Japan is a country full of contrasts and sharp contrasts. It has pleasant rural scenery and the sprawling expansion of metropolises such as Tokyo; it has both an overcrowded subway station and ancient temples and temples; it inherits traditional customs such as the tea ceremony karate and builds a completely western-style Ginza shopping Area.
There is also an additional contrast, that Seiko, which was successful as a quartz watchmaker, is also incredibly competitive in the field of mechanical watchmaking. Maybe this is not obvious, but after visiting Seiko’s factory facilities in Japan, I have a new understanding of the brand’s R & D and production capabilities, and a new understanding of its future development prospects.
History of mechanical watchmaking
Since its establishment in 1881, Seiko has been committed to the development and production of mechanical watches. But even when the quartz movement technology developed that year shocked the world’s watchmaking circles, and even almost ended the Swiss mechanical watchmaking, Seiko still did not give up its focus on mechanical movements.
When the hour hand was turned back to Seiko’s initial involvement in watchmaking, everything was mechanical. Seiko quickly established a brand reputation with reliable and accurate timekeeping performance. The fact that Japan does not have a traditional small watchmaking workshop means that Seiko cannot rely on a supplier network that specializes in the production of parts. Factory completed. As a result, Seiko has become one of the few vertically integrated watchmaking brands in the world.
“Our timepieces are independently developed and manufactured in the brand’s own watch factory,” said Shinji Hattori, President and CEO of Seiko. “We make our own hairsprings, clockwork, all small parts-even wheels Lubricant. ‘
Seiko watch factory facilities are impressive, equipped with the latest and most advanced machines required to make a wide range of precision parts. The same is true of watchmaking workshops. In front of rows of tables, watchmakers are concentrating on assembling and adjusting watches.
Grand Seiko Collection
Grand Seiko HI-BEAT 36000
Grand Seiko is Seiko’s flagship luxury watch collection and is now available worldwide. This series of products has a traditional style, which is hand-assembled by the watchmaker in the Grand Seiko workshop, and is meticulous in precision and finishing details. The Grand Seiko collection has been sold very successfully in Japan and rivals the top Swiss brands. Outside the country, this may still be a big challenge, but Japanese traditional watchmaking has established a foothold worldwide.
Spring Drive movement
The Spring Drive movement was launched by Seiko in 1998 and has been in development for 28 years. This Spring Drive movement is not equipped with a balance wheel escapement. Instead, it combines a high-quality mechanical movement with electromagnetic adjustment-this is the so-called Tri-Synchro Regulator. This device can synchronously control and adjust the output of three different energy sources, mechanical capacity, electricity and electronic magnetic energy produced by the mainspring.
The abandonment of the mechanical balance wheel escapement system also allows the second hand to move smoothly on the dial, which truly reflects the flow of time. Seiko produces a variety of Spring Drive watches, including the Credor Sonnerie.
Credor Spring Drive watch
Credor is a high-end product line of the Seiko brand, which is currently mainly sold in the Japanese domestic market. Since then, Seiko has demonstrated its superb skills, designing and producing timepieces and other high-end complications. I watched the work of a watchmaker. His craftsmanship is no different from any high-level Swiss watchmaker. In fact, I feel that the watchmaking workshop is just like Switzerland-a Swiss-style workbench with hand tools required for different processes, and the quiet and peaceful atmosphere allows the watchmaker to concentrate on it.
About the future
Seiko is a very successful watchmaking brand, but it hasn’t got the broad stage it deserves. Seiko watchmaking has a long history, and the high-quality watches produced are amazing. Focusing on product quality, continuing and developing the watchmaking tradition, Seiko is on the right path.