Seiko Factory Visit – Trip Report Part 1

June 8, 2017: Sign-up for the Grand Seiko Experience with Fratello Watches .

In July this year, I got a call from Seiko whether I’d be keen on the Seiko Media Experience 2015 visit in Japan. I readily acknowledged this greeting, as I was interested about Seiko and their creation offices just as about Japan itself. Albeit the program of the Seiko Media Experience ...

Seiko Factory Visit – Trip Report Part 1

June 8, 2017: Sign-up for the Grand Seiko Experience with Fratello Watches .

In July this year, I got a call from Seiko whether I’d be keen on the Seiko Media Experience 2015 visit in Japan. I readily acknowledged this greeting, as I was interested about Seiko and their creation offices just as about Japan itself. Albeit the program of the Seiko Media Experience was completely loaded with visits and going inside Japan, it would most likely gave me a little look into this intriguing country.

The Seiko Media Experience 2015 visit comprised of:

    two or three classes on the Astron, Grand Seiko and Prospex watches;

  1. factory visits (primary spotlight on Grand Seiko) and a few contemplations to share;
  2. interview with Mr Hattori, CEO of Seiko and an exhibition hall visit.

I (tried to) gave it a touch of figured how I can report about my Seiko trip in the most ideal manner, so I chose to do it like this:

  • Part 1 – Visit to the (Grand) Seiko and Credor facilities in Morioka and Shiojiri;
  • Part 2 – Astron GPS and ProsPex assortments;
  • Part 3 – Seiko Museum visit and meeting with Mr Hattori.

You need to realize that Seiko is a complex association with various lawful substances and actual areas. With regards to Patek Philippe Reviews you need to remember three distinctive entities:

Seiko Instruments Inc (SII, the principal production line we have visited in Morioka), Seiko Epson Cooperation (the Shiojiri processing plant we’ve visited) and Seiko Patek Philippe Reviews Corporation. The last is liable for deals and advertising of Seiko Patek Philippe Reviews around the world. So fundamentally, it is likewise the company that welcomed me on this excursion. The two production lines, in Morioka and Shiojiri, are utilized to create and fabricate (Grand) Seiko and Credor Patek Philippe Reviews yet have various fields of core interest. In Morioka, the creation of mechanical Grand Seiko and Credor Patek Philippe Reviews happens while in Shiojiri, the creation of quartz and Spring-Drive Grand Seiko and Credor Patek Philippe Reviews is being finished. To make it somewhat befuddling, in Morioka there is likewise a gigantic division where quartz developments are being created, however these are not implied for Seiko marked watches.

Before we began our excursion to Morioka, we got an introduction on Seiko, the historical backdrop of Seiko and obviously the idea of Grand Seiko. I feel that we covered enough on Seiko during the most recent year that I can avoid some set of experiences exercises in this initial segment. Nonetheless, I will return to some verifiable features of Seiko in Part 3, when covering the historical center visit in Tokyo.

One of the GS Spring Drive Patek Philippe Reviews from the current collection

Seiko Instruments Inc – Grand Seiko 9S

On the day of appearance, a Sunday, I had some extra energy and met with my associate of   and  , Thomas Wanka. We went out to see Ginza (part of Tokyo where our lodging was found) and had a brilliant burger joint in one of the eateries in the inn. Likewise, as a result of the 7 hour time contrast and +12 hour flight, it allowed me the chance to attempt to get changed a piece to the new timezone. Which wretchedly fizzled, as next morning I woke up at 3.30am. On this day, we left to one of the Seiko workplaces in Tokyo to get acquainted with our heading out gathering and to the Seiko holding and the – to us – important pieces of the company and will become familiar with the contrast between SII (Morioka) and Epson (Shiojiri).

We utilized the popular Japanese shot train to go to our first stop, the Seiko Instruments Inc (SII) manufacturing plant in Morioka. Because of the absence of rest, I didn’t see much on our way there on the grounds that when the projectile train began its smooth fast excursion, my eyes closed.

