Comparative review – The Zenith Espada vs. the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 – WatchTime Wednesday (Specs & price)

Two 3-hand sports watches with a 36.000 vhp are going to battle. In the left corner, addressing Switzerland, the Zenith Espada. In the correct corner, addressing Japan, the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000. Two programmed watches with high-recurrence developments get down to business in a clash of the quick beat adjusts. Regardless of whether the Zenith Espada El Primero is now discounted, the interest of this comparative survey is here to zero in on the hello ...

Comparative review – The Zenith Espada vs. the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 – WatchTime Wednesday (Specs & price)

Two 3-hand sports watches with a 36.000 vhp are going to battle. In the left corner, addressing Switzerland, the Zenith Espada. In the correct corner, addressing Japan, the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000. Two programmed watches with high-recurrence developments get down to business in a clash of the quick beat adjusts. Regardless of whether the Zenith Espada El Primero is now discounted, the interest of this comparative survey is here to zero in on the hello there beat developments made by 2 produces that appropriately ace this innovation – and together with our associates at  WatchTime , we’ll be the referees of this fight.

A quick beat development offers a bit of leeway over its lower-recurrence rivals: more beats each hour implies more prominent accuracy. The standard is straightforward: the exactness with which time can be estimated and shown is conversely relative to the size of the units into which it is separated. Quick beat developments are likewise more stun safe than more slow beat ones, and this is an additional help to precision. Two companies make arrangement delivered developments with frequencies of 36,000 vph. One is the ZenithEspada; the other is the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000. We tried one watch from each brand to discover how they measure facing each other regarding accuracy and a large group of other criteria.

The Zenith Espada, is furnished with a changed form of the company’s observed El Primero development. In its “common” structure, the El Primero is, obviously, a chronograph development. To make the Espada’s development, a three-hand programmed type called the El Primero 4650B, Zenith eliminated the chronograph system from the El Primero. The Seiko watch, called the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000, contains the programmed Caliber 9S85, presented in 2009. Both developments required a lot of work to create. Changing the El Primero chronograph type to control a three-gave watch included more than simply diminishing the quantity of parts from 280 to 210. The stopwatch system was taken out, yet it was mostly reinstalled a short time later. The extensions must be overhauled and the persistently running seconds hand migrated from a helter-skelter subdial to the focal point of the dial. The subsequent development takes after the exemplary example of an essential type in which the focal seconds hand is situated straightforwardly inside the progression of power as opposed to drawing its force from a fundamental left over from the chronograph mechanism.

Seiko confronted its own difficulties. It went through five years building up an uncommon composite, Spron 610, for its type’s hairspring (Seiko makes its own hairsprings and fountainheads). Spron 610 has more prominent protection from stuns and attraction than standard composites. Since a high recurrence puts extra weight on the development, Seiko upgraded the switch, get away from haggle to build their life span. It built up another combination, Spron 530, for use in the type’s fountainhead. Spron 530 empowers the spring to withstand the more grounded force needed by the high-recurrence balance: the force in five-hertz Caliber 9S85 is twice just about as high as in Seiko’s four-hertz types. The spring gives a great force save of 55 hours.

Zenith didn’t add a stop-seconds work when it changed the El Primero development. You may ask what the fact of the matter is of having an amazingly exact development in a plain programmed watch, with no chronograph, on the off chance that you can’t set the watch with to-the-second precision. We had a go at utilizing an old stunt to stop the seconds hand: hauling the crown out to the hand-setting position and afterward delicately turning it counterclockwise. It didn’t work. The seconds hand had such an excess of play that it hopped in reverse an entire five seconds. Seiko’s watch has a stop-seconds function. El Primero 4650B’s amplitudes are very low, something you’d be bound to discover in a development that was worrying about the additional concern of fueling a chronograph system. This at first drove us to presume that there’s just a stuff train associated with the focal seconds hand (in the past the passed seconds hand) from the previous topsy turvy seconds hand. Be that as it may, we discovered this isn’t the situation, so the amplitudes should result from the general design of the development. Notwithstanding, they don’t hurt the development’s rate. The amplitudes of Seiko’s Caliber 9S85, then again, are in the standard and expected range.

