Calibre VK63: Classic know-how partners modern designs

The whole CW team turned very enthusiastic when this new calibre VK63 flew in with the new lot. We’ve heard bits and pieces ‘bout its novelty, energy-efficient, modular construction, but so far didn’t see how it manifests itself. IMHO, it manifests damn well. Inspired by 70’s sporty style, Seiko gives it a slight, modern twist on its sombre elegance.

BFJ004_LRG.jpg (600×720)

The Seiko analog quartz story started in 1983.  It made well-known Swiss brands (ETA, Ronda and ISA, most of all) focus on affordable quartz versions, but LeCoultre and Piguet focused on developing expensive, state-of-the-art, hybrid mechanical chronographs – the expensive leCoultre 630 and Piguet 1270. These had twin quartz tuning forks and step-motors and were dubbed mecaquartz (or mecha-quartz, as you prefer) but vanished when mechanical watches returned with full glory. Seiko decided to try it out and develop an energy-efficient, mecha-quartz mechanism using the JLC and Piguet principles. As a result, the J. Springs chronograph function is extremely accurate and smooth, with dedicated step-motors to drive the chronograph mechanisms individually. But used for 60 minutes a day, it reduces a-third from the total battery life of 3 years. Seiko also calls this calibre as the 6T63.

The VK63 was borne out of Seiko’s aim to create a newly different style of automatic movements to come out as bolder, finer accessories. Therefore, the dashing azure face and the bright gold accents; crown and pushers! Its hybrid mecha-quartz movement uses the quartz for regular timekeeping and a mechanical module for the chronograph. That’s a lot to contain within a 13.5 mm by 5.10mm module.

The Motor Sports Chronographs reflect the sports pedigree of the J-Springs Prestige Sports collection. They are made for the extremes, away from homely comforts. Smooth looks with a rugged build!

Peek inside and you’ll find levers, hammers and wheels doing their job. This is the reason why you get that crisp, mech-style snick from the chrono-pushers and not an abrupt, cheap click. The chrono has a smart take-off and procedds in 1/5th seconds increments. There’s no difference with a mechanical chronograph.

BFH007_LRG.jpg (600×720)The VK series movements (including the Tokyo Style Chronographs) have the small running seconds always at 6 o’clock, but the 63 varies otherwise from the 67. The 60-minute counter@9 and the 24-hour@3 are typically 63 while the 67 moves the chronograph’s minute-measure counter at 12 and the 12-hour recorder at 9. For the VK83, the 20-minutes chronograph sub-dial is at 9 while the 24 hour hand is at 3.

So, what’s the big thing about it apart from Seiko introducing a whole new concept? Nothing else than the VK movements have opened a whole new range of interesting J. Springs models. Stay tuned, there are more to follow!

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.