Not so Positive

Total Replies: 12.  Latest Received: 13 April 1999
O. Bryan Beyers, 13 August 1998

Due to your letter I have chosen NOT to purchase a Seiko Kinetic watch.
Thank you for your information. You have saved me much aggravation as
well as money. Hopefully Seiko may someday realize that quality in their
products is something that is demanded not merely expected.

O.Bryan Byers


Geneve, 29 August 1998

Hi Paul...

I just read your story on your Seiko, sorry to hear about all the 
problems...I have never been a Seiko fan myself and you story just added 
fuel to the fire.

At any rate, I just wanted to let you know (in case you didn't) that 
Omega makes a watch that uses a similar "power generator" system. It's 
the SeaMaster "Omega-Matic". As a current owner of an Omega (SpeedMaster 
triple-date), amoung other (IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and Breguet), I can 
say that Omega's quality and customer service is impecable!

Here's a picture link:

Anyways, good luck to you!


Sal Romano, 30 August 1998

I have noticed the same "play" in the minute hand of my Seiko Kinetic.(Cal. 5M43) its about 
a half a minute movement when the minute hand is aligned with the hash mark, and when the 
watch is turned from side to side. I'd consider it an example of sloppy construction, 
I also have a TAG and a $50 Timex, neither one shows any movement in the minute 
hand when the watch is moved.


Selcuk KAYITMAZER (to Seiko), 1 October 1998

Dear Sirs,

 I bought my first Seiko 20 years ago and used it
 for years. Therefore, when I had to buy a new 
 watch last year I did not hesitatate to buy a Kinetic.

          Then, nightmare began! 3 months later closing
 clips was broken itself. I had to wait 3.5 months for
 spare part!!! 2-3 months later its broken again!!!!
 Now,its broken 3th times!!!

            I paid apr.1000 DM to Kinetics and I dont know
 how many times I have to go to service in the future!!
 I would not be faced with so many problems If I bought
 10 times cheaper watch!!!!!

              Please inform me about the solution you
 will offer.



 Seiko  Kinetic-4M21-0B40 R1

Robert Allen Fry, 23 October 1998

Thank you very much.  I had been planning on getting one of these kenetic watches for about $450 which is a great deal of
money for a sloppy timed watch.  I greatly appreciate your info. on these less than quality watches.  Seiko can consider my
business lost. 

Svilen Yankov, 18 November 1998 (extract)

I have a Seiko Kinetic since 2 years. But now it is not chrging properly
the capacitor.
When tilted fore and back the second hand shows that the watch is fully
recharged ( and supposed to work for about a week) but for the next
about 5 min the capacitor is depleted. I do not have the watch with me
right now and that is why I cannot put model right now.


Joseph Dox, 20 November 1998

After having my seiko in the repair shop for four months, I understand
why people would not buy another seiko product. The repair person told me
these watches were almost impossible to repair. Sitting here with the seiko
manual , I now know why seiko does not put any address to write to in the
manual. The manual says " You are now the proud owner........." . What they
should say is "Gotcha!"


Dwyane Batad, 6 December 1998 

 Seiko whether you are guilty or innocent replace the watch for free. 
All this negativity is costing you customers.  I am in the market for a
reliable fine watch and am glad I came across this article.  I am now
leery in purchasing a kinetic Seiko watch, a kinetic in general as a 
matter of fact.  I narrowed my choice to either the Seiko kinetic or the
Citizen eco-drive light powered and will choose the Citizen over the
Seiko because there are no moving parts per se to power the watch.  I am
planing on spending at least $500.00.  Thanks for the tip.

Seiko did offer to replace my watch or return my money.


John Merson, 29 December 1999

Hoping to find a direct link to Seiko, I had hoped I might be able
to explain to Seiko the problems I've had with the kinetic I own, 
as well as my wife's, thinking perhaps they would offer to repair,
or replace them.  I see, now, that problems with these watches are
not unusual and it appears Seiko is reluctant to stand behind their
product.  My watch is unable to hold a charge in its capacitor, despite
the indicator sweep showing a full charge.  (The minute hand
at least, doesn't swing freely!)  My wife's watch is permanently 
stuck on the 21st of the month, but keeps accurate time.  I guess
they have a few "bugs" to work out in this product line! Your experience
is helpful for me to know that I'd be wasting my time trying to deal
with Seiko.  Thanks.

John Merson


Eduardo Costa, 27 January 1999

Dear Sir.
I was reading your page about Seiko Kinetic: It is very
interesting and written with a good sense of humour.
However, as an engineer myself, I have a few comments
on what you said. As you know, fabrication is a statistical
process. Different parts of the lot comes with 
different flaws, and users must be tolerant. 
Of course, watches don't have nearly
as many problems as software, but they do have some "bugs".
Nevertheless, get compensations for these flaws, as you will see.

