< SEIKO >
Inspired by the legendary Samurai sword, the Katana, Seiko Ananta is a watch designed to deliver a lifetime of delight and satisfaction. Hiren Kumar Bose
When the Seiko product development team embarked on Ananta, they were given the brief to build a watch that embodied its corporate vision of ‘the most technologically advanced craftsmanship in the world’. The team was allowed to use any movement, or even build new ones. They were given the freedom to explore any design direction and seek new inspiration wherever they chose.
And Ananta was the result. In Sanskrit the word means ‘the infinite’. The Ananta collection, launched at BaselWorld 2009, expresses Seiko’s dedication to infinite perfection. It is an exclusive collection of luxury timepieces with Spring Drive and high-grade mechanical movements, targeted at those who truly understand and appreciate fine watchmaking. Seiko Ananta is a watch designed to deliver a lifetime of delight and satisfaction, as it is supremely comfortable to wear, enjoyable to use and unrivaled in its quality of engineering. Seiko Ananta is a watch for today and for all times. Precision, artistry, parabolic curves and sharpness, inspired by the artistry of Katana, find expression in the Ananta collection. Says Yosh Kawada, General Manager (Marketing), Seiko, “Katana has been perfected for the last thousand years and is the sword of the Samurai and also the symbol of Japanese culture.”
Katana is the ancient art of swordmaking. First developed over 800 years ago, the Katana sword is a single-sided, curved blade, designed to be drawn from its scabbard and used in a single motion. Its legendary sharpness comes from a unique kind of steel and a particular forging process, developed over the centuries, which combines great handcraft skills with the highest technology. Today, Katana swords are still made and prized for their beauty and precision.
The side of the case has the distinctive Katana curve. A three-stage ‘blade’ polishing process gives the case its remarkable mirror finish, as smooth and flat as a Katana sword. The long, graceful curve of the case is made possible by a unique construction in which the case back and lugs are crafted from a single piece of steel.
Ever since the late 1960s when Seiko’s mechanical watchmaking skills were recognised with the highest ever scores at the Geneva and Neuchatel Observatory competitions, Seiko has refined its luxury watchmaking skills and created a steady stream of ever more advanced and perfect movements, including, in 1998, the celebrated 9S calibre used in the Grand Seiko series. Most of these movements were used, until today, in timepieces reserved exclusively for the Japanese market.
With Ananta, Seiko’s high-grade mechanical watchmaking finally arrives on the global stage. The collection includes three mechanical calibres, two of which are new and all of which deliver superlative levels of precision, long term reliability and power reserve.
To see and feel each Ananta mechanical watch is to realise that it is an entirely authentic prestige watch in the mainstream of fine watchmaking. However, Seiko’s approach to mechanical watchmaking is unique. Their movement designers have always sought to satisfy the customer who seeks a ‘watch for life’. Over-elaboration is eschewed in favour of a profound level of quality and engineering elegance, which increase the precision, longevity and performance of the watch. It also makes after-care easier and delivers functions that are easy to see and simple to use.
With the inclusion of Spring Drive in the Ananta collection, Seiko opens a new chapter in the story of this remarkable movement. With its unique glide motion and industry-leading accuracy of one second a day, Spring Drive continues to redefine luxury watchmaking. Leading the Ananta collection is the Spring Drive Chronograph, the only luxury chronograph to measure elapsed time precisely, and not to the nearest tick. Alongside the chronograph is a Spring Drive GMT in which the extended power reserve of 72 hours is expressed in a Katana-blade shaped sub-dial. The 28800 vph mechanical movements in Ananta embody this ‘watch for life’ concept.
The 8R28 Automatic Chronograph incorporates column wheel and vertical clutch systems for ultimate timekeeping precision. The 6R24 Double Retrograde calibre offers day and date retrograde dials in a new layout and, like its companion 6R21, has an extended power reserve of over 45 hours.
All three calibres use Seiko’s unique SPRON 510 alloy for the mainsprings to deliver enhanced performance and the Magic Lever system that Seiko pioneered in 1959 and which still leads the industry today. The Magic Lever dramatically increases the efficiency and speed of the winding of the mainspring.
With Ananta, Seiko announces its long term aspiration to be a leading ‘manufacture’, and to offer the world’s most advanced craftsmanship to those who truly appreciate fine watches.
Seiko Ananta is a landmark collection whose arrival heralds an important new step forward for Seiko as it is the first Elite Collection designed for the luxury watch market to be marketed both internationally and in Japan.
The Ananta Elite Collection includes Spring Drive Chronograph with Calibre 5R86, Spring Drive GMT with Calibre 5R66, Automatic Chronograph Calibre 8R28, Double Retrograde Automatic with Calibre 6R24 and Multi-hand Automatic with Calibre 6R21.