A little while ago I blogged about a very special Seiko, the Limited Edition Astron. BaselWorld 2011 brings another new commemorative watch from Seiko, which is celebrating its 130th anniversary this year.
Meet the almost half a million dollar (yes you read correctly) Credor Spring Drive Minute Repeater, the brand’s first minute repeater, and what a way to start.
This special timepiece has two cases; an inner one for the movement, and an outer one. The gongs are located in the space between these two cases, to achieve a clear and rich sound. The gong itself is made by Japanese steelmaker Munemichi Myochin, a 52nd generation master blacksmith, using the same steel as used in traditional Japanese wind chimes, and replicating its pure sound.
While most minute repeaters follow the traditional hour, quarter and minute system, the Credor Spring Drive Minute Repeater has a decimal system. The hammers strike the hour, ten-minute and one-minute sounds. This system was chosen as being more in keeping with the high technology character of the movement. It is perfectly logical and simple. At one fifty nine, the hour sound is struck once, the ten-minute sound is struck five times and the one-minute sound is struck nine times.
Movement : Caliber 7R11. Manual winding. Decimal minute repeater.
Jewels : 112 jewels
Power reserve: 72 hours (without using the minute repeater mechanism)
Accuracy: ±15 seconds per month
Movement : Diameter 36.6 mm, thickness: 7.8 mm
Case: 18 carat rose gold. See-through caseback with sapphire crystal. 42.8mm diameter,14.0mm thickness
Band: Crocodile with 18 karat rose gold three-fold clasp and push button release
Crystal: Dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Recommended retail price in Japan: JPY 34,650,000 (USD 426,389 at today’s rates)
You can watch the gong and listen to this beautiful clear sound at Seiko’s website here (bottom of the page) and you can listen to the Credor Grand Sonnerie, also a creation of the Micro Artist Studio from a few years back, here.
This is a stunning watch, with a similarly stunning price. Only three will be produced per annum. I am just intrigued as to whether they will in fact *sell* three in a year.