Saturday, May 2, 2009

Seiko's Revolutionary Automatic Generating System

Caliber 7M22-8A40 Six Jewels
Roman numerals "A.G.S" signed dial
Over the public holiday, I was combing the usual watch-hunting locations and chanced upon this mint Seiko AGS new old stock. What a stroke of good luck! I thought the price will be out of my reach and it turns out to be half of what I had expected to pay!
This is a NOS set less the original box, what a pity! The cute female store assistant gave me an old Seiko box instead. The hang tag that shows the price back in 1990 is faded and crumpled. This Seiko still comes with a valid 1year Thong Sia warranty (note the old version warranty booklet)!
Seiko marketed the early Kinetic models in their domestic market under the line "AGS" which is the short form for "Automatic Generating System". It is interesting to note that from the front, this watch seems like a normal run-of-the-mill quartz. Upon closer inspection, the clear caseback reveals a marriage of the mechanical rotor wheel and the capacitor to convert the kinetic movement of the wearer's wrist to stored energy in the capacitor. This is the energy that powers the quartz crystal. An innovative piece of engineering by the early Seiko designers, giving soul to the quartz movement!
You can see the spinning rotor, part of the capacitor (blocked by the rotor) and if you look closer, this is a jeweled quartz movement. 6 jewels full metal movement! You can't find this quality in new quartz watches these days as many have incorporated plastic parts in their construction.
Even the clasp is stamped "Japan", a clear portrait of early Japanese pride in their domestic market products!
Will I be wearing this baby? You bet I will! The second hand hits the indices perfectly for all 60 seconds and I would like to test her accuracy and power reserve. But first thing first - Let me search for a 19mm leather strap in my tool box!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very nice explanations on the AGS.

I am just looking for a new capacitor for mine 7M22 8A22 that I wear everyday since 1988 It was my wife gift and it's still lasting during about 12 hours !