Joseph Kirk, National Training Manager for Grand Seiko Corporation of America
Spring Drive is a movement technology developed in-house by Seiko Epson, formerly known as Suwa Seikosha, in the Nagano Prefecture of Japan. Development of the technology started in 1977, and debuted in 1999 in limited quantity in Japan. In 2004, Spring Drive became available globally in Seiko, Credor and Grand Seiko watches. At the June 3, 2019, meeting of the Horological Society of New York, Joseph Kirk will discuss the many hurdles that Seiko overcame with Spring Drive before it could be introduced to the world.
Spring Drive movements combine the best aspects of mechanical watchmaking, such as the power source of a wound mainspring, along with a unique regulating system as its escapement. The precision of a quartz oscillator and an electromagnetic braking system provide extremely high accuracy and unidirectional motion, with no collision. This is solely achieved with the mechanical energy derived from the mainspring, eliminating any need for a battery. The end result is a spring driven watch that achieves quartz like accuracy. This unique movement type expresses time unlike others, with a completely continuous gliding seconds hand with no sweep or tick.
About Joseph Kirk
Joseph Kirk is the National Training Manager for Grand Seiko Corporation of America. Kirk has worked in the watch industry for nearly 15 years, in different formats. His knowledge of Spring Drive was gained through hands-on experience with the movements, and with the help of many watchmakers from the manufacturer itself.
Special Guest: Kazunori Hoshino will be in attendance from the Seiko Epson manufacturer, located in Shiojiri, Nagano Prefecture, Japan. Hoshino began his career with Seiko Epson in 1996 after studying industrial design in engineering at Chiba University. His most notable work includes movement design aesthetics for the renowned Micro Artist Studio movements such as the Credor Eichi II, Grand Seiko 8 Day 9R01, and new Grand Seiko 9R02 caliber.
Special Guest: Akio Naito, Chairman and CEO of Grand Seiko Corporation of America, will be in attendance. In addition to his work at Grand Seiko Corporation of America, Naito oversees the rest of the Americas and European market for both the Grand Seiko and Seiko businesses. Naito also serves concurrently as Senior Executive Vice President for Seiko Watch Corporation, Chairman of Seiko UK Ltd., as well as a member of the Board of Directors for Seiko’s subsidiaries in France and the Netherlands. Naito brings over 35 years of dedication to the well-known international watchmaking enterprise, having held leadership roles also in Australia and Japan.