I bought two Seiko watches: an automatic one and a 
kinetic (5M-43-0A50). The automatic gains from half an hour
to one hour a day. I use it when I don't want to miss
an important compromise. As for the kinetic, I use it when 
I want to do a little of physical exercise. I need to
shake it violently for one minute or two in order to charge
that tiny capacitor of the ad. When I put it back on
my arm, it stops after two and three minutes. However,
let's face it. If I wanted to know "what time is it?",
I would buy a battery operated digital watch. They are
inexpensive and do work. People who buy exotic gewgaws
don't want to see the time, they want to have fun,
and you are having a lot of fun with your page, aren't
you? Then, you got a compensation from Seiko (in fun).
I am not having as much fun as you, but my Seiko kinetic
did bring me some satisfaction. Listen to my story...

The story of a happy Kinetic Seiko owner (5M43-0A50/563418).
I was in Sao Paulo at the Barra Funda Bus Station waiting
for a bus to Catanduva. There was that beautiful woman
waiting for the bus as well. I asked her what time was it.
She noticed the Kinetic Seiko in my arm, and concluded
that I didn't want to know the time at all. What I wanted
(in her interpretation) was to start a conversation.
The rest of the story, I leave to your imagination.

Let's consider the engineering aspects of your story.
It is possible that it is hard to eliminate the geer
backlash. It is possible that it is hard to keep
the capacitor charged (a few of your readers complain
about the capacitor being depleted in a few minutes; my kinetic
Seiko don't keep the charge of the capacitor either). It is
even possible that it is hard to keep the date
(another of your readers complains that his wife's
watch is stuck on the 21st of the month). However,
tell me as from one engineer to another: Do you
think that there is  an unsurmountable technical difficulty
in keeping the strap in place?  Observe that there are more
people complaining of broken straps than complaining of capacitors
or of backlash. Don't you think that it is easy to use a
stronger clip? They could use a very bulky clip, if they
wanted. However, that would rob the job of those nice ladies
who change the straps of you watch. In these times of
high unemployment, Seiko don't want to worsen the problem.
Only in my hometown, small as it is, there are three or
four of those ladies, who live from replacing straps,
making keys, and selling cheap chinese watches.

Sincerely yours.

Eduardo Costa.


Josh Roy, 19 February 1999

Hi I saw your web page.  I am glad someone is as ticked about the Seiko
kinetic as me.  I bought my first Seiko Kinetic a couple years ago.  The
only major problems I had with it where that the date never stayed right.
The knob controlling the date was a bad design that kept flipping.  Despite
this I decided to buy another one hoping that the new $700 price tag and
the new design would solve my problems.  I was dead wrong.  I bought the
watch in Jan 1998 and have only worn it about 4 to 6 total months.  I am
extra careful with it and I am a MBA Graduate student so my daily physical
activities to not cause much wear and tare on the watch.  Despite this
after the first month the glass was almost totally filled with scratches.
Not to mention the date flipped me with in 2 minutes of putting it on.  My
best explanation is that since the glass is the highest feature on the
watch it comes in contact with everything I touch.  I got my local Boston
Store to replace the glass, but it was on back order ( no doubt because
everyone who owns the watch has the same problem).  Anyway I got my watch
back 3 months later after a lot of yelling and now the watch leaks.  I
guess it's really hard for the seal to work right once it''s been open.
Shortly thereafter the band broke.  No apparent reason it just snapped when
I was picking up a book. My Seiko now sits in my drawer collecting dust and
looking like it's a piece of junk.   Well to make a long story short I wish
I never bought I Seiko and also wish I would have seen your web site first.
 Feel free to put all this on your web site.  Your more then welcome to use
my name to.  Sincerely, Josh Roy


Eric Noel, 13 April 1999

I read with great interest all that is contained on your site.  Strangely
enough, I encountered your site just after a lunch hour excursion to the
local jewelry store where I was on the cusp of buying a great looking
Kinetic by Seiko.  I had always thought Seiko's quality was excellent, e.g.,
my father bought a Seiko Quartz in 1977 and it only conked out last year -
note that it had never been cleaned or oiled: that is over 20 years of
perpetual motion!

Because of the problems you have encountered, however, I will not buy a
Seiko Kinetic.  I refuse to take the chance.  I do, however, want to get an
automatic quartz and have decided to try the new Swatch Autoquartz.  The
watch is very inexpensive (70 U.S. dollars) and I have had nothing but good
experience with Swatch - both battery operated and mechanical automatics.  

It is good that you have set up this web site.  It should make those monster
companies think twice before producing junk with a big price tag, i.e., me
not buying their watch is one less sale in their pockets.

P.S.  The Swatch Autoquartz has a storage capacity of 100 days or so they
claim.  We shall see!

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