Orbita

Advanced Winding Technology, For Your Lifestyle

Mechanical watches require winding motions that are tailored to their specific construction in order to wind them in a gentle and safe manner. Orbita offers two made-in-the-USA, patented movements to accomplish that task. Both movements feature ball-bearing construction and solid-state controls to insure a long and maintenance-free life.

Programmable

This classic design employs a sophisticated microprocessor control for winding cycles of 650, 800, 950 or 1300 Turns Per Day (TPD), with a choice of clockwise, counter-clockwise or automatic reversing rotation. The ironless core, Swiss-designed motor operates on 6VDC battery power using either alkaline C cells* or with a supplied wallplug AC/DC adapter. If you would like to determine the winding requirements of your particular watch, please visit the Database.

*Battery power is only available on winders with no more than six modules.

 

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featured in: Luxist- Orbita Bergamo 40

The more automatic watches you get the harder it is to store and keep track of them. Serious collectors end up buying more and more watch winders, but at a point you just want a few massive winders to house your collection (versus dozens of smaller ones). The good news is that a few select companies make high-capacity watch winders, and they are serious investments unto themselves. New from US-based Orbita is the Bergamo 40 range of watch winder cabinets.

The Bergamo 40 starts with a very simple concept – a watch winder for 40 watches that can disguise itself as piece of fine furniture. The rear part of this cabinet can raise or lower and contains 40 individual watch winders (that have their own motors and are individually programmable). Via a remote or switch on the unit, the winders can lower into the cabinet – which from the front then looks like just a cabinet. If you want to showcase your watches in an office or room that might have people walking in it, it is a good idea to be able and “hide” your collection. The cabinet itself is made in Italy, and can be ordered in a variety of woods, finishes, and styles. Consultation with Orbita is required to get one, and each is custom made. Prices for the Orbita Bergamo 40 watch winder cabinet starts at about $60,000, and each takes about 3-4 months to make.

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featured in: iW – Profile with Chuck Agnoff

Have you ever wondered how Orbita got started? Have you ever wondered who founded the company and what kind of watches he wears? The January issue of iW (International Watch) featured a brief Q&A with Orbita founder and president, Chuck Agnoff. Learn  about the watch that started the company and how we became successful  in the competitive watch winder industry.

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featured in: LASER ENGRAVED FLASHLIGHTS Looking for an exceptional high-end gift?

Orbita is extremely pleased to introduce our new product, LASER ENGRAVED luxury LED Flashlights!
By using our new 100 watt Laser Engraver, we are able to provide you with a very unique and useful luxury flashlight for Executive Gifts, advertising specialty items as well as a great gift for friends and family.
Virtually any font or logo can be used, even 360 degree wrap-around designs!
Place a minimum order of 5 pieces from now until November 30th and receive FREE engraving! This applies to both our 24K Gold Plated Goldlight Series and our machined and polished Stainless Steel Lighthouse series of luxury LED flashlights. Flashlight Set is supplied complete, packaged in a fine lacquered wood gift box; with an Italian leather holster, spare lithium ion battery, 110 VAC wall battery charger and a nylon lanyard. For long damage-free life, our lenses are made from sapphire crystal, not mineral glass. All Flashlights carry a one-year warranty.

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featured in: New Products! – REVOLUTION 6

Orbita is excited to introduce the new Revolution series to our standard and well-known line of classic winders. These new models add a modern flair to our winder assortment and allow them to fit into any contemporary decor. The Revolution is constructed of high quality aluminum and stainless steel which has been powder coated and baked at a temperature of 375 degrees for twenty minutes. The powder coating is electrostatically applied which yields a mirror like finish which is both beautiful and durable.

The Revolution will wind either four or six watches using Orbita’s patented self-programming “Rotorwind” movement powered by Lithium Ion batteries. With a battery life of approximately five years, the need for an AC adapter is eliminated. The Rotorwind movement keeps your automatic watches wound and ready to wear by mimicking the wrists natural movement.

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featured in: CAROLO Watch Winder

Orbita is extremely pleased to introduce our new product, the CAROLO watch winder. This winder is built on a ball bearing turn-table which allows the user to easily rotate the winder. This feature makes the CAROLO ideal for use in confined areas such as safes, closets or custom cabinets. Simply rotate the winder for front access to all watches. The CAROLO is not limited to 6 watches! As your watch collection grows, so does the CAROLO. Add on “rings” can be purchased and stacked up to four levels high to wind as many as twenty-four watches.

Housed in a stunning black lacquer and carbon fiber case, this is truly a unique winder. The CAROLO is equipped with Orbita self-programming Rotorwind modules and powered by our signature Lithium batteries. With battery life expectancy of 5-years there is no need for a wall plug. Keep an eye out for this new winder that will be available Spring 2013!

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featured in: Orbita New Arrivals Sparta Deluxe Series

Back by popular demand! Our Sparta Deluxe series was temporarily discontinued for several months when we introduced a new product to take its place. The new winders were successful but we still received several requests for the Deluxe cases. After a brief conversation with our supplier, we are now proud to re-introduce the Sparta Deluxe series! Now available in two brand new finishes, Teak and Burl. These new finishes offer a new benchmark in entry level quality. The Sparta Deluxe series is available in single or double winders that are equipped with our patented Rotorwind movement and Lithium batteries.

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featured in: Orbita Corporation Over 15 years of excellence

First, we endeavored to learn everything there is to learn about mechanical watches. Then we searched for the gentlest way to wind them. Since our company’s inception in 1996, we have always placed our trust in proprietary developments. Of course we did not invent the mechanical “exercising” of watches – but we did introduce a new, unprecedented level of quality. We created leading edge winding technology based on fresh ideas, innovative systems and superior drives, gears and control components, each perfectly designed and fine-tuned for the precise needs of each and every watch movement produced today.

Our Philosophy? We aim at creating products of value; products people will enjoy owning because they work perfectly; products where the detail that went into fabrication is apparent to everyone who uses them. Consequently, we select only the finest, timeless materials for our exclusive product lines: handcrafted and detailed marquetry, the best leather, sophisticated multi-layer lacquering and modern carbon fibers.
However, it was the confidence of timepiece collectors and manufacturers that made us who we are today; the world’s leading producer and provider of premium watch winders.

We invite you to share this newsletter with a fellow enthusiast, join us on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the links below.

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featured in: ORBITA’S NEW BIGGER THAN EVER CATALOG

Debuting at the JCK Show will be our new elegant catalog which details our products in fine detail. One of the biggest changes we have made is that many of our winders are now available with either the Rotorwind movement or Programmable movement:

Rotorwind Movement – This design is unique in that it swings an automatic watch, rather than rotating it, mimicking the natural action of the wrist. Then, with a series of oscillations triggered by a single revolution on a low-current draw-drive motor, power is only needed for a few seconds every 10 to 15 minutes. Battery service life can be measured in terms of years, not months. Extensive beta testing by hundreds of watch collectors owning a variety of automatic watches has validated the concept.

Programmable Movement – This classic design employs a sophisticated microprocessor control for winding cycles of 650, 800, 950 or 1300 turns Per Day (TPD), with a choice of clockwise, counter-clockwise or automatic reversing rotation. The ironless core, Swiss-designed motor operates on 6 VDC battery power using either alkaline ‘C’ cells or with a supplied wall plug AC/DC adapter. If you would like to determine the winding requirements of your particular watch please visit the support section of our website:
http://www.orbita.com/NEW/WatchDatabase.htm

Our new catalog can be downloaded at: http://www.orbita.com/NEW/Catalog.htm. If you want a hard copy, let us know.

