April 27, 2009 As the name suggests, automatic or self-winding watches wind themselves using a moving weight mechanism inside the watch. All well and good if you are wearing your watch everyday, but if you happen to have a collection, you'll often find yourself faced with the fiddly task of manual winding and resetting features like perpetual calendars - a difficult job for large unwieldy fingers (men) and delicate fingernails (women) - which is where watchwinders come in. This one, the new Sparta Mini from Orbita, is for the ladies.

Automatic watches

Automatic watches wind themselves using a moving weight mechanism inside the watch. The weight swings or rotates when the wearer moves their arm which winds the mainspring; this, in turn, stores the mechanical energy to power the watch. If the watch isn’t worn for a period of time it will run down.

The solution - watchwinders

For the uninitiated like me (who hasn’t worn a watch in years and uses their mobile phone to keep track of time) a watchwinder is a device that holds one or more watches and moves them at regular intervals, mimicking human movement, to keep them ready to wear at a moment’s notice.

Orbita's Sparta Mini from Orbita is a compact single-watch winding device which uses the company's unique ROTORWIND® oscillating winding technique. Most watchwinders rotate a watch in order to wind it, however the Sparta Mini gently swings the watch at 10-minute intervals, which is the same time cycle as its battery-operated DC versions and Orbita guarantee it won’t damage or overwind any mechanical watch.

The Sparta Mini winder operates on AC power and is completely silent so it can be used on a bedside table. You simply place your watch on the supplied cushion and replace the cushion in the winder – there are no settings, programs or controls to worry about.

The Sparta Mini comes in black or brown faux leather as well as range of faux lizard finishes: red, blue, white, pink and crème, and is supplied with both large and small watch cushions to accommodate varying wrist sizes.

The Sparta Mini is 4.2”H x 4.2”W x 5.2”D and weighs 1.7 lbs. The RRP is USD$295.

Karen Sprey

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