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Bear with me a little here.

Let's forget the innovation and the brilliancy of the technical aspects of mating an automatic movement with quartz. If you don't take that into consideration, for the user, what's the benefit of Spring Drive ::) ? So far I only heard that you get the "feel of an auto but the accuracy of a quartz". Well, in my simpleton's mind, I rationalize that if you want accuracy, get a quartz (HEQ preferably), but if you want the "romantic feel of something mechanic tied to your wrist", get a mechanical watch. A Spring Drive will not deliver the ultimate accuracy of a HEQ or a RC, so at least in my eyes the accuracy benefit is only partial. However, I agree that it does feel like a normal auto. So if you don't get the accuracy of quartz (I'm not talking about cheap quartz), you only get the auto feel. Ergo, why not just get an auto then :-X ?

Though I can easily see all the technical advancements that the Spring Drive means, and I think the simplicity of the concept is just brilliant, I honestly can't see a huge advantage of the technology. After all, you do not get the accuracy of a good quartz, so I think it's just a more accurate mechanical watch (but not HEQ or RC accurate). IMHO I can only see this as something cool, but nothing to die for. Definitively not in the same league as auto winding or HEQ or über resistance (think G-Shock). It's cool, but that's it, just cool. For the watch weirdos like us it is something very interesting and different, but if you're just wearing a watch and not thinking about all the technical aspects... What's the point?

Ok, pull out the flame throwers :eek: .
 

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+2s/per month...gliding second hand...you goto have one in hand to understand its beauty.

I'm no longer interested in mechanical GS, not even the LE hi-beats..

SD is the next I would pay for...

I wish Seiko would hold up to their price for SD and please never never use it in even mid end models, otherwise it will be the end to the brand.
 

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Luciano, while your observations are valid, you have also managed to completely miss the point as to what SD actually brings to the table. Essentially, SD is a 21st century mechanical watch movement that does away with the inherited problems and limitations of traditional mechanical watch technology. These are, namely, the escapement (which is centuries old technology)it also does away with the balance wheel and pallet fork, two components that are prone to high wear that are affected by positional variance, gravity and temperature, thereby negatively impacting accuracy and durability. This is the reason why high grade mechanical movements need expensive and frequent maintenance intervals.

The beauty of SD is that you can have a 90%+ mechanical watch that is dead accurate and does not suffer from the common issues and limitations of purely mechanical watches.

Imagine a watch that is 30% more effective at hand winding, has a 72 hour power reserve and that you can leave at any resting position during the night without affecting it's overall accuracy. SD does not care about position and gravity a dream come true!.

Also the glide wheel and tri-syncro regulator does not suffer fro the high parts wear of a typical mechanical escapement. This means less frequent service pit stops. The constant back and forth banging of the balance wheel and pallet fork is what kills mechanical watches in the long run.

And then you have the mesmerazing smooth and even movement of the seconds hand which is perfect and stutter free thus reflecting the true forward motion of time.

Of course you pay top dime for all this goodness. Let's face it.... Mechanical watches are inaccurate and impractical in the face of quartz technology. But to those of us that know and appreciate horology we love them buy them and put up with them. Going by the logic of your argument we should really not bother as a $15 Casio is accurate enough practical and tough as nails, right?


In my experience, SD is indeed HEQ accuracy all the way. I have kept my Ananta wound up for over a month with absolutely no gain/loss of time. It is simply put amazing!

It is a common held belief that Seiko cherry picks the quartz crystals used in SD movements. These are not ordinary crystals as far as I can tell. Their -/+ 15 secs per month official accuracy specs are extremely conservative imho. There is something more to it than it actually meets the eye.

Spring Drive has substantial durability and performance advantages over purely high grade mechanical movements. Also SD is impervious to position variance, gravity and temperature which are the Achilles heel of mechanical watches for the better part of 500 years.

No amount of technical explanations will be enough to convince the skeptics. SD is something that you either get or you don't. Not until you hold/ own one you will not be able to understand and appreciate what the technology is all about.