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featured in: 2010 IN REVIEW

Improved Business Climate – 2010 was a good year for Orbita Corporation. Ever since the “bubble” burst, watch owners have been hesitant to buy new watches and/or watchwinders. As business has improved, pent-up demand has fueled a rebirth of automatic watch buying, both here in the United States and overseas. Particularly in the Chinese market, growing prosperity has made the ownership of a fine Swiss watch important to increasingly wealthier Chinese consumers. Despite all of the Chinese competition we have had in the past we are now exporting our watchwinders to China, and to Asia in general, as sophisticated collectors in those areas look for high quality watchwinders rather than what generally are considered inferior Chinese products. Also, we were happy to learn that the Orbita brand is well known amongst Asian collectors and is held to be a prestige product just as a Patek Phillipe or Rolex watch is held to be a prestige product. We look forward to continuing positive development worldwide in 2011 and we will be introducing a number of new items at the 2011 JCK Show in Las Vegas – stay tuned.

In Memoriam – A great loss for Orbita Corporation was the sudden passing of Bill Schery, our Technical Services Manager. He had a massive heart attack whilst he was at work here and was gone in just a few moments. It was a terrible shock for all of us. Many of our customers knew Bill by his field visits or by telephone conversations. Over the past 13 years he was instrumental in helping develop new products and many of the products now sold all over the world by Orbita were first born on Bill’s workbench where he took my design sketches and translated them into metal, wood, and plastic, often improving them in the process. He will be sorely missed by all of us – Chuck Agnoff, President.

Avanti Series is off and running – We had several orders for customized versions with winders in the forefront even though drawers and other accessories are available. Interestingly, a prospective customer visited our factory and, upon observing the Avanti 24 in production, he queried us as to whether we would be agreeable to selling just the 4 winder module that he could use in his vault. Good idea, we thought, and so we are now offering these modules in either a horizontal or vertical format.

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featured in: 2010 IN REVIEW

Improved Business Climate – 2010 was a good year for Orbita Corporation. Ever since the “bubble” burst, watch owners have been hesitant to buy new watches and/or watchwinders. As business has improved, pent-up demand has fueled a rebirth of automatic watch buying, both here in the United States and overseas. Particularly in the Chinese market, growing prosperity has made the ownership of a fine Swiss watch important to increasingly wealthier Chinese consumers. Despite all of the Chinese competition we have had in the past we are now exporting our watchwinders to China, and to Asia in general, as sophisticated collectors in those areas look for high quality watchwinders rather than what generally are considered inferior Chinese products. Also, we were happy to learn that the Orbita brand is well known amongst Asian collectors and is held to be a prestige product just as a Patek Phillipe or Rolex watch is held to be a prestige product. We look forward to continuing positive development worldwide in 2011 and we will be introducing a number of new items at the 2011 JCK Show in Las Vegas – stay tuned.

In Memoriam – A great loss for Orbita Corporation was the sudden passing of Bill Schery, our Technical Services Manager. He had a massive heart attack whilst he was at work here and was gone in just a few moments. It was a terrible shock for all of us. Many of our customers knew Bill by his field visits or by telephone conversations. Over the past 13 years he was instrumental in helping develop new products and many of the products now sold all over the world by Orbita were first born on Bill’s workbench where he took my design sketches and translated them into metal, wood, and plastic, often improving them in the process. He will be sorely missed by all of us – Chuck Agnoff, President.

Avanti Series is off and running – We had several orders for customized versions with winders in the forefront even though drawers and other accessories are available. Interestingly, a prospective customer visited our factory and, upon observing the Avanti 24 in production, he queried us as to whether we would be agreeable to selling just the 4 winder module that he could use in his vault. Good idea, we thought, and so we are now offering these modules in either a horizontal or vertical format.

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featured in: AVANTI CONVERTIBLES

Orbita’s big hit at the JCK Trade Show in Las Vegas was the newly introduced Avanti 3 & 6 watchwinder. This very attractive unit allows for future upgrading from the 3 watchwinder unit to the 6 watchwinder unit. This is a perfect solution for those whose watch collection grows over the years.

