Watches and Wonders: Grand Seiko looks to win hearts with mechanical first

This week’s Clock and Marvel Fair presents the first appearance of a Japanese manufacturer at the show’s personal event, in Geneva. Grand Seiko – launched in 1960 by parent company Seiko as a maker of luxury watches – is also in town to announce its first ever mechanical mechanical watch: the Kodo.

Japanese speakers will be given the name Kodo, which translates as heartbeat. This is an allusion to the unique ticking of the apparatus – the first world of watchmaking, in which a turbilone and a fixed power mechanism are combined in one unit.

To Akio Naito, President of Seiko Watch Corporation, Kodo is the latest attempt to establish Grand Seiko’s international reputation among Japanese Rolex fans. Naito, which promises more such mechanical wonders will come in similar lines, first grasped the problems with Grand Seiko’s brand perception in 2016, after talking to colleagues and retailers in the US – Seiko’s largest market outside Japan.

Only 20 samples of the £ 309,360 Kodo will be available across the Americas, Europe and Asia over the next two years. Seiko Holdings, the parent company of Seiko Watch, reported last year that exports to the US accounted for only 7% of net sales, with Europe and Africa together accounting for 9%.

The ‘Kodo’ Grand Seiko watch

Justin Culafis, a partner in watch retailer The Watch Club, as well as technical editor of the journal of the British Urological Institute and watchmaker for more than 30 years, says the combination of a turbulon and a constant force escape in one unit. The ingredient is a “tremendous technical achievement”.

“It’s also very esoteric, because it’s solely related to improving time saving and not related to creating the illusion of complexity – it’s just the opposite of style over material. “Warren and Andreas Strahler, but neither of them has been resolved as well as the Grand Seiko design.”

Simply put, a turbulon is a mechanism in which the escape (the component that allows equal “escape” of force from the main spring) is contained in a rotating cage in order to reduce the inaccuracy caused by the movement that remains too much at the same time. Position – A system originally created for pocket watches by the 18th-century Cornish manufacturer John Arnold.

The constant force aspect, meanwhile, refers to a secondary mechanism that provides for escape a smooth and constant force flow as the main spring twists. It usually takes the form of a chain-driven gearbox, which while it does its job, is fundamentally flawed because it has some tiny but power-saving components.

The codon overcomes this by combining the turbine and the fixed force mechanism in one component – meaning there are no wheels or other parts between them, so there is no change in the torque transmitted to the balance wheel for a period of 50 hours. After the watch has been fully wound.

Grand Seiko has unveiled a concept version of the Caliber 9ST1 movement – originally called T0 – By 2020, then it has been in development for eight years. But it was not expected to appear on a production watch for a while, if at all.

“It was necessary to redesign 340 parts of the T0 movement to allow the use of a production watch,” says Rob Brock, Grand Seiko’s brand manager in the UK. “The purpose of its production now is to emphasize the technical craftsmanship of the Grand Seiko. During the 50 hours in which the permanent power mechanism operates in full, the clock will remain accurate up to 0.3 seconds per day.”

The watch was created by an expert team of motion designers and master watchmakers based in Shinhu Studio Nagano Province in Japan. The 43.8 mm case is made of a combination of platinum and hard titanium, with both materials polished for a distortion-free finish and appearance in a method known as zaratsu. The strap on which the code is installed, meanwhile, is made of hand-painted calfskin. urushi Varnish, an ancient technique used to make samurai armor.

While the combination of the torbilon mechanism and the permanent power mechanism is impressive to watch, it is also intriguing to listen to. When the inner turbil cage rotates smoothly, the balance wheel vibrates at eight constant beats per second, while the outer constant force carriage moves at intervals of one second, resulting in a certain tick set to a 16, or half-quarter sound.

“I insisted on getting a perfect 16 or half-square feel so that the owner would fully enjoy the watch,” says Takuma Kawauchiya, the designer behind the Kodo. “Maybe it’s because of my passion for music and being a professional guitarist before I joined Grand Seiko.”

T0 Turbilon at constant power

Watches and Wonders: Grand Seiko looks to win hearts with mechanical first Source link Watches and Wonders: Grand Seiko looks to win hearts with mechanical first

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