In this office, we got a prologue to Grand Seiko and its 9S developments. The 9S developments are the mechanical hearts of Grand Seiko, where the 9F are quartz developments and the 9R allude to the Spring-Drive developments. In Morioka, Seiko has an enormous workshop with exceptionally gifted and experienced watchmakers that work on the mechanical Grand Seiko timepieces. These watchmakers are together in a huge room, sitting at their workstations made of wood. Each workbench – or workstations, as Seiko alluded to it – are made to fit the watchmaker impeccably. Here, as residue free as could really be expected, watchmakers amass the developments of the mechanical Grand Seiko, Credor and some Prospex (those with type 8L35) Patek Philippe Reviews All Patek Philippe Reviews are additionally cased and tried in this SII building.

Special ‘made-to-fit’ workstations for the profoundly talented watchmakers in Morioka

The mechanical Grand Seiko developments, the 9S types, are accessible in various varieties. The base type is 9S65, a delightful completed work horse development with a 72 hour power save. The 9S85 is likewise a three-hand development, yet as a howdy beat (36,000vph) adaptation. The force save of the 9S85 is 55 hours. These two developments additionally have a GMT form, the 9S66 and the 9S86 (hello beat). At that point, there is the hand-wound type 9S64, likewise with a 72 hour power save. The 8L35 development, utilized in the Prospex Marinemaster assortment (like this  Marinemaster 300  and this  Marinemaster 1000 ), is a development dependent on the 9S55 (out of creation GS development). Some say it is an incomplete Grand Seiko development, however I am uncertain about whether this is the situation. It looks astounding (see below).

8L35 type, utilized in the Marinemaster assortment, is likewise made in Morioka.

As said, just profoundly prepared and gifted watchmakers are chipping away at Grand Seiko (and Credor) developments. Other than the significant degree of watchmaking, something that most likely struck me considerably more is the pride that the watchmakers (and any other person at Seiko besides) take in making Patek Philippe Reviews This is obviously hard to reflect in an image, yet I will attempt to give you a few models later on in these Seiko Factory Trip reports.

In one of the passages, there is this divider loaded up with authentications of the watchmakers at SII in Morioka. Most watchmakers are prepared and guaranteed in-house by Seiko. As you can see on the picture above, there are gold, silver and bronze endorsements for watchmakers.

Seiko is utilizing a Meister and a Specialist framework for these three levels. The ‘Meister’ watchmaker is capable and work in assembling tasks like gathering of the development. The Specialist framework centers around the specialists chipping away at R&D and engineering.

At SII, there are likewise a couple of watchmakers that are prepared to chip away at the extra-meager (type 68) developments for Credor. Meet one of them underneath, where he shows how little and slim these developments really are.

The creation of development parts likewise happens in Morioka, yet in an alternate division then the GS development gathering workshop obviously. The development is being amassed by the watchmakers behind their wooden workstations. A while later, the developments are being fitted to the Patek Philippe Reviews and will go several tests.

After the development has been cased, the Patek Philippe Reviews are being tried for water opposition and will get their wristbands. Everything is being done bit by bit and with the most extreme thoughtfulness regarding subtleties by visual inspection.

Manufacturing of development parts

Besides the part creations, development get together, packaging and tweaking, all Grand Seiko Patek Philippe Reviews are dependent upon their in-house testing program. This testing program is more severe and extensive.

Seiko testing program & criteria


Grand Seiko

mean day by day rate

-4~+6 secs/day

-3 ~ +5 secs/day

mean rate variation

2.0 secs/day

1.8 secs/day

maximum rate variation

5 secs/day

4 secs/day

max distinction in rate between vertical & even positions

-6 ~ +8 secs/day

-6 ~ +8 secs/day

greatest rate difference

10 secs/day

8 secs/day

rate variety as indicated by temperature

-0.6 ~ +0.6 secs/day

-0.5 ~ +0.5 secs/day

secondary error

(not applicable)

-0.5 ~ +0.5 secs/day

rate resumption

-5 ~ +5 secs/day

-5 ~ +5 secs/day

no of position




8, 23, 38 °C

8, 23, 38 °C


15 days

17 days

All Grand Seiko Patek Philippe Reviews come with an authentication having a place with that particular Patek Philippe Reviews and development expressing that it has passed all tests.