There is more than adequate storage for flat strap watches and personal jewelry in the available drawers that are supplied.

The unit is lockable and WIRELESS. The winding system is Orbita’s patented Rotorwind system which gently swings the watch every 10 minutes, 24/7. Powered by Lithium batteries there is no need for wiring and the batteries themselves are guaranteed to provide a 5-year battery service life.

Click here to access our website for further information: http://www.orbita.com/gallery/Avanti3/Avanti3.htm

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featured in: ECHOES OF ELEGANCE

We are delighted to report that the new 2010 Agresti USA website is now up and running. It provides a good view of Agresti’s history, materials, and their operations in Florence, Italy. Also, the new website allows you to view their brand new ‘Echoes of Elegance’ catalog. There are lots of new products in a wonderful new format.

SKELETON IN THE CLOSET?

To best display our winders at trade shows, years ago we purchased a bunch of inexpensive Chinese-made Skeleton watches as they were great for showing the movement of the winding rotor as the watches rotated on our winders.

Lots of folks at these shows asked about buying them and, although it is not our business, we did sell a few from time to time to people who, as collectors, thought the Skeleton movement was interesting and certainly affordable.

Preparing for our big watch and jewelry show in Las Vegas in June, we realized that we had pretty much run out of them and so we bought a new lot to use for display purposes. This time we bought more than we needed so that we could accommodate those who wished to purchase these watches. At less than $100 they are certainly a bargain. Admittedly, not Swiss quality, but certainly worth the minimal investment. This is a one-time offer and quantities are limited. You can order gold-plated or stainless steel.

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featured in: THINKING AHEAD FOR GIFTS?

The Verona 1 and Verona 2 leather watch cases make wonderful and affordable gifts. They are both packaged in a satin lined gift box which can be hot-stamped with logo. Textured leather resists scratches and finger marks, maintaining a brand-new look despite rough handling. Suede linings prevent scratching fine watch surfaces.

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featured in: AGRESTI JOINS ORBITA

We are very proud to be the exclusive distributor of Agresti in the United States. We will soon have a wide variety of Agresti products in our Wilmington, NC, inventory. This will eliminate the 6 to 8 week lead time previously experienced. We can drop-ship directly, saving the cost of double handling and duplicate shipments. We will also provide “white glove” delivery service if required. Many present Orbita dealers are already Agresti dealers and now our regional sales representatives will be available to provide local contact and support for both companies.
A new website, www.agrestiusa.com, is up and running. Please visit it and take a look at the many fine cabinetry pieces we offer. A printed version of the full Agresti Catalog (92 pages) is available upon request but the “virtual” catalog on the website is actually fun to use and individual pages are easily downloaded for printing. Many connoisseurs have already discovered Agresti design and quality to be exceptional, but what else would you expect from a product that is hand made by talented artisans in Florence, Italy?
We are expecting our first Agresti shipment to arrive mid-October, well in time for the Holiday season. If you are interested in Agresti products, please let us hear from you.

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featured in: TAKE FIVE WITH SPARTA

All Sparta Lithium Watchwinders come with a minimum of FIVE years battery service life (guaranteed) and, at the same time, they carry an iron-clad FIVE year materials and workmanship guarantee. These winders are all AMERICAN made in Wilmington, North Carolina. You can choose winders for 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6 watches in a variety of case designs. Best of all, these winders are shipped with Orbita’s high energy Lithium batteries already installed and included in the price.

Worried about battery replacement after 2014? No need to do so. You can buy replacement batteries direct from Orbita or buy them on the web from several different sources.

There are no other winders available anywhere in the world that offer FIVE year battery life. Long life, quiet operation and patented ROTORWIND technology are yours to enjoy when you buy a SPARTA Lithium Watchwinder from ORBITA.

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featured in: NO MORE BROKEN FINGERNAILS!

