Why are Seiko Spring Drives so expensive?

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Anonymous-3027

Why are Seiko Spring Drives so expensive?

Post by Anonymous-3027 » January 2nd 2023, 8:48am

Riddle me this.

Every kind of movement, mechanical, quartz, solar, kinetic etc has a low end inexpensive variants and usually many

Except tourbillions maybe.

Why isn’t there a low end spring drive. Nothing in it seems particularly expensive.

Personally I like the movement and the smooth sweep but it would be nice to see this on an affordable <500 USD watch
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Re: Why are Seiko Spring Drives so expensive?

Post by ocean » January 2nd 2023, 12:50pm

robatsu wrote:
January 2nd 2023, 8:48am
Riddle me this.

Every kind of movement, mechanical, quartz, solar, kinetic etc has a low end inexpensive variants and usually many

Except tourbillions maybe.

Why isn’t there a low end spring drive. Nothing in it seems particularly expensive.

Personally I like the movement and the smooth sweep but it would be nice to see this on an affordable <500 USD watch
I agree but can see why they wouldn’t. Would Rolex put their movement in a Tudor? Omega in a Rado or Mido? Most may be based on the original but Seiko hasn’t done this yet.

Spring drives are being saved for upper end Seiko and Grand Seiko’s keeping their price high even though they are mostly the same components.
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Re: Why are Seiko Spring Drives so expensive?

Post by Anonymous-3027 » January 2nd 2023, 1:24pm

That’s kind of what I’m thinking, artificial scarcity.

OTOH, Seiko may have learned that non mech drives need this kind of support. Quartz Solar kinetic eco drive never got associated with high end


Given the what the tech is and their experience in manufacturing it is now they could be putting spring drives in Seiko 5s seems like
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Re: Why are Seiko Spring Drives so expensive?

Post by jason_recliner » January 2nd 2023, 6:29pm

robatsu wrote:
January 2nd 2023, 5:09pm
DoctorIvey wrote:
January 2nd 2023, 4:32pm
Yeah the patent must have run its course wouldn’t it be great to have a $500 Renato spring drive?
That wouldn’t be too surprising. Spring drive was conceived in 1977, took them 28 years until first production model

https://www.ablogtowatch.com/history-s ... ovement/2/
Patents last 20 years so in theory somebody else could make one now. Possibly they can't be bothered as it's a more or less pointless exercise.
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Re: Why are Seiko Spring Drives so expensive?

Post by bedlam » January 3rd 2023, 12:38am

robatsu wrote:
January 2nd 2023, 8:48am
Riddle me this.

Every kind of movement, mechanical, quartz, solar, kinetic etc has a low end inexpensive variants and usually many

Except tourbillions maybe.

Why isn’t there a low end spring drive. Nothing in it seems particularly expensive.

Personally I like the movement and the smooth sweep but it would be nice to see this on an affordable <500 USD watch
Spring Drives took ages to get working well. I don't think they are a walk in the park to replicate. You can buy something with a Bulova 98B228 movt if you want a sweep second hand that is cheap and accurate.

Nothing intrinsically expensive about a rebadged Aegler mechanical movt either, the patent on those expired in the 1920's but you should see what watches with those movements are being charged at.
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Re: Why are Seiko Spring Drives so expensive?

Post by Anonymous-3027 » January 3rd 2023, 10:05am

My impression of that extraordinarily long development phase is that spring drive was a back burner project for a long time, almost got cancelled once or twice

It spanned the quartz revolution then the solar amd kinetic stuff then the mechanical revival

Seems like a brainchild/pet project thing one or several seiko guys kept alive for a long time and devoted resources to it on a sporadic basis

Rather than a heads down Manhattan Project for 28 years.
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Re: Why are Seiko Spring Drives so expensive?

Post by jason_recliner » January 3rd 2023, 3:09pm

robatsu wrote:
January 3rd 2023, 10:05am
My impression of that extraordinarily long development phase is that spring drive was a back burner project for a long time, almost got cancelled once or twice

It spanned the quartz revolution then the solar amd kinetic stuff then the mechanical revival

Seems like a brainchild/pet project thing one or several seiko guys kept alive for a long time and devoted resources to it on a sporadic basis

Rather than a heads down Manhattan Project for 28 years.
Yes. It's novel rather than pushing technological or material boundaries, or exceedingly complex. There would have been a fair bit of R&D to get it right, adding to the cost of early units. Seiko's done that hard work and the patent's expired so it wouldn't be hard or costly for somebody else to make them now.
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Re: Why are Seiko Spring Drives so expensive?

Post by bedlam » January 3rd 2023, 4:21pm

jason_recliner wrote:
January 3rd 2023, 3:09pm
robatsu wrote:
January 3rd 2023, 10:05am
My impression of that extraordinarily long development phase is that spring drive was a back burner project for a long time, almost got cancelled once or twice

It spanned the quartz revolution then the solar amd kinetic stuff then the mechanical revival

Seems like a brainchild/pet project thing one or several seiko guys kept alive for a long time and devoted resources to it on a sporadic basis

Rather than a heads down Manhattan Project for 28 years.
Yes. It's novel rather than pushing technological or material boundaries, or exceedingly complex. There would have been a fair bit of R&D to get it right, adding to the cost of early units. Seiko's done that hard work and the patent's expired so it wouldn't be hard or costly for somebody else to make them now.
I'd venture it's not that easy or we would already be seeing them.
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Re: Why are Seiko Spring Drives so expensive?

Post by Anonymous-3027 » January 15th 2023, 12:25pm

bedlam wrote:
January 3rd 2023, 4:21pm
jason_recliner wrote:
January 3rd 2023, 3:09pm
robatsu wrote:
January 3rd 2023, 10:05am
My impression of that extraordinarily long development phase is that spring drive was a back burner project for a long time, almost got cancelled once or twice

It spanned the quartz revolution then the solar amd kinetic stuff then the mechanical revival

Seems like a brainchild/pet project thing one or several seiko guys kept alive for a long time and devoted resources to it on a sporadic basis

Rather than a heads down Manhattan Project for 28 years.
Yes. It's novel rather than pushing technological or material boundaries, or exceedingly complex. There would have been a fair bit of R&D to get it right, adding to the cost of early units. Seiko's done that hard work and the patent's expired so it wouldn't be hard or costly for somebody else to make them now.
I'd venture it's not that easy or we would already be seeing them.
That’s one explanation and sort of Seikos line, these are high precision mechanisms put together by highly trained techs etc

Or

Spring Drive may be a solution in search of a problem. It doesn’t really offer anything other movements don’t

The smooth second hand is kinda cool and entertain when you focus on it but otherwise provides no benefit and a high beat movement is pretty close

The accuracy isn’t better than quartz

So perhaps one reason nobody else is making these is because nobody is asking them to do so

Dint get me wting though I think spring drive is cool amd I’ve owned some
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