This definitely falls on the geek side of the fence more than the tech side, but I’m OK with that. I love globes. I have a beautiful mother of pearl Earth globe on a table in the corner of my office, and a globe of the Moon sitting on the corner of my desk. There’s just something about globes that captures my attention and interest.
Let’s take a closer look at what makes these MOVA globes unique.
It’s a globe, so the form should be more or less self-explanatory. It’s a sphere. The MOVA globes come in three different sizes—4.5-inch, 6-inch, and 8.5-inch spheres.
MOVA offers a wide range of globes. There is a diverse array of Earth globes available, beige, blue, antique, silver, silver and black, etc.. MOVA also has celestial globes—Earth’s moon, and the planets of our solar system along with some of the more notable moons that orbit them. There are also MOVA globes of artwork, and globes of sports like a baseball or basketball.
MOVA also offers a range bases for each of the globes so you can add some unique flair to match the style or décor of your home or office.
The MOVA globes are encased in a plastic sphere and rotate automatically within that sphere, powered by some sort of arcane magic. At least, that’s my explanation. There is no battery and no power cord. You don’t need to charge or recharge the globe in any way. It just rotates.
The MOVA website explains that the perpetual motion is powered by ambient light and the magnetic field of Earth. It describes the technology behind the rotation like this:
A sophisticated motion mechanism, powered by ambient light, rests discreetly inside each globe. Consisting of solar cells, magnetic elements and other proprietary components, the mechanism drives the continuous rotation without any batteries or power cords.
If you really, really want to understand the science behind the perpetual motion, you can fill out a form on the website and MOVA will send you a PDF explaining the advanced physics and new technological developments that make the MOVA globes possible.
The internal globe is gyroscopic. You can flip, twist, and rotate the outer sphere, but the globe will always remain properly oriented.
I haven’t completely determined what the minimal or optimal amount of ambient light is to generate the perpetual motion. I have found that the light in my office is not enough by itself, but it doesn’t take much sunlight for the globe to spin.
The MOVA globes are simply awesome. My only wish is that I would prefer to have one of the larger models—the unit that was sent to me is one of the small, 4.5-inch globes. If you are a globe geek like me, or you know someone who is, I highly recommend the MOVA globes.
You can buy them directly from the MOVA website, but they’re not cheap. The small 4.5-inch models like the one that was sent to me start around $125. The 6-inch globes are more in the $250-plus range, and the full-size 8.5-inch globes cost $500. Still, I would love to have the full-size 8.5-inch MOVA globe of Earth sitting on the corner of my desk just perpetually spinning by magic.
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15 thoughts on “Review: MOVA Globes”
absolutely great if it works – but MOVA will not honor warranty on a unit that did not work out of box
MOVA globes are great gifts, amazing technology, 100% original gift.
BUT they do not last… After a few months an air bubble appears. The user guide indicate it as “normal”. And some time later, your globe stop rotating. It’s a common problem well known by MOVA. But it’s too late, your warranty has expired.
As long as the warranty is not extended, or the product better built, it’s too expensive for the litlle amount of time it will work.
I’ve had mine for over a year without any air bubbles. The globe did stop rotating, but MOVA support told me a trick to sort of reset the magnetic pull. I placed a paper clip on top of the globe for an hour or two, and voila! Globe has worked perfectly since then.
Two years into owning one, the globe has a huge unsightly air bubble in it. MOVA would only replace it for 90 plus dollars. Way to not support your product. This globe has done nothing but set on a shelf for all that time and was virtually never handled. Save your money, it won’t work or last very long.
That is unfortunate. However, mine is more than two years old now and still going strong. The one issue I had is that it stopped turning about a year ago–but Mova support explained to me how to recalibrate the magnet to get it going again. I appreciate that it sucks that yours has an issue, but no company can be expected to support a product forever, and I think it’s fair to say that after two years it is something other than a simple manufacturing defect. I don’t know what size globe you have, but assuming the smallest / cheapest–a $90 replacement is still a 44% discount off of buying a new one. That seems fairly generous.
Please can yo pass on what Mova told you to do to recalibrate the magnet. Our little 125mm globe works fine most of the time but some days, it moves intermittently for no reason. It is never moved from it’s position and sits in the same place all the time. It has plenty of natural light. It’s just a little quirky problem that I would like to get to the bottom of.
Other than this, we love our little globe, it’s always admired by visitors.
Sure. It is so simple you won’t believe it. Honestly, when they told me I did not expect it to work. Just set a paperclip on top of the globe and leave it there for a while. The metal of the paperclip will recalibrate the magnet. I did that and it worked fine after a few minutes and has worked flawlessly since then.
Just because you have not seen a problem does not mean a problem does not exist. Furthermore, the “bubble of death” is a well known issue by this company, they even mention it in their owners manual. Yet, they have not addressed the issue and are still selling this defective product. Their customer support is totally useless and will not honor their own warranty. Beyond comprehension they are still in business. Over priced, known defect, useless warranty, poor customer support, etc. Parasites.
Couldn’t agree more. Mine stopped after three years (half of which is of course night when the mechanism isn’t powered) with the dreaded “bubble trouble”. An offer to replace at a reduced price is taking you for an idiot as you will likely end up back where you started again when the replacement also develops a bubble. This product has a known fault and is not fit for purpose. Yet it conntinues to be marketed as a long life product. I would go so far as to say that it is a piece of sh*t.
I can’t speak to anyone else’s experience. All I can say is that the paperclip trick worked to recalibrate mine and I only had the issue once. It’s been years and it still rotates every day just fine.
I’ve owned two MOVA globes and both developed an air bubble and stopped turning, the first after about 2 years and the last one after 18 months, the MOVA website says this is “normal” and will go away, well it doesn’t, my first globe that developed a bubble still has it nearly 2 years later.
There is a design flaw which MOVA obviously know about as it appears in their documentation which years later they still haven’t bothered to fix. I recently saw one of the cubes with the globe inside, their most recent product being advertised on Amazon and their was clearly a bubble at the top of the cube! I am very disappointed with my experience with MOVA products, they’re beautiful when they work, but their failure rate is very high if the comments around the internet is anything to be believed.
Had globe 18 months and it developed bubble about 1″ diameter and stopped rotating. Put large paperclip as suggested, worked for about a day and then stopped altogether. Co. refuses or can’t fix, warranty expired (one year) and 60% of cost to replace. WHY? Forget it
I agree that is not ideal. That has also not been my experience, though. I have had the globe for years. When I had an issue, the paperclip trick fixed it and it has continued (and still continues) to work as expected for years after that. I realize that is no consolation for the fact that your experience has not been as good.
CompNy will not repair or replace a defective globe that developed an internal leak causing an air bubble and stopped working. Offered me a new one at wholesale price.
Not a very responsible company.
Are you past the one year warranty period? If so, it is unreasonable to expect the company to do anything more. It is going above and beyond for them to offer anything–including a wholesale discount–after the warranty is expired.
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