Grand Seiko Spring Drive 8-Days and what’s so “Seiko” about the Spring Drive technology

By rolex
April 6, 2021
10 min read

Here’s the beginning of a story that I didn’t hope to distribute on Monochrome, ever! It’s about a watch with a development that is outfitted with a quartz crystal. Wait… discussing quartz? On Monochrome? Indeed, I wouldn’t say that I’ve went to the clouded side, anyway visiting Seiko in Japan a year ago has made me fully aware of the magnificence of the Spring Drive developments, even if the controlling organ inside highlights something that would ordinarily leave some terrible insight regarding my mouth…a quartz crystal. Today we’re going to investigate to Spring Drive innovation and the motivation behind why I was so open to studying this technology… the staggering Grand Seiko Spring Drive 8-Days. 

Last year I had the advantage to visit Seiko (and Grand Seiko) in Japan on a broad 5-roadtrip . Something that stood apart to me, was that the Japanese have a very different way to deal with watchmaking than the Swiss or the Germans. Despite the fact that I locate the German methodology as of now to some degree not quite the same as the Swiss, the Japanese methodology is altogether different. I’ve portrayed it before as a designing methodology, perhaps with a touch of geeky ness. Even without attempting to put a mark on this, my broad production trip has made me have the most extreme regard and appreciation for everything Seiko.

Quartz, really?

The methodology seems more directed by a designing methodology than a watchmaking approach. Thus an alternate method to think, an alternate method to take care of issues, an alternate method to discover arrangements. And keeping in mind that the quartz development, regardless of whether it’s the most moderate quartz watch you get up at the neighborhood retail chain or a Patek Philippe Twenty-4 (Patek’s effective women watch with a quartz development), both are more exact than any mechanical watch. Enough said. No conversation. So as far as exactness, quartz rules. Anyway regarding feeling, quartz neglects to convey. What’s more, feeling is what drive us to spend in some cases crazy amounts of cash on something we really don’t require, in particular a mechanical wrist watch. So why that a development, which isn’t the normal quartz development, yet at the same time uses a quartz crystal, can work up my feelings so that my boundaries against acquiring a Seiko Spring Drive are completely gone? That is the thing that shocked me, thus in this story I’m going to investigate the Spring Drive innovation, and shed some light on perhaps the most delightful watches that I’ve at any point seen, the Grand Seiko Spring Drive 8-Days.

Seiko’s pursuit of precision

As I’ve previously said, as far as I might be concerned, the Japanese way to deal with watch-production gives off an impression of being grounded in designing. In striving to improve the accuracy of a mechanical watch, the architects at Seiko looked for the most ideal arrangement. In their hunt they were not limited by the standard limitations that everybody in the Swiss watch industry would experience. Any battery controlled advance engine, which is the center of a quartz development, would not make the cut due to the previously mentioned absence of feelings. So the arrangement was to make a development that closely resembles an ordinary mechanical development, anyway for certain parts that expands its accuracy drastically.

How the Seiko Spring Drive works

The outcome was a development with a ‘normal’ heart that stores the energy for the development, a stuff train and “something” to A) prevent the origin from loosening up quickly, and B) to control the loosening up to a high accuracy. That “something” is the thing that makes the Spring Drive so extraordinary, so unique and furthermore so extraordinarily exact. That “something” is the Tri-Synchro Regulator.

The Tri-Synchro Regulator comprises an IC, a magnet, curls around the magnet, a ‘rotor’ and a quartz oscillator (something we know from quartz developments). This capacities as the brake, as in a typical mechanical development, the escapement will play out the directed slowing down. The ‘rotor‘ that I referenced isn’t the programmed winding rotor, or programmed winding oscillator. It is a wheel that could be viewed as the escapement, anyway it has a smooth profile, and turns a lot quicker than a departure wheel, and just in one direction.

When the origin loosens up, it drives the cog wheels and pivots the hands. A fraction of the energy from the fountainhead is utilized to produce a little electric flow, which controls a quartz oscillator and an IC. We as a whole realize that quartz crystals have a truly steady recurrence, and here additionally the quartz crystal inside the oscillator (that’s the part that takes after a tuning fork) does precisely equivalent to in any quartz development. Anyway it is essential to take note of that Seiko chooses simply the best quartz crystal for the Grand Seiko and Spring Drive movements.

