Got time on your hands?

Spring Drive

The Spring Drive is a watch movement that was developed by Seiko Epson.

It uses a mainspring, barrel, automatic winder and stem winding like in a mechanical watch to store the watch energy. It replaces the conventional escapement with a device that Seiko calls a Tri-synchro Regulator to regulate the unwinding of the mainspring. The regulator controls the use of the three forms of energy used in the Spring Drive mechanism; the mechanical power of the mainspring, the electrical energy generated from this mechanical power, and the electromagnetic energy that governs the rotation of the glide wheel. The energy generated by electro-magnetically braking the glide wheel is used to power a control circuit and quartz crystal oscillator, which in turn regulates the electro-mechanical braking of the glide wheel. The glide wheel turns 8 times per second to turn mechanical wheel trains and motion works. The Tri-synchro Regulator’s innovations result in a watch where the hands do not tick; rather, they glide. The manufacturer claims that the watch is accurate up to 1 second per day.

The design was first conceived in 1977, and patents were applied for in 1982. The movement was announced publicly in 1997, presented at the 1998 Basel Watch Fair and first appeared commercially in the Credor ‘luxury watch’ range as a limited edition in 1999. A version which included an automatic winder was shown in Seiko models at the 2005 Basel Watch Fair. The internationally available Seiko models were officially launched at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris on September 14, and went on sale the following day.

Swatch’s research company ASULAB has developed a similar (if not even identical) movement called the High Precision Mechanics calibre. No watches using this calibre are for sale.

Movement calibers

* 5R64 : 32 stones, day, small seconds.
* 5R65 : 30 stones, day.
* 5R66 : 30 stones, day, GMT.
* 5R67 : 30 stones, Moon Phase indicator.
* 7R06 : 88 stones.
* 7R68 : 30 stones, day.
* 7R88 : 30 stones, day.
* 9R65 : 30 stones, day.
* 9R66 : 30 stones, day, GMT.

Standard features:

* Time accuracy: Monthly rate within ±15 sec (equivalent to a daily rate of ±1 sec)
* Power reserve(72h) indicator.



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