With more and more ladies watches being offered with automatic movements, manicure shops are having a boom. These generally
smaller watches have smaller diameter crowns and, after being unworn for two days, have to be reset for time and date. Oops,
another broken or cracked fingernail may result.

Orbita has come up with the perfect solution: Attractive watchwinders in a variety of colors to keep these self-winding watches on
time and ready to be worn at a moment’s notice.

Each winder is supplied with two mounting cushions; a standard-size and a more petite version to accommodate smaller wrist sizes.
Watches are easily mounted and removed on both versions.

The winder simply plugs in to the wall. There is no need for any programming or complicated controls. Once every 10 minutes
the winder cycles automatically and causes the watch to swing in a series of arcs, replicating normal wrist motion. The winder is
extremely quiet in operation and is provided with an iron-clad two year guarantee.

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featured in: Sparta 1 Lithium Battery

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 Batteries for my safe, the problem is solved…..”
To read the complete review by this tester, visit the Gallery Section of our website

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featured in: ORBITA TESLA WATCHWINDER

Many postings have appeared on Timezone.Com, the watch forum chat site, about our Orbita watchwinders. We welcome all comments, which are mostly good and, occasionally, bad – the good because we like to know that we are pleasing our customers, and the bad because we want to change whatever is needed to insure total satisfaction. Please feel free to take advantage of the Timezone.Com website to make your comments known. We regularly check them ourselves so that we are up-to-date with your opinions. Here is just one example of a posting that appeared recently there in the Public Forum:

“…….I have been testing a new Orbita watchwinder called the Tesla. The finish on it is beautiful and up to the usual high Orbita standards. But to me what is most interesting about this winder is its winding mechanism. Every previous watchwinder I have seen or used makes several complete turns in one or two directions. IMO, the Tesla replicates wearing a watch on the wrist. The watch makes quarter turns back and forth several times, pauses, and then the watch is completely turned in both directions. Thanks to this winding mechanism, there is no programming the Tesla. It is also the quietest watchwinder; I can place it next to my bed at night……”

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featured in: WATCHWINDERS SHOULDN’T BE “THROW-AWAYS”

Hardly a week goes by without a new ORBITA customer calling us and saying how happy he, or she, is with their new winder, while at the same time telling us about their misadventures with a previous watchwinder….one that was made by one of our competitors. In most cases, the failed winder was Asian-made and “looked good and was priced attractively.” However, after a few weeks or months, or rarely, years, the winder died. If the warranty was still in effect, and if the seller was still in business, a replacement might be sent. Sadly, the new unit would be of the same quality and, soon, it also met a similar fate.

Virtually all of the Asian-made winders, and some of the European, or quasi-European winders, we have examined show the same flaw. They are all glued together at the factory and there is absolutely no provision for future repairs if needed. They are “throwaways.” Clearly, it is cheaper to make a winder that way and the technique also prevents owners from ever looking inside and seeing the shoddy materials and poor workmanship. Weird, can you imagine buying a watch that could not be opened for repair? Would you buy one?

We have “autopsied” some of these failed units by cutting them apart. In some instances, the nice looking faux leather covered case was actually a cardboard box. That was quite a surprise. Not the way we do things at ORBITA.

Twelve years ago, when we started in business, our commitment was to design our winders to be long lived and serviceable. Each component we assemble is “plug and play” and easy to replace. If service is ever required, most ORBITA watchwinder owners can make needed repairs themselves. Of course, we support every American-made unit we produce and we have a full-time dedicated service department. Yes, we do get failed units back occasionally but, most times, we smile when we check the serial number and find the date of production was last century.

We are certainly not infallible, but most folks realize that machines that operate 24/7 eventually do need repair or replacement. Our pledge to our customers is to provide fine service and support today, tomorrow and for many years to come….and to do it economically and quickly.

We know that quality counts! And if you ever feel that our service is not to your expectations, let me know about it. My email is chuck@orbita.com and my telephone extension is #100 at 800-800-4436. I’ll do my best to take care of you.

