What Is A Kinetic Watch (Every Details Explained)

Kinetic watch
Kinetic Heart

The watch industry is pacing forward with an adrenaline thrust in technology. For the past century, it was a revolutionary timespan for the horology world. We got to know some tactics and techniques used in watches to improve the way of timekeeping. From the manual automatic movement introduced first, we’re now living in the era of digital movement. Still, all the movements are equally prestigious to the watch lovers.

The kinetic movement is a spellbound addition to the tally of the greatest movements for precise timekeeping. It comes from the innovative instinct of the famous Japanese brand Seiko. The Kinetic movement is an enthralling invention in terms of ‘balancing’. It interlinks the automatic movement with quartz technology. It bridges the expensive one with the cheap quartz. Kinetic watch balances the weight between the luxury world and the average Joe’s world. So it’s like a bridge between the two different aspects of watches. Kinetic watches are like a connection, a balance between the automatic and electronic world.

However, the Kinetic movement enhances the credibility and appeal of the watches to a large extent. All the positives from automatic and quartz watches are combined in the kinetic watch also known as automatic-quartz watch.

What Is A Kinetic Watch

What does Kinetic Watch mean actually? A kinetic watch is a watch that uses motion to power its battery and eventually move the watch hands with precision and accuracy. The distinctive feature of the kinetic watch is that it converts the kinetic energy into electric power. [Kinetic energy is the energy that is generated by the motion of an object] Seiko is the first to use such technology in watches. It uses the winding technology of automatic watches and quartz technology to store power. You can define the kinetic watch as a fusion of the automatic and quartz movement.

*Power Generation: Automatic

*Power Reserve: Quartz

That’s why they are also recognized as automatic-quartz watches (auto quartz watches). 

The kinetic movement is widely praised for its eco-friendly behavior. The watch actually ends the need for environmental power supply instead it converts the motion of a person into energy. Hence it ensures the precision and accuracy of the quartz watch without the inconveniences of the harmful effects of batteries. With fully powered, the watch can operate for 75 hours continuously. And the accuracy is 15 seconds more or less per month.

How Does A Kinetic Watch Work

How kinetic watch works
Source: Seiko

A kinetic watch uses your everyday motion to power the battery. It operates the watch engine by storing energy from the wearer’s movement. When you swing your hands while walking or running, shake your hands with someone, gesture, or steer the wheels, the kinetic energy is gained and stored.

All the events are kicked off by an almost semi-circular weight that oscillates with your motion. The pendulum rotates and conveys the kinetic energy (wisdom: it is the energy produced through motion) to the electrical generator. The path consists of a large gear that couples with a small pinion. 

The rotating pendulum can move and turn the pinion up to 100,000 rpm (revolution per minute). The kinetic energy then converts into electric current in the wired generator. The electrical generator stores the energy into a capacitor or a rechargeable battery. Seiko calls it the ‘energy storage unit’. When it’s charged by the electric generator, it stores the energy. When discharged, it releases energy.

The capacitor charges the piezoelectric quartz crystal through an electronic circuit. The quartz crystal serves as the oscillator due to the generation of voltage. The quartz oscillator can vibrate swiftly and precisely with a frequency of  32,768 Hz (times per second). That’s why quartz technology is so accurate and precise to move the wheels of the watches.

Brief History Of The Kinetic Watch

The first kinetic watch
Seiko AGS watch source: Chrono24

Basel Fair | 1986

Seiko promised to show something new and exciting. And yes, they showcased their watchmaking excellence once again. They called it AGM as a trial name. Seiko termed the new movement as an automatic-quartz movement. In 1988, the auto quartz watch was commercially released with another name AGS (Automatic Generating System). Then Seiko introduced the watch as the Kinetic brand name in 1991.

With their cheap quartz watches, Seiko was dominating the affordable watch industry. But the luxury use of mechanical watches left them well behind off the rich. With the kinetic technology introduced, Seiko has been able to reach wealthy users of mechanical watches. The kinetic watches will give you the same feeling as the automatic mechanical watch. And at the same time, they guaranteed the accuracy of quartz technology. The first kinetic watches seems to be a great opportunity watches to invest in. A many storming invention are Seiko’s brainchild. The commercially released first kinetic watch is one of the the iconic watches of Seiko as they move forward with their distinctive innovative instinct.