Both watches conveyed great rate conduct. Zenith’s model consistently stayed on the “acquire” side of nothing: it never lost time, and it showed this fine exhibition taking all things together circumstances: completely twisted, subsequent to running for 24 hours, and on the wrist. Seiko’s watch ran better, yet it wandered into the “short” segment in a few positions. It scored an ideal “zero” in the “normal every day rate” class when we did the math, yet it lost a touch of time in the wake of running for a day – a shortcoming that horological fanatics would discover deserving of analysis. Then again, we were satisfied to see that it ran well in the “in addition to” segment on the wrist. Albeit the watches aren’t formally guaranteed by COSC, both satisfied COSC guidelines, however the somewhat more severe principles of Seiko’s own Grand Seiko Inspection Standard.

Five screws hold a window of sapphire in the rear of the Espada, empowering us to see the new and compact extension for the programmed winding instrument. The system mostly deterred our perspective on the escapement and the polarizing train for the rotor, which winds the fountainhead in the two ways of pivot. Despite the fact that our view was likewise impeded by the circularly grained connect, there’s a huge extension underneath it: this development comes from the previous El Primero and covers the whole development like a 3/4 plate. Stripping El Primero down to fill in as a development for a three-gave watch denies it of its chronograph design, however the development actually communicates in Zenith’s language, because of the brand’s star-formed logo cut in openwork into the rotor, the fine change by means of an unusual screw on a prolonged controller arm and, obviously, the speedy balance. Seiko’s type 9S85 additionally makes a brand-explicit proclamation behind a tightened down window of sapphire its caseback. Seiko fans will perceive the company’s brand name wavy embellishments, like Geneva waves, which enrich the extensions, the roosters and the marginally skeletonized rotor. Like the rotor on the Zenith development, Seiko’s rotor winds the origin in the two ways of revolution. Seiko utilizes its notable Magic Lever pawl ordering framework, which it presented in 1959. The Magic Lever framework builds the exchange of capacity to the origin and conveys quicker twisting pace by bridling all the energy made by the rotor as it rotates in both directions.

We were disillusioned to locate that the Magic Lever is stowed away from see by the scaffold of the development. Because of the type’s scaffold development, you can’t see substantially more of the 9S85 than you container of Zenith’s development. Fine change of the equilibrium (which is additionally produced by Seiko) happens through a flighty screw (as it does in El Primero), however Seiko’s unusual screw is matched with a lot more limited controller arm. The name “Excellent Seiko” is engraved on the twisting rotor in strong letters that are decorated with gold. At the point when you take a gander at the Grand Seiko’s case, its class, useful subtleties and excellent craftsmanship can be seen from all points, regardless of whether you look descending at the steeply slanted and cleaned bezel, look from the front at the adapted carries or companion from the side at the curves of the case’s center segment. Like the development, the case and arm band are made by Seiko. The handling showered looking into the issue is particularly vital: zaratsu, or “sharp edge cleaning,” is accomplished by holding the argument against a pivoting tin plate at an exceptionally exact point. This makes a mirror finish on the two sides of the case, just as fine angles on the lugs.

The Grand Seiko’s three-section tempered steel wristband is additionally incompletely cleaned and mostly matte wrapped up. It is strong yet lightweight. It feels flexible and orchestrates with the bended center segment of the case to wrap comfortably around its wearer’s wrist. The size contrasts in the connections of the arm band, which tightens marginally from the carries to the catch, add to the concordance. The single-collapsing fasten closes easily. It opens effectively when its horizontal catches are squeezed. A few connections in the arm band are in a bad way on one or the other side of the fasten so the wristband can be effectively protracted or shortened.

