Seiko, derived from the Japanese linguistic aesthetic meaning “exquisite”, stays true to the claim made by its name.
Seiko has been the major innovators in the watch industry dating way back to the 19th century. Where after roughly some decades later, they sparked the revolution in watch manufacturing and the machinery involved.
Seiko became the pioneers of the renowned incredibly accurate Quartz technology, causing an uproar in the industry with the most incredible changes it would bring to the overall market.
Seiko had proceeded to implement that same technology in their self-winding automatic watches in the 1980s. But the sky is the limit. Seiko decided to explore even more unchartered territories and presented to the world, Seiko’s Kinetic Automatic watches.
Introducing the new concept of Kinetic watches in 1988, most people were left confused because both of Seiko’s Automatic watches and Kinetic watches would be very similar in terms of the overall design, aesthetics, material, quartz movement and even the style of the Dials.
Moreover, the Kinetic Watches boast a triple combination of watchmaking expertise; Mechanical design, Quartz Accuracy, and a self-charging battery powered by the wearer’s movements.
But let’s take a critical insight on what’s all this fuss about between the Kinetic and Automatic watches and see what do each of them have to offer.
Difference Between Automatic and Kinetic Mechanics
Although to some people, the difference between Seiko’s identical yet internally radically contrasting inner mechanics of the Automatic and Kinetic series would be either subtle or not noticeable unless pointed out, they wouldn’t be blamed if differentiating an Automatic watch from a Kinetic watch was an arduous task.
It is worth to mention the fact that Seiko’s automatic watches employ a manual movement if not Quartz, holding the error of up to 5 seconds in a month. A quite insignificant factor to a normal consumer but to a critic, compared to the Quartz only movement of the Kinetic watch, the accuracy can be the deciding factor.
Applying the same mechanics of powering up the timepiece, i.e, by the important wrist movement, the Automatic and Kinetic part ways from each other in their similarities and start to show the key difference in terms of the way in which the Automatic and Kinetic watches store that accumulated energy.
Let’s have a more in-depth analysis of the said difference.
Seiko Automatic Watch Recharging
Automatic watches have been around in the watch industry for at least a century employing principles of physical mechanics. Similarly, they work in a rather simple but fascinating way.
Seiko’s Automatic Watches have a rotor inside their machinery which is responsible for harnessing the physical movement of the wrist to self-wind the gears and machinery.
When you move around your wrist, the movement, be it in any direction, helps to give momentum to the rotor inside Seiko’s automatic watch. These random movements constantly or often keep the rotor in motion which end up winding the gears and in simpler ways ” recharge ” the automatic watch.
Quite a simple, yet a reliable and preferred mechanic.
However in a manual-winding watch, as the name suggests, you have to do most of the winding yourself through the crown present on the side. Rotating the crown helps wind the connecting string storing energy for later use in rotating the gears in the watch.
A generic automatic watch from Seiko is capable of withholding at least 48 hours of functionality in a manual winding or a fully automatic winding. Although this may be quite disadvantageous for many, it is the price you have to accept when choosing to own an automatic watch.
The alternative to this demerit is to have the option to buy a watch winder which keeps the gears running even when you are not wearing it. Although it is a completely optional choice, it is still opted by many automatic watch owners for obvious reasons.
Automatic Watches have a couple of days charging at maximum.
Seiko Kinetic Watch Recharging
On the other hand, the Kinetic watch movement was pioneered by Seiko in 1986. Possessing a new kind of watch movement innovated by Seiko, they still chose to include some key features that make up the Automatic watch. These Kinetic watches, like automatic watches, obtain the energy from the mechanical movement of the wrist.
Although the innovation by Seiko is to where and how is the harnessed energy is stored and used.
Seiko’s Kinetic Watches possess a charge capacitor instead of a mechanical rotor. The movement of the wrist builds up and electric charge inside the capacitor which is then stored as electrical energy used to drive the quartz hand movements of the dials. An addition to the popular and reliable Self-Winding Automatic Quartz mechanic.
As you could have inferred by now, Seiko’s Kinetic watches, just like the Automatic watches, need to be worn regularly to constantly deposit a charge in the capacitor to keep it running.
