The development of the Kinetic movement was a major milestone in the history of Seiko. It was in the 1986 BaselWorld that Seiko unveiled the first Kinetic watch. It was a ground-breaking achievement at the time. The ability to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy with a micro-motor in a thing so small as a watch, was nothing short of amazing. Sometimes I think Michael Faraday (the original inventor of the dynamo – the motors (albeit huge ones) to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy) would have been really impressed with this achievement and would have definitely worn a Seiko Kinetic 🙂
The way the Kinetic mechanism works is this way: the movement of your hand moves a rotor which drives the motor. The motor converts this movement into electricity which charges the capacitor. The capacitor is what stores the energy. Its like a rechargeable battery, but a bit different in terms of the technology. The watch has a quartz mechanism which derives its power from the capacitor. There you go – simple but beautiful.
There was (and I believe still is) a debate over the choice of using a capacitor over a normal rechargeable li-ion battery (Citizen uses these in its eco-drive watches). But Seiko decided to stick with the capacitor (I believe they did experiment with li-ion batteries for some time, but am not sure if any kinetic watches actually came out with them). There must be a reason why Seiko did or does what it does. Who am I to question some of the most brilliant minds in watch-making?
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the Kinetic watches – they give you the accuracy of a quartz watch with the personal feeling of an automatic watch. You still drive the watch, you still power it, you still give it life by wearing it (as you would an automatic watch), but the Kinetic gives back by telling you accurate time and continuing to do so (for months at a time) even if you don’t wear it (the automatic doesn’t. So thinking about it the Kinetic is a bit independent, the automatic is too attached to you in the sense it won’t run for too long without you :-). Now which ones do you prefer? depends on your personality I guess. Maybe this might also apply to what kind of a partnerdo you prefer? someone independent but still connected to you (think Kinetic movement), or someone totally connected to you – so much so that they won’t live without you (think Automatic movement)..or maybe I am taking this too far….
Checkout some Seiko Kinetic watches here: Seiko Kinetic Watches at CreationWatches.Com