The all around made, tempered steel wristband on Zenith’s Espada is similarly as lightweight, comfortable and advantageous to wear as the Seiko arm band. The entirety of its connections are in a bad way together so it, as well, can be effectively protracted or abbreviated. The catch is twofold collapsing. It is even and opens through catches on its sides. Zenith’s wristband is incorporated more completely into the case than Seiko’s, albeit the angling state of the Zenith case’s center piece appears to be somewhat shortened. This detail, be that as it may, doesn’t reduce the arm band’s comfort on the wrist. The contrast in thickness between the two cases is just about 1.3 mm, however Zenith’s case appears to be fundamentally slimmer and bigger in light of the fact that its dial is so huge: 34 mm in distance across. With the exception of two matte segments on the drags, Zenith’s case is splendidly cleaned all finished. Zenith’s case configuration is less adapted than Seiko’s. Each case has a strung crown and is water impervious to 100 meters.

The Grand Seiko’s crown is incorporated marginally into the side of its case. Fluting on the crown’s sides makes it simple to get a handle on. At the point when the crown is squeezed in, it very well may be gone to wind the fountainhead; when pulled out to its first position, it rapidly resets the date; and when pulled out to its second position it resets the hands. At the point when the watch is running, the date show step by step advances to show the following day’s date: this change starts around 11 o’clock at night and closures when the date numeral hops ahead at roughly 10 minutes past midnight. El Primero is over 40 years of age, yet it has a cutting edge and quickly exchanging date show. On the watch we tried, the change from the previous date to the present occurred around three minutes before 12 PM. In a takeoff from the standard, the fast reset system for El Primero’s date is enacted when the crown is pulled to its peripheral position. Squeezing the crown one bit farther internal – however not right in – allows you to change the hands. The crown has somewhat cone shaped fluting and can be in a bad way shut easily.

The dials of the two watches are altogether different, not simply in size – the Seiko dial is only 30 mm wide − however in style. Fluting between the hour files is the most attractive detail on the Espada’s dial. This enhancing wreath stretches out that full distance to the edge of the dial, where it meets the rib. Like they were safeguarding the memory of the El Primero’s recent stopwatch work, a ring of tight strokes mark parts of seconds between neighboring hour records. This scale comprises of four more limited strokes between each nearby pair of longer strokes so it effectively coordinates the five-hertz recurrence of type 4650B. The 11 faceted and rhodium-plated hour files are fastidiously applied on this equivalent foundation. Each file’s external end meets a minutes and seconds scale on the rib; its inward end bears a drop of Super-LumiNova that shines splendid green in obscurity. A similar green sparkle sparkles along the lengths of great importance hand and minutes hand. Neatness is awesome in obscurity and almost amazing by day.

The Espada’s smooth hands have a lively look. The minutes hand is by and large long enough to contact the comparing scale on the rib; its tip twists descending to limit expected blunders because of parallax. The hour hand has no descending bend at its end and its tip stays near the 11 appliqués. The thin seconds hand of blued steel adds a bright highlight. Its more limited end bears Zenith’s star logo. The dial on the Seiko watch is more downplayed than the Zenith dial. Slender hour lists transcend a foundation that is inconspicuously decorated with a sunburst design. Each record slants descending toward the focal point of the dial. Neither the lists nor the hands are brilliant so the watch can’t be perused in obscurity. The dial doesn’t give as much differentiation as the Zenith dial does, so it isn’t exactly as simple to make out even in sunlight. Numerous sparkling surfaces on the applied files, in addition to polished features along the edges of the hands, will in general reflect daylight and cause undesirable glare. Like Zenith’s watch, the Grand Seiko has a bright emphasize: its restricted blued seconds hand. The dauphine hour and minutes hands end at the internal tips of the lists and the moment strokes, separately. The last are perfectly stamped. With everything taken into account, this dial is attractive and predictable, much the same as the Zenith dial.