The one problem with this tech is that, as all electronics need replacement at some point in the lifespan, the capacitor powering the Kinetic movement will also need to be renewed or replaced at some point. If that fact doesn’t bother you, then you will love the Kinetic Watch from Seiko.
The Kinetic Watches can store up enough charge to keep them running from months. The time-varying to the watch you select from their collection.
Now moving on forward, let’s take a look at the top 5 Seiko Kinetic Watches, then Later following it up with a top 5 for Seiko Automatic Watches so that if any of the two types of watches from Seiko pique your interest, then you can hover down and take a look at which one suits your taste.
Seiko Kinetic Watches
5. Seiko Pulsar Kinetic Watch PD2025X1
Seiko’s attractive Kinetic Watch from the Pulsar family has a stainless case and is powered by Seiko’s reliable analog kinetic movement. The watch is fitted with a silver metal bracelet and wonderful calming blue dial. In the side of the dial, there’s a small window for the date function as well.
The watch is advertised with long-lasting Kinetic Movement with no need for a battery change but I think it is better to let you be the judge of this bold claim.
Regardless, the hands of the dial are luminescent, the build quality is sturdy, more than what you would expect from a £49.99 watch.
The Pulsar Kinetic Watch PD2025X1 is the perfect watch to check out the Kinetic Movement and decide if it suits your taste. And if you decide against it, the Pulsar can be an inexpensive scape-goat.
4. Seiko SGEG693P1 Kinetic Analogue Men’s Watch
Seiko has yet again manufactured a kinetic watch needing no batteries that looks fantastic, simple, glamorous and does what it needs to do best.
The lustrous design and color scheme will pose no problem when trying to discern the numerals or checking out the time in dimly lit areas.
The whole design is uniform glossy silver. The Quartz movement paired with the kinetic power storage ensures that you will not need to take a trip to the jeweler for a new battery and also enjoy the accuracy of its timekeeping.
There is nothing more to this simple and fantastic watch. The design is aesthetically pleasing, it does its job well, it invites compliments from all who come into contact with it and is not that pricy.
Although there’s something to keep in mind and it’s that the watch is large so it’s something to give considerable thought to if you have slim wrists.
3. Seiko Men’s Analogue Kinetic Watch SKA781P1
This £116.08 Kinetic watch from Seiko is yet another watch harboring the trademark of Seiko’s minimalistic design. But do not be fooled by the simple aesthetic of this kinetic watch.
Like the generic minimalistic design, This kinetic watch has an average case size of 41 millimeters, not too large to seem obnoxious, nor too small for people to not notice it.
The Leather strap of the watch can be swapped in for stainless steel or a rubber strap. So the band poses no issue. This watch fulfills the taste of many people whose only demand from a watch is to look simple and keep good time.
The numbers and hands are extremely clear and well designed. For the little money they charge, the SKA781P1 is an excellent watch giving excellent value.
2. Seiko Men’s Analogue Kinetic Watch SKA757P1
The SKA757P1 is included among the relatively pricey range of the Seiko’s Kinetic Watches with the demanding price of £227.70, although it may be even not considered as something to take note of for many because spending money on watches is like planting seeds. The higher the price, the better the quality, leaving the exceptional cases out.
Seiko has beautifully designed the watch with the color schemes and the gold-tone accents over the stainless-steel bracelet extending up to the side crown which then seeps into the deep blue ocean dial toning the hands, calendar window, and the numerals. Truly a sight that attracts one’s attention. A watch designed akin to a small jewel, personal and intimate.
The Dial is protected by Hardlex material and can withstand water pressure to 10 bars. An overall fantastic watch.
1. Titanium Seiko Kinetic Watch SKA493P1
There are not many words to describe this watch, It is a watch that speaks for itself.
The build quality features high-quality titanium making it extraordinarily robust, sturdy and solid to wear and feel giving a premium feel.
The grey shade contrast just adds to the beauty of this timepiece. At the price of £299.00, it is a premium and a better choice than its other relatively cheaper contenders.
The Dials and Hands are luminescent so you don’t have worry about visuals in dim lighting.
If put in simple words, The Titanium SKA493P1 leaves the customer at a loss for words with its minimalistic design and premium functioning and quality.
Seiko Automatic Watches
5. Seiko Men’s Analogue Automatic Watch SNZG15K1
Seiko’s Automatic watches possess a certain standard and quality associated with their manufactured watches. And this timepiece carries on the same tradition.
This casual sporty automatic timepiece from Seiko features a dark aesthetic matching the textile strap and the dial. The indexes are paired with secondary smaller indexes of hours in the 24-hour format. A welcome addition.
Priced at only £133.43, This minimalistic automatic watch does not have exotic features but is built well enough with the goal of keeping good time. A good choice from Seiko’s automatic watch collection.
4. Seiko Men’s Analogue Automatic Watch SSA231K1
Seiko’s SSA231K1 is wonderful automatic watch implementing a skeleton design albeit being minimalistic.
The watch features Automatic precise Japanese movement, A genuine and comfortable leather, Roman Numerals, and a millisecond hand measuring window right beside the little skeleton window giving a glimpse of the inner mechanics of the automatic movement.
The SSA231K1 from Seiko’s Automatic Watch Collection is a classic and comfortable timepiece. A really good choice of a watch in my opinion and I would definitely recommend it for the modest price of £153.49.
3. Seiko-SRP 483-5 Sports Men’s Automatic Watch
This Automatic Watch from Seiko is a great value for someone who wants to purchase an automatic watch which has a nice fresh sporty look. The color combinations are quite vibrant.
The Seiko Baby Monster SRP 483-5 watch possesses a popular design used in other Seiko’s sports watches as well. So if the color coupling in any of these does not suit you, you can look at some others with the completely same design but a different color scheme design.
For Example. The SRPC57K1
The SRP 481K
With each of these watches having a different price tag, but the same design and working. No mechanical difference or extra features. You can choose the one that better suits your taste.
Moreover, these watches require to be started manually on their first run which will then turn to their automatic feature afterward. The build quality is robust and feels solid on the wrist. The analog display has a small side window show-casing the calendar.
Apart from that, the watch features double clasp locking and the Japanese Automatic movement from Seiko keeps its accuracy promise.
The variety in the color scheme designs and the price tag, the SRP series can be a good choice from Seiko’s Automatic Watch collection.
2. Seiko Men’s SKZ211K1 Five Sports Automatic Watch
Seiko’s Five Sport automatic watch featuring Quality Japanese automatic movement boasts a 45mm case protected by Hardlex crystal.
The Sturdy build quality extends even to the water resistance aspect of this automatic watch. The timepiece can withstand water exposure up to 660ft. ( 200 M ) which makes it even suitable for water sports such as scuba diving.
The main distinctive feature you would come to know is that the crown is located on 9 O’ Clock side rather than the standard 3 and the winding crown is on the 4 positions.
This automatic watch features golden yellow luminescent hands with luminescent big indexes. The Bezels are large and showy indicating the seconds.
As an additional plus, the Five Sports automatic watch also features a compass functionality which you’ll need to set up or learn to use from Seiko’s included manual.
The Five Sports is a definite go-to watch to buy if you’re into sports watches or want a robust timepiece to hold up with your sporty routine.
1. Seiko Men’s Analogue Automatic Watch SSA331K1
The Number 1 on our list for the Seiko Automatic Watches is the Analogue SSA331K1. This amazing timepiece also features a huge deal with a diameter of 44mm hardened and protected with Hardlex Crystal with a stainless-steel case and bracelet.
The main distinctive feature of this automatic watch is its contrast in orange and black hosting amazing fine little details.
The design aesthetic is to be appreciated giving it a sophisticated and yet smart look. The color distribution merging itself into the design outlook of the dial is absolutely amazing which further extends to a jeweled skeleton window giving a glimpse of the sophisticated machinery at arduous work in the background, looking just like a mesmerising decorated open heart.
What features it lacks can be the topics for it to be criticised upon. The watch does not feature a calendar function. And that’s it.
It still brings with itself, Seiko’s full package functions in its modern mechanical automatic movement.
Overall, It is an outstanding and beautiful retro timepiece.
I hope that today’s topic has cleared the aspects of both kinetic and automatic watches, their differences, similarities and the strong points of each of them. Furthermore, if either the Automatic watches or Kinetic watches piqued your interest, I strongly hope that you found this list helpful for selecting one that suits your taste, budget, and style. Let me know your thoughts about Seiko’s watches and if you have owned one, share your experience in the comments section below!