The signal of the quartz oscillator is composed, by the IC, with the speed at which the fountainhead loosens up. The IC is situated in the middle of the quartz oscillator and the rotor, and directs the recurrence of the rotor (and in this manner, through the whole stuff train, the loosening up of the origin.) by methods for a controlled electro-attractive brake. The video underneath quite shows how it works…

The immaculate hand-completed development parts, the “home-grown” quartz crystals and the determination of the absolute best crystal to be utilized in the Spring Drive types, the way that this development needn’t bother with a battery or step-engine, and the massive regard for subtleties that I’ve saw at Seiko, persuaded me that Spring Drive is a whole lot unique in relation to a normal, or even a top of the line, quartz movement.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive 8-Days in platinum ref.SBDG201

During this trip I was wearing my old Seiko Lord Marvel from 1967. Fascinating subtlety, Seiko dispatched its hi-beat development in a Lord Marvel 36,000 of every 1967. My old watch showed a ton of similarity to the fresh out of the box new Grand Seiko Spring Drive 8-Days and I sort of began to look all starry eyed at it. Precisely the same looks, comparable case, dial and hands plan, anyway in a more contemporary size. My old one estimates 35mm. This new one estimates 43mm in breadth and is 13.2mm thick. In spite of these somewhat noteworthy estimations in addition to the utilization of platinum (which is very substantial because of an extremely thick construction), it wears charming on the wrist and doesn’t feel too large or too thick.

The case shape, all points and slopes, and its development, is comparative. The hands and markers, and the Seiko name applied on the dial, is additionally comparable. Have confidence, when I saw this I was building up a genuine shaky area for this specific Grand Seiko. It was distinctly on second look that I saw the word Spring Drive imprinted in blue on the striking brilliant/white dial. This obviously caused a little wavering in my eagerness, anyway when I turned over the watch, the delay was gone.

The completing is totally aw-motivating and faultless, and specialists will perceive how amazingly troublesome this sort of completing is.

Spring Drive Caliber 9R01

While the entire Spring Drive developments offer 72 hours of force hold, this type offers 8 days (192 hours) of force save. To accomplish this more extended force hold, the team at the Micro Artist studio added two more origins, and along these lines this type has three barrels in arrangement. This exceptional type has additionally been planned all through to expand energy productivity, diminishing contact between parts that would somehow or another lead to misfortune in the transmission of the energy got from the mainspring.

The development shows hours, minutes and seconds, and is exact to ±10 seconds a month. Undoubtedly, give or take 10 seconds per month, or just a large portion of a second for every day!

Case and dial

The case is made in platinum 950, which is a mix containing 95% platinum. Seiko built up their own cleaning procedure, called Zaratsu cleaning strategy, and this gives the case strongly characterized edges and angles, and it is likely a standout amongst other completed platinum cases I have ever seen.

The dial looks exceptionally unadulterated and white, and highlights a sparkling precious stone residue impact. As indicated by Seiko this is suggestive of a colder time of year morning in the Suwa district, close to the studio, and it has been purified through water ‘diamond-dust’. Completing of the hands, records and everything is totally flawless, and really demonstrates that the people over at Seiko gained well from the Swiss, or to be more exact, from as a matter of fact Mr. Philippe Dufour.

Conclusion

The Grand Seiko Spring Drive 8-Days is anything but a restricted release, anyway it is restricted as far as creation, and retails for approx. € 60.000 EUR. This value separates it from direct competition, being other very good quality three-hand watches from the preferences of Patek or Vacheron. Regarding completing this Grand Seiko effectively holds up close to previously mentioned Swiss brands, and as far as accuracy it smashes the exactness of any tourbillon out there. It’s not a watch to flaunt (despite the fact that it looks fantastic) yet is rather much to a greater extent a connoisseur’s piece. On the off chance that you appreciate tremendously great completing of the case, dial, hands and development, and worth exactness, this is an ideal decision. A perfectionist choice.

In the title I called this watch very “Seiko”, and I imply that it’s a perfectionist watch, created by specialists to accomplish an extraordinary degree of exactness. The decisions settled on were engineer decisions, not promoting decisions. Exactness, exceptionally long force save, faultless completion gained from non other than Mr. Philippe Dufour.

Please note that:

  • This watch is not accessible outside of Japan, anyway when you ask at your nearby Grand Seiko shop, they could possibly arrange one for you.
  • As of this current year, Seiko chose to dispatch Grand Seiko as a different brand. For marking and situating it will be all the more clear and straightforward. It also implies that the watch as I shot it, will come with a marginally unique dial, presently with the Grand Seiko name and logo at the 12 o’clock position, as shown below. 

Grand Seiko Spring Drive 8-Days SBGD201 specifications

  • Case: 43mm width x 13.2mm thick – 950 platinum, Zaratsu cleaned – box sapphire crystal on the front and level sapphire crystal on the back – Water impervious to 100m/10 bar
  • Movement: Spring Drive type 9R01, created and produced in-house – manual winding – 172 hours power save – hours, minutes, seconds
  • Bracelet: dark gator cowhide tie with platinum collapsing clasp.
  • Price: € 60.000 EUR

More data here on the new Grand Seiko site , or through your nearby Grand Seiko dealer.