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Review of the Orbita Siena 3 Executive Rotorwind Watch Winder
By: John B. Holbrook, II
12/28/2011​


Back in June of this year, I had the pleasure of reviewing the Orbita Siena 2 Rotowind watch winder. I liked it...a lot. So once the new ROTORWIND® equipped Orbita Siena's were available, I ordered a Siena 3 Executive, which I got just in time for Christmas.


The burl wood case on my Siena 3 Executive is stunning, and not only integrates well with the decor in my bedroom, it's almost a perfect match to my ten year old Orbita Quatro Executive winder in teak wood it sits next to on my dresser. Given the age difference between the winders, I wasn't expecting to get an exact match, particularly given the differences in the grains of the two wood finishes. But their darn close to one another, so I'm quite pleased.

Since I did a photo review of the Siena 2 in June, I decided to do a video review of my new Siena 3 Executive Rotowind model, and demonstrate the differences between Orbita's Programmable system, and the Rotowind system:


I'll be honest - my first choice for another winder would have been for Orbita to bring back the discontinued Quatro Executive so that I could purchase a matching model to the one I have. The Quatro Executive is my personal favorite winder that Orbita (or any other company for that matter) has produced. But the Siena 3 Executive is a close 2nd for me in meeting my expectations of what a watch winder should be. Thanks Orbita!

**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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I still think most of these watch winders are way overpriced.
Granted, the orbitas look good and appear to be of very good quality, but still... nearly $2200 for a 3 watch winder :confused1:
 
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I still think most of these watch winders are way overpriced.
Granted, the orbitas look good and appear to be of very good quality, but still... nearly $2200 for a 3 watch winder :confused1:
agree
 

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John, as usual, a very entertaining and informative review.

I have a very inexpensive Brookstone, two watch winder, which I purchased for a couple-hundred bucks, then decided to abandon after a couple of months. It faithfully wound the two automatics it housed, and it had almost infinite toggle-switch options to keep just about any watch fully wound. It's currently sitting on my closet shelf gathering dust.

My chief disappointment with the Brookstone winder -- and I'm extrapolating from my experience, all winders -- is that they keep one's watch running, but they don't necessarily keep it running on time. The whole point of a winder -- at least for the unschooled novice like me -- is to provide a selection of daily-wear timepieces that are always ready to go, no setting and/or winding required.

My experience with the Brookstone is that my VERY accurate LT M28 gained time on it. Whereas my M28 is consistently +/- .5 (one half second) per day on the wrist (or on the nightstand), it took off like Secretariat on the winder, gaining 6-8 seconds a day. Ditto my other automatics, from Rolex to Tag to my lowly Seiko divers: Each watch "interacted" differently on the winder than it did on the wrist, though -- again -- the winder did its job keeping mainsprings faithfully full.

This was NOT a result of improper winder setting, either. As I said, there is almost infinite variability in this winder's adjustments, including direction of rotation, number of rotations, etc.

So, my question is this: Why put one's watches on a winder, when, after a couple of days or weeks, the watch is going to need to be reset, anyway?
 

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First, I'm new here but have been around on other boards for a while.

I have to agree that I've always been rather surprised at the prices of the top watch winders. That said, I have both a Wolf four place winder and an Orbita six place winder with the Rotowind system. Neither were cheap, but both have performed well. It could be that there is more to a first class winder than meets the eye, and I'm prepared to be educated on that point.

...My chief disappointment with the Brookstone winder -- and I'm extrapolating from my experience, all winders -- is that they keep one's watch running, but they don't necessarily keep it running on time. The whole point of a winder -- at least for the unschooled novice like me -- is to provide a selection of daily-wear timepieces that are always ready to go, no setting and/or winding required....
Watches are position sensitive. The rate at which a watch will gain or lose time will vary with its position. That is why, for example, the process of chronometer certification involves testing the watch movement in, I believe, five separate orientations.

When a watch is in a winder, its orientation with respect to the pull of gravity if fixed, except of course during winding phases. But on one's wrist, the watch's orientation is continually changing. I notice that my various watches gain or lose time at different rates on my wrist compared with in the winder.

