This year at Baselworld 2014, AZ Fine Time had the distinct pleasure of seeing one of Seiko's master craftsmen work in front of a large audience, in a way we have never seen before. The highly regarded brand Credor is typically only sold in the Japanese market and has an extravagant line up of both men's and ladies pieces, requiring different skills as compared to their other top quality brands, Grand Seiko and Galante. The amount of skill required for the Credor brand as a whole is amazing, working mostly with precious metals and gems. Today, we discuss one technique you will only see in the Credor brand from Seiko, hand engraving. The craftsman we saw in Basel is the award winning Kiyoshi Terui, who uses tools that he makes himself.
Mr. Terui is responsible for hand engraving movement parts as thin as 0.25mm thick, at a depth of only 0.15mm. As you can see in the image above, Terui does his work under a microscope ensuring his engravings are within a 0.01mm tolerance. The main plate bridge of the Credor caliber 6899 is being engraved in a unique fashion, with no polishing and focusing on sharp edges and gleaming surfaces. The sharp edges give the engraving more definition, not to mention a tremendous finished product.
The near 20 years Terui has been engraving for Seiko is very impressive and his experience is expressed beautifully in his work. In 2002, Mr. Terui was recognized by the Japanese government for his outstanding skill and awarded the "Outstanding Skilled Worker Award". By 2007, he was awarded the "Medal with Yellow Ribbon" for outstanding professional achievement by the Emperor of Japan. There were samples of engravings that Terui had previously completed on display. As you can tell from the picture, these examples are precisely executed, incredibly detailed and sparkle beautifully. Hard to believe something so small can be done so perfectly, but this is what an artist like Terui is renowned for.
You can see Terui's work in progress on the monitor behind him. On this bridge, he is engraving peacock feathers in perfect detail. This process is tedious and time consuming , as one could imagine from the detail alone. In most cases, engraving for one watch can take an entire week making a perfect example of being "dedicated to perfection".
On Mr. Terui's wrist, you will see the platinum Credor Signo Skeleton model GBBD985. This model features the hand wound mechanical caliber 6899, with 26 jewels, and is ultra thin at under 2mm, enabling them to keep it in a case under 6mm thick. This was our first time seeing this model in person and it is truly extravagant. The piece glimmers beautifully and is certainly eye catching, even though its size is subtle at under 35mm. Even the crocodile leather is impressive in person, with a tremendous high gloss finish. These pieces are manufactured, engraved and assembled at Seiko's Shizuku-Ishi Watch Studio in Morioka, Japan.
This year, AZ Fine Time will get a very small taste of Credor in limited edition form. To give a subtle clue, imagine the Signo GBBD985, with subtle accents of cherry blossoms incorporated. To find out more about this model, please contact us 1-800-486-3396.
It was truly an honor to see one of the many highly skilled craftsmen of Seiko live in action. Stay tuned to the AZFT Blog for more news on Credor and other amazing Seiko products!
Thanks for reading!
See our video of Kiyoshi Terui below…
SEE MORE PICTURES HERE