For some reason, Spring Drive Snowflake is a major fan of Grand Seiko.
The Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGA011 is well known by fans of Seiko, referred to as “Snowflake” for short, it may be the most iconic model of the Grand Seiko Spring Drive, first launched in 2010 (unbelievable). In the seven years since its release, it has become a fan favorite, and it has also been favored by critics. Its unique dial is also praised, and so has Seiko’s general assembly and finishing. Interestingly, Grand Seiko has never provided this dial with any movement other than Spring Drive. In fact, for a traditional automatic movement or a traditional automatic movement, the characteristics of the Spring Drive movement affect the entire watch as a whole. The impact is crucial. Quartz movement, this may be a very different wrist experience, maybe a little subtle but correct.
The Snowflake story actually has two parts: one is the overall aesthetics, and the other is the Spring Drive movement. Snowflake is a very calming watch – the subtle lighting effects on the dial resemble the newly fallen, slightly drifting snow, and the silent, smooth sliding of the blue steel second hand, which can be combined together to make The feeling of time flows uninterrupted, but also effortlessly, it seems that people look at time almost from an eternal perspective, because people should be immersed in meditation. In contrast, a mechanical watch displays time as a series of oscillations-in the forward movement of the seconds hand, the frequency of the balance wheel is visible, and as the escape wheel is unlocked, the balance wheel jumps forward once every time it swings.
Quartz fake watches work differently. Quartz vibrates 32,768 times per second; this is done because quartz is a piezoelectric material, which means that when you pass through quartz, quartz deforms mechanically. Piezoelectric materials also generate electrical current when they are mechanically deformed, which means you can easily calculate the number of times the crystal vibrates per second (you only need to count the number of electrical pulses it generates). The reason for choosing the frequency is simple: 32,768 is 2 to the 15th power. By dividing the pulse repetition from the crystal by 2, you can easily get the interval of 1 second. The dividing integrated circuit then sends a signal to the stepper motor to advance the second hand by one increment. This jump second is characteristic of the long-outdated double escapement, a variation of this escapement that was widely used in watches in the 19th century Chinese market. George Daniels said in the watchmaking industry: “The system was highly valued by the Chinese, who despised the second hand crawling on the watch.”
This is just to point out that the movement of the second hand will naturally become an important part of our perception of the passage of time and the characteristics of the watch. There are so many cases that the deadbeat stopwatch (the so-called deadbeat second complex) is often despised by mechanical fake watch enthusiasts, who find it too much like a quartz watch (even if the name Rolex is not enough to make it a quartz watch ). Complications are commercially successful, witnessing the obscurity of Rolex Tru-Beat. High-frequency quartz watches, like high-beat mechanical watches, can give people a sense of smooth and continuous movement, but Spring Drive is the only watch technology that has a true continuous forward movement function.
The evolution of spring transmission
As with any basic advancement in timing technology, Spring Drive has a long and sometimes painful pregnancy. The original idea was Akasaka initiated by Seiko Epson engineer (now called Shinshu Watch Studio) in Shioji City, Nagano Prefecture to reflect his focus on Grand Seiko Spring Drive and Grand Seiko quartz watches It is proposed by Yoshikazu Akahane; it is also the location of Micro Artist Studio, which manufactures high-end Spring Drive watches such as Eichi II and Credor, and their watchmaking complexity is also high. Akabane began experimenting with this idea in the late 1970s (the date usually given is around 1977) and granted the first patent for the concept in 1982. However, it was not until 20 years later that Seiko publicly demonstrated the movement in 2002. In 1997, Baselworld. In 1998, the first commercial Spring Drive watches came out.
There are several reasons why it took so long. The spring-driven movement contains a quartz oscillator, but the similarities with traditional quartz watches are over here. The quartz watch has a battery. Moreover, Spring Drive has no or no quartz watches-as HODINKEE editor-in-chief Joe Thompson pointed out, many of the first commercially successful quartz watches are digital, not analog-while in Spring Drive, pointers It is essential (it is impossible to build a digital display for Spring Drive watches). In addition, Spring Drive watches are driven by a clockwork; the quartz watch industry is unparalleled. The closest relatives may be Seiko’s Kinetic and Swiss Autoquartz movements, but they are standard quartz watches with rotor-driven micro-generators that can charge rechargeable batteries. In fact, the Spring Drive watch is technically no different from any other mechanical watch, directly to the position of the escape wheel in the standard watch movement.
The escape wheel, lever and balance wheel will appear in traditional watches, and we find that Seiko calls it Tri-Synchro regulator. “Tri” refers to the three types of energy present in the regulating system: the magnetic field energy generated by the sliding wheel; mechanical; from the clockwork and electricity, from the quartz crystal. The last gear in motion turns the so-called skid wheel, which has a permanent magnet on its hub. It rotates between two electromagnets at one end of a pair of winding coils according to a pair of Faraday’s laws, and the whole object is used as a generator (the sliding wheel acts as a rotor). The law assumes that the conductor moving in a magnetic field will generate current. https://www.vogue4uwatches.com
The generated current flows to the integrated circuit and the quartz crystal. As the current flows through the crystal, the crystal vibrates and the IC counts oscillations. However, the IC does not divide by 2 until it counts to an interval of one second, and then sends the signal to the stepper motor, but instead transfers energy back to the electromagnet surrounding the sliding wheel. The electrical energy becomes magnetic here, which exerts braking energy on the sliding wheels. The feedback electric energy is precisely controlled, so the sliding wheel rotates exactly eight times per second. Therefore, the sliding wheel ensures that the balance spring unwinds in a controlled manner in the same way as the escape wheel, lever, and balance spring (and balance spring) of a traditional watch control the release speed of the balance spring.
Therefore, in essence, the spring-driven movement is mechanical, but has an electromagnetic escapement regulated by a quartz oscillator. One of the reasons why Spring Drive development took a long time is because it generates very little energy. In order to be used in commercial watches, it is necessary to develop a special low energy consumption integrated circuit, and the coil must be wound with very thin copper wire to ensure the maximum number of turns of the winding. The coil itself. For this reason, a special hexagonal cross-section wire has been developed, so that the coil can be wound without gaps (or even microscopic gaps) between the turns, which means that the total volume in a given volume The length is greater. In fact, you can see with the naked eye the difference between the coil used in the Seiko Kinetic watch (the battery is charged by the mechanical rotor) and the Spring Drive coil; in our recent trip to salt oji, we were able to photograph two coils side by side.
Very little electricity is generated. One way of visualization is to imagine everyone on the planet wearing a Grand Seiko Spring Drive watch. If this is the case, the electricity generated is only enough to light a 100-watt light bulb. In order to have an acceptable power reserve, the entire system must work very efficiently, which is why it is necessary to develop new coil systems and efficient integrated circuits. In order to minimize friction loss, the mechanical drive train must also be manufactured and assembled with high precision (this is easy to miss for Spring Drive, but to make them work, high-precision mechanical watches and advanced technology platforms are required. ).