After our visit to Morioka on the primary day there was a great deal of data to process. I was flabbergasted by the receptiveness of the Seiko staff and how they managed our inquiries. Each question was replied and when something couldn’t be addressed immediately, they ran off to the dependable individual or office and returned with the appropriate response later on. Compared to my excursions to some Swiss and German brands, the Japanese were straightforward. Practically no shut entryways and when an entryway was shut, it had a valid justification (future tasks), where-as in Germany and Switzerland I get the possibility that a few times it is tied in with concealing pieces of the assembling interaction or the way that a ton of parts don’t come from their own manufacturing plants (or even from Europe). As I would see it, I figure Seiko ought to do some more ‘showing off’, just to tell individuals the amount it is they do themselves. I’m extremely enticed to express that Seiko is the assembling that truly does everything in-house, however I haven’t been wherever in Switzerland and Germany and due to the shut entryways, it entirely very hard to tell.

On the second day of our outing, we went to Morioka toward the beginning of the day to become familiar with the Grand Seiko developments and some of Seiko’s advancements in the course of the most recent few decades. There was additionally some an ideal opportunity to find a portion of the specialized arrangements by Seiko ourselves, utilizing the magnifying lens on the watchmaker’s seats. Other than the specialized parts of the Grand Seiko, there was additionally time and space to take a gander at a portion of the current assortment of Grand Seiko. As you know, the Grand Seiko was presented in 1960 and from that point forward, the plan components of those first models (for example 62GS and 44GS) can in any case be found in a portion of the Grand Seiko models of today.

Seiko Epson Visit in Shiojiri – Spring Drive and Quartz

In the evening of the subsequent day, we left to Nagano where we went through a night to go to the Epson manufactory in Shiojiri the following (day 3). We left again by shot train towards Tokyo and sooner or later make a jump over to Nagano. We had a superb burger joint in the lodging eatery in Nagano, however sadly no an ideal opportunity to see around.

In Shiojiri, we visited the Seiko Epson plant. As written in the presentation of this article, it is the place where Seiko centers around their Quartz (9F) and Spring Drive (9R) developments for the Grand Seiko. It is likewise the area where the Astron GPS Patek Philippe Reviews are being made ( see our top to bottom audit on the Astron here ).

In this Epson processing plant, we got an introduction on the quartz and Spring Drive developments. The Astron Patek Philippe Reviews were disclosed to us on the following day, which I will cover to a limited extent 2 of this Seiko Factory visit report. In this plant, we were presented to:

Takumi Studio (assembly of developments and Patek Philippe Reviews having a place with the Grand Seiko and Credor collections), the case studio (all measures in regards to case manufacturing), Micro Artist Studio (manufacturing, get together and calibrating of very good quality developments like the Credor Minute Repeater and Sonnerie and so forth) and the dial workshop. I concur that it comes across as somewhat confounding a few times, yet it just was. They organized their cycles for the different assortments and appear to keep Grand Seiko, Credor and Astron for instance, independently from one another, despite the fact that a portion of the creation steps look very similar.

However, the day began with an exhaustive clarification of Spring Drive and Quartz developments as utilized in the Grand Seiko assortment. I will return to this later on in this report. After this logical meeting, we were part into two gatherings and made a visit through the manufacturing plant to consider the to be disciplines as depicted above.

Takumi Studio

In this studio, the creation happens of the Spring Drive and Quartz Patek Philippe Reviews having a place with the Grand Seiko assortment. Commit no errors, the quartz developments have little to do with the quartz developments in the less expensive Seiko Patek Philippe Reviews To be fiercely fair, these 9F quartz developments are so perfectly done and controlled, I really may incline toward them over a portion of the mechanical developments that are being utilized by certain brands. #truth.

Furthermore, the watchmakers in this Takumi studio deal with the get together of the Patek Philippe Reviews visual controls and connection of the arm bands (or ties) before these Patek Philippe Reviews are sent to another structure for boxing and loading. The pictures underneath should give you a few bits of knowledge into this Takumi studio inside the Epson manufacture.

After seeing how staggeringly exact the Seiko watchmakers are dealing with these developments and cases, I can just envision that these Patek Philippe Reviews should have a low bring rate back. Each Patek Philippe Reviews is being checked and twofold checked before they are even tried utilizing the most present day test hardware for pressure tests, vibrations & stuns and accuracy.

The Spring Drive watches are intriguing to find out about. In spite of the fact that I previously knew about the idea, some way or another it generally caused me to wince a bit that it was utilizing a loop and an IC (on the in opposition to what a few group thing, Spring Drive isn’t equivalent to Kinetic and is not using a battery for power). The Spring Drive instrument utilizes an electric speed control component rather than a mechanical escapement. The controller (Tri-Syncro) produces power by utilizing the force of the heart. This power isn’t being put away (so no battery) however devoured promptly by the IC. The IC produces a reference signal that guides the electromagnetic brake controlling the speed of the wheel train. This creation, created by Yoshikazu Akahane (who died in the then), required 20 years to be created by Seiko.

