it and there you have it, a winder that will work for years.

        The following being totally unarguably true, the prices on winders are b.s

        • Raymond Wilkie

          Folks really shouldn’t be comparing this product and it’s price for something they can knock up from a few cheap bits and bobs. This is what it is, a $400 winder specifically designed with premier materials to specifically work as a robot wrist , mimicking your own.My $10,000 watch its going to be looked after on its off days. Good luck with your Christmas bauble……………buy it or jog on. ………….moving on…………

          • Mark1884

            Your first sarcastic comment seemed to mock the authors explanation of value versus quality.

            Now you defend the price with “specifically designed” & “premier materials”

            I hope your “$10,000 watch” is served well by it.

            Interesting…..

          • Raymond Wilkie

            You obviously haven’t read all my comments :). Am not sure what you mean by………………’ Interesting ” can you elaborate ?

          • Mark1884

            I have read enough of them.

            Moving on…………………..

          • Yojimbo

            he’s just taking the piss, but that said, I truthfully doubt there is anything of value on that thing other than the cheap leather off-cuts tanned and dyed in China.

          • Yojimbo

            okay did you look at the quality of the plastic on the inside? that thing is a pile of crud, it seems synonymous with the macbook pro teardown last year when we discovered they has “for show” speaker grilles nowhere near the actual internal speakers. A bit of flash and no substance.

            I would not be knocking something together I’d either go full moder and do something with arduino, but to be honest with a soldering gun, board and some cheap parts from a hobby shop you could probably have a much more interesting winder for more than one watch for under $50.00

          • Raymond Wilkie

            ” A bit of flash and no substance ” . 90% of the watch market.

          • Mr. Snrub

            >>”a $400 winder specifically designed with premier materials”
            It’s wrapped in imitation leather ffs

      • Juan-Antonio Garcia

        Thanks, I think the #2 is more close to the truth.

    • Lincolnshire Poacher

      You can buy them on Amaz’ starting at $40. But like all things you get the quality you pay for.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      Didn’t you read ” The quality of build, the manageable size, and how quiet it is ” , now it all makes sense.

  • SuperStrapper

    I just gave up on winders. I went and spent a bunch on a nice 12-watch winder years ago and while it never failed me, I just don’t even have it plugged in anymore and simply use it as a display case. I’m sure if I had a watch with an annual or perpetual calendar or astrological complication (that was automatic) I might be more inclined to keep them running, but as it stands I actually enjoy resetting watches that I bring into rotation after stints in stasis.

    In before a useless ” parts wear vs. Lubrication breakdown” argument.

    • JimBob

      That whale oil is finicky stuff.

  • BNABOD

    Yeah a winder…….not

  • Raymond Wilkie

    My goodness, am getting a fair bit of flack liking this product. I’ll keep quiet in future.

  • Phil Dix

    love it! and cheaper than swisskubik winders

  • Steven Butler

    I’ve been using Orbita winders for many years and generally have had good success. But recently I came across Barrington winders and now have a few that have been working well, and quietly and they are fully adjustable and less expensive. Also, the Orbita website always seems to have winders on sale.

  • Timestandsstill

    It would be helpful to know how many TPD (turns per day) this winder has and if it rotates clockwise, counterclockwise or can do both.

    Also, for those who do have and enjoy watch winders, Orbita has a phenomenally comprehensive, although not completely current, database covering TPD and direction of rotation.

    http://orbita.com/2010_web/NEW/Database-Aa-Ar.htm

  • cg

    Never had good luck with winders… always fail no matter what the price or quality. This one looks very cheaply made with fake looking leather and cheap plastic internals. Price is way too high. I’ll skip this one.

  • BRIAN

    Anybody know how long on a winder does a watch need to be wound? I guess trying to compare how much time equals say one rotation of the crown? Also why is there a special pattern needed as each individual has different arm movements and they don’t negatively effect a watch or do they?

    • Shinytoys

      Brian, every watch is different, so time spent on the winder will vary to keep your watches wound. The special winding patterns are there for two reasons among others. First, some watches mechanisms will only wind in one direction, not both, so strangely enough you have to accommodate those particular pieces. Second, other watches, such as Seiko Kinetic movements, need to be moved in a tumbling like manner, so the watch has to mimic human arm motion, not just left rotation and right rotation to keep them wound properly. The Kinetic units have energy storage devices and can charge the capacitors for six months at a time off the winder, so the watch running out of charge isn’t nearly an issue. Standard auto winding watches usually can be off the arm and off the winder for roughly 40-45 hours before they need to be wound again. Hope this helps.