Ask Gonzo ’bout Watches (XXXIX): Refreshing the Kinetic memory

Q. Dear Gonzo,

After going through the Creationwatches blog and its posts on the Seiko Kinetic, something remains unclear. Why is it that you and your team stress so much upon the Kinetic Perpetual? Is it because you guys don’t sell the other Kinetic calibres or is it just a sheer lack of knowledge? However, you don’t need to answer that question. What I really ask is if you guys could inform me – with considerable details – about the Kinetic Auto Drive, Direct Drive and Kinetic Perpetual calibres; not the watches that use them. That would really be helpful. Thanks.

A.

Hi there! Apart from all those words of praise about the Kinetic type of movements, some of which are ‘powerhouse of technological innovation’ and ‘embodiment of emotional technology’, it is hard to deny that Seiko, indeed, completes the Trinity of eco-friendly concepts in watch technology, the other two being ‘Solar’ and ‘Mechanical’.   It offers valuable additions to the ecological and convenience advantages of every Seiko Kinetic watch. But I guess you already know that

As for the ‘Perpetual’ type, you say that you’ve already read about it in our blog. However, for the ‘Direct Drive’, it doesn’t only charge with the rotor but also by winding the crown. The two-way power generation system; however, is not its only forte but also its dual indicating function.

Translated, that stands as power-reserve and power-generation indicators. Hand-winding the crown shoots the power-reserve indicating hand up and it’s a feel – in real time – about the direct transfer of power from your hands to the ESU.

Often, the Kinetic calibres also incorporate the Auto-Relay technology or the power-saving mode, which is, going into sleep mode and staying that way for four years a a stretch if left completely untouched. Here, the hands stop moving but keep calculating the passage of time, date and year accurately. You’ll find this feature mostly on the perpetual models, which I sense you scoffed at. The Calibre 7D48 is a fine example of it and it also comprises a perpetual calendar which ones set, will run till 2100.  Another example is the Calibre 5J32. This particular calibre, lovingly, is called the Auto-Drive.

Which one is better? Can’t really say, for all three are unique in their own ways. It all depends upon what you are trying to find in your watch and they are definitely not some extra-sweet eye candy. Seiko has always emphasized on taking themselves higher on the tech-ladder with their every release, the Kinetic-s are a result and proof of what they’ve managed to excel so far. And thank them that for what they have dreamt about so far, they have turned into reality. ‘Painting the Lily’ certainly doesn’t apply here.

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below.  Click to see details and buy them:

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