The recent ramblings in this blog on Seiko’s solar-powered movements triggered this thought. All know that nothing appeals to Gonzo more than finely tuned mechanical hand-winds and autos, but well, when did a hunchback claim he doesn’t want to lie prostrate and enjoy a beautiful dream? Calling a spade a spade is essential and that way, even the Gonzo can’t deny the simple truth. For a while, I’ll stop romanticizing mechanical wonders and look elsewhere and I see nothing more worthy than the solar and kinetic movements to be mentioned here.
Note: I know there are digital ones and some of them are commendable enough to receive a nod of appreciation; however, that we’ll keep for some other time. We are talking about strictly analog forms here.
For a moment, let’s think your wrist is naked and you need just one watch to don (or adorn; it depends to the degree you are inclined towards it). You are no aficionado to the world of high-end horology; so what should ideally be your choice?
Surely you’ll want something that’s fun, functional and of course, fabulous. Now, the last term can be interpreted in a myriad ways; however, for the sake of convenience, let’s keep it to the extent that you’ll be proud to wear it. That’s fabulous at its basic sense and it covers all the points that a casual watch wearer might have in his mind; the most important one being it goes up max to $500 and shall keep working perfectly, without any service and maintenance, for at least a decade and a half. In a word, it should offer the value; at least, twice its price. Only then, you may call it a true beater watch!
The solar definitely fits these criteria; next, it’s the kinetic. Natural, that is, from the light to the movements and you are free from running costs. Better save up the money for changing batteries and maintenance to buy a mechanical later. Just remember not to keep either in your cupboard or closet for too long during the few initial days and you will be fine!
We already have tons written upon the solar, so let’s focus on the Kinetic. This is exclusively a Seiko creation; there’s no other brand making another one of these. It works the way a mechanical (again!) does; a large rotor spins and turns a tiny electric generator within the movement, which creates electrical charges and stores them in inbuilt storage units. So basically, both work on the same principle; only the way they generate the charges are different.
Those thinking about the nightmarish issues that came with the earlier Kinetics, stay calm; modern kinetics are all about solid performance. Just take care that you don’t drain the charge completely and the Kinetic is gonna be your simplest solution towards owning an inexpensive and accurate, grab-n-go rugged timepiece!
Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below. Click to see details and buy them: