In its 135-year history, which includes a long tradition of creating mechanical movements, Seiko has never made a tourbillon watch, until this year. Seiko announced at Baselworld 2016 that it aims to build worldwide recognition for its mechanical movements, hoping to create the same profile it enjoys for its electronic watchmaking capabilities. The new Credor Fugaku Tourbillon Limited Edition is part of that effort. Seiko developed a new movement for the watch, Caliber 6830, based on Caliber 68, an ultra-thin movement. Seiko says that, at less than 4 mm thick, it is the world’s thinnest tourbillon. The case is 8.8 mm thick. The volume of the movement was reduced by the use of a unique pallet fork design and by the integration of the wheel and bridge. It is a manual-wound caliber with 153 components and a power reserve of 37 hours. Seiko has tested the accuracy to a rate of -10 to +15 seconds/day.
The watch is highly decorated, highlighting Seiko’s mastery of the metiers. The motif was inspired by the art of Katsushika Hokusai, particularly his “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji,” including the famous painting “The Great Wave of Kanagawa.” The dial is dominated by a 1.6-mm hand-engraved 18k gold wave, which seems to be emanating from the tourbillon carriage at 9 o’clock. The name Fugaku is a Japanese word used to describe Mount Fuji, which is outlined on the balance wheel bridge. The scene on the dial depicts a sky at dawn with a gradient of navy blue to purple, rendered in traditional Japanese Urushi lacquer. The waves and sky are depicted in mother-of-pearl and Yakogai (turban shell). The 43-mm case is made of platinum and the bezel is set with 48 blue sapphires totaling 3.22 carats. Sapphires are also set into the crown and lugs. The case side is inlaid with strips of mother-of-pearl. The Kanagawa wave is also depicted on the caseback in a combination of engraving and lacquer finish. The watch is a limited edition of eight pieces and will be sold only in Seiko boutiques, of which there are 64. (Seiko aims to increase the latter number to 100 over the next year.) It is water-resistant to 30 meters.
WatchTime had a chance to get up close and personal with the Seiko Credor Tourbillon during its brief visit to the brand’s New York flagship boutique this week. Scroll down to see exclusive video and photos of the watch.