Originally Posted by TheWraith
Could someone please enlighten me as to the difference between a Seiko automatic and a Seiko kinetic (examples below)? Please forgive my ignorance.
An "automatic" is a completely mechanical movement . . . no wires . . . no electricity (e.g. battery). It's powered by a mainspring that is wound either manually through the crown, or "automatically" using gravity, normal wrist motion, and a weighted rotor on the back of the watch movement to wind the mainspring. The common jargon is "automatic" or "hand-wind" . . . I've really not seen "manual" used before. In nearly all modern automatics, it doesn't matter which way the rotor turns, it winds the mainspring, and there's a form of clutch inside the mainspring barrel to keep the mainspring from being over-wound (and ultimately broken). The mainspring is very long and thin, and is coiled up inside a "barrel."
This is a picture of a new movement I just bought for having a custom watch assembled. It has Tissot marked on the auto-wind rotor, and it was made by ETA for Tissot (both are part of The Swatch Group which owns nineteen Swiss watch brands . . . including Blancpain, Omega, Rado, Breguet, Certina and GlashÃ¼tte). It was ordered as a replacement movement for a Tissot mechanical, apparently wasn't needed, the price was right, so I grabbed it. As this shows the back of the movement you can see the autowind rotor. I believe the two gears that you can see the edges of are part of the auto-wind train. At the bottom, the wheel with one spoke showing is the "balance" wheel and rotates back and forth on a coiled "hairspring." It's the equivalent of a pendulum in a clock, except in this case it rotates back and forth four times per second. The long threaded shaft with plastic knob is how these are shipped . . . it's the stem, which is cut to length for the specific watch, and the watch crown is threaded onto it.
Seiko's Kinetic is an electronic quartz movement. It is powered by "electricity" and is Seiko's answer to the Citizen Eco-Drive technology that recharges its internal cell with ambient light. To get around Citizen's patents, Seiko devised a mechanical charging system that uses a rotor similar to that used in a mechanical watch. Instead of a gear train that winds a mainspring though, it uses a sub-miniature coil and magnet to generate electricity to either a charge a capacitor or a tiny rechargeable battery (Seiko uses both methods . . . which depends on the specific movement). The rest of the watch movement is electronic quartz. This is a picture of a Kinetic inside a Lorus (a brand owned by Seiko). You can see the rotor . . . and above that in this photo is the traditional coil found inside a quartz watch. The gear and pinion labeled in the photo are turned by the rotor . . . the pinion is on the end of the generator.