LUW said:
Bear with me a little here.

Let's forget the innovation and the brilliancy of the technical aspects of mating an automatic movement with quartz. If you don't take that into consideration, for the user, what's the benefit of Spring Drive ::) ? So far I only heard that you get the "feel of an auto but the accuracy of a quartz". Well, in my simpleton's mind, I rationalize that if you want accuracy, get a quartz (HEQ preferably), but if you want the "romantic feel of something mechanic tied to your wrist", get a mechanical watch. A Spring Drive will not deliver the ultimate accuracy of a HEQ or a RC, so at least in my eyes the accuracy benefit is only partial. However, I agree that it does feel like a normal auto. So if you don't get the accuracy of quartz (I'm not talking about cheap quartz), you only get the auto feel. Ergo, why not just get an auto then :-X ?

Though I can easily see all the technical advancements that the Spring Drive means, and I think the simplicity of the concept is just brilliant, I honestly can't see a huge advantage of the technology. After all, you do not get the accuracy of a good quartz, so I think it's just a more accurate mechanical watch (but not HEQ or RC accurate). IMHO I can only see this as something cool, but nothing to die for. Definitively not in the same league as auto winding or HEQ or über resistance (think G-Shock). It's cool, but that's it, just cool. For the watch weirdos like us it is something very interesting and different, but if you're just wearing a watch and not thinking about all the technical aspects... What's the point?

Ok, pull out the flame throwers :eek: .
 

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Also, the thing to understand here is that while HAQ/HEQ and R/C quartz movements can achieve same levels of accuracy as SD (And likely cheaper too than SD) for the watch "Purist" the fact that he can have a mechanical watch without the weakness of same (Akin to have your cake and eat it too) and be able to achieve true high accuracy without batteries, radios or thermo compensation is the pure definition of WIS "Nirvana".


You have to handle a Spring Drive watch in person to be able to grasp the huge significance and impact the technology represents to horology as a whole. :-*
 

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The problem will come when the existing Seiko SD patents expire. Watch the Chinese producing $500 Spring Drive watches. Mark my words. Also the Swiss are eagerly awaiting for the day in which they can jump into the SD bandwagon. Unless Seiko can hold on perpetually to their patents it is s matter of time before SD becomes more accesible to the masses, even if Seiko has nothing to do with it.

seikomatic said:
+2s/per month...gliding second hand...you goto have one in hand to understand its beauty.

I'm no longer interested in mechanical GS, not even the LE hi-beats..

SD is the next I would pay for...

I wish Seiko would hold up to their price for SD and please never never use it in even mid end models, otherwise it will be the end to the brand.
 

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Frank, all your points are very valid, and as I said, the technical aspects of the watch are brilliant, any watch geek (unless a total mechanical snob) will appreciate and praise. However, it won't deliver 100% of what a quartz can deliver (resistance + accuracy). So it looks like it's a marriage between the two "technologies" (quartz and mechanical) but where the really important part (quartz) will not give 100% of it's potential. And if you factor in the price, you can almost buy two very good watches (one auto and one HEQ) for the price of one SD.

I would love to have a SD, but at least right now it would be just because I'm a watch geek and it's "different, so it's cool to have".
 

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LUW said:
Frank, all your points are very valid, and as I said, the technical aspects of the watch are brilliant, any watch geek (unless a total mechanical snob) will appreciate and praise. However, it won't deliver 100% of what a quartz can deliver (resistance + accuracy). So it looks like it's a marriage between the two "technologies" (quartz and mechanical) but where the really important part (quartz) will not give 100% of it's potential. And if you factor in the price, you can almost buy two very good watches (one auto and one HEQ) for the price of one SD.

I would love to have a SD, but at least right now it would be just because I'm a watch geek and it's "different, so it's cool to have".

