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Review of the Flint Automatic Watch Winder

Walter Shillington writes about products he knows firsthand. His articles focus on healthcare, electronics, watches, and household items.

 The Flint S120 watch winder

The Flint S120 watch winder

We live in a highly technological society, one in which obsolescence has become a notable characteristic.

Hardware designed to play movies and music has followed similar routes. 35-millimeter projectors were replaced by DVD and blue-ray players. Cassette decks and MP4 players superseded record players. However, most of us now use Roku devices, smart televisions, and phones to stream our entertainment.

At first look, watches could be shoved into the same category. Battery-powered quartz timepieces proved cheaper and more accurate than their mechanical predecessors. And now, smartwatches offering an expanded range of capabilities have entered the market. The mechanical watch should have been buried in the same landfill as the cassette deck, the VCR, and the dodo bird by this point.

That didn’t happen. Why? Because watches are not devices, they are an expression of style. Women use clothing, makeup, and jewelry to demonstrate their individuality. Men wear watches.

When choosing a timepiece, style is as important as accuracy and functionality. The concept of dozens of tiny, spring-powered, mechanical gears working in concert, powering a mechanical chronometer, is infinitely more inspiring than the cold computer-like accuracy of its quartz counterpart.

A mechanical watch does, however, require consistent use. When left abandoned in a drawer for lengthy periods of time, the oils that lubricant the timepiece’s internal working will begin to dry. This eventually results in degraded accuracy.

Problems of this type can be avoided by either wearing the watch or winding it every few months. If your mechanical watch happens to be an automatic, a watch winder represents the best solution.

Today I am taking a close look at a double watch winder from Flint.

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Description

The Flint S120, composed mainly of polycarbonate, is graphite-colored and weighs slightly less than six pounds. Its dimensions are 7.28 x 8.66 x 8.07 inches.

The watch winder’s door is lockable and boasts transparent acrylic glass. Blue LEDs may be turned on, providing background lighting. A pair of cushions to which watches can be strapped fits snugly within a set of slots. These slots turn when the device is operating, activating the watches’ self-winding mechanism.

The watches will turn clockwise or counterclockwise for an amount of time, determined by which of the four available modes are selected. Then rotation will stop for a while before beginning the cycle again.

This watch winder will generally be connected to the supplied AC adapter. It can, however, also be powered by a pair of R20 1.5V batteries.

review-of-the-flint-automatic-watch-winder
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Specifications

  • Brand: Flint
  • Name: Dual automatic watch winder
  • Model: S120
  • Net Weight: 2.7 kilograms (5.95 pounds)
  • Dimensions: 18.5 x 22 x 20.5 centimeters (7.28 x 8.66 x 8.07 inches)
  • Rated voltage: 3V 1.2A
  • Rotation modes: Four
  • Rotation speed: Approximately one rotation every six seconds
  • AC adapter: Supplied
  • Batteries: Pair of R20 1.5V (not supplied)
  • Construction material: Polycarbonate
  • Shell finish: High gloss piano
  • Cushion material: PU leather
  • Color: Graphite
  • LED lights: Blue
  • Watch handling capacity: Two
  • Motor: 3V
  • Motor noise level: <5db
Interior of watch winder

Interior of watch winder

Visual Appeal

The Flint S120 is larger and far sturdier than the last watch winder I reviewed, and its high gloss checked graphite surface is quite attractive. While I prefer a glass window, the fitted acrylic pane presents an enticing view of my rotating watches. Blue background lighting can be illuminated if wished.

My collection of automatic watches

My collection of automatic watches

Two mechanical watches.  The timepiece on the right is not an automatic and cannot be wound by the watch winder

Two mechanical watches. The timepiece on the right is not an automatic and cannot be wound by the watch winder

Ease of Use

The operation of this device is relatively simple. I opened the door and removed the two cushions. Then I strapped a watch to each cushion and pressed them back into position.

Once the door was closed, I switched on the power and selected the mode I wished to use. I could have employed a key to lock the door and, if desired, turned on the blue LED background lights.

A large and an odd-shaped watch have been fastened to the cushions

A large and an odd-shaped watch have been fastened to the cushions

The cushions have been pressed into the slots

The cushions have been pressed into the slots

The Motor

An electric Mabuchi Motor quietly turns the attached watches one complete turn about every six seconds. This three-volt motor is powered by two R20 1.5V batteries or an AC adapter.

When in operation, the motor rotates only one-quarter of the time. This is enough to ensure the inserted watches are kept properly wound while minimizing the motor’s wear and tear.

A pair of automatic watches

A pair of automatic watches

Another pair of automatic watches

Another pair of automatic watches

Rotation

The mode switch determines the length and direction of rotation. The main power switch, background light toggle, battery storage, and power input are located in the same vicinity.

  • When the mode switch is in position one, the motor is stopped.
  • The inserted watches will rotate clockwise for two minutes in position two and then stop for six minutes. This cycle will continuously repeat.
  • The timepieces will rotate counterclockwise for two minutes in the third position and then stop for six minutes. This cycle repeats continuously.
  • The fourth position combines the previous two. Each complete cycle consists of two minutes of clockwise rotation, a six-minute rest period, two minutes of counterclockwise rotation, and another six-minute rest period.
  • The fifth position rotates the watches clockwise for 3 hours, rests for 9 hours, rotates the timepieces counterclockwise for 3 hours, and rests for another 9 hours.

Some automatic watches respond better when rotated clockwise. Others experience superior results when rotated in the opposite direction. Since I own a variety of timepieces, I generally keep the Flint S120 in the fourth position.

A pair of automatic watches

A pair of automatic watches

Another pair of automatic watches

Another pair of automatic watches

Overall Impression

The S120 is an appealingly designed and well-constructed device suitable for winding up to two automatic watches.

The noise level is low. I cannot detect the motor’s sound, but the rotating mechanism emits a slight low-pitched whisper. This sound gradually reduces as I back away, disappearing entirely at the eight-foot point. It should not disturb anyone’s slumber. If you are a very light sleeper, the mode switch could be set to the fifth position and timed so that its motor is not turning during the night.

I tested a variety of differently sized and shaped timepieces with this device. The Flint S120 was able to maintain them all without difficulty.

If you are looking for an inexpensive and attractive watch winder capable of supporting two timepieces, the Flint S120 should be at the top of your list.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Walter Shillington

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