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How Seiko watches revolutionized global watch technology



In 1977, a young engineer Seiko began to wonder how he could do to realize his dream of creating a watch that would last forever.

The idea is to make watches that are spring-wrapped and with one-second daily accuracy, a standard that can only be achieved by the most sophisticated electronic watches. This engineer, Yoshikazu Akahane, is a tenacious and passionate man for his work. It took 28 years for him, countless setbacks and more than 600 prototypes, but he and his team finally succeeded in creating a new technology that involved every aspect of watchmaking. In 2005, Seiko Spring Drive was born.

Kinetic – Like mechanics and quartz, Kinetic is a platform. Over the past 20 years, Seiko has created a series of kinetic movements on this platform, each of which has brought unique features to consumers. It was in 1986 at the Basel Fair that Seiko presented his first Kinetic prototype. Introduced by the temporary name ‘AGM’, it is the first watch in the world to convert kinetic movements into electrical energy. That was the first step in development which, 20 years later, made Kinetic synonymous with respect for the environment, high performance, and longevity for generations of users worldwide. Since its launch in 1988, the first commercially available watch (later with the new name AGS) to date, more than eight million Kinetic watches have been sold (since 2007).

In 1998 the Kinetic Auto Relay was presented, which guarantees the proper functioning of the watch even after 4 years of inactivity. In 1999 witnessed the launch of the Kinetic Ultimate Chronograph, a masterpiece that combined the best of Seiko’s mechanical and electronic watchmaking skills, and in 2003 another Kinetic Chronograph was launched. At Baselworld 2005, Kinetic Perpetual made its first appearance, combining Kinetic comfort and longevity, with a perpetual calendar, corrected for the year 2100. In 2007 the emotional technology of Seiko Kinetic Direct was introduced.

Kinetic Direct Drive – Seiko Kinetic Direct Drive is a manifestation of Seiko’s ’emotional technology’. Combining ecological attention and comfort for every Seiko Kinetic watch. As with all existing Kinetic caliber, watch users automatically generate electrical energy through wrist movements. However, users can load the Kinetic Direct Drive using a crown. Kinetic Direct Drive not only indicates the charge that is reserved, but also the level of energy produced when the user fills through the rotation of the crown. The user can see and feel, in real time, transfer energy directly from the crown rotation to the power reserve.


Kinetic Direct Drive creates direct interaction between the watch and the wearer!

Kinetic Perpetual – Kinetic Perpetual combines the beauty of a classic mechanical timeless calendar, corrected until February 28, 2100, with the superiority of precision Kinetic quartz, powered by your body’s movements. With 232 components, the amount is almost the same as other high-class mechanical chronographs such as Hamilton Khaki and Tag Heuer Monaco, and the smallest ultra-sonic engine in the world, with a thickness of only 0.4 millimeters. The Eternal Kinetic Caliber sets a new standard for timeless calendar watches.

This ultra-sonic motor with a thickness of 0.4 millimeters is the only driving force for 101 mechanical gear parts from a perpetual calendar that displays correctly not only dates and days, but also months, including February leap years. This excellent calendar is also governed by a photo sensor that corrects dates, days, months and years, including February leap years.


This caliber also incorporates Seiko’s unique Kinetic Auto-Relay technology. This is supported by your body’s movements and guarantees accuracy and reliability. With Auto-Relay, the watch, when not in use, functions normally for 6 months maintaining a full charge, after it goes into “sleep” mode for up to four years. The precision is fixed and the calendar continues to show the correct date, month, and year, but the hand stops saving energy until, after the watch is worn again, the hand is automatically replaced to show the correct time.


Quartz – Quartz watches, developed in 1969, have revolutionized the concept of traditional watches. This is a clock that contains a crystal oscillator in it to guarantee its accuracy. The crystalline body of the crystalline chunks of shape has the characteristic of producing constant vibrations if a voltage is applied to it. For centuries, the idea that the specific electrical properties of these crystals could be used for crystal oscillators capable of providing high precision in clock time settings had been strengthened. However, to make use of quartz crystals, whose superiority has been demonstrated in terms of precision, watchmakers face many obstacles to overcome. In 1969, Seiko managed to solve all of these problems and made commercially available quartz watches available to the world for the first time.


It was a ten-year journey originating from the plan to develop crystal oscillation hours at Suwa Seikosha. To develop practical quartz watches, unique technology has been made that is only available from Seiko. For example, the adoption of a crystal oscillator in the form of diapason and the development of ICs and stepper motors to transmit signals correctly from a crystal oscillator. In addition, driven by the desire and desire to change the future of watches, Seiko does not require a monopoly on patents from this unique technology, which is therefore available to the whole world. Then, many of the technologies provided by Seiko have become world standards and have contributed to the development of today’s quartz watches.

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