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featured in: RONDO-FIVE WATCHWINDER DEBUTS

We just begun shipping a new circular case watchwinder fitted with five (5) programmable winders and an atomic clock.

The appearance is certainly unique with the black leather/stainless steel combination finish. Each winder module is individually powered and individually controlled.

WATCHWINDER REPAIR SERVICE – NO THANKS
We were recently contacted by an insurer who asked if we would make repairs on other brand watchwinders. Seems that this is a national company that sells warranty support service to retailers of watches, computers, etc. They started to insure watchwinders two years ago but now are being deluged with Chinese winders that have become “homesick.” The original importers/sellers have no repair or service facilities. Our answer to servicing these units? Absolutely not. These “cheap” winders may look good but they are mostly factory sealed and unrepairable. Sellers of these winders may honor their limited time warranties by simply replacing the units….but after the warranty period is over, the owner is on his own.
On the other hand, ORBITA winders are totally repairable and we do a fine job of repairing 8 or 10 year old units when the need arises. We are totally committed to supporting our fine winders regardless of their age. That’s why we get so many complimentary letters from our customers about our fine customer support. Quality counts.

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featured in: A TALE OF THE CARDBOARD BOX

We have nothing against cardboard. After all, we use it for the gift boxes into which we package our winders. But you can imagine our surprise when we did an “autopsy” on a Chinese-made watchwinder sent for examination by a well-known Swiss watch company. It seems they were purchasing these winders and using them for a gift with purchase program. Unfortunately, they were having massive failures and are now interested in a higher quality USA made ORBITA winder. Well, we had to tear the unit apart because the case is glued together with no provision for service. No surprise to find a “rubber band” drive and a cheap Asian “toy” motor inside… but the “shocker” was the winder case itself. It was totally made of cardboard masked with a thin leather or leatherette covering.

Needless to say, we can’t compete with such Chinese junk. When we quoted on a decent American-made winder, they opted not to proceed based on price and that was that. It is amazing that fine Swiss watch marketers offer such low quality, short-lived Chinese winders to their clients. If low price is the only reason for buying something, will they be surprised in the future if their customers opt to buy Chinese-made watches instead of Swiss-made watches?

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featured in: WATCH AUCTIONS? BE WARY

On 10/8/2007, the Wall Street Journal’s front page story was an exposé of some very questionable practices by Antiquorum, the well-known watch auctioneers and several well-known Swiss watch brands. For example, Omega recently trumpeted the fact that a 1950s Omega platinum watch sold for $351,000 to a “Swiss bidder” who had offered “the highest price ever paid for an Omega watch at auction.” What Omega did not say? The buyer was Omega itself! My own guess is that they also were the sellers, directly or indirectly?

The article quotes Osvaldo Patrizzi, Chairman of Antiquorum “We are collaborators” – referring to business with Omega and other makers. Interestingly, Antiquorum’s board fired him shortly afterward.

It does give one cause to wonder about who the sellers really are? We all read about the $1,000,000 plus sales of unusual complicated vintage watches. Many are bought by watch manufacturers. Are these bona-fide sales or have some members of the Swiss watch industry found auctions to be a new way to promote their brands? Is it ethical for a watch manufacturer to be both a seller and a buyer? That is a question that will most likely be asked by many watch collectors as this story develops.

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featured in: Gift suggestions for techies and non-techies alike

