Seiko revolutionized the watch industry again in the 1980s with Kinetic. This innovative watch changes kinetic energy into electric energy and is as precise as a quartz watch. Top models have a perpetual calendar and power for up to four years.
The Japanese watch manufacturer Seiko presented the first Kinetic watch in 1986 under the name A.G.S. (Automatic Generating System). It was the first watch in the world whose movement transformed kinetic into electric energy. The term kinetic comes from the Greek word 'kinesis', meaning 'movement'. Every Seiko Kinetic has an innovative and eco-friendly movement that combines the best of automatic watches and quartz watches.
Seiko has a dedicated Kinetic collection in its product catalog, but uses this innovative technology in some of its other watch collections as well. Top models include men's watches with a perpetual calendar, called Kinetic Perpetual. Provided the watch doesn't stop beforehand, you won't have to correct it until March 1, 2100, due to its high-tech movement. Its maximum power reserve has been extended to up to four years thanks to the so-called Auto Relay System. This function helps the watch fall into a kind of "deep sleep" after not having been worn for a certain period of time. The hands stop moving to save energy. However, the calendar function remains intact. Once the watch is "awoken", the hands automatically adjust to the correct time.
|Model||Reference number||Price (approx.)||Complications and Features|
|Premier Kinetic Direct Drive Moon Phase||SRX011P1||750 euros||Power reserve indicator, manual winding, moon phase indicator|
|Prospex Kinetic GMT Diver's||SUN019P1||600 euros||GMT function, water resistant up to 200 m (20 bar)|
|Premier Kinetic Perpetual||SNP141P1||600 euros||Perpetual calendar, four-year power reserve|
|Kinetic Diver||SKJ170P1||450 euros||Day and date display, water resistant up to 200 m (20 bar)|
|Sportura Kinetic GMT 100m||SUN015P1||400 euros||GMT, titanium carbide bezel|
|Kinetic 100m||SKA745P1||300 euros||Unidirectional bezel|
|Kinetic 100m||SKA531P1||280 euros||Black titanium carbide plating|
|Kinetic 100m||SKA695P1||250 euros||Date|
|Kinetic 100m||SMY149P1||230 euros||Day and date display, bezel with six screws|
|Kinetic||SRN071P1||170 euros||Retrograde day display|
|Kinetic Military||SKA725P1||150 euros||Military watch design|
Prices for Seiko Kinetic watches start at a little over 100 euros, making them some of the most affordable wristwatches around. Under 150 euros you will mostly find pre-owned watches, though new examples with three hands and a date display are also in this price range. An example is the Seiko Kinetic Military with the reference number SKA725P1 and a design reminiscent of typical military watches. If you prefer something more classic, have a look at the pieces with a retrograde day display and tapered dauphine hands. These 42-mm men's watches start around 170 euros.
Top models from the Kinetic collection use the Kinetic Auto Relay system and cost 450 euros in mint condition. New Seiko Kinetic Diver watches with the reference number SKJ170P1, which are water resistant up to 200 m (20 bar), fall in a similar price range. If you don't need a diving watch with a water resistance of 20 bar, perhaps the Kinetic 100m with a unidirectional rotating bezel is right for you. It looks like a typical diving watch and is perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The variant with the reference number SKA745P1 has a shimmering, blue dial and a bezel in the same color. The price of this 45-mm stainless steel watch sits around 300 euros.
Pieces with six characteristic screws on the bezel are also water resistant up to 100 m (10 bar) and have a design that brings to mind design icons, such as the IWC Ingenieur redesigned by Gérald Genta in the 1970s. Seiko versions with the reference number SMY149P1 only cost about 230 euros in mint condition. A pre-owned, quartz Ingenieur SL from IWC from the 1970s costs at least 1,500, while those with an automatic caliber start at 3,000 euros.
In the Seiko Premier collection, you can find high-end kinetic movements with a perpetual calendar and a power reserve that can last up to four years thanks to its sleep function. An example is the 43-mm, stainless steel model with a bracelet and the reference number SNP141P1. High-quality and scratch-resistant sapphire glass protects the classic hands of this men's watch. Seiko uses Roman numerals to mark the hours. The Japanese manufacturer also decided against putting any luminous material on the tapered hands, underscoring the watch's traditional character. Even the brown dial with vertical stripes feels upscale and fits with the timepiece's look. Its size and chamfered lugs, however, give the watch a modern touch. The outsize date is below 12 o'clock, the 24-hour display at 4 o'clock, and the month and year display are above 6 o'clock. Examples of this model in mint condition can be purchased for around 600 euros.
The Seiko Premier Kinetic Perpetual is also available with red-gold plating and a leather strap with an underside made of silicon. This model has the reference number SNP146P1 and costs about 700 euros new. You can also find the stainless steel Kinetic Direct Drive ref. SPX011P1 with moon phase indicator in the Premier collection. In addition to showing the moon phase, this 42-mm men's watch also shows the current date, day, the amount of stored energy, and, of course, the time. Furthermore, there is a 24-hour display that lets you know if it is currently before or after noon. You should set aside at least 750 euros for an unworn example.
You can find sporty wristwatches with solar and Kinetic movements in the Seiko Sportura collection. The latter have a GMT function, meaning you can view two time zones at once. The three conventional hands display the local time. An additional fourth hand shows the time in another time zone with the help of a bezel with a 24-hour scale. The date is located at 3 o'clock on this stainless steel watch. The Sportura Kinetic GMT ref. SUN017P1 with a blue dial and bezel costs around 400 euros. The 24-hour scale is easy to read thanks to its yellow coloring. The version with a black dial and bezel has the reference number SUN015P1 and has a red hand for the second time zone. Prices for this model also sit around 400 euros.
The sports watches in the Seiko Prospex collection were created with professionals, such as divers, in mind. In addition to numerous automatic and solar watches, this series also has a few Kinetic watches. An example is the diving watch Kinetic GMT Diver's with the reference number SUN019P1 for around 600 euros. With a stainless steel case 48 mm in diameter and a height of 15 mm, it is not exactly delicate, though it is extremely easy to read. The displays are protected by sapphire glass, and the hands and hour markings are easy to read in the dark thanks to the luminous material, Lumibrite. Only the date display at 4:30 seems small in relation to this massive watch. The unidirectional rotating bezel guarantees safety during each dive. If you prefer a watch made of urethane and find the strength of Hardlex glass sufficient, take a look at the model with reference number SUN019P2. Make sure you have 430 euros available for this diving watch.
Seiko watches with Kinetic calibers use the rotation of a rotor to provide the watch with energy. Newer models store it using a lithium-ion battery, replacing the earlier capacitors. The Japanese manufacturer uses a quartz crystal as its oscillation system or movement. Such crystals have a higher frequency than the balance in conventional mechanical watches.
Calibers with the so-called "Kinetic Direct Drive" are a practical advancement. They have an additional manual winding option and a power reserve display. What's special about this display is that it shows its wearer how efficiently they are winding their watch in real time. After winding, the watch shows how long the integrated battery took to charge and how much charge was added. It then shows you the complete power reserve of your Seiko with Kinetic Direct Drive , which can be up to six months.