Difference Between Kinetic and Automatic Watches

Kinetic watch absorbs all the good essence from the automatic and quartz watch. That’s why it’s also known as an automatic quartz watch.

Just like the automatic watch, the kinetic watch uses a self-winding mechanism. But kinetic watch charges the capacitor while the automatic charges the mainspring. And from then, it totally functions like the quartz watch. The capacitor provides energy for the quartz crystal through an electrical circuit. But the mainspring of the automatic watches conveys energy to the escapement through the chaos of wheels and pinion.

Quartz movement is more precise and accurate than the automatic movement. It’s because the quartz oscillator can beat quickly and a lot more than the automatic. Quartz watch loses only a few seconds a month on average. But an automatic watch can lose a few minutes per month. You need to wear and wind the automatic watch every day to keep it ticking. But a Quartz watch can last from two weeks to six months once it’s fully charged. And in terms of price, the kinetic is much more affordable than the expensive automatic watches.

Is Kinetic Watch Durable

How long do kinetic watches last? If you’re not familiar with kinetic watches, you may wonder whether kinetic watches are any good. Like any other type of watches, kinetic watches are durable and reliable. The capacitor doesn’t wear out. It can serve you for your lifetime with the simple calibration to keep it top of its condition. The calibration of the capacitor needs to be done every 10 years.

The capacitor can be recharged and discharged thousands of times. Unlike the quartz watches, you don’t need to replace the battery. You might need to bring a new capacitor if something wrong happens. Top of all, the watch is eco-friendly and uses motion as its power source. You’ll get precise timekeeping for years without any worry about changing the battery. And if the heart is healthy, then what is the need to question its durability! Kinetic watches are totally reliable if you want to enjoy their charms for a long term.

Maintenance of a Kinetic Watch

Depending on varying models, the E.S.U of a kinetic watch can operate up to six months. There’s always the opportunity to upgrade the capacitor. But to get the best service out of the watch, you can replace the battery after almost 7 years.

How To Wind A Kinetic Watch

If you don’t use the kinetic watches every day, you can use watch winders to keep them alive. Watch winder is like a jewelry box that always moves and powers the kinetic watches. This way you can also wind a kinetic Seiko watch. A watch winder is really helpful as we don’t usually wear same watches everyday for every occasion. Your Seiko kinetic watches will stay alive as soon as you get to them.

Some kinetic watches stop their movement after 24 hours. The capacitor keeps the time behind your eyes. And when you wear the watch and wind it, the watch hands slash back to the accurate time. 

An Overview Of The Best Kinetic Watches

Seiko Kinetic Watch SNL073 Limited Edition

Seiko kinetic watch


  • Kinetic chronograph function that is precise and perfect
  • Features scratch-resistant hardlex crystal glass
  • Sharp-looking black dial
  • Unusual and gorgeously styled silver-toned luminous watch hands
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Seiko Premier Kinetic Perpetual SNP145

Seiko Perpetual kinetic watch


  • Perpetual kinetic watch with precise date mapping till the February of 2100
  • Scratch and shatter-resistant sapphire crystal glass
  • Eye-catching black dial and ion-plated stainless steel case
  • Leaf-like gold toned hands and 5 hour markers
  • Withstand water pressure up to 330ft of water

MVMT Chronograph Analog Watch Auto quartz

MVMT kinetic watch


  • All-black plain dial and minimalist appearance
  • Black-on-black hour and minute hands with the bright blue second hands and subdial hands
  • 3 sub dials include a military 24-hour clock, 30-minute and 60-second timers
  • Gunmetal stainless steel case and gunmetal dial
  • Strap is pure leather with the sandstone tone

Bulova Men’s Automatic Quartz 98A179

Bulova kinetic watch


  • Skeleton display that allows you to look at the heart of the watch
  • Automatic-quartz movement with tiny gears that are visible from outside
  • Sporty vibe with gunmetal color and gunmetal stainless steel case
  • Precis kinetic chronograph function
  • Crystal-embossed bezel and use of 21 jewels in movement to prevent friction ensuring precise timekeeping

Meet The Ultimate Watch Directory

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Here’s another site to quench your thirst for horological knowledge.British and Irish Clock and Watch Makers Historical Clock and Watch Research. An online library of British and Irish clock and watchmakers details.

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