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The History

Seiko, Credor and more than a century of tradition

Since its foundation in 1881, SEIKO's history has been a history of challenges. Challenges identified, addressed and met. For over 100 years, SEIKO has risen to these challenges and has created many truly remarkable timepieces, from its first wrist watch in 1913, through the award-winning 1960, to the remarkable Spring Drive movement, launched in 2005. SEIKO's expertise in high-grade mechanical watch production gave rise to the creation of Credor as the company's luxury marque, and the Credor line has become synonymous with fine, luxury watches. The Credor Spring Drive Sonnerie belongs in, and adds a new chapter to, this tradition.

The Micro Artist Studio

High in the mountains of Nagano Prefecture in central Japan, and next to the beautiful Lake Suwa is a watchmaking studio set up by SEIKO in 2000 with a mission to develop new luxury watches that express the heritage of Seiko and its spirit of creativity. One of the eight elite craftsmen who now make up this team had long held a dream of creating a watch that would present, in sound and motion, the 'pure' , 'natural' and continuous nature of time. With the foundation of the Micro Artist Studio, his dream could be realized and development started in 2003.

The Challenge of Sound

Two of the Micro-Artist Studio's craftsmen, Masatoshi Moteki and the leader of the team, Kenji Shiohara, took up the challenge. With Spring Drive, they had the only movement in the world to express the natural flow of time; but how to express this in sound? They turned to the centuries-old “orin” bell as their inspiration, as this bell, based on the hanging bell found in Buddhist temples, has a precise, pure and lingering sound which perfectly fulfilled their desire for a sound that expresses the flow of time.

The Challenge of Silence

With the orin bell successfully incorporated into the movement, the next challenge was to make the other parts of the movement as silent as possible so that the pure sound could be heard clearly. The Spring Drive regulator was already friction-free and therefore virtually soundless. Could a governor for the sonnerie be created? Using the viscosity of air to control the governor provided the answer. Because this entire new kind of governor has no points of contact or friction, so is silent. Just as the challenge of sound had been overcome, now the challenge of silence had been met. After three years of development, the dream was ready to become a reality.

The  Launch

At the 2006 Baselworld Exhibition, Seiko Watch Corporation proudly presented the Credor Spring Drive Sonnerie to the world. It was met with amazement and delight by watch experts and collectors alike, and has been extensively covered by the world's media.