Sonos Play 1 and Playbar: Sonos, the company that invented wireless audio systems that play music in multiple rooms and from multiple sources, has two new products. The new Play 1 ($200) is its lowest cost powered/connected speaker that’s simple to set up and can play the tunes on your computer, Pandora, Spotify, Internet radio and XM/Sirius, all controlled by an app on your iPhone or Android. The second product, the Playbar ($700), is designed to provide surround sound from your HDTV, as well as deliver the same audio content as their other products. (sonos.com)
Orbita Watch Winder: Orbita, a North Carolina company, reinvented the watch winder more than a decade ago and makes some of the best-designed (and expensive) devices to wind automatic mechanical watches. It’s perfect for those who have more than one timepiece and don’t want to constantly reset it. Orbita now offers a moderately priced line that uses much of its inventive technology. The Sparta Bold model operates with D-cell batteries that last for many years and uses the company’s rotorwind technology that simulates the actual wearing of the watch. It’s absolutely silent so it can even sit on your nightable. (from $295, Orbita.com)
iPad Air: The iPad Air is Apple’s latest model and the company’s best ever. Most notably it’s 30 percent lighter, has a sharper display and runs faster. While you can pay less for a tablet, nothing matches its ease of use and the breadth of apps that are available for it. $499 for the 16GB version. (Spoiler alert — this is what I’m getting my wife!)
MotoX Phone: Motorola’s MotoX Android smartphone is a fine Android phone that gets everything right. In particular, it has a nice 4.7-inch Amoled screen size, likely the same size as on the next iPhone. It’s attractively slim, feels good in the hand and doesn’t add lots of junk software or a complicated interface that other Android phone makers do. Because of its association with Google, it’s already been upgraded to the latest KitKat version of Android OS and it’s becoming a showcase for inventive ideas from their new research group led by Regina Dugan, formerly head of DARPA. Users were recently treated to an entertaining animated video, “Windy Day,” created by a Pixar producer that uses virtual reality. Expect more surprises throughout the year. From free to $99 with a new account at most of the carriers.
Tumi Brooks Slim Brief perfectly sized bag: I buy many more computer bags than I can ever use, but I’m always searching for that perfect one. This is close to that: a lightweight bag that’s perfectly sized for carrying a 13-inch notebook and tablet, with pockets for each. It’s just 11″ x 15″ x 4″ yet has a number of outside pockets for carrying power supplies, cords, a water bottle, cards, pens, keys and other essentials. It has a back zipper pocket to fit over a rollerboard handle and is small enough to pass for a large man-bag as well. ($325, tumi.com).
Casio Digital Watch GBX6900: We’re still waiting for the true iWatch that many, including me, expected by now. While Samsung has pre-empted Apple with its Galaxy Gear watch, it’s huge, clumsy, not very useful and limited to using with a few Samsung phones. Casio’s latest second-generation G-Shock Bluetooth watch is a better bet. It connects with most smartphones to control the music player and display alerts such as incoming email. The smartphone can be used to set many of a watch’s functions as well, such as the alarm, countdown timer and world time. ($200, gshock.com)
Gene Café Home Coffee roaster: One product I’m testing for an upcoming review is the Gene Café home coffee roaster. This may be the present I’ll ask for. So far I’ve found it roasts green coffee beans — costing about a third of roasted coffee — with little effort and great results…most of the time. Expect a full review in a few weeks. ($515, batchcoffee.com)
Leica M Digital Camera: There are so many great cameras available this year that it’s hard to pick the best one. It’s now more a matter of what you preferences are for features, size, handling and looks. Some of best include the Sony RX100II, Fuji x100s, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 and LX7, and the Olympus OM-D E-M1. But my favorite is the Leica M Digital, the company’s new rangefinder camera with an up-to-date full-size 24MP sensor. It costs as much as Canon’s top professional EOS-1D X DSLR ($7,000), but is more compact and is Leica’s best digital camera ever. In my month of testing, it’s taken fabulous images using the 50mm 2.0 Summicron lens. It’s best for those photographers who want to savor the moment and take their time composing, focusing and shooting rather than capturing images quickly. And it’s compact enough to carry almost everywhere in a briefcase or computer bag. (us.leica-camera.com)

