on July 2, 2011
This is a quality product, don't let the price and the construction materials fool you into thinking that it's cheap and will break, or stop working quickly, soon after you get it. This is what can happen with inferior winders, but I want to assure everyone who read my review that the motors and drive mechanism, the timers and adjustment pots, and the electronics that run the whole show are first rate, just as nice as a winder that is made of expensive woods or finished lavishly, commanding a couple hundred $$'s price tag in today's market. You don't have to spend a couple hundred $$'s to get a quality winder, because it's this one right here!
The only caveat to using the winder is to be careful with larger and heavier watches, that would be Rolex in the full size, any of the knock-offs from Steinhausen or Stauer with the big, stainless steel bodies and heavy bands, watches that weigh more than 3 ounces is a good gauge of what a heavy watch is. The winder comes with a large top insert to the barrel mechanism, the thing you attach your watch to before you insert it into the watch winder and hear the "click" of success, successful and proper watch mounting in the winder. Those large top inserts are the thing to use for large, heavy watches without fail, or the heavy watch will eventually "droop" off the winder barrel mechanism, and it *can* contact the front of the winder and literally OPEN THE DOOR and drop off the perch it's on onto the floor, and potentially damaging the watch and winder both.
The winder can be damaged when this happens by getting hung-up in a sequence it's working and/or the watch barrel mounting mechanism can get stuck inside the winder and grind the thing to a halt, with the motors turning on their clutch as they try to rotate without any success. I know because I had this happen to me two or three times before I figured out the problem. This was because I had a big, heavy watch and wasn't using the extra large insert top, which is mandatory with big, heavy watches!
One afternoon I found one of my heavy watches on the floor, across the room from the winder, literally! WOW! That freaked me out! I thought my wife had gotten upset with me or worse, and tossed my valuable watch across the room, but it had rolled there on my bedroom carpet from the winder's perch up on a dresser that was about 4.5 feet high! So watch out for this caveat, and for the large, heavy headed watches install the extra top mount, the large one that comes in the box of the accessories with the winder kit, and use that without fail or suffer the consequences! The watch can literally open the door of the winder, and come tumbling out of the machine and go for a ride, and you don't want that to happen to your valuable watches, now do you?
Alternatively, the barrel mechanism with watch on it can become stuck in the winder mechanism and stop the machine totally from working, the gear and motors grinding away on their clutches with the watches moving not at all. I thought I'd broken the winder when that happened, but once I installed the correct top mount for my heavy, large watch things returned to normal, and the mechanism was hardy and strong, and was not damaged at all. Both of those anomalies can be stopped before they start by using the large top mount for a large, heavy watch, end of discussion, no harm, no foul! That's all you have to do...now that the caveats are out of the way, I can review the winder in all its cheap, goodness and glory!
I have found that the watches are satisfied and work great on setting D or C, and Automatic on the direction (it will go both clockwise and counter-clockwise at random intervals on Automatic), and I recommend that setting for most watches. Setting C will give 1080 turns per day, and setting D will yield 2160 turns per day, approximately according to the manual and material that come with the winder kit. There are infinitely variable settings, with intervals down to 33 seconds rotating, and then 12 minutes rest; or 10 minutes rotating, then 90 minutes rest, but I think the mode that best imitates actual wear are C and D, with rotating 30 minutes and rest for 3 hours for C, and for D rotating 1 hour and rest for 3 hours. That is plenty of action for any good watch, and will keep things wound and current with all mechanisms up to date and up to settings.
The winder is a bit of an enigma in terms of how you mount the watch inside it for the rotating functions to take over and work, as there is no "click" on my particular mounts when inserting the barrel mounter 100%, so you have to know your winder well, and after a couple weeks of using it I do! At first I was worried that I wasn't getting the winder's barrel mounts mounted correctly, but with my machine inserting the watch on the barrel 100% does NOT yield a click or "clicking" sound, none whatsoever, even if the manual says to watch out for that sound...it doesn't happen with my winder.
The material used in the construction of this winder is minimalist to say the least, but it's adequate for doing the job and getting the job done well. The plastic body of the winder and the cheap, light weight "door" that closes and opens for inserting the watches, with view portals to watch the watches spinning around happily inside the machine, is pretty light weigh and easily moved. I think that over time there's little to worry about in terms of how it's made, and what it's made of, but suffice to say there's little overkill done on this winder, it's at best acceptable and if you're OK with something being like this and getting the job done, you'll be fine with a winder from Diplomat, because all of their low-priced winders are like this one...cheap all around in terms of how they are made, with minimal fancy things in the winder.
I don't think that one can go wrong with the price point of this winder, ie it's less than $50 currently here at Amazon.com, and if you can't see your way clear on this price I don't have any hope for you! This is a great deal, on a quality-mechanism winder, that has no frills whatsoever and looks cheap from the get-go. I was used to a heavy, wood winder that did cost a couple hundred $$'s back in the day, that finally failed after many year's service, and this winder is diametrically opposite to that one. After adjusting my sights accordingly with this good, but cheap constructed machine I am a happy camper with it, because it works fantastic and does the job 100%, end of discussion.
I just ordered a 2nd winder for my newest watches, and it's one of these again because I cannot see spending more and getting possibly less in terms of the mechanisms that make the thing work. I am totally comfortable with this winder because I've been checking it out daily for the better part of a month and counting, and it's worked fantastic once I figured out the large watch routine with using the heavy, large insert on the barrel mechanism...after that it's been all nice and easy for even my heavy watches. This winder gets my endorsement with the caveat for heavy watches being the only disclaimer about it, so Wavey Davey gives this one the thumbs up!
Wavey Davey 7-2-2011