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It seems like many people are saying that Kinetic is a failed technology compared to light charged watches...
But Why??
Using Google translator, I found information about various Seiko watches in Seiko Japan website.
It seems like Kinetic technology only adds 6g of weight and 2mm of thickness to the watch compared to normal Quartz ones.
I also think Kinetic has a advantage of letting its users to feel the charging feeling of mechanical watches.
However, rumors say that even Seiko gave up on Kinetic: it discontinued all of the lower-end Kinetic models and will stop improving Kinetic technology and will focus on their solar technology...

What do you guys think? Do you think it is a failed technology? Do you think Seiko really abandoned it?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
 

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Kinetic is in no way a "failed" technology. It is a technology that may be on the way out because, generally, solar cells recharge batteries cheaper, faster and more reliably. Although there is some stigma related to first generation Kinetic capaciter failures, there are many happy owners of Kinetic watches. It is a great technology for "normal" people who only have one or two watches - if you own many watches, it can be a challenge to wear the Kinetic enough to keep the rechargeable battery charged and healthy.

As far as Seiko's plans, who knows? They seem to have introduced fewer Kinetics in recent years but did introduce a few new models for 2013.

You might find this mega thread from earlier in the year to be of interest as it pretty well covers every possible opinion on the subject:

https://www.watchuseek.com/f21/solar-kinetic-obsolete-technologies-update-824005.html
 

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Nothing wrong with kinetic technology, it's that solar is more convenient, esp. you have more than one watch. Why would Seiko want to discourage people from owning more than one watch?
 

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When people say that the Kinetic Capacitor has failed, what exactly do they mean? Does it mean that it holds charge for a much lesser time (say a week or two) or that it does not even get the seconds hand to tick?
 

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I have to agree with the comments above. I've got a BFK that I love. Kinetic technology would be perfect for someone who only owns one or two watches (freaks....) Because I own so many watches, it sits in watch box more than on my wrist so it isn't charging while it's sitting there, unlike my solar Seiko SBPG001 or my Casio Protrek. That being said, it's never stopped on me either. I'll probably be stripped of my WIS card for saying this, but if I could choose between an automatic and kinetic version of a watch, I'd most likely choose the kinetic. But if I had to choose between kinetic and solar I would probably choose the solar version.
 

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When people say that the Kinetic Capacitor has failed, what exactly do they mean? Does it mean that it holds charge for a much lesser time (say a week or two) or that it does not even get the seconds hand to tick?
The energy cell in early kinetics was a 'super capacitor' which is like a battery with a very short reserve. The original capacitors have a reserve of 3 to 7 days maximum.
The failure came when many of these cells leaked and would not hold a charge.

Seiko then replaced these troublesome capacitors with real rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries which could hold a charge for up to 6 months.

The new battery technology made the watches more reliable.

The problem with kinetics is that they have to be worn to be kept charged up. Lithium Ion batteries do not like to be discharged below a certain voltage; if they are they become damaged and their useful life is greatly diminished. Each time a full discharge happens, the battery comes closer to it's end of usefulness.

So the failure of kinetic technology today is not the fault of Seiko or the watches themselves but rather the users inattention to the battery charge level. These watches simply cannot be left in boxes; unworn for months at a time.
No matter what anyone tries to tell us; the batteries do become damaged if left to discharge...it is the pure physics of the battery make up.

Yes; some or maybe even many that have been allowed to discharge still work but I can guarantee they no longer have their full reserve capacity. Most of those will ultimately die sooner than if they were simply regular battery powered quartz watches.

So it's not so much a failed technology as one that solves a problem that does not exist(same goes for Solar).
 

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I don't think it's a failed technology. But in my view, it may be an obsolete one.
These days you have many quartz watches with battery life of 10 or so years.
Solar or kinetic watches have a rechargeable battery that still need to be replaced. Some of eco-drive watches need that battery changed even after less than 10 years. sometimes more, there is really no rule about this.
So, after considering everything, I am personally happiest with normal quartz watches. Although I do have one eco-drive.
 

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Given that the charging issue is the main drawback of kinetics I'm surprised that Seiko hasn't produced more direct drives. Or more of the auto-relay models, which conserve power by going into a sleep mode. Anyway, I guess if you really want a collection of kinetics you just need to spend $200 on a charger and you can have as many as you want.
 

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Anyway, I guess if you really want a collection of kinetics you just need to spend $200 on a charger and you can have as many as you want.
That still won't solve the problem PB brought up: these batteries for longevity need to be kept at reasonably full capacity, which means you'd have to charge your Seiko kinetics way more often than six months, and having owned the Seiko kinetic charger it's not something you want to do very often with your kinetic collection. :)
 

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So it's not so much a failed technology as one that solves a problem that does not exist(same goes for Solar).
Your points are good ones but I don't understand the "same goes for Solar," unless you consider replaceable batteries the benchmark.
 

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Yes. Both.

EDIT: I see Pawl_Buster did his usual superb job explaining the issue.
The reason I asked was that if the kinetic capacitor can retain even two days worth of charge, the watch can still function as an automatic as most automatics have a reserve of around 48 hours. I know that it is no consolation, but just a thought.
 

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Not Seiko, but other brands have failed miserably when it comes to kinetic models. Put aside the issue that you're getting the worst of both worlds. All the disadvantages of a quartz watch, and all the disadvantages of a mechanical without the advantages of either one.

I used to own a kinetic version of Hamilton's Khaki Field model several years back. I owned the watch for 2 weeks. It constantly kept stopping. And, not because I wasn't moving around to keep the battery charged up. I loved that watch. Even bought a custom ostrich strap for it. Had to return it. Got lucky and was able to return the strap too. There's a reason why Hamilton no longer makes kinetic models anymore. Mine clearly wasn't a rare lemon. Back then, I knew very little about watches. Was looking for a lifetime watch. Ironically, had I bought the automatic version instead; I likely would still be happily wearing it and never come to WUS to do tons of research on what a true quality watch is. I would have gotten lucky with that automatic Hamilton and been quite satisfied.

Seiko apparently knows how to make a good kinetic timepiece. Other brands? ... Not so much.
 

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@Monocrom: actually Hamilton does make a kinetic watch still today, the Pulsomatic
not only kinetic, but digital kinetic, which previously only Ventura had done.
 

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I think it's maybe not the best technology, but it works for me, so I wouldn't called it failed.
In my watch-drawer, there's some watches with technology that I think is nice: a 7A38 Chronograph, a SBCM023 diver with 8-year battery and a HA Quartz movement, some "normal" Quartz watches and some automatics. Plus, a SHF047 Kinetic sports watch. While I would not hold on to a watch its style I don't like, I can totally justify holding on to a watch with a great look, regardeless the technology. I would still love my 6309-7040 with a normal quartz movement, but on the other hand wouldn't care for it if it had the auto movement, but looked like a 34mm dress watch. I guess style mostly trumps technology. (I don't consider myself much of a WIS).
Anyway, I really like my Kinetic!
kinetic.jpg
(don't know why the picture is upside down. that's not how I took it)
 

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Kinetic is lame. It has all the disadvantages of an auto (needs constant motion) but no positives (attractive rotor, classicism). However, kinetic has quartz' reliance on depletable batteries.
As I said, lame.
 
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