Kinetic watches are the type of watch that will leave battery replacement behind!
Instead of batteries, the movement of your arm or body is the power source for kinetic watches. Kinetic power is not a new technology, but what's done with the energy that is created from the movement is what sets these watches apart from the rest!
Currently, Seiko is one of the biggest manufacturers in the lead of kinetic-powered watches with their Seiko Kinetic model.
How it works The basics behind kinetic watches are not much different than an automatic watch or a self-winding watch. A semicircular weight is attached to an axis - as your arm or body moves, the weight swings back and forth creating energy. In an automatic watch, when this weight swings, it is actually winding the spring ofthe watch.
With a kinetic watch, there are a few differences in the mechanics. The first is that they have quartz movement like a battery-powered watch. In a kinetic watch, this means that the swinging weight is actually creating the energy that charges the piece of quartz to vibrate and hold its steady frequency.
The second difference is that once the electrical charge is created, a kinetic watch is able to store the energy in a capacitor. The capacitor then acts like a rechargeable battery - allowing the watch to keep accurate time much longer than an automatic.
Why this watch?The benefits of kinetic watches are the same as light-powered watches. They don't require a battery and are more environmentally friendly than a battery-powered watch.A kinetic watch can store enough energy to keep time for up to six months. However, usage of a watch winder will allow you leave your watch in a jewelry box or valet for even longer.
The OperationLorus watch with glass back, showing clearly the swinging pendulum and meshing gear and pinion of the Seiko Kinetic movement
A rotating pendulum inside the case is attached to a relatively large gear which meshes with a very small pinion. As the wearer moves, the pendulum turns and spins the pinion at a very high speed - up to 100,000 rpm. This is coupled to a miniature electrical generator which charges three of four small capacitors. If the watch is left unused the capacitors can store enough charge to power the watch for longer periods, usually at least one month, six months for most models. Charge from the capacitor drives a conventional quartz watch mechanism accurate to 1-2 seconds per week.
The ApplicationJapanese company Seiko pioneered the technique and released the first such watch in Germany in January 1988 and April of the same year in Japan (under the name Auto-Quartz). The watches had an average monthly rate of +/- 15 sec and provided 75 hours of continuous operation when fully powered. Early automatic quartz movements were called AGS (Automatic Generating System), in 1997 the company introduced the Kinetic brand name.
Today Seiko offers a wide range of watches with various different Kinetic movements. The top of the line is the caliber 9T82, included in Sportura(International) and PROSPEX(only Japan) Collection and it's sold in limited volume at a price range of about 3000 USD which makes it one of the most expensive automatic quartz watches. Kinetic technology has also been used in some of Seiko's Pulsar and Lorus watches.
Technological advancements by Seiko include
Kinetic Auto Relay, if the watch is stationary for 72 hours that stops the analog hands in order to conserve power during long periods of inactivity, and can maintain a record of the correct time for four years, as well as,
Kinetic Perpetual which is the first Kinetic calibre combining Kinetic technology, Auto Relay capabilities, and a perpetual calendar correct until February 28, 2100.
The different calibres of Kinetic watches are relatively large and heavy. Therefore, most Seiko Kinetic watches are only available in a men's size.
Swiss company ETA SA, part of the Swatch group, also manufactures automatic quartz movements, calling them Autoquartz. These are then used under the Swatch brand or sold to third-party companies. However, ETA has had little success to spur demand for the product and few watch models have so far been released (as of 2006).
Ventura is a small Swiss watch manufacturer, they claim to be "the World's only manufacturer of automatic digital watches". However there is no further information provided on how the VEN_99 movement differs from the competition.
REVIEW: Fossil has recently unveiled a couple of timepieces for anyone who'd rather not change a watch battery every again and prefers to power their watch themselves. The FS4171 (left) and FS4132 (right) are both juiced up by the magical power of movement and the FS4171 earns extra gadget points by having a dashing red rotor that you can "watch" as it powers your watch with each flail of your arm. At $95, they're much more affordable than this other kinetic watch we featured that came in at $2,200. Both offerings from Fossil come with an 11-year warranty, and sure beat having to hack your watch apart to replace the battery when it stops ticking. via ::The Green Guy blog http://thegreenguy.typepad.com
About this site:
Kinetic.net aims to be the ultimate information resource on the Web for Kinetic Watch enthusiasts. We also will display the best prices for those buyers who are comparison shopping for this unique and attractive timepiece. You will see the best Kinetic or "piezoelectric quartz crystal" watches available from Seiko, Pulsar, ETA, Ventura, Credor and Fossil.
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