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   Response to this page

    In Support of Seiko
          Some Letters from Happy
          Seiko Owners

    No more Seiko
    Other Bad Seiko Experiences

    Why the backlash
          A more Technical Description
          of the Problem
          by Jack Freedman

    Not only Seiko ?
          Read about other Watches with 
          Similar Problems
          by Jack Freedman

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    The Watch
          Some Pictures

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    Seiko's Home Page

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          ...more on watches

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Buying a Seiko Kinetic Watch

 
 
 
 
 
 

Thinking of buying a Seiko Kinetic watch ?  Read this first.

Seiko Kinetic.  Cool watch, especially if you're a Mechanical Engineer in the Power Generation industry like me.  A little power plant on your arm!  Very Cool.  Or so I thought, and bought one in the enchanting town of Brno in the Czech Republic on 30 June 1997.  I was really enjoying this watch with it's amazing little pendulum and rotor that continuously winds itself up. 

Then I got back home to South Africa.  At first I thought I was imagining things but soon realized the play on the minute hand was for real.  Tilting the watch from side to side occasionally caused the minute hand to fall around somewhere between half a minute and a full minute.  Acceptable ?  I didn't think so, so I wrote Seiko, Japan a letter explaining my dismay at this weird phenomena.  Their response was quite promising by asking me to send the watch to them.  This proved to be some problem as I could not find anyone willing to courier my watch to Japan!  I decided to rather hand the watch to Seiko's local representatives in South Africa, Anbeeco Ltd. for inspection and repair.  After some effort and correspondence with Seiko, Japan, they eventually sent a fax to Seiko, Japan stating that not only could they not fix the watch, but they also found the same phenomena in the following three Kinetic ranges, 5M42, 5M43 and 5M22!

Seiko requested Anbeeco to send them the watch which they promptly did.  On receipt of the watch, Seiko Japan inspected it and issued the following reply

"The degree of the movement of the minute hand was confirmed to be within the tolerable and accepted standard.  In other words, technically it is impossible to improve the situation by reassembling the watch."

and...

"The backlash phenomena is commonly noted with quartz analogue watches."

In all honesty, this is the first time I have experienced this "backlash phenomena" that is "commonly noted with quartz analogue watches".  I stand to be corrected of course. 
Let's look at this "tolerable and accepted standard".  Half a minute relates to  0.5/60*100% = ± 1%!  Acceptable for a top class quartz watch ?  Not in my opinion.  Needless to say, Seiko was unable to repair the watch and sent it back to me replacing the casing and glass as measure of goodwill (after being without my watch for the good part of a year).

It would be a sad day if "Someday all watches will be made this way." 

Maybe the new ad campaign for the Kinetic should rather read:

Seiko Kinetic - Somewhere in-between...

Please read the response to this page by following the links on the left and  make up your own mind whether the backlash is acceptable or not.

 and then ...
 
The strap broke. Without any reason the watch just fell off my arm.  So there.  Another reason to reconsider buying one of these. 

Any comments, please contact me at:
pnel@global.co.za
 

 

© Copyright 1998

Paul Nel