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REVIEW: The Orbita Casetta Beta Test>>>>>>

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Published on 03-09-2009 10:52 AM

Number of Views: 1460

Review of the Orbita Casetta Beta Test

By: John B. Holbrook, II


Many of you will remember that back in August of 2008, Orbita announced a "beta test" of a new watch winder - the Sparta 1 Open Lithium Battery. I was one of those fortunate enough to get in on this special buying opportunity given to the members of WATCH TALK FORUMS. I’ve been using the Sparta 1 Open with the new lithium battery technology winder since it shipped in November (you can read my review by clicking here) and have been quite pleased. Last week, Orbita announced another beta test program of a new watch winding system called the Casetta Watch Winding System (you can read the official announcement on WATCH TALK FORUMS by clicking here). I immediately put in my order for the Casetta Module and Casetta Case combination which shipped to me on Friday, giving me the weekend to test and evaluate it.

If Orbita was looking to design the “Swiss Army Knife” of watch winders, they’ve certainly done it with the Casetta Module and case combination – a product which they intend to both market in configurations as an addition to Orbita’s own product lines, and in custom configurations to luxury watch manufacturers. This strategy makes perfect sense – instead of offering the same sort of packaging which manufacturers have been offering with their watches for years (which usually ends up at the bottom of a drawer or back of a closet) now watch manufacturers can order the Casetta Module built into a custom designed case, made specifically for their watch, (with their logos, etc.) – packaging which not only enhances the sales and delivery experience, but is practical to use after the sale! Here’s a photo of the Casetta Module and the gorgeous mahogany wood case:

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Here’s a shot of the interior:

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The case itself is similar to the luxurious watch boxes that many high end watches ship with and is quite suitable for display. The case offers dust protection for the watch inside, and has a window so the watch inside the box can clearly be seen. Those that are familiar with Orbita's attention to quality and detail will not be disappointed here. The gorgeous burgundy wood is enhanced by multiple layers of lacquer which give the box a gorgeous sheen and helps protect the wood. It also has beautiful brass hinges which further ads to the box's luxurious look and feel. The Casetta module itself easily lifts right out of the wood box:

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Those familiar with Orbita winders will recognize the cup which holds the watch in place - it's the same, proven design which Orbita uses in all their winders. One cannot overstate the necessity for a watch winder to have a secure system for holding watch which prevents it from shifting or getting damaged while the winder is in motion. The Orbita design for accomplishing this is tried and true, and I'm glad to see it incorporated into the Casetta system. The only control on the front of the Casetta module is the on/off switch. Turning the winder "on" one can see that the Casetta winding system differs substantially from that of the Orbita Sparta. Where the Sparta operates much like a swing (rotating the watch, then letting it rock with the momentum of its own weight) the Casetta system uses a more conventional fully powered rotation of the winding head.

Those familiar with previous Orbita winders with programmable heads may remember the old "dip switch" system Orbita used to set the turns per day and direction of rotation for each head. The old system worked - it just wasn't all that intuitive. If you wanted to change either the turns per day or winding direction of a winder head, you'd have to break out the manual to figure out the specific dip switch settings for "900 turns per day, counter clock-wise rotation" for example. The Casetta system however incorporates an easy to use dial with numbered settings which correspond to the chart printed on the back of the winder:

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Clearly the Casetta module offers many more winding settings than does the Sparta, so depending on the winding requirements of your watch, you may need the extra settings offered by the Casetta. The Casetta module is also extremely light and has a very slim profile. Multiple Casetta modules could easily fit in a small safe or even a safe deposit box - the new lithium battery technology is good for 5 years between battery changes, so it's no problem to store them for months at a time. It also gives the Casetta module with wood case added convenience - you can lift the module right out of the case and put it inside your safe when you travel.

The motor of the Casetta module itself does generate a bit more noise than does the Sparta, so if you were thinking of buying just the Casetta module and putting it in your bedroom, you might be better off going with the Sparta. The Casetta module was designed to either be in a safe or contained inside a wooden case - there's nothing in the module itself to dampen motor noise. However, if you put the Casetta module inside the mahogany wood case and close the lid, you cannot hear it running - the box effectively muffles any noise generated by the motor running.

According to the Orbita web site, the Casetta module is $495.00, with the Casetta Module plus mahogany wood case option costing $695.00. Let me be honest here - Orbita winder products will cost you more in the short term than many of the Hong Kong/Chinese made winders which you find on eBay. That's because they're of a far higher quality - the Watch Winder forum of WATCH TALK FORUMS is has many accounts of these winders becoming inoperative after only a few months of use. So over the longer term, an Orbita winder really does make sense as a quality investment. I've been an Orbita customer for many years, and their after sales service is outstanding.

For a limited time, members of WATCH TALK FORUMS can purchase these units at discounted prices through the beta test promotional program. Through the beta test promotional, the cost of the Casetta Module is just $200.00!! Similarly, the discounted beta test promotional cost of the Casetta Module plus case option is just $275.00!! The Casetta Module and case offer everything I could ask for in a single head mechanical watch winding solution - a beautiful addition to my bedroom furnishings which also keeps my watches wound while I travel and keep them in a safe. The beta test promotion is for US Customers only.

Click HERE to order the Casetta Module Beta Promotional

Click HERE to order the Casetta Module Plus Case Beta Promotional

**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.

This article was originally published in forum thread:

REVIEW: The Orbita Casetta Beta Test>>>>>>
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