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The show must go on: SEIKO celebrates its 130th anniversary at Baselworld 2011

by Michael Weare
26 March, 2011
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About the author

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

Shinji Hattori SEIKO

SEIKO held its now traditional press conference in the Congress Center next to the main hall. Over 400 people attended and, as they entered the Hall, one could sense a slightly muted atmosphere, reflecting the sympathy that the media brought to the nation of Japan after the disaster of the recent earthquake.

In his opening remarks, President and CEO, Mr. Shinji Hattori expressed gratitude to the many members of the media who had sent messages of support to SEIKO. He referred to the courageous and determined example set by his great grandfather, Kintaro Hattori, the founder of SEIKO, when SEIKO’s factories were destroyed by the great earthquake of 1923. Today, Mr. Hattori was able to report to the media that, miraculously, no-one in our group companies had been injured in this recent disaster and that SEIKO was already making progress in restoring normality for all its people and in all its facilities.

Mr. Hattori explained that 2011 was the 130th anniversary of SEIKO and that the Baselworld collection included some very special pieces designed to celebrate this anniversary and to demonstrate how SEIKO’s long and unbroken tradition of watchmaking was leading SEIKO to new technologies and new ideas that would ensure continued success in the future.

Shu Yoshino then showed and explained three of these 130th anniversary watches and clocks, and the media expressed particular approval of the Credor Spring Drive Minute Repeater.

Shu Yoshino then did something that may have been a first at any Baselworld press conference. As he was introducing SEIKO’s new Sportura watch, and as the audience was looking at the watch on the screen, he took off first his jacket, and then his tie. And then he started unbuttoning his shirt. What on earth was going on? The audience was justifiably relieved when, as he took off his shirt, he revealed underneath a FC Barcelona shirt, and as he turned around, they saw on the back the word “SEIKO” and the number130. Yes. SEIKO is now the proud partner of the world’s strongest football club.

The audience was both entertained and grateful. They were entertained by the “reveal” of Seiko’s sponsorship of FC Barcelona and they were grateful to see that, even in these dark days for the people of Japan, SEIKO can still look forward with confidence and with a smile.

The Credor Spring Drive Minute Repeater

This is a very special timepiece that has two cases; an inner one for the movement, and an outer one. The gongs are located in the space between these two cases, to achieve a clear and rich sound.

The Credor Spring Drive Minute Repeater

In every aspect of its creation, total purity of sound has been the goal. The result is a lingering, clear and haunting sound which has a uniquely Japanese character. This beautiful sound has been achieved by the magic of the totally silent Spring Drive mechanism allied to the use of a special steel forged by a celebrated Japanese steelmaker, Munemichi Myochin. For fifty two unbroken generations, members of his family have been master blacksmiths and they have been making steel for over 850 years.

The Credor Spring Drive Minute Repeater.

While most minute repeaters follow the traditional hour, quarter and minute system, the Credor Spring Drive Minute Repeater has a decimal system. The hammers strike the hour, ten-minute and one-minute sounds. This system was chosen as being more in keeping with the high technology character of the movement. It is perfectly logical and simple. At one fifty nine, the hour sound is struck once, the ten-minute sound is struck five times and the one-minute sound is struck nine times. And the cost? You may be familiar with Seiko as a manufacture of innovative and reliable mid-priced watches, but in the case of the Credor Spring Drive Minute Repeater you can expect to pay out close to US$500,000. We’ll upload better pictures of the watch as soon as they become available.

Here you can see the watch in action:

Specifications

  • Ref. GBLS998
  • Movement : Calibre 7R11. Manual winding. Decimal minute repeater.
  • Jewels:: 112 jewels
  • Power reserve: 72 hours (without using the minute repeater mechanism)
  • Accuracy: ±15 seconds per month
  • Movement : Diameter 36.6 mm, thickness: 7.8 mm
  • Case: 18 carat rose gold. See-through caseback with sapphire crystal. 42.8mm diameter,14.0mm thickness
  • Band: Crocodile with 18 karat rose gold three-fold clasp and push button release
  • Crystal: Dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating

Recommended retail price in Japan: US$ 426,389

Michael Weare | Website

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

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