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I'm sitting here 36 hours after setting it (my new Snowflake) and cannot see any drift, which is expected. Further, knowing the watch is insensitive to position, temperature, the tide being in or out, etc. means there is no 'luck' to just happening to keep it in the right position overnight or at the right level of wind (other than dead!). In a week, a month from now, I should start to understand what I have. I know it is rated at +/-15 seconds/month and interested to see how mine fits into that.

I ask this question partly seriously, partly in jest, but still curious as to your take. Does using a Spring Drive, which you might need to set monthly, ruin regular mechanical watches in terms of their accuracy and potential fussiness (for example, having different deviations depending on the state of wind, what position they are left in, etc.)?
 

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If it was part of a very small rotation of 2 maybe 3 watches it would be hard to wear anything but SD. But as I have a few more than that it is a nice plus but not essential


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I'm sitting here 36 hours after setting it (my new Snowflake) and cannot see any drift, which is expected. Further, knowing the watch is insensitive to position, temperature, the tide being in or out, etc. means there is no 'luck' to just happening to keep it in the right position overnight or at the right level of wind (other than dead!). In a week, a month from now, I should start to understand what I have. I know it is rated at +/-15 seconds/month and interested to see how mine fits into that.

I ask this question partly seriously, partly in jest, but still curious as to your take. Does using a Spring Drive, which you might need to set monthly, ruin regular mechanical watches in terms of their accuracy and potential fussiness (for example, having different deviations depending on the state of wind, what position they are left in, etc.)?
Basically the cheapest quartz can give a run for any GS's money. If an F-91W seemingly hasn't ruined mechanical watches' "experience" why a GS should do it?
 

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I'm sitting here 36 hours after setting it (my new Snowflake) and cannot see any drift, which is expected. Further, knowing the watch is insensitive to position, temperature, the tide being in or out, etc. means there is no 'luck' to just happening to keep it in the right position overnight or at the right level of wind (other than dead!). In a week, a month from now, I should start to understand what I have. I know it is rated at +/-15 seconds/month and interested to see how mine fits into that.
Precise observations by a couple folks here have found that the Spring Drive tends to run quite a bit more accurately than the stated +/- 15 sec/mo - closer to 0.15 - 0.20 seconds per day - around 6 sec/mo or less.

I ask this question partly seriously, partly in jest, but still curious as to your take. Does using a Spring Drive, which you might need to set monthly, ruin regular mechanical watches in terms of their accuracy and potential fussiness (for example, having different deviations depending on the state of wind, what position they are left in, etc.)?
I will answer you in somewhat the same vein as your question was asked - partly seriously and partly in jest. Owning and wearing a Grand Seiko Spring Drive has ruined wearing any other watch for me. Now here I say "ruined" somewhat in jest because I still very much love wearing my other watches. But I don't think the experience of wearing anything else compares to the experience of wearing a Grand Seiko Spring Drive. But not necessarily for the accuracy, though that is a nice bonus.

If you have a rather large collection of watches, and tend not to wear the same watch day in and day out, and therefore let your mech watches "run down" between wearings, then accuracy really doesn't matter so much as long as the "per day" +/- rate isn't insane. I abandoned my watch winders as a bad idea some time ago. If the watch isn't being worn it doesn't get wound. So the watches tend not to run long enough for the accumulated deviation to matter. They'll need to be re-set each time I wear them anyway.

Even though (somewhat ironically) they had to use electronics to help pull it off, for me it is an incomparable experience to wear the world's only current-production watch that is truly analog (no counts or beats or steps) with a flawlessly smooth seconds sweep that is actually continuous. The watch does not keep time like a marching soldier, step, step, step, but more like a spinning planet. For me there is something amazingly serene about that. Not just how it looks (because a couple other watches simulate the effect and have a seconds-sweep that looks similar) but in knowing what the glide wheel is doing, seeing that flawless sweep, and knowing that no matter how much you slow it down, there are no steps.


Add to that the fact that this wonderful little machine is installed in an exquisitely finished case, dial, hands, etc. And also add to that the fact that I'll probably never see another one on anybody else's wrist in my lifetime (unless perhaps I'm in a GS dealer's store - and I've not even seen anybody actually wearing one there either so far).

While I don't think I'd be nearly so enchanted if it was less accurate than a 100% mech, the fact that it's more accurate than a 100% mech is honestly the least wondrous thing about it for me - just another bonus.

All of that said, I still love my 100% mech watches, and I wear them more than the GS SD. I tend to wear the GS SD either when dressing up a bit, or on days when my mood could use a little pick-me-up and the reflexive smile I get from a brief stare at the marvel on left wrist makes a difference. The exquisitely polished case could easily be damaged and if that happened I know I wouldn't be happy until I sent it back to Japan to be re-polished, so it's not my daily driver. Some day maybe I'll own a "beater" Spring Drive for daily wear?

At heart I am a "100% mechanical" kind of guy, but the SD gets a pass for what they've achieved despite "polluting the mech with the tech".

Enjoy your new watch. Welcome to the Spring Drive club. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the detailed answer!

The second-hand is one of the main things that really sold me. I've seen it before, so it was not new, but looking at the watch in the context of wanting to buy it really sealed it.
 

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Basically the cheapest quartz can give a run for any GS's money. If an F-91W seemingly hasn't ruined mechanical watches' "experience" why a GS should do it?
Well, the F-91W has the additional benefit of being a great bomb timer, so it would be tough for the Spring Drive to compete with that. If one needs a bomb timer anyway.

But your point is a good one - beating the accuracy of a mechanical watch is a rather pedestrian task these days. If Spring Drive's only distinctive feature was accuracy then there wouldn't be much point in it. Thankfully there's more to it than that.
 
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Precise observations by a couple folks here have found that the Spring Drive tends to run quite a bit more accurately than the stated +/- 15 sec/mo - closer to 0.15 - 0.20 seconds per day - around 6 sec/mo or less.
Synced my Snowflake to the Atomic Clock on 1 June. It is now 7 July and has gained 9 seconds. I don't mind its being slightly fast. I, however, would not like its being slightly slow. I did advance the date on 1 July, but am thinking about not bothering with resetting the time until I change the date again.

Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien.

Warmest regards,
Charles
 

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The more time I spend in this hobby, the less enchanted I am with purely mechanical watches in general. I think the main sticking point I have is that I, perhaps irrationally, equate accuracy with quality.

The persuit of accuracy is what makes horology interesting to me. Advancements like the tourbillion that attempt to negate positional errors, or constant force escapements that improve isochronism, or inventions like the Daniel's coaxial escapement that reduce friction. I find the "arms race" if autonomous accuracy appealing from an engineering perspective.

So spring drive is inherently seductive for offering quartz timekeeping performance without losing the romance of mechanical. But truth be told, what is "ruining" mechanical watches for me is high accuracy quartz. Once one gets over the subconscious bias against the 1-second tick, the sheer coolness of pushing the envelope of accuracy to the limit sets in. A second hand that meets all the markers dead on without any wobble is as good a look as a sweeping hand, IMO (although not as impressive as SD's glide).
 

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The more time I spend in this hobby, the less enchanted I am with purely mechanical watches in general. I think the main sticking point I have is that I, perhaps irrationally, equate accuracy with quality.

The persuit of accuracy is what makes horology interesting to me. Advancements like the tourbillion that attempt to negate positional errors, or constant force escapements that improve isochronism, or inventions like the Daniel's coaxial escapement that reduce friction. I find the "arms race" if autonomous accuracy appealing from an engineering perspective.

So spring drive is inherently seductive for offering quartz timekeeping performance without losing the romance of mechanical. But truth be told, what is "ruining" mechanical watches for me is high accuracy quartz. Once one gets over the subconscious bias against the 1-second tick, the sheer coolness of pushing the envelope of accuracy to the limit sets in. A second hand that meets all the markers dead on without any wobble is as good a look as a sweeping hand, IMO (although not as impressive as SD's glide).
No disagreements, Covenant. Does this mean a Citizen with the 0100 movement is in your future?

Personally, while I appreciate (and value) accuracy, I find obsessing on it too much can, for me, detract from the enjoyment of my watches. I wear each of my watches for 5-7 days straight, so as BrianBinFL noted in post 4, I can live with their inaccuracies (my least accurate watch is a Stowa Antea B2B, +14 a day, my most accurate, my Credor handwinding Spring Drive, +0.3 a day). But there is definitely something satisfying when I wear a watch for a week and find a total deviation of under 10 seconds (my Damasko DA46 with an elabore 2836-2 movement is +6 after 9 days |>).
 

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Basically the cheapest quartz can give a run for any GS's money. If an F-91W seemingly hasn't ruined mechanical watches' "experience" why a GS should do it?
Totally agree with this. There's a lot more to watches than just timekeeping. It's about precision with parameters. There's an artistry and history to timekeeping, movement and dial design and the overall finishing of a watch.
 

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No disagreements, Covenant. Does this mean a Citizen with the 0100 movement is in your future?
Ultimately, yes. 8Mhz AT-cut quartz with thermo-compensation, there's nothing like it in the world, and that's immensely appealing to me. I find the current crop of limited editions using the cal.0100 a bit uninspiring design-wise though. If Citizen releases some production models in a year or two I'll definitely be interested.

Not to derail this thread too much, but my next purchase is likely to be a Chronomaster, either the AQ4020-54Y or the AQ1040-53a.
 

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Ultimately "good" watches are jewelry whose main actual function outside of its use as jewelry is to keep time. And while I certainly can appreciate those that are fascinated by a smooth second hand or by those that are in love with a time keeping machine that is all mechanical, I tend to value the time function of the particular piece of jewelry. And yes, a Citizen 0100 likely will come my way as soon as they have a bit greater set of choices. I love the AQ6010-06A but have found that my time wearing watches isn't best spent with leather bands. I spend to much time out of doors. So when they introduce an interesting model with a SS or Titanium bracelet I will pick one up. The AQ6021-51E / AQ6020-53X have been introduced in titanium and at only $7400 but so far I don't see them yet available anywhere. In fact if anyone ever produced a digital watch that was as good looking as a GS I would be happy to go in that direction, but the Apple watch is very far from good looking. Functional yes, but it really is butt ugly.

The good news is that in particular Grand Seiko has all of us covered. Whether we want the SD, the Mechanical or the HAQ, we can get a GS that is beautiful and keeps time the way we want it to.
 

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Basically the cheapest quartz can give a run for any GS's money. If an F-91W seemingly hasn't ruined mechanical watches' "experience" why a GS should do it?
I disagree with this 95%. The spring drive I had literally kicked the crap out of my cheap quartz watches when it came to accuracy.. The cheap quartz watches aren't as accurate as one may think. Real life example. My GS USA limited edition was at +2 1/2 seconds at the end of 1 month that I owned it. I had a cheap Casio the same month was that +5.. literally double the seconds seconds..
 

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I’ve had a higher standard for Spring Drive from the beginning, so when it soundly beat all my other watches it was not a surprise. I guess I took it for granted - after all, all that hi-tech chip and hardware was supposed to beat the good old lever escapement.

If anything I now have more appreciation for mechanical watches that manage +1-2s a day relying on nothing but toothed gears and oil.
 

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No, mainly. Spring Drive is one aspect of Grand Seiko's excellence but it is less important to me than other considerations.

The aesthetics of the watch and how it wears are my top criteria. The watch is gorgeous, better finished (bracelet clasp excluded) than pretty much anything else out there, with near perfect dimensions and weight. Whatever movement was in the 44GS case, the SBGA387 would be near the top of my list. Granted, the Spring Drive does add the satisfying smooth seconds hand to the aesthetic.

In a place like Australia with limited and expensive servicing options, the dramas of mechanical watches get very old very quickly. Spring Drive simply removes all that crap, adds somewhat severe accuracy and reliability while maintaining the perfect on-wrist weight and dimensions of a well-designed mechanical. Spring Drive is such a welcome relief from a watch world dominated by over-promised and under-delivered specs, unrealistic assumptions, safe queens, instaposers, flippers and other parasites, pageantry and BS.

I will find it hard to go past another Spring Drive that fulfils my primary aesthetic criteria. Specifically, and take note please Seiko, a black and white steel diver 39-41mm, 13mm thick (max), L2L 47-50mm. Rolex and Omega are frankly inferior so I'll wait. Don't argue. Find a way, do it and keep making it - no LE crap.

I haven't pulled the trigger on any sales yet but after having the SBGA387 less than a month, my 18 watch collection is already down to 5 in my immediate planning. All other planned purchases have been killed, except for one, with additional sales paring it back to 3 (including an heirloom that will never be sold) in the longer term. This is where the Spring Drive really affects decision-making.
 

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In a place like Australia with limited and expensive servicing options, the dramas of mechanical watches get very old very quickly. Spring Drive simply removes all that crap, adds somewhat severe accuracy and reliability while maintaining the perfect on-wrist weight and dimensions of a well-designed mechanical.
For the most part I agree with this, however it should be noted that Spring Drive servicing will be even more painful due to the lack of local service centers capable of fixing that movement.

9F quartz, on the other hand... servicing is just a battery change and pressure test.
 

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I foster peaceful coexistence in my watch collection.

Spring Drive will only arrive today (am very excited) but otherwise I have an old Quartz Seiko from 1972 that hits every index with a precision that is hard to explain. But runs about 5 seconds slow a day (the age)....
I have a GS with 9F and a Longines Conquest VHP and they both perform amazing.

I have three watches that basically run pretty much dead on when worn or in the winder, one Tudor, one Rolex and a Montblanc. Around +0.5 to +1 a day. I also have watches with higher variations that need a service...

If at all the Spring Drive or high precision quartz leads me personally to appreciate the work and craftsmanship that goes into these little mechanical pieces more...

Generally what freaks me out the most is watches going slow, zero tolerance on that LOL...
 

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Hi

I like accurate watches and have spring drives, but as long as a watch is not wildly inaccurate I don’t so hung up on it. In my younger years it was a big issue for me as was thinness. It’s about the whole package now.

SD is my favourite movement though for sure.

Berni




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SD hasn’t ruined any other watches for me. I look at them all different based on the movement therein and judge them accordingly.

For example I have a watch due to arrive today with a 6R in it. I would expect wild positional deviations in timing. I’m okay with that as long as it runs on the + side of the equation as it will be a beater anyway.

I love quartz. I love purely mechanical. And I love SD.

Having been a car enthusiast for many years, it’s the same way. I don’t just appreciate the most efficient turbo setups of today, I also enjoy the carbureted big blocks of the 70s.
 

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For the most part I agree with this, however it should be noted that Spring Drive servicing will be even more painful due to the lack of local service centers capable of fixing that movement.

9F quartz, on the other hand... servicing is just a battery change and pressure test.
The 9f also has a gear train much like a typical mechanical watch that does require service as well.


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