For over a 100 years, Seiko is into the business and has triumphed both in the fields of classical watch-making and modern microelectronics. It has created several industry standards (the first quartz movement, for example) and from that, it can be agreed Seiko divides time and efforts equally behind the production and the R&D. Almost every year or two they dream up new movements and currently, covers five major different movement categories. Besides the traditional quartz and automatic mechanical movements, Seiko’s groundbreaking technology concepts manifests through the Kinetic quartz, the Kinetic Direct Drive and the quartz-regulated Spring Drive. The Spring Drive is actually a mechanical movement, but it obeys the quartz’s commands. Arguably, it’s the ultimate combination of quartz and mechanical concepts and gives form to the idea of an automatic mechanical movement with the accuracy and precision that of a quartz.
Every Seiko innovation thus guarantees superior performance under the harshest of conditions and real rough use. Let’s see Seiko’s other groundbreaking technologies from a bit closer.
It’s about added features and functions that enhanced the ordinary Seiko kinetic perpetual, which is a platform like mechanical and quartz. This platform now includes several variations on the Kinetic concept and each one has its own unique features and functions. For example, the Kinetic Perpetual.
It was given the classic beauty of a mechanical perpetual calendar calender and something more – an auto-relay function to allow timely shut-downs and automatic wake-ups. This makes possible automatic adjustments for odd/even months, even in leap years and it will do so till February 2100. Auto-relay comes to play after 24 hours of inactivity; this is when the watch keeps time internally. Upon reactivation( shake it up), it automatically resets itself to the present time. The max limit is 4 years, which Seiko makes possible with a proprietary energy-saving IC and an open-step motor. The hibernation period showcases a masterpiece in low-energy watchmaking.
The world's smallest ultra-sonic motor (driving a 101-parts mechanical gear train) is also another example of the ground breaking technology from Seiko Monster. At 0.4 mm thickness and photo-sensor controlled, it’s a new standard in watch making. The sensor reads marks on each of the gears at the train and corrects the calender.
Other variations in this platform are the Kinetic Direct Drive and the Kinetic GMT, both offering valuable additions to ecological balance and its related conveniences and advantages. The latter, for example, allows setting the hour hand without interfering with the others and brings forth a unique combination of elegant, powerful designs with ‘get, set & forget’ convenience.
But we are yet to see how they bring to use the smallest flying robot they built a decade back. Perhaps you just need to press a button on your keyring and the watch will come to you flying!