When I take a watch I haven't worn for several weeks out of the winder for use, I find that I need to tweak the setting -- but never by much. As I see it, the primary advantage of a winder is with watches with certain complication -- especially ones like multiple time zones or phase-of-the-moon complications. Those can be a chore to reset from a stopped state, but it's no problem to adjust the time setting a minute or two.
 

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First, I'm new here but have been around on other boards for a while.

I have to agree that I've always been rather surprised at the prices of the top watch winders. That said, I have both a Wolf four place winder and an Orbita six place winder with the Rotowind system. Neither were cheap, but both have performed well. It could be that there is more to a first class winder than meets the eye, and I'm prepared to be educated on that point.

Watches are position sensitive. The rate at which a watch will gain or lose time will vary with its position. That is why, for example, the process of chronometer certification involves testing the watch movement in, I believe, five separate orientations.

When a watch is in a winder, its orientation with respect to the pull of gravity if fixed, except of course during winding phases. But on one's wrist, the watch's orientation is continually changing. I notice that my various watches gain or lose time at different rates on my wrist compared with in the winder.

When I take a watch I haven't worn for several weeks out of the winder for use, I find that I need to tweak the setting -- but never by much. As I see it, the primary advantage of a winder is with watches with certain complication -- especially ones like multiple time zones or phase-of-the-moon complications. Those can be a chore to reset from a stopped state, but it's no problem to adjust the time setting a minute or two.
Good, informative post.

None of my watches has complications other than the occasional day/date model. But, again, if I've got to "tweak" my watch's time setting to re-synch the second hand and reset the minute hand, I may as well reset the hour hand, too, if that were necessary. Even if I have to reset the date on a stopped watch, it's a matter of an extra minute or two. So, anyway, I've got a winder for sale. :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I still think most of these watch winders are way overpriced.....
but still... nearly $2200 for a 3 watch winder :confused1:
I believe I counted over 10 Lum-Tec watches in your collection. Most Lum-Tec watches cost north of $500.00. So tell me, how does a $2200.00 winder make any more or less sense than a $500.00 watch...much less 10 of them. :confused1:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
First, I'm new here but have been around on other boards for a while.
Welcome! :biggrin:

Watches are position sensitive. The rate at which a watch will gain or lose time will vary with its position. That is why, for example, the process of chronometer certification involves testing the watch movement in, I believe, five separate orientations.

When a watch is in a winder, its orientation with respect to the pull of gravity if fixed, except of course during winding phases. But on one's wrist, the watch's orientation is continually changing. I notice that my various watches gain or lose time at different rates on my wrist compared with in the winder.
The other issue here the affects rate is the fact that on a winder, the main spring stays at or near fully wound. I know when I have my watches regulated, I inform the technician that I use a watch winder, and my watches are regulated accordingly. :thumbup1:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks much! I actually ordered my Siena 3 in teak, thinking it would be a match to my Quatro Executive. Alas, the teak was much lighter/yellow tinted by comparison and didn't look right at all on my dresser. So I returned it and got the burl.
 

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I believe I counted over 10 Lum-Tec watches in your collection. Most Lum-Tec watches cost north of $500.00. So tell me, how does a $2200.00 winder make any more or less sense than a $500.00 watch...much less 10 of them. :confused1:
Criteria
Watch
Winder
Moderately pricedYesNo
Can be used to tell timeYesNo
Looks good on wristYesNo
Automatically winds while wornYesNo
Uses electricityNoYes
Kills treesNoYes
 

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John, as an amateur woodworker, I am very impressed by the craftsmanship and character of Orbita casework. Really pretty incredible. They are works of art just sitting there on your bureau. Lotta hours and handwork to produce that kind of finish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Criteria
Watch
Winder
Moderately pricedYesNo


Moderately price? I don't think so...not when you consider vast sea of watches which are available well under $300.00...most under a hundred actually. The rest of your criteria are hardly objective. They may make sense in your personal value system, but that's a different question altogether.
 

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Moderately price? I don't think so...not when you consider vast sea of watches which are available well under $300.00...most under a hundred actually. The rest of your criteria are hardly objective. They may make sense in your personal value system, but that's a different question altogether.
So a $2200 winder is moderately priced when you can get a brookstone quad winder for around $200, but a Lumtec watch is not because there are watches for less than $100? And are you saying that Lum Tec watches are no better than a cheap quartz foreign made department store watch?
 

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So a $2200 winder is moderately priced when you can get a brookstone quad winder for around $200, but a Lumtec watch is not because there are watches for less than $100? And are you saying that Lum Tec watches are no better than a cheap quartz foreign made department store watch?
I don't see where John is saying that the Orbita is moderately priced... in fact, at the end of his video he points out that it's expensive. I think his point is that a $500 watch is a luxury item, just like a watch winder, and that we all choose how to spend our discretionary income.

I'm a huge fan of Brookstone's winders since I feel they offer a ton of value for the money, and since I have to be pretty selective on where I use my discretionary income, a winder is one area where value per dollar is high on my criteria list. There's always a point of diminishing returns on any product and we all have to choose where we draw that line. BTW, if I had a lot more discretionary income I love to see one of the gorgeous Orbita Avanti winders on my dresser.

A good example is the high end range we have in our kitchen. It costs WAY more than what the average person has in their home, yet our cooking results turn out the same as they did on the $500 range that used to be in its place. The bottom line is that we paid a lot of money for how it looks and more subjective things, like how a knob feels when you turn it. It's very fun to use, but most people would not be able to justify the cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't see where John is saying that the Orbita is moderately priced... in fact, at the end of his video he points out that it's expensive. I think his point is that a $500 watch is a luxury item, just like a watch winder, and that we all choose how to spend our discretionary income.
That's correct. I was simply pointing out that the Orbita, like his Lum-Tec is a luxury item. It's hard to criticize one on the basis of price, and not the other.
 

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I believe I counted over 10 Lum-Tec watches in your collection. Most Lum-Tec watches cost north of $500.00. So tell me, how does a $2200.00 winder make any more or less sense than a $500.00 watch...much less 10 of them. :confused1:
I'll tell you... Put three LT's in that winder and they possibly would have cost less than the winder that is supposed to wind them. :confused1:
In my eyes that is a little like the tail wagging the dog.

Besides, I think the whole roto-wind principle can't be very good for the watches timings.
It is almost the same as shaking a watch. When you do it then may need up to 20 seconds to resume its normal timing.
I don't own one, so I may be terribly wrong here, but from watching how they wind it just looks like that could easily become a problem.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'll tell you... Put three LT's in that winder and they possibly would have cost less than the winder that is supposed to wind them. :confused1:
In my eyes that is a little like the tail wagging the dog.
Apples and oranges. :biggrin:

Besides, I think the whole roto-wind principle can't be very good for the watches timings.
It is almost the same as shaking a watch.
No it isn't. It's no more stress on the watch movement than natural movement.

When you do it then may need up to 20 seconds to resume its normal timing.
That's not accurate.

I don't own one, so I may be terribly wrong here...
Correct. :biggrin:
 

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Apples and oranges. :biggrin:
No it isn't. It's no more stress on the watch movement than natural movement.
That's not accurate.
Correct. :biggrin:
Putting $2000 worth of rims under a $500 car then maybe? :tongue_smilie:
Don't take it from me, ask Chris Wiegand about shaking a watch and the time it takes to recover when you speak to him...

Enjoy your Orbitas, they are beautiful there's no question about that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Putting $2000 worth of rims under a $500 car then maybe? :tongue_smilie:
You're missing the point entirely. I was simply pointing out that the Orbita, like his Lum-Tec is a luxury item. Owning a large collection of luxury watches like Lum-Tec and then saying that Orbitas don't make sense because of their price...well...just doesn't make sense. You're extending that point to ask the question, is an Orbita winder appropriate for a Lum-Tec collection given their relative respective price points. That's a different question entirely.

Don't take it from me, ask Chris Wiegand about shaking a watch and the time it takes to recover when you speak to him...
Again, you're missing the point. The Rotowind system doesn't "shake" a watch. As I stated, the Rotowind system is quite gentle and is no more harsh than normal, everyday movement a watch receives while worn.

Enjoy your Orbitas, they are beautiful there's no question about that.
I do, and they are. :biggrin:
 
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