The Seiko Kinetic watch was the first watch to convert kinetic movement into electrical energy. Technically, the principle is much the same as a manual automatic watch, but instead of winding a mainspring it charges a capacitor (or Lithium ION battery).
The movement of an oscillating weight inside the watch, which moves freely in response to the movement of your wrist, will charge the capacitor. Since it’s launch in 1988, Seiko has sold in excess of eight million Kinetic watches and they have rolled the technology out with their Perpetual Calendar watches and their Chronograph range.
The core of the watch is a basic quartz circuit and coil which, powered by the capacitor, drives the train of wheels which in turn drives the motion work (hands mechanism) and calendar. A second coil provides the conversion of the kinetic power to the capacitor.
There are a few common problems we have encountered in the past with these watches mostly resulting in the capacitor not having enough charge to run the watch properly.
For example, most often we see that the capacitor will no longer retain enough power. This typically results in the watch constantly running with the seconds hand jumping two seconds at a time.
We have also seen the oscillating weight bearings damaged through wear and tear.
Quite often repairs are completed on these watches with minimum fuss. Parts for most of the models from the last 8 – 10 years are readily available.
The Seiko Kinetic is a great watch, they need little maintenance and should run for years. But the capacitors do not last forever and need to be professionally replaced from time to time. Although on some models, Seiko has released a capacitor upgrade kit for watchmakers. In this case the conversion allows the watch to run with a Lithium ION cell rather than the capacitor and this allows the watch to run much longer even if it is not being worn.
If your Seiko Kinetic is not working, or jumping two seconds at a time (not charging enough) then we would love to help you out. Please contact us for a quote.