The Credor Spring Drive Sonnerie, the iconic Seiko watch, was presented to the horology world at Baselworld exhibition in 2006. The new model became the successful successor of the Seiko Spring Drive, a timepiece created to offer the pure and natural motion of time.
With the Credor Spring Drive Sonnerie, the Seiko watch-makers wanted to express the time passage not only by the smooth movement of the hands across the watch’s dial but also through the purest sound ever produced by a timepiece.
The Seiko Epson elite team of watchmakers created a unique watch provided with innovative features. The Credor Spring Drive Sonnerie marks the time by chiming a softly tinkling ‘hanging’ bell. The sound of the bell resonates with the Japanese cultural heritage and well-maintained traditions.
The Seiko watch is based upon the revolutionary Spring Drive movement 7R series that offered glide-motion hands and power reserve of 48 hours. The Seiko watch-makers incorporated the ‘sonnerie’ mechanism into the Spring Drive movement. The ‘sonnerie’ mechanism itself is provided with over 40 hours of power reserve due to its own separate barrel. The power reserve is displayed with help of a second indicator positioned at 2 o’clock. It is easy to operate the movement with the crown found at 3 o’clock and a mode indicator featured at 6 o’clock. The movement of the Seiko watch consists of over 600 individual parts that were meticulously hand-assembled and finished.
The exclusive ‘sonnerie’ mechanism of the Credor Spring Drive Sonnerie has an hour-striking function. It resembles Japanese hanging bell sound opted for due to its matchless lingering sound symbolizing the natural flow of time. The greatest challenge for the creators of the Seiko watch was to reach the purity of sound. The ideal bell sound was based upon the combination of a bell system that comprised a newly developed governor and the exclusive sound escape system required to let the chime sound pass through the watch case.
The governor mechanism uses the air viscosity to make the chime sound at exact intervals with not a single sound interfering with the pure bell striking. The entirely silent Tri-synchro regulator guarantees the complete silence of the whole movement and the purity of the chining sound. The mechanism applies a special spring with the watch mechanism’s barrel to power the hour-striking function. It is possible to set the hour-striking function to three modes that are selected by changing the mode indicator: ‘Sonnerie’ mode (the number of hours is counted automatically by chiming every hour) ‘Original’ mode (a three-strike chime announces the time as every three hours pass) Silent mode (the chiming is switched off).
As for the hour-repeating function, the Seiko watch’s owner has to press the button positioned at 8 o’clock, and the watch will chime every hour, thus keeping its owner aware of the current time. It is possible to mute the chiming by activating a silent function – it is necessary to press the button at 8 o’clock halfway down.
The Seiko watch-makers provided the movement with a ‘fail-safe’ mechanism to prevent the chiming in case of some mistake caused by inappropriate actions.
The Seiko Credor Spring Drive Sonnerie displays the strike hammer seen through the dual surface curved sapphire crystal. The case of the Seiko watch is produced from 18-K pink gold, just the right material to reflect the movement’s value and improve the chiming sound purity. Real aesthetic lovers will appreciate a Japanese bellflower cutout on the mainspring barrel of the bell mechanism. The flower is drifting down on a river, as a symbol of the continuously flowing time.
Never heard about this watch before… It seems to me like a fine watch. What is the price of this beauty?
Public price, in Japan, is 15,750,000 yens, about 134,000 USD!
It is so a very expensive watch, manufactured by a team of 8 watch makers that produce 6 of these watches per year.
Don’t know what will be the commercial success; don’t forget it is a SpringDrive, mechanically powered but quartz regulated watch. If I bought such a watch, I would not be sure my children or grand-children could still use it or have it repaired / maintained…
This is hopefully the watch that finally makes the world begin to respect Seiko as a serious player in both the engineering and aesthetic side. (Clearly, the Swiss are not the only major players. I cannot wait until China starts getting more serious too.) But if I had an extra hundered and a quarter thou laying around, this Credor would never leave my wrist!
SEiko watches are better than a lot of pseudo great brands, but all depends on publicity!.
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