If you’re a Seiko collector taking a trip to Switzerland for the Baselworld watch show, first you have to navigate past the enormous booths of watch brands like Patek Philippe, Rolex, Breguet, Breitling, and Omega. Tucked away in the back left corner of Hall 1 is the Seiko booth. Their setup is always something to look forward to, and well worth the walk. Not only will the displays take your imagination on a journey, but you are guaranteed to learn something while you’re there.
The Spring Drive Spacewalk – The world’s first watch designed specifically for a spacewalk, 2010: In 1977 a young Seiko engineer, Yoshikazu Akahane, started to wonder how he could make a watch wound by a mainspring with one-second-a-day accuracy. He was a persistent and dedicated man, and it took him over 20 years, during which he endured countless set-backs and created over 600 prototypes. Finally he and his team succeeded. It required new technologies in every aspect of the watchmaker’s art, and the created them one by one. In 1999, the first Spring Drive with hand-winding was born. The Spring Drive revolution was underway and, in 2005, the automatic version was presented to the world.
It’s not surprising that the watch that got most of the attention in the Seiko booth was the Spring Drive Spacewalk Commemorative Edition that Richard Garriott wore on his trip to the International Space Station in 2008 This watch was also recognized as the Sports Watch of the Year at the 2010 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. It retails for $28,000 but there were only 100 made, so you might expect to pay more if you are lucky enough to find one for sale.
The other pictures shown below include:
- Seiko Ananta 130th Anniversary Limited Edition SRQ013 with caliber 8R39 (retails for $4,700)
- Seiko Ananta Spring Drive Moon Phase model SNR023 powered by caliber 5R67 ($4,600 retail)
- Seiko Direct Drive Moon Phase Premier SRX003P1 (Retails for $1,295)
- Seiko Spring Drive Ananta Chronograph SPS007J1 caliber 5R86 carrying a retail price of $6,400