Luciano, I have had my SD Ananta for over 3 months and I can tell you that this watch accuracy surpasses that all of my quartz timepieces before it. Like I said, I have kept it wound for days, weeks at a time and the movement simply does not gain or lose time. You have to own the watch to be able to see the mind boggling accuracy of the movement. In the worst case scenario, I have seen reports of SD watches not gaining more than 2-5 seconds per month! Hence why I am saying that Seiko's official accuracy specs for the SD movement are extremely conservative. The quality and resonance of the crystals they use in these movements are indicative that they are using very high quality and carefully harvested quartz crystals. SD is truly the only mechanical watch in the world capable of delivering HEQ or very close to it overall accuracy. And all of this is done without thermo compensation, batteries, solar cells or radio syncs to an atomic clock signal.


I think your assertion that SD won't deliver 100% of its quartz potential is based purely on the Seiko accuracy specs. Trust me when I say that these are very conservative and the real world accuracy of SD is much superior than their -/+ 15 secs per month would suggest, even, in the worst case scenarios.


Let me give you another example. If I don't allow my Radio Controlled Citizen to sync for a week, by the end of that time the watches would have gained at least 2 seconds. They are dead accurate as long as they sync every night (which they do and it is an amazing technology in its own right, probably the most practical approach to the problem of high accuracy) but if they stop syncronizing, they will behave like any other regular quartz watch. SD is far from being ordinary quartz ;D


Again, I think your points (Akin to playing Devil's advocate) are very valid. Why bother with SD technology when HAQ/HEQ and radio control quartz watches can delivery similar accuracy at a much lower cost and without the implied complexity of SD? But at the very core of what SD technology is all about, the point of SD is not to create a substitute to existing quartz technology or to further improve on it. This is an aspect of the debate where a lot of people seemingly miss the point. The intention of SD is simply to take the ancient elements of mechanical watch technology, do away with it its weak links, and be able to deliver a timepiece that is 90%+ mechanical in nature but with the accuracy of high end quartz and without the maintenance and wear issues that plague our beloved mechanical watches.


Seiko spent 30 years and developed 600 prototypes of Spring Drive movements during all that time. The development of SD began in 1977 during the height of the quartz era. Why did Seiko embark on a costly 30 year project to develop a mechanical kludge? There is so much more to it, and like others have said, not until you have a Spring Drive on your hand (and eventually own one) you will not be able to grasp the significant implications of the technology. There is only so much you can do with 500 year old mechanical watch technology. Notice that the world of mechanical watches moves at a glacial pace. There is no much significant or innovative being developed. Right about until the 1950s, much of what mechanical watches are today (Magic winding levels, rotors, etc) were developed and perfected. In essence, mechanical watches of today are 50+ year technology at best. Good technology, we love them and appreciate it them but it is old technology that has been surpassed. So, from that perspective, Spring Drive has been the most significant development in the world of mechanical watch making in well over 50 years. Here we have a mechanical watch that no longer has a balance wheel or pallet fork. That is impervious to position, gravity and temperature. Yet, at its very core, it is still pretty much a mechanical watch and kinetic energy generated by the movement can produce a small of amount of electricity sufficient to power the quartz crystal oscillator. Yet this watch has no batteries or solar cells. Amazing!


Seiko never intended for SD to be a mass marketed technology targeted as a substitution for existing and cheaper quartz technology. It is a niche product for a niche audience and Seiko is more than happy to remind you the cost of admission into this exclusive club at the time of purchase.
 

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I dont get SD. I was twice going to buy an SD 600m but just couldn't do it...


To me the true marvel is a watch that keeps time to withing a few seconds/day being 100% mechanical, without 1mm length of copper conductor and with no IC's and quartz crystals...but then I'm a mechanical snob :) ...
 

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buddy13 said:
I dont get SD. I was twice going to buy an SD 600m but just couldn't do it...


To me the true marvel is a watch that keeps time to withing a few seconds/day being 100% mechanical, without 1mm length of copper conductor and with no IC's and quartz crystals...but then I'm a mechanical snob :) ...

Hey you either get it or you don't. :)
 
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