The Japanese have a passion, when they often do, and will be prepared to be totally obsessed and fully committed to the task. Such is the wonderful story behind the extreme high end Credor series by Seiko.
As many of us know, Seiko makes many low end watches...chances are, most of us have owned one, either Seiko 5 or Kinetic, Alba, or one of the inexpensive watches offered by them. But amongst the well informed connoiseurs, the name Grand Seiko holds a special place.
Originating in 1960, Grand Seiko is the luxury end...high end of the watchmaking company. Grand Seiko makes quartz watches (you can be sure these are not the typical $100 battery operated watches), mechanical watches and an innovation pioneered by Seiko - the Spring Drive.
The operations of the spring drive will be enough for another full article, but in this entry, allow me to show the beauty of Eichi.
As usual, click on image for a large 1920 pixel version.
The movement finish is superb...truly. Almost equal to the magnificent works of the Grand Master of Watchmaking - Philippe Dufour.
And symbolism so representative of the Eastern arts (interpretive instead of realism treasured in the West) is the cover for the mainspring barrel, done in the shape of the flower which symbolizes Shiojiri...the small town, near Nagano where Seiko Epson is situated.
Closer up of the dial, made by the famous Japanese porcelain house of Noritake. The digits 2, 4, 7 are slightly raised to symbolize that the watch is at your service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:
Closeup of the movement, showing the magnificent finish. The anglage is beautifully executed, and hand made. The Eichi is handmade by a special team within the company, known as Micro Artisan Studio. Each individually made by a master craftsman from start to finish. The Micro Artisan Studio comprises of 11 of the most talented watchmakers in Japan, making a total of 10 watches a year! Five Credor Sonnerie, a subject for a different article later, and the Eichi...meaning Wisdom in Japanese.
The movement features time only with a power reserve, and a unique torque saving mechanism which "recycles" excess torque available when the mainspring is fully wound to rewind the spring...thereby increasing the power reserve.
Beautiful and truly magnificent watch.