The Keyport Slide replaces the conventional keychain by consolidating keys, USB flash drive, flashlight and bottle opener into a single, streamlined device that fits your pocket. Courtesy photo
CCRadio from C.Crane: When I reviewed it earlier this year I found this little radio to perform nearly as well as the company’s famous full-size model. It can pull in stations from hundreds of miles away, and is well-engineered and intuitive to use. It has a built-in speaker, 55 station presets, and AM, FM and weather bands. It also has a large LCD lighted display, sleep timer, clock, alarm, battery meter, signal meter and removable belt clip. It uses two AA batteries providing 75 hours of earphone listening. ($60, ccrane.com)
Keyport Slide: This is a clever device that reduces the bulk of carrying lots of keys and other items in your pocket. The Keyport Slide is replacement for the conventional keychain by consolidating those items we carry everywhere, including keys, USB flash drive, flashlight and bottle opener into a single, streamlined device that fits your pocket.
It can hold up to six keys and other tools in the same volume as a box of Tic Tacs and provides quick access to each with the slide of a thumb. Keyport has created a way to replace the wide range of large, oddly shaped key heads with its own patented, universal head that is only slightly larger than the stem of the key. A complete Keyport Slide 2.0 plus 6 Standard Blades is $58.94. (mykeyport.com)
Lenovo 7” Yoga tablet: Not an Apple enthusiast? This is one of the most original tablet designs ever and I like it a lot. The Yoga is a very thin device with a cylindrical tube running down one side, resembling an Apple keyboard. The cylinder holds the batteries and, doubles as a handle and a serves as the hinge point for a really solid stand. As a result, it’s easy to hold, provides a 15-hour battery life, and is easy to stand next to your computer to use as a second display. I’ve used it for book reading and then sit it on my desk with Gmail open to see my incoming email. While its processor and display’s 1,280 x 800 pixels are just adequate, the aluminum housing and build construction are outstanding. ($249, Lenovo.com)
Orbita Lighthouse LED Flashlight: Think of a miniature lighthouse with multiple LEDs on top and around its circumference. It’s Orbita’s new Lighthouse combination pocket beacon and lantern that emits 350 lumens of intense white light, selectable in six different patterns with lamps rated for 100,000 hours. The construction is all stainless steel with a sapphire lens, polished aluminum reflector, and rechargeable lithium-Ion battery. It uses Cree technology, (the leading U.S. LED company). Great for emergency use, camping or carrying with you in your briefcase. ($235, orbita.com)

Orbita-Founder-Chuck-Agnoff

featured in: Orbita Luxury Watch Winders and Watch Safes on Sale

Orbita is probably the most well known name when it comes to watch winders. If you know the name or even own one of their popular winders, you may not know how young this American brand is. Established in 1996, it’s still a kid when compared to the history behind watch brands it caters too, but it’s high quality and innovation has made it one of the biggest producers of watch winders in that short time. It was started when Chuck Agnoff of North Carolina was given a Rolex Day-Date by his wife as a retirement gift. WIth the watch only getting weekends on his wrist, he was forced to set the functions each week. So he set off to make a watch winder. While this is a simple story with a common problem, what set Orbita apart was their dedication to quality, innovative and proprietary technology.

Orbita’s most touted innovation is their Rotorwind system, which doesn’t rotate a watch like a traditional winder. The Rotowind swings the watch, for a more natural wind like you’d have while wearing an automatic watch. This system uses a series of oscillations triggered by a single revolution, which only needs power for a few seconds every 1- to 15 minutes, making it extremely conservative on power consumption. They also offer programmable winders using the traditional rotating style. These can be programmed to rotate clockwise or anticlockwise, with different speeds to meet the needs of any automatic watch movement.

Avanti Series (Programmable)
The Avanti is Orbita’s most popular winder, with a combo of a exotic wood veneer (Macassar or Rosewood) and genuine carbon fiber trim. While on paper that combo could sound risking, they have pulled it off very tastefully, quickly making it a favorite. Sizes offered range from a 3-watch Avanti, with half the cabinet uses for drawers. This goes all the way up to a towering 48-watch Avanti, which can stand from 36” to 65” tall, depending on the watch modules used.

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