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As you may know, many watch winders made by Orbita use lithium batteries as a power source. Below is some useful and interesting information about it.
The quest for storage batteries with longer battery service life was certainly spearheaded by the computer industry. To sell more laptops, Computer manufacturers needed longer-lived batteries to meet customer demands. The huge quantities that would be required by them excited the battery industry. Existing battery producers, together with several new entrants to the battery manufacturing business, responded with numerous sophisticated designs, all relying on Lithium based chemistry. At the same time, the impending oil crisis was forcing automobile manufacturers to explore new hybrid electrical drive systems that likewise required high energy storage batteries. Like the computer manufacturers, they too turned to Lithium battery chemistry to pack in more power than was obtainable from conventional lead-acid batteries. However, in virtually every industry where the use of Lithium batteries was being explored, their full potential was somewhat reduced by the need for these particular batteries to be fully rechargeable. Some design compromises would have to be made to accommodate the end user’s need for quick recharging cycles which necessitated high current flow into the battery which could cause dangerous overheating. Nonetheless, the inherent advantages of Lithium batteries easily overcame this mildly limiting factor and, today, Lithium batteries have come into their own as practical, albeit expensive, power sources for myriad applications in commerce and industry.
However, there was a small sector of industry that was willing to totally give up the ability to recharge the battery as it was “asleep” much of the time (applications like smoke detectors, emergency devices, remote alarms, EPIRB’s, etc). For them, compact battery size and long shelf life were much more critical attributes than the ability to recharge. Better to discard and replace a battery after 5 or 10 years of service than to worry about recharging it. Thus, several new and unique extremely powerful batteries were developed, particularly well suited for these low current drain applications and they soon became popular with manufacturers who readily accepted the recharging limitation.
These new, non-rechargeable Lithium batteries possess the highest energy capability of any known battery design, but, as mentioned, they are only suitable for applications with minimal current draw. Orbita realized that the extremely low battery drain properties of the Swiss-designed ironless core motors that they employ in their winders, which only draw 5 to 10 milliamperes when operating and less than 10 microamperes when in the “sleep” mode, were perfectly matched for use with these superb batteries. Orbita decided to “partner” with a well-known Lithium battery manufacturer and worked with them to develop a suitably sized “D” cell sized battery configuration that met their special Watchwinder needs.
The proprietary design of the Orbita Lithium batteries that finally emerged actually provides an output voltage of 3.6 volts, 240% higher than the 1.5 volts obtainable from normal alkaline batteries. Of course that higher voltage necessitated a number of changes in our Watchwinder circuitry but, by coupling two of these batteries together in parallel, Orbita was able to achieve power source with more than 10 times the battery life of our original winders which were powered with alkaline batteries. They knew this would keep their watch collector customers happy and so, at that point, the company decided to supply factory-installed Lithium batteries on all of our Sparta Watchwinders. These Lithium batteries are installed at their factory and should require no attention for at least 5 years, and probably several years more. When these batteries are finally depleted, easy to install replacements are readily available from Orbita.
Please check a video instruction about accessing the battery compartment:
Please check a video instruction about replacing the batteries: