GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?
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  1. #1
    Member J_NL's Avatar
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    GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?

    A general question for GS automatic owners, why did you buy yours and why did you choose GS over comparable Swiss brands?

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  2. #2
    Member BrianBinFL's Avatar
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    Re: GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?

    These are the factors that drew me to Grand Seiko over other brands:

    1. Spring Drive - nobody else has it and to me the concept of the movement is magical. By that I do not mean that I find the idea of the Tri Synchro Regulator magical (though it is brilliant), I mean the idea of a watch movement that progresses perfectly continuously, doesn't operate in fits and starts, and is constantly moving forward with a flawlessly smooth, truly analog sweep (yielding that incomparably smooth seconds hand).
    2. Finishing - you said "why did you choose GS over comparable Swiss brands?" In my opinion, in terms of finishing, to get a "comparable" Swiss brand you have to spend about 5 to 10 times the cost of a Grand Seiko. I don't particularly care for the styling of most Swiss brands in the first place, and those Swiss watches that I do like are not worth 5 to 10 times the cost of a Grand Seiko (to me). This is wholly subjective and may not be accurate or even fair to the Swiss brands.
    3. Style - for whatever reason lots of Seiko and Grand Seiko watches seem to resonate with me. I like their style. If I go through the Grand Seiko catalog I like most of the watches. There are a handful that I don't particularly care for but I think those tend to be the Limited Edition models where they push the boundaries of their "grammar of style" a bit. With many of the Swiss brands on the other hand I go through their catalogs and am hard pressed to find something that makes me say "ooooh, I want that". This is especially true in the 4-figure priced watches. As you move into the 5-figure priced Swiss watches it is more likely that I will find things I like, but now we're back to the question of "do you like it that much more than the Grand Seiko to justify the additional expense?" and the answer is generally "no".
    Grand Seiko SBGA373 & SBGA375, Rolex 116610LN, and lots of comparatively economical watches that "spoke to me" - mostly Seiko.

  3. #3
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    Re: GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?

    Same as user above.

    1. Spring Drive.

    I would echo the user above: to date this is the one watch movement that comes as close as it gets to representing the true nature of time, as GS puts it, and this has great appeal to me. I consider it the only real innovation in this industry since Seiko introduced Quartz in 1969.

    It may not be as accurate in its measurement of time as a HAQ, but that was never the point of it (also why I find comparisons to HAQs and most other quartz watches silly), the point is to represent the "flow" of time accurately. There are other movements that get away with a visibly smooth operation of the hand; a Spring Drive movement is not necessary to achieve smoothness of the second hand because the degree of smoothness needed to satisfy our visual acuity is not very high (sort of like Apple's Retina display, beyond a certain PPI the difference is visually imperceptible without powerful magnification).

    Other movements achieve this effect by an inelegant (brute force) means, like Bulova's Precisionist, where the movement is ticking discretely at a high frequency and is battery powered. In Spring Drive, the mechanism of the movement is elegant: all the motion in the movement is "gliding" in one direction - just like time - and this is what culminates in the truly smooth seconds hand.

    Spring Drive contrarians will make the reasonable counter argument however that the quartz crystal is oscillating just like the balance in a mechanical escapement, the oscillations are just too small to see! Spring Drive also gets a bad rap from the same crowd who think it's a Rube Goldberg machine. As an engineer, I can think of no significantly simpler ways to achieve a mechanically-powered continuous movement operation with superb accuracy than the way Seiko has done it.

    Also, a Spring Drive movement is basically a tiny power station (potential energy --> kinetic --> induced electricity (30 nanowatts)). If you're like me, it's damn cool to have a power station on your wrist. Like a power station, there is even that brief 4-5 seconds of unsteady state operation when the movement is first wound from an unwound state, where the power generated is not yet sufficient to self sustain the full movement train including IC and quartz, and the second hands glides along faster than it should before everything kicks in. It's just really cool.

    2. Finishing.

    User above said it best. Have to go to Lange and above to get similar dial finishing to GS, there is little else like it.

    3. Style.

    GS has a lot of areas to work on to be honest, but what appeals me to the most is the emphasis on simplicity. To me, the overarching design aesthetic asks the question - what happens when you remove everything except the essential and dedicate yourself to perfecting what is left? I place high value in this approach to design.
    Last edited by jwron; 2 Weeks Ago at 17:30.

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  5. #4
    Member sticky's Avatar
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    Re: GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?

    Quite simple. The GS is one of the prettiest watches made.

  6. #5
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    Re: GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?

    Spring Drive

    Build Quality

    Reputation

    Something you don't see on everyone's wrist
    bobs100, al358 and Len1738 like this.
    "Either he's dead or my watch has stopped"
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  7. #6
    Member BrianBinFL's Avatar
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    Re: GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by jwron View Post
    Other movements achieve this effect by an inelegant (brute force) means, like Bulova's Precisionist, where the movement is ticking discretely at a high frequency and is battery powered. In Spring Drive, the mechanism of the movement is elegant: all the motion in the movement is "gliding" in one direction - just like time - and this is what culminates in the truly smooth seconds hand.

    Spring Drive contrarians will make the reasonable counter argument however that the quartz crystal is oscillating just like the balance in a mechanical escapement, the oscillations are just too small to see!
    Speaking of the contrarians that might make that argument, the fact that the quartz crystal in a Spring Drive is oscillating is irrelevant. Unlike any other production wristwatch, nothing in the moving parts of the Spring Drive oscillates. The movement is continuously spinning in one direction only. Nothing stops, starts, changes direction, etc.

    The "oscillator" in the TSR only establishes a reference frequency that TSR compares to the frequency of the alternating current generated by the glide wheel. If the frequency of the glide wheel output is too high an electrical load is applied that causes an electromagnetic (friction free) braking effect on the glide wheel until it matches the frequency of the reference signal. This validation is done 8 times per second. But again, NO moving part oscillates. At the risk of being repetitive, nothing in the moving parts stops, starts, changes direction, etc.

    Though the original Bulova Accutron (not the comparatively clunky Accutron II or Precisionist), and the Zenith Defy, move the seconds hand along at such a high frequency that the steps are imperceptible, the fact is their moving parts oscillate. They move. They stop. They change direction. They move again. They stop again. Their "sweep" is an illusion. It is not actually smooth and it is not actually continuous.

    Only the Spring Drive is.
    Londonboy and al358 like this.
    Grand Seiko SBGA373 & SBGA375, Rolex 116610LN, and lots of comparatively economical watches that "spoke to me" - mostly Seiko.

  8. #7
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    Re: GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?

    GS, there is no substitute! Once you get to expierence them first hand you'll soon realize they are offering quality and finish that is at the highest level of watch making. Not 'for the money', no, for 'any money'. I do not mean the art of decorating a movement ad Infinitum but the parts you actuality get to see when a watch is on the wrist.

    Ad then of course you have SD. A technology that marries mechanical precision with electrical control. I have said it elsewhere but it reminds me of how we as humans work in a similar way.
    al358 and Len1738 like this.

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    Re: GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianBinFL View Post
    Speaking of the contrarians that might make that argument, the fact that the quartz crystal in a Spring Drive is oscillating is irrelevant. Unlike any other production wristwatch, nothing in the moving parts of the Spring Drive oscillates. The movement is continuously spinning in one direction only. Nothing stops, starts, changes direction, etc.

    The "oscillator" in the TSR only establishes a reference frequency that TSR compares to the frequency of the alternating current generated by the glide wheel. If the frequency of the glide wheel output is too high an electrical load is applied that causes an electromagnetic (friction free) braking effect on the glide wheel until it matches the frequency of the reference signal. This validation is done 8 times per second. But again, NO moving part oscillates. At the risk of being repetitive, nothing in the moving parts stops, starts, changes direction, etc.

    Though the original Bulova Accutron (not the comparatively clunky Accutron II or Precisionist), and the Zenith Defy, move the seconds hand along at such a high frequency that the steps are imperceptible, the fact is their moving parts oscillate. They move. They stop. They change direction. They move again. They stop again. Their "sweep" is an illusion. It is not actually smooth and it is not actually continuous.

    Only the Spring Drive is.
    I understand how the movement operates and I do not disagree.

    I said what I said with humour (I should have added an emoji next to the word "reasonable" ). The crystal oscillation argument is one that was made to me some time ago by a fellow WIS. In his mind the crystal was a moving part because it must oscillate to provide the reference frequency. What is relevant in this comparison is the amplitude of individual vibrations, which are of the order of nanometers in Quartz (> a million times smaller than a traditional escapement). One must compare motion on equal scales in assessing what is a moving part and what isn't, so the comparison is null and void.

  10. #9
    Member BrianBinFL's Avatar
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    Re: GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by jwron View Post
    I understand how the movement operates and I do not disagree.
    Sorry, wasn't intending to lecture you, I was lecturing the hypothetical critic.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwron View Post
    I said what I said with humour (I should have added an emoji next to the word "reasonable" ). The crystal oscillation argument is one that was made to me some time ago by a fellow WIS. In his mind the crystal was a moving part because it must oscillate to provide the reference frequency. What is relevant in this comparison is the amplitude of individual vibrations, which are of the order of nanometers in Quartz (> a million times smaller than a traditional escapement). One must compare motion on equal scales in assessing what is a moving part and what isn't, so the comparison is null and void.
    Even if you consider the quartz oscillator in the Spring Drive to be a "moving part", I don't really care about any moving parts that don't move the hands, since the end result of the perfectly continuous, truly smooth sweeping seconds hand is the part I am enamored with.

    In the original Bulova Accutron the actual legs of the quartz crystal were attached to pawls that actually advanced the stepper gear to move the seconds hand (and everything else attached to the gear train) forward. In that movement the quartz oscillator matters. It's part of the geartrain.

    [Edited to add: what I said above about the Accutron is wrong. A transistorized oscillator causes the legs of a metal tuning fork to vibrate, and those legs were attached to pawls, and so on.]

    In a traditional "dumb quartz" watch, the quartz oscillator isn't part of the geartrain. Instead a frequency divider circuit counts the cycles and every 32,768 cycles the divider produces one pulse to the solenoid to advance the movement by one second. While nothing in a "dumb quartz" movement "oscillates" per se (there is no "to and fro"), it is a punctuated, interrupted movement. The watch is stopped more than it is moving. Assuming it is in perfect sync with actual time, the time it displays is still wrong the vast majority of the time (while it is at rest but time is still moving).

    Eh, I'm rambling. We're both on the same page. I'm just saying the things I'd say to someone who actually disagreed with me.
    Last edited by BrianBinFL; 2 Weeks Ago at 23:23.
    jwron and al358 like this.
    Grand Seiko SBGA373 & SBGA375, Rolex 116610LN, and lots of comparatively economical watches that "spoke to me" - mostly Seiko.

  11. #10
    Member Sparrowhawk's Avatar
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    Re: GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?

    Ah, Spring Drive, and those of us who love it.

    For those not comfortable with 'love', substitute 'technically fascinated with'.
    It wasn't this time until now. - Me.

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