Conclusion: Brookstone Winders are Junk
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  1. #1
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    Conclusion: Brookstone Winders are Junk

    I have four 4-position and one 2-position Brookstone winders. Last night, the position in which my Zenith rides failed. That makes six positions in total that have failed, and only the 2-position winder is as yet unaffected.

    When they fail, the position becomes freewheelingly loose, so obviously a gear has broken or fallen off. They all fail with the same symptoms.

    These range in age from two to four years old--outside of warranty, but nowhere near a reasonable lifespan (which I would expect to be ten years). Five of the six positions have failed in the last six months.

    It would seem to me that a watch winder does not need to cost what an Orbita costs to last more than two or three years, and these, at $200 each, are not so cheap as to expect such a quick demise.

    I'm strongly tempted to tear the back out of these and do it my way.

    Expect pictures. Grrrrr.

    Rick "a little bit disgusted" Denney
    Zenith: Captain Chronograph 03.2110.400*; Cartier: Santos 100 XL Concord: Mariner, C1 Big-Date, C1 v.2 Chronograph; Ebel: Chronosport 1134901, Tekton 9137L83*, Type E 9137C41* (*=COSC)
    Ebel: 1911 BTR 9137L73* and 9139L71*, 1911 1120L41*, 1911 Senior 9080241, Brasilias 9120M41 (2), Aquatica 500 9120K61, Classic Hexagon GMT 9301F61, Classic 100 LE 9120R41; Baume & Mercier: Capeland World-Timer
    Heuer: Carrera 1964 Re-Edition CS3110; Maurice Lacroix: Masterpiece MP6439; "Seagull": 1963 Reissue cal. ST19; Seiko: Black Monster SRP307; Poljot: Sturmanskie cal. 3133; Tissot: T-Touch Lew and Huey: Acciona
    Vintage: JLC: ref. 2953, ca. 1946; Longines: Flagship cal 285; Zodiac: SST cal. 86, Aerospace GMT cal. 72; Favre-Leuba: cal. 253; Tianjin: Dong Feng cal. ST5; Elgin: Gr. 152 (1898), Gr. 384 (1919); Ebel: ca. 1962 ref. 9214955
    WUS: ST5 Project Watches (Black and Blue), F72.2014.DG3804 (Gray and Cream); Swatch: Sistem 51 Blue; TNT: Rattrapante cal. Rochat 7750+RAT-1

  2. #2
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    Re: Conclusion: Brookstone Winders are Junk

    Nearly everything sold by Brookstone is overpriced, made-in-China junk. They must have the largest profit margins ever.

    I would consider yourself lucky that they lasted so long!

  3. #3
    Member Seaswirl's Avatar
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    Re: Conclusion: Brookstone Winders are Junk

    Touch wood, but mine have been okay. They're a little over two years old and still going strong. Having written this, however, I'm sure they'll crap out tonight. I do like the Wolfs and Oribitas of the world, but there's no way I'm blowing serious watch money on a winder. A bit of the tail wagging the dog.

  4. #4
    Member Relo60's Avatar
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    Re: Conclusion: Brookstone Winders are Junk

    Quote Originally Posted by Rdenney View Post
    I have four 4-position and one 2-position Brookstone winders. Last night, the position in which my Zenith rides failed. That makes six positions in total that have failed, and only the 2-position winder is as yet unaffected.

    When they fail, the position becomes freewheelingly loose, so obviously a gear has broken or fallen off. They all fail with the same symptoms.

    These range in age from two to four years old--outside of warranty, but nowhere near a reasonable lifespan (which I would expect to be ten years). Five of the six positions have failed in the last six months.

    It would seem to me that a watch winder does not need to cost what an Orbita costs to last more than two or three years, and these, at $200 each, are not so cheap as to expect such a quick demise.

    I'm strongly tempted to tear the back out of these and do it my way.

    Expect pictures. Grrrrr.

    Rick "a little bit disgusted" Denney
    Thanks for the info and heads up.

  5. #5
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    Re: Conclusion: Brookstone Winders are Junk

    It seems like Wolf makes the best bang for the buck winders that will actually last and can be programmed slow enough to not just keep the watch pegged at full PR.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    mleok likes this.

