Seiko Credor Fugaku Tourbillion Limited Edition Watch Review
Wednesday - 15 June 2016
Seiko is making waves - excuse the pun - this year with the launch of the Credor Fugaku Tourbillion Limited Edition. The masterpiece proudly owns an air of exclusivity with only eight editions manufactured worldwide. The elaborate, decadent style embraces the Japanese ideals of beauty dramatically stepping away from their sleek signature style.
Seiko sought inspiration from an iconic painting recognised worldwide as an important part of Japanese culture. The influential art in question, is from the Katsushika Hokusai series, ‘Thirty-six View of Mount Fuji’ choosing The Great Wave off Kanagawa in particular. The inspirational piece was painted in the 19th century during the Edo period and subsequently attracted worldwide fame for Hokusai due to the use of perspective and dynamic composition. An interpretation of the work of art is featured on the dial, dominating the watch face. The grand depiction is created through extraordinary technical skill as Kiyoshi Terui delicately engraves the scene to inject depth and life into the crashing wave; an incredible feat with the 18k yellow and white gold wave ranging from 1.6 mm at its thickest and 0.5 mm at its thinnest - a true testament of astonishing craftsmanship. The wave motif is echoed onto the case back realised through engraving with a lacquer finish to execute a sharp and precise tribute to the painting.
When engraving and lacquer collide, a selection of unique colours are alive within the dial bringing a three-dimensional depth to the intricate wave scene. A gradient of navy blue and purple showcases the sky at dawn in an expressive way due to the coloured lacquer: thanks to advanced techniques by world-renowned lacquer artist Isshu Tamura who invested hours of dedication to produce colour precision in a lacquer of 0.1mm. The complete dial demonstrates the beauty in Japan’s natural scenery with the mother-of-pearl traditional Japanese Seigaiha (waves in a blue ocean) at 6 o’clock and the clouds and plovers at 12 o’clock.
Framing the superb dial, the platinum case features 43 blue sapphires arranged in an elegant graduation of colour complimenting the beautiful scene. The inclusion of sapphires within the 43 mm diameter case ensures that the masterpiece is a fine, splendid instrument for the wrist. The sides of the exquisite case feature fine mother-of-pearl stripes between the bars for an intricate finish; overall the casing adds to the grand, alluring aesthetic of the timepiece.
The Limited Edition is the first Seiko watch to feature a tourbillion movement - the Caliber 6830 - a mechanical movement that follows the principles of the ultra-thin Caliber 68 family with the base part measuring 1.98 mm thick. The entire movement is a mere 3.98 mm in depth with a diameter of 25.6 mm; claiming the title of the world’s smallest tourbillion by volume. A well thought out movement that reduces weight through the use of titanium parts in some cases and a smaller volume by integrating the wheel and bridge and implementing the unique pallet fork design. An impressive instrument to ensure that the masterpiece is extremely accurate, precise and lightweight.
The evidence suggests that the FUGAKU Tourbillion Limited Edition is a celebration of three of Seiko’s incredible craftsmen. The trio have all been honoured by the government of Japan as Contemporary Master Craftsmen, which is cemented due to their exceptional skills that are witnessed in the new release.
Meet Satoshi Hiraga, the creator of the new tourbillion movement, be reacquainted with Kiyoshi Terui, responsible for the engraving, we welcome Nobuhiro Kosugi, who created the overall design and don’t forget Isshu Tamura for the lacquer finish.
The unity of their skills and advanced techniques have produced a timepiece that is of exceptional quality and craftsmanship successfully achieving their goal of capturing Japanese beauty of the wrist.