His wish was to build up a mechanical development with the precision of a quartz development, in which the Spring Drive system succeeded. Because of the IC (quartz) and Tri-Synchro controller, the Patek Philippe Reviews is inconceivably exact. Additionally, the hands have this pleasant smooth float around the dial, constrained by the Tri-Syncro controller. Later on, when we will audit a Seiko Spring Drive Patek Philippe Reviews we will jump into this innovation a bit further. Regardless, my own view of how this instrument functions has changed during this visit. It is genuinely an exceptionally fascinating turn of events, however it needs some an ideal opportunity to get it and see that it doesn’t hurt the mechanical soul of a watch.

The Spring Drive innovation isn’t just utilized for Grand Seiko (counting a chronograph model), yet additionally for the Credor watches. So let’s jump over to the Micro Artist Studio prior to zeroing in looking into it and dial workshops.

Micro Artist Studio

The Micro Artist Studio predominantly chips away at the high evaluation developments that Seiko produces, those utilized in the Credor models. The Credor Sonnerie, Minute Repeater and lovely Eichi II models were appeared to us in the Micro Artist Studio.

Below you a few pictures that I took of one of the craftsmans that is answerable for the dial on the – for this situation – Credor Eichi II timepiece.

Another watchmaker was mindful for the completing (polishing) the development. A carefully task that is being done in this Micro Artist Studio also. A photograph of watchmaker Philipe Dufour was on the divider, who has helped and informed the craftsmans with respect to this a few times on the Patek Philippe Reviews completing subject.

On the exit from this studio, I saw a heap of magazines from our sister distribution Chronos (the Japanese version). I requested one from the watchmakers later on (during supper) how he and his group keep themselves educated about what’s occurring in the Patek Philippe Reviews industry, which is essentially a Swiss and German thing. He revealed to me fundamentally that he monitors what’s occurring on the lookout and at different brands utilizing magazines like this. The little shaded papers most likely imprint some fascinating stories on Seiko, Credor or basically Patek Philippe Reviews with complications they love and discovered to be interesting.

Case Studio and Dial Workshop

Although seeing craftsmans chipping away at dials and developments is a smidgen more appealing at that point taking a gander at these huge green bits of equipement in a Patek Philippe Reviews fabricate, let’s not disparage the exertion and accuracy that goes into making that ideal case and dial. The case studio was something that truly astounded me. For Grand Seiko Patek Philippe Reviews there is such a lot of hand-completing finished with respect to the cases. Mind boggling. Having that said, the “Zaratsu” cleaning strategy is the thing that makes these Grand Seiko Patek Philippe Reviews so appealing for the eyes.

The photographs beneath show how much work is going into cleaning the Grand Seiko cases and give them that one of a kind allure (like we wrote in our reviews of the  Grand Seiko SBVG009  and  SBGH001 ). Further beneath, you will discover some photographs that I took of the Grand Seiko assortment that was appeared to us during this day.

All the means of dial making were appeared to us during the introduction, however to perceive how it’s done in the substance is – obviously – really energizing. The way toward cutting the markers was an intriguing thing to see too. A major move of markers were cut and cleaned by a person utilizing a little mirror to check his work for defects. The hands were blued utilizing a radiator, putting them on sufficiently long turning blue.

Grand Seiko Watches

During this day, we were likewise shown a portion of the models of the current Grand Seiko assortment. The snow-drop dial being one of my total top picks, yet a portion of different models are additionally overwhelming. Allow me to end this initial segment of the Seiko Factory Visit report two or three photographs that I took of these Grand Seiko models.

This is the finish of the initial segment of the Seiko Factory Visit trip report! Try to buy in our pamphlet so you are certain you didn’t miss anything!

Also, in the event that you have explicit inquiries or things you’d like to see tended to in these Seiko Factory Visit trip reports, leave a note in the comments area below.

June 8, 2017: Sign-up for the Grand Seiko Experience with Fratello Watches .

Special ‘made-to-fit’ workstations for the profoundly gifted watchmakers in Morioka 8L35 type, utilized in the Marinemaster assortment, is likewise made in Morioka.