With Baselworld 2018 coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the Eichi model, Seiko is seizing the opportunity to release a new variation of the Eichi II under its Credor line. Credor is Seiko’s ultra-high end collection established in 2006 to showcase the very best of Japanese watchmaking, and the rose gold Credor Spring Drive Eichi II is no exception to the quality that Credor represents. It’s very evident that the Eichi II is not your average Seiko.
Brand: Seiko / Credor
Model: Credor Spring Drive Eichi II 18k Rose Gold, ref. GBLT998
Dimensions: 39.5mm x 10.3mm
Water Resistance: 30m
Case Material: 18k Rose Gold
Movement: Seiko’s Caliber 7R14 Spring Drive (manual winding with torque reserve system)
Power Reserve: 60 Hours
Strap/Bracelet: Crocodile strap with a three-fold clasp
Price & Availability: ¥4,300,000 (~$41,000 USD), available in August
The first indication of Credor’s quality is the superbly high level of finishing on the Eichi II, from the case to the dial. The 18k rose gold is cold forged for utility and aesthetic purposes, as the cold forging process makes the case both more scratch-resistant and lustrous. Afterwards, the case is Zaratsu polished, a technique Seiko uses to achieve a mirror-like finish. Coupled with the fact that each feature on the porcelain dial is hand-painted as well, every detail on the Eichi II is finely constructed.
The other primary aspect of the watch, the movement, is just as remarkable. Seiko’s Spring Drive technology is impressive in and of itself, but the Caliber 7R14’s torque reserve system adds another layer of complexity by essentially using excess, wasted energy to rewind the mainspring. As a result, the system adds an extra 25% to the power reserve, leading to an impressive 60 hours. With the Spring Drive’s signature smooth second hand sweep and its high accuracy, the movement is very technically impressive. Nonetheless, the fact that the Spring Drive incorporates quartz technology may deter some buyers looking for purely mechanical movements.
What’s going to be interesting about the Eichi II is how it stacks up to its European competitors at the price point of around $40,000 USD. Most consumers would immediately gravitate towards the likes of Patek Philippe or A. Lange & Söhne for a watch that costs tens of thousands of dollars, but Credor presents a compelling argument for why consumers should choose Japan over Switzerland or Germany. Still, it’s unclear as to whether the Eichi II will be enough to change the common perception that Japan is only good for affordable, entry-level watches. The Seiko Credor Spring Drive Eichi II 18k Rose Gold will be available in August at a retail price of ¥4,300,000 (~$41,000 USD). seikousa.com