How to pick between these two, in a dead heat watches? Components to think about beginning with the cost. Indeed, even in light of Seiko’s grand norms, should a watch sweetheart compensation $1,100 more for an excellent Japanese watch than for a similarly fine Swiss watch? Furthermore, provided that this is true, what will he get for his money? First, he’ll get an in fact current development, the most recent materials, amazing craftsmanship and, to wrap things up, the interest of possessing a Grand Seiko. There’s no uncertainty that an El Primero development is additionally an intriguing horological element, despite the fact that the chronograph instrument has been taken out. Maybe that is reason enough for an authority to procure an Espada, which is enlivened by the models of the 1970s and honors Zenith’s specialized and social legacy. From a carefully target viewpoint, notwithstanding, we should take note of that the El Primero 4650B doesn’t arrive at the significant level of Seiko’s type 9S85. With the evacuation of the chronograph instrument, and without a stop-seconds work, the development loses the advantages which the chronograph form acquired from its high speed oscillator.


Grand Seiko


  • Modern make caliber
  • Good rates
  • High-quality craftsmanship


  • Poor evening time legibility
  • Comparatively high price



  • Manufacture caliber
  • Good rates
  • Very great decipherability day and night
  • High-quality craftsmanship


  • No stop-seconds function
  • Low amplitudes
  • Too much play in the hands



  • Manufacturer: Morioka Seiko Instruments Inc. 61-1, Itabashi, Shizukuishi-cho, Iwate-firearm, Iwate 020-0596, Japa
  • Reference number: SBGH001
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds; date; stop-seconds function
  • Movement: In-house Caliber 9S85, programmed; 36,000 vph, 37 gems, fine   change by means of list with flighty screw, Diashock stun retention, Spron 610 hairspring, bidirectional pawl winding, 55-hour power save; breadth = 28.4 mm, tallness = 5.9 mm
  • Case: Stainless steel, domed sapphire precious stone is nonreflective on its underside, sunk down window of sapphire caseback; water impervious to 100 meters
  • Bracelet and clasp: Stainless-steel arm band with single-collapsing clasp
  • Rate results (Deviation in seconds per 24 hours,when completely twisted/following 24 hours):
    • Dial up – 1.3/ – 2.1
    • Dial down +1.5/ – 0.4
    • Crown up – 1.0/ – 3.5
    • Crown down +1.0/0.0
    • Crown left – 0.3/ – 2.7
    • Greatest deviation of rate 2.8/3.5
    • Average deviation 0.0/ – 1.7
    • Average amplitude: Flat positions 318°/288°- Hanging positions 284°/267°
  • Dimensions: Diameter = 40.65 mm, stature = 13.28 mm, weight = 151 g
  • Variations: With dark dial; uncommon versions in yellow gold, rose gold or white gold ($27,000)
  • Price: $7,800


  • Manufacturer: Zenith International SA, Rue de Billodes 34-36, CH-2400 Le Locle, Switzerland
  • Reference number: 03.2170.4650/01.M2170
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, focus mounted seconds hand; date
  • Movement: In-house El Primero 4650B, programmed; 36,000 vph, 22 gems, fine   change by means of unconventional screws, Kif stun ingestion, bidirectional winding, Nivarox hairspring, Glucydur balance, 50-hour power save; breadth = 30.0 mm, tallness = 5.58 mm
  • Case: Stainless steel, domed sapphire gem with nonreflective covering, caseback with screwed-down sapphire window; water impervious to 100 meters
  • Bracelet and clasp: Stainless-steel arm band with twofold collapsing clasp
  • Rate results (Deviation in seconds each 24 hours, when completely twisted/following 24 hours):
    • Dial up +5.0/+4.8
    • Dial down +2.8/+2.4
    • Crown up +3.0/+0.5
    • Crown down +6.0/+7.2
    • Crown left +3.9/+1.7
    • Greatest deviation of rate 3.2/6.7
    • Average deviation +4.1/+3.3
    • Average amplitude: Flat positions 282°/257° – Hanging positions 250°/229°
  • Dimensions: Diameter = 40.37 mm, tallness = 11.96 mm, weight = 141 g
  • Variations: With dark, white or earthy colored sunray or mother-of-pearl dial, rose-gold case on lash, steel and gold case and arm band, rose-gold case and wristband, set with precious stones ($6,700 – $29,100)
  • Price: $6,700

This article, composed by Martina Richter, with photographs by Zuckerfabrik Fotodesign, was first distributed by WatchTime and republished here with authorization.