  6. #6
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    Re: Conclusion: Brookstone Winders are Junk

    My Orbita is probably 14 years old and has been plugged in and spinning 24/7, 365 in all that time with no failures or even real maintenance. well worth it.

  7. #7
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    Re: Conclusion: Brookstone Winders are Junk

    Wolf was producing some schlock about 12 years ago.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raydius View Post
    It seems like Wolf makes the best bang for the buck winders that will actually last and can be programmed slow enough to not just keep the watch pegged at full PR.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Sevenmack likes this.

  8. #8
    Member Leonine's Avatar
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    Re: Conclusion: Brookstone Winders are Junk

    Sorry for your luck. I've never used these, but not terribly surprised being from brookstone.

  9. #9
    Member timefleas's Avatar
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    Re: Conclusion: Brookstone Winders are Junk

    You bought a Brookstone, but were expecting a Wolf (in a sheep's clothing?)--what is most perplexing is your own surprise/indignation.
    Last edited by timefleas; June 5th, 2017 at 02:15.

  10. #10
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    Re: Conclusion: Brookstone Winders are Junk

    Turns out, the problem is obvious and easy to repair. Lousy iPhone pics, but these show well enough.

    First, disassembly. One has to remove the trim panels from the inside, which just peel out.



    The holders are held in place with a single Phillips screw in the middle, with the head hidden under a small, black sticker. These do not need to be removed, but it's easier if they are.



    (Just a bit of explanation: the shaft holds the watch holder. The two screws below that hold the motor assembly, and the two above hold the control board. These do not need to be removed. The u-shaped device is the position sensor. It's an optical sensor actuated by a pin on the back of the holder. The rotation is controlled by the sensor, so even if it's dragging or jammed, the motor will turn until the holder is again upright.)

    The panel is held in place with four screws on each end, covered by black stickers. The panel comes out the front, and one can unplug the power connector which is fixed to the back of the box.



    The mechanism includes a motor, connected to a gear-reduction transmission on which the holder is mounted. The connection is a problem--it's a belt. This is the sort of belt used to drive DVD players and the like.







    And the belts are the problem. All of them were damaged, and two were broken.

    The belt itself seems to be a SBM4.65, or Square Belt Medium, with a 4.65" circumference. The belt has a 1/16" square section.

    I've ordered 20, and hopefully my measurement is right. With shipping, that comes to about $35 from an electronic parts supplier. If that's all it is, I can replace these belts pretty often before spending orders of magnitude more for an Orbita.

    When the belt breaks, the motor will turn until you turn it off--remember that optical sensor.

    So, pretty easily repaired. A robotics timing belt would have been more reliable, and a chain on sprockets even moreso.

    Rick "now, merely annoyed" Denney
    Zenith: Captain Chronograph 03.2110.400*; Cartier: Santos 100 XL Concord: Mariner, C1 Big-Date, C1 v.2 Chronograph; Ebel: Chronosport 1134901, Tekton 9137L83*, Type E 9137C41* (*=COSC)
    Ebel: 1911 BTR 9137L73* and 9139L71*, 1911 1120L41*, 1911 Senior 9080241, Brasilias 9120M41 (2), Aquatica 500 9120K61, Classic Hexagon GMT 9301F61, Classic 100 LE 9120R41; Baume & Mercier: Capeland World-Timer
    Heuer: Carrera 1964 Re-Edition CS3110; Maurice Lacroix: Masterpiece MP6439; "Seagull": 1963 Reissue cal. ST19; Seiko: Black Monster SRP307; Poljot: Sturmanskie cal. 3133; Tissot: T-Touch Lew and Huey: Acciona
    Vintage: JLC: ref. 2953, ca. 1946; Longines: Flagship cal 285; Zodiac: SST cal. 86, Aerospace GMT cal. 72; Favre-Leuba: cal. 253; Tianjin: Dong Feng cal. ST5; Elgin: Gr. 152 (1898), Gr. 384 (1919); Ebel: ca. 1962 ref. 9214955
    WUS: ST5 Project Watches (Black and Blue), F72.2014.DG3804 (Gray and Cream); Swatch: Sistem 51 Blue; TNT: Rattrapante cal. Rochat 7750+RAT-1

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