REVIEW: The Orbita Siena 2 Rotorwind Watch Winder>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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REVIEW: The Orbita Siena 2 Rotorwind Watch Winder>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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Published on 06-06-2011 09:58 AM

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Review of the Orbita Siena 2 Rotorwind Watch Winder

By: John B. Holbrook, II


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Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm a big believer in watch winders, and have been using Orbita watch winders in particular for about a decade now. The topic of "do I need a watch winder" is a hotly debated one in online watch enthusiast discussion forums. It's a can of worms I really don't intend to open in this particular review. However, I will say this: I need a watch winder about as much as I need a luxury mechanical wrist watch...or several luxury mechanical wrist watches as the case may be. Whether it's a need or a want, I have multiple luxury mechanical wrist watches. Accordingly, I have multiple watch winders which greatly contribute to the enjoyment of said watches, as well as having innate value in and of themselves.

Orbita makes a premium product - both in terms of quality as well as the asking price. However, Orbita has made great strides with their ROTORWIND® technology in bringing more affordable options to the marketplace. With the 2011 catalog, Orbita now has nearly all their winders offering both their traditional programmable AC/DC motors, and their high-output lithium battery (running life of approximately 5 years) powered ROTORWIND® motors.

I've been using Orbita's lithium battery powered ROTORWIND® winders since 2008 when Orbita rolled out a special beta program for their new technology to the WATCH TALK FORUMS community. In that time, I've found this technology offers several advantages over traditional AC/DC programmable winders. Firstly, they're quieter. With a traditional winder, the motor is running (and making noise) the entire time the winding head is turning and winding the watch. With ROTORWIND® winders however, the motor is really only running long enough for the winding head to be lifted up into 12 o'clock position. Once done, the winding mechanism releases (effectively turns off), and the winding head gently (and nearly silently) rocks back and forth until all the inertial momentum is depleted. While the winding head is oscillating, it's causing the winding rotor inside the watch movement to turn, which winds the watch in much the same way as a self-winding watch is kept wound by the natural movement of the arm when the watch is worn on the wrist. The process is easier to show than it is to describe, so here's a short video I recorded which shows a ROTORWIND® powered winder in action:

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Aesthetically, the Siena 2 is a home run - it's available in either burl or teak, however the model I was provided for review was in teak. In either wood choice, the case of the Siena 2 is given several layers of high-gloss lacquer finish which both helps protect the wood, and provides visual appeal. The Siena 2 is also features rich-looking brass accents in both the hinges and lock. Built into the lid of the Siena 2 is another feature I feel is a must-have for a daily use watch winder - a glass window which provides an excellent view of the watches inside the winder.

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Here's a photograph of the winder with the lid open. The hinges ride smoothly on ball bearings, and in the open, vertical position stays open. That's key for a winder with a lid - I don't want the thing slamming shut on my fingers or worse, falling back closed and damaging the winder or potentially its valuable contents. The underside of the winder is covered entirely in felt which protects the surface of whatever the Siena 2 is placed upon from scratches. Like every Orbita winder I've ever tested, the quality and the workmanship are absolutely beyond reproach.

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One of the things I really appreciate about Orbita winders is that most are designed so that the winding motor easily lifts out from the case. In the below photograph, you can see the ROTORWIND® unit from the Siena 2, and you can see how a watch fits on the foam holders. Orbita makes the foam units in two different sizes - standard, and small (to accommodate smaller/ladies watches). Brilliant in it's simplicity, the Orbita system for securing a watch inside the winder is the best I've seen from any winder manufacturer. It's easy to use, and I've never had a watch get scratched or fall off the winder. You can also see that the controls are about as straight forward as they come - each winder head has a simple on/off toggle switch.

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At the end of the day, I have four basic requirements for a watch winder: 1)It must keep my watches wound, 2)It must keep my watches well secured in place while it's winding, 3)It must run quietly, and 4)It must provide a nice view of the watches inside. You'd be surprised at how many low-cost winders out there fail in one or more of these fundamental areas. The Orbita Siena 2 Rotorwind Watch Winder (retail price $1295.00) however meets and exceeds my expectations in these and many other areas. So much so in fact that I've pre-ordered an Orbita Siena 3 Rotowind Executive model in teak, which should be available in the Fall of this year. I think it will look great next to my Orbita Quattro Executive on my bedroom dresser (also in teak).

Once again, Orbita proves they are the absolute leader in the watch winder segment.

**Photos & Text Copyright 2011 WATCH TALK FORUMS INC. 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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