One thing every watch lover praises Seiko for is its innovation in developing accurate watches and innovative technology. If you haven’t heard about the Seiko Spring Drive movement – it is a unique, ingenious, efficient, and accurate line of movements. 

At namokiMODS we sell some of the best Seiko spare parts and Watch spare parts in the world. But we also love Seiko, and all of its technical innovations. 

Let’s take a look at Seiko Spring Drive Movement, and why it is a favorite choice for high-end Grand Seiko watches!


Short History of the Spring Drive

The Spring Drive movement is a perfect combination of a mechanical watch’s spring created torque and an electronic watch’s ultra- high accuracy.


Source: GS9 Club


The Japanese watchmaker began to develop the Spring Drive, an idea by Yoshikazu Akahane, in 1977. The young watch engineer wanted to create an ‘everlasting watch’, however, it took 28 years and 600 prototypes to develop the first Spring Drive that was ready for commercial production. 

The Spring Drive movement as we know it today was born in 1999. Since then, the unique movement has been used in a range of Seiko’s top models such as the Credor, Grand Seiko, and the Seiko Prospex line.


The Grand Movement

Source: Grand Seiko


The Spring Drive movement is one of the most well-known innovations created by Seiko in its entire history. It offers the best of mechanical and electronic watchmaking in one sleek package. 


How it Works

The Seiko Spring Drive has a spring inside that stores energy when you wind the watch or move your wrist. This energy powers the watch's gears, just like in a regular mechanical watch. 

However, instead of using a standard ticking mechanism, the Spring Drive uses an advanced system called the Tri-synchro regulator. This system has a tiny wheel that creates electricity, which then powers a small electronic device (quartz crystal) to keep time very accurately. 

A tiny computer chip helps to control everything and make sure the watch stays accurate. This mix of old and new technology gives the Seiko Spring Drive its unique smooth movement of the seconds hand, making it a standout in the world of watches.


Unique Components

Source: Seiko


The Tri-Synchro regulator is one of Seiko’s genius innovations in the Spring Drive movement. 

There are three types of power, including mechanical power from the mainspring, electrical power via an IC/quartz oscillator, and electromagnetic power to apply a brake via a rotor/stator. The regulator is responsible for coordinating these powers.

These three forces not only work to prevent the spring from unwinding but also to make the movement of the second hand extremely precise.


The Spring Drive vs. Other Movements

Source: The Seiko Guy


First of all, the most unique signature of the Spring Drive’s technology is the gliding motion of its second hand. 

The second hand on a Spring Drive glides over the dial with perfect, fluid motion, instead of either the one-second tick of a quartz watch or the rapid beat of a mechanical watch. Its second hand is totally silent and moves in a way no other second hand can. 

On the other hand, the movement's rating of +/- 1 second per day is considered more accurate than other Chronometers and COSC-certified timepieces available in the market.

Moreover, many of the Spring Drive movements deliver a 72 hours (or 3 days) power reserve, which is longer than many other standard mechanical watches.


Some Seiko Spring Drive Models

Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT

Source: Grand Seiko


The Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT is a sportier model that uses a Spring Drive movement to power a GMT complication, as well as all the regular functions we expect from Grand Seiko. 

This model has a ceramic 24-hour scale bezel and a date window at the 4 o’clock. Like many Spring Drive models, it has a power reserve indicator between 8 and 9 o’clock, which allows you to see if the movement needs to be wound. 

With a 44mm diameter, the Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT is a good fit for the office, or anything you might want to do outdoors. The Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT has a 200m of water resistance, so in addition to looking great, it can stand up to challenging environments. 


Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGA293

Source: Grand Seiko


The Spring Drive is perfect for dress watches, and in the Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGA293 the Spring Drive movement takes center stage. The SBGA293 is a simple three hand design, and also features a power reserve indicator at the 8 o’clock marker. 

While the SBGA293 is a very simple watch, its expertly crafted dial shows off the perfect sweeping motion of the Spring Drive movement. It is a perfect fit for any dressy occasion, or professional settings. 


Making a Seiko of Your Own! 

The Seiko Spring Drive is a stand out movement in the world of watchmaking, and if you love Seiko mods, you can take watch mod parts and make Seiko Mod Watches that pay homage to your favorite Seiko Spring Drive model. 

In fact – we just introduced a new line of aftermarket dials that would be perfect for a Grand Seiko-inspired mod. Check out our extensive online catalog for all our great parts – and happy modding!

May 09, 2023 — Jeremiah A

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