Technology Gives Consumers the Edge

July 1999

Timepieces:News

Technology Gives Consumers the Edge

In addition to new cases and faces, you'll see advances in automatic and quartz technology

Citizen, Seiko and Omega have debuted watches with interesting new technology. Seiko's battery-free Kinetic Auto Relay, for example, can be left in a drawer for up to four years without losing time. On a full charge, the hands stop after three days without use but an internal timekeeper doesn't. When the watch is lifted to wear again, the hands automatically reset to the current time.

Seiko and Citizen also introduced battery-free quartz watches, these powered by differences in the air temperature and wearer's body temperature. Neither watch will see U.S. shores this year. Citizen's Eco-Drive Thermo model will launch in Japan for about $500 retail this fall. Seiko has no plans to bring its Seiko Thermic line to the U.S. yet. Stay tuned.

Automatic Advances
In the purely automatic realm, Omega's co-axial automatic movement reduces gear friction and promises a decade of high-accuracy use with little service needed. Master watchmaker George Daniels developed the technology with a co-axial movement previously used only on clocks. Omega plans to retain this technology in-house and use it to update nearly all Omega watches in the future.

– by Michael Thompson

Omega's Co-Axial De Ville is the first major use of master watchmaker George Daniel's co-axial escapement in a wrist watch. It's now available in this limited-edition 18k automatic chronometer. Suggested retail, $6,495.
Omega, Weehawken, NJ; (800) 766-6342, www.omega.ch.

The hands of the Seiko Kinetic Time Relay stop running if the watch isn't worn for three days. Then the hands reset to the current time if the watch is picked up within four years. Suggested retail, $495 to $570 for the Arctura version.
Seiko Corp. of America, Mahwah, NJ; (201) 529-5730, www.SeikoUSA.com.



Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


 

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