SEIKO Mechanical : Traditional watchmaking at its most green. - Grand Seiko SBGH005
SEIKO Kinetic and the environment
Only SEIKO has mastered the challenge of generating electricity from the kinetic movement of the wearer's wrist. This electricity is stored in a self-recharging battery that needs much less frequent replacement than the conventional cell battery in a quartz watch, a major advance in "green" watchmaking.
Ever wondered why only SEIKO offers a Kinetic watch? The answer is simple; many others have tried and indeed some briefly marketed their own versions, but only SEIKO has succeeded in inventing the components and technologies required. Ever since SEIKO launched the world's first quartz watch in 1969, SEIKO's engineers were addressing the next, and very obvious challenge, namely to create a quartz watch that would generate its own power. In 1988, after 18 years of R&D and with 50 patents applied for, SEIKO succeeded in creating the Kinetic watch. It was the first watch in the world to convert kinetic movement into electrical energy, and it remains, still today, the only watch with this remarkable technology.
To be a SEIKO watch engineer is to be a member of a creative and innovative team, with a spirit fostered by an annual design contest. The task varies each year, but in 2003, it was to create the smallest possible flying robot! The reward was none, except the satisfaction of being the best. This particular year, the winning entry was powered by an entirely new ultra-small ultrasonic motor, the latest version of which powers the Kinetic Perpetual Calendar and delivers precise and instant date changes every day until February, 2100.
In order to realize the Kinetic dream, the development of an energy-saving IC and open step motor was indispensable. In 1986, SEIKO's engineers succeeded in producing an IC with energy consumption of only 0.9 micro-watts of power, which was just 3% of that needed in the first Quartz watch: the Astron. Today, Kinetic Direct Drive uses just 0.71 micro-watts. Once again, there is less energy, more power, and more performance.
SEIKO's engineers could. The Kinetic Perpetual caliber is so energy-efficient that it can operate for 4 years without being worn and has a calendar correct to February, 2100. How? When the watch is not being worn, it "hibernates", the hands stop, but the watch remembers the time until it is put on again, and the hands re-set automatically to the right time. This is a masterpiece of "low energy" watchmaking.
The latest Kinetic movement is Kinetic Direct Drive. Turn the crown and the real-time power indicator shows the power you generate as you turn the crown and the indicator shows the actual amount of power you are generating. It is simple, re-assuring and exciting. At SEIKO, advanced technology is human technology.
To generate electricity from Kinetic energy inside a watch is no easy task! To do so, it was necessary to create a rotor that could spin at 100,000 rpm, or 5 times faster than a Formula One engine. And to do that, we had to invent a way to suspend the rotor with magnetic levitation, so that it would rotate friction-free. All in all, it's magic!