Seiko lifts the veil

Seiko lifts the veil


Spring Drive Watches are revolutionary not only in watchmaking, they changed many things in life itself Seiko. Perhaps the first time in its 125-year history of the company has decided to break tradition and invited one of his ultra-modern plants a group of Europeans. Among them were representatives of the Russian company “Avanteydzh.”

Few Europeans until last year could boast that he had visited the factories in Japan, Seiko. And it definitely had more human foot from Russia did not step into the territory of one of the flagships of the group – Seiko Epson plant in the city of Morioka. A certain “closeness” of Japanese to understand. Having chosen many years ago, its strategy advantage in technology, they are carefully guarded trade secrets from prying eyes. However, company policy has changed: Seiko interests increasingly shifted towards more expensive products.

Rebuilding the lineup and offering some interesting collections, over the past three years, Seiko was able to repositioning and now in great demand model, the price to $ 1,000. However, the company’s plans are much further in the sector prestigious mechanical watches and other rules of the game here. And Seiko started slowly wraps his work. To familiarize our partners with the technical capabilities of the company and with the way the model produced the most prestigious group in October, representatives of several European distribution companies have been invited to the factory, which produces the latest development of the company – watch Seiko Spring Drive.

Seiko lifts the veil

From simple to highly complex

The company, located in a small quiet town 500 kilometers from Tokyo, is really impressive. This is a huge five-level building, each floor of which is the size of a football field. The spectrum of products produced here range from relatively simple quartz movements to practically unknown to European buyer of exclusive models and Grand Seiko Credor cost from $ 25 000. Here begins the production of revolutionary Seiko Spring Drive.

Sites for the production of each product have its own specifics. So, shop for the manufacture of quartz movements is a huge room in which there are eight production lines. The capacity of each – a mechanism per second. The shop is fully automated and the whole huge enterprise quietly managed only a few people.

A completely different picture in the workshops for the production of complex mechanical watches. Their interior is much more similar to European manufactures. Grand Seiko quartz clock collecting decorated and regulated manually by experienced masters. Just as in the leading European factories, machinery and collected tested twice – in “draft” and definitive versions. The only way to guarantee high quality.

Generally, in terms of mechanisms, quality finishes and approaches with which the Japanese masters are working on creating watches, top models and Grand Seiko Credor nothing inferior products of the leading Swiss manufactures.

By the way, what standard of quality and accuracy of the Grand Seiko shows the following fact: Seiko timepiece at one time became the winner of the chronometers, which was held in Neuchatel Observatory in Switzerland? And right after that took place many decades contest was canceled. Evil tongues say that Swiss watchmakers could not endure the defeat and decided to “close the topic,” so as not to tempt fate again.

Grand Seiko, as well as chic jewelry Credor with perpetual calendar and other complex functions, are very popular in Japan. In Europe, they almost never come. As spoken by Seiko – not enough capacity. True, looking at the tremendous opportunities of only one plant in Morioka, believe in it with difficulty.

Seiko lifts the veil

Bet on the new

The highlight of the program, which was conceived for the seminar, was to visit the site assembly of Spring Drive. This is the latest development of Seiko, which promises to revolutionize the watchmaking. As he said at a gala dinner to mark the arrival of guests a descendant of the founder of the Seiko and the current CEO Shinzo Hatori, namely Spring Drive has become the engine that will allow us to break into the very top tier of producers of prestigious watches.

Guests are shown all the operations the production of unique mechanisms, ranging from machining to assembly and testing. It was amazing to see how the latest technology and modern equipment, as if descended from a futuristic movie screen, combined with manual labor.

On the one hand-tight compartment, which produce the most delicate operations? And on the other – a small table with sticks of wood a special kind, which is polished by hand in the mechanisms of the tribe Spring Drive. Even in Japan, not everyone can make a car and the production of high quality mechanical watches Seiko uses traditional technology. The most amazing thing was waiting for us at the end: each of the guests have an opportunity to independently collect the mechanism of Spring Drive.

Once upon a time I ignored the words, read in a foreign magazine: “It is hard to come up area of watchmaking, which if you wish Seiko would not have become a leader. After all, this company produces almost all types of watches – from simple quartz to mechanical timepieces great, chronographs, perpetual calendars. ‚ÄúSeeing with my own eyes the plant in Morioka, I remembered these lines and is ready to fully support the author. And if the concern that has such a potential, made a stake on Spring Drive, apparently, just for the technology future.

Not ticking, but there are

In the same way as conventional mechanical watches Seiko , Spring Drive powered by a clockwork spring, have the exact same set of gears, rotating arrows and automatic winding module. Only instead of the traditional site of descent (anchor-wheel balance) they have a so-called “sliding wheel,” is visually very similar to the balance. In contrast to ordinary mechanics, the speed of rotation of the wheel is regulated by an electronic circuit.

In this clock does not have batteries or any other source of power: the electronic part fed the energy obtained during the rotation of the wheel? For the owner of Spring Drive differ from normal hours so that it is absolutely silent in operation and the second hand moves absolutely smoothly, without any jumps. There is one difference: the accuracy of the Spring Drive – one second per day.

In some European countries, the first models Spring Drive on sale in the fall and immediately called barrage of interest. They say that shopkeepers cost no small effort to keep one copy for windows.

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