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REVIEW: Orbita Sparta 1 Open Lithium Battery Beta Test



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Published on 11-14-2008 10:52 AM

Number of Views: 681

Review of the Orbita Sparta 1 Open Lithium Battery Beta Test

By: John B. Holbrook, II

11/14/08


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Back in August of 2008, Orbita officially announced a "beta test" of a new watch winder - the Sparta 1 Open Lithium Battery. Through this special beta test opportunity (you can read about the original announcement in this thread) members of WATCH TALK FORUMS were given the opportunity to purchase the Orbita Sparta 1 Open Lithium Battery Beta Test winder at a dramatically reduced price, in exchange for providing their feedback. While the unit would normally be priced at $395.00, WATCH TALK FORUMS members were able to purchase the winder for just $150.00.

The Sparta Open single winder is far from a new model for Orbita - it's been a best seller for them for quite some time. You can purchase the basic plastic and leather covered "open" unit, or purchase it with the optional wood enclosure for a more upscale look and feel. The original Sparta Open single winder also came with the option of being powered by either AC or DC power source- plug it into a wall, or traditional alkaline battery power. However the new Sparta 1 Open Lithium Battery beta test model uses revolutionary lithium battery technology. Thanks to these specially designed high-output batteries (3.6 volts) the new Sparta 1 Open Lithium Battery winders can run an amazing five years without a battery change - that's guaranteed by Orbita. In fact, the entire winder is guaranteed by Orbita "to be free of defects in materials and workmanship for the same 5 year period." Assuming the beta test goes well, the new lithium battery models will become the standard model offered, replacing both the AC and DC powered units previously available.

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The Sparta 1 Open Lithium Battery utilizes the innovative "Rotowind" winding system. Orbita has a handy video which demonstrates how the Rotowind system functions which you can view by clicking here. As you can see, the motor only runs long enough to bring the watch head up to a certain point, then cuts out as gravity takes over for the weighted winding head (much like the weighted rotor of a self-winding watch) and it gently rocks back and forth winding the watch until it comes to a complete stop. The system has two separate settings: 10 minutes which causes the above winding cycle to activate every 10 minutes, and a setting for activating the winding cycle every 15 minutes. Orbita's website states that watches with bi-directional winding systems can often remain fully powered on the 15 minute program, while other watches should stick with the 10 minute program.

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One of the nice things about the Rotowind system is that it's generally quieter than most traditional winding systems. The winder's motor only runs for a few brief and only slightly audible moments. Once gravity takes over however, it's completely silent. With the optional wood enclosure, my guess is you'd be hard pressed to hear the motor at all.

The small form factor of the Sparta 1 combined with the 5 year lithium battery makes this winder ideal for your home safe, and may even fit in some bank lock boxes. I for one don't like to leave my watches "out" when I go out of town, but hate to come home to a box full of watches which need winding and re-setting after locking up my watches while I travel. With a few Sparta 1 Open Lithium Battery for my safe, the problem is solved.

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Thanks to the price point, the Orbita Sparta 1 Open Lithium Battery winder is an ideal choice, even for those who can't justify the cost of a "luxury" winder. The unit combines the reliable Rotowind system with revolutionary new battery technology, which gives the already great Sparta 1 completely new applications and makes it an even greater value than ever before. As of this writing, beta units can still be ordered at the incredibly low $150.00 price - click here to order. I'm thrilled with my beta unit and plan to order additional units for my home safe and as gifts for my watch collecting friends. Great job Orbita!

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**Photos & Text Copyright 2008 WATCH TALK FORUMS. No part of this report can be reproduced outside of WATCH TALK FORUMS without the expressed permission of John B. Holbrook, II.

 
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