Seiko's innovations seem unending in the world of watches. It's cemented its place among the most innovative watchmakers with the release of a new wonder it calls the grand Seiko Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon. The Japanese brand has outdone itself with what we view as one of its most stunning and impressive complications of the era. If you're moved by intricate complications and new timekeeping technology, this model will capture your attention and give you something to smile about. From the visual opulence to its complex mechanical design, it's one of the greatest works the brand has achieved. Join us in taking a closer look at this masterpiece of form and function, to appreciate the finer details one may otherwise overlook.
Background of the Grand Seiko Kodo Constant Force Tourbillon
Monochrome Watches explains that the Kodo makes history as the first constant-force mechanism combined with a tourbillon on a single axis in a wristwatch. This one will go down in the history books. The Japanese Seiko recently produced its most stunning timepiece, bringing the movement from a concept to reality in 2020. It's the most complex timepiece in the Seiko lineup. Seiko named the watch for the Japanese word Kodo, translated as the heartbeat. That's exactly what you see in the openwork of the dial presenting a clear view of the inner workings of the movement beneath.
The Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon at a glance
One look at the new Kodo reveals that it's a unique and complicated masterpiece. Telling the time can be a bit confusing at first until you realize that the markers for the hours and minutes are neatly displayed within one of the concentric circles beneath the 12 o'clock position. A world of wonder is enclosed in one small, round accessory with visible complications that take a few minutes to sort in the mind. It's easy to get lost in the bridges, cogs, and wheels rather than turning your focus to the time of day. The monochrome features of the watch are enhanced by the light violet jewels of the movement that sparkle through the sapphire crystal front lens to deliver splashes of color without going over the top. The look of this watch has a sophisticated aesthetic that puts one in one's mind a work that the old masters would envision as an ideal.
A closer look at the Grand Seiko limited Edition Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon
Moving from initial impressions of the new Kodo to the complexities, it's fitting to point out the specifications that combine to create this work of artistic engineering. The openwork design of the dial allows the view of the center of the movement with its features fully displayed. The secondary spring supplies power to the escapement with two parallel springs for the double barrels to maintain steady and even delivery of power. That in itself is not the most impressive feat Seiko achieved, but rather, mounting the constant force mechanism and the tourbillon on a single axis is revolutionary.
The case and finish
Seiko crafted the case from Brilliant Hard Titanium and Platinum 950 metals in a 43.8 mm case diameter with a mirror-polished finish. Take a closer look, and you'll see the hairline hand finishings of the metals that lend tiny details that make a difference in the overall presentation. The display is also open-worked on both sides for a full view of the mechanical workings yet, the engineers pulled off a miracle in creating a wristwatch with openwork that is also water-resistant to 100 meters.
A Blog to Watch points out the Caliber 9ST1 movement is an in-house creation featuring a hand-wound skeleton style with a constant force and tourbillon complications. The in-house movement took two years of hard work to complete. It took extensive engineering to integrate the Constant-Force mechanism with the tourbillon in a single axis. They fell back on a simple design that eliminated wheels and unnecessary components between the two. It helps preserve the free flow of power without any decreases in torque, coming from the constant force without force interruption to the balance wheel. It increased the stability of the balance and resulted in a power reserve of 72 hours. You can watch the inner carriage of the tourbillon rotate to the eight beats per second vibration of the outer carriage. The rotation ensues at one-second intervals. The sub-dial displays hours and minutes. The small/running seconds hand is at the 6 o'clock position on the tourbillon. You'll find the indicator for the power reserve at the 8 o'clock position. The movement beats at 4 Hz or 28,800 vibrations per hour. If you listen closely, you can hear the vibrations. It's worth mentioning that the sound is a tuned audible 16th note. We love the neatly placed ruby jewel in the tourbillon case with its chamfered polished cage arms. The play of light illuminates the intricacies of the movement's components with their subtle gradations in the shade, combined with varied textures and angles. The harmony of these features with the concentric circles of the front dial delivers high on complicated aesthetics that belie the complexity of the movement and its functions. The total number of parts comprised in the mechanism is 340.
The strap of the Grand Seiko Limited Edition Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon watch
The strap is black calfskin material with hand-painted applications of Urushi lacquer. The closure is a push-button release switch with a triple folding clasp styling in platinum. You get a second strap with this limited edition model to change the look. It's crocodile leather with double siding for three unique looks. This timepiece is a limited edition manufacturer featuring the production number in an engraving on the solid part of the case back.
Pricing and availability
The Grand Seiko Limited-Edition Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon Watch will be available in October 2022. We owe revelation of the date to a press release shared by Revolution Watch. The expected cost is $350,000. Only 20 examples will be available for distribution around the world.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith