As a kid in the 90s, anime and the words “Gran Turismo” were a quick release switch to the dopamine center in my brain. JDM, AKA “Japanese Domestic Market” products, have taken on a mysterious, mysterious significance in many enthusiast circles over the years, serving as a brief portal to a world of different cultures, faster, better-suited cars, and Western mysteries. Not for the world to know. In today’s global economy and social media landscape, JDM products may have lost that glamorous sheen as product lines for a universal market proliferate and buyers can buy stock from anywhere in the world with the push of a button. There are still glimmers of that old-school JDM magic – just some of the ways companies from Seiko to Toyota still jealously guard their home markets. All this to say, when the Creedor model rolls out of Japan, it rekindles some of the mysterious JDM sparks from a few years back. Grand Seiko has made rapid inroads into Western markets in recent years and has become a true enthusiast’s darling, Seiko’s ultra-refined High quality watch making The nameplate is still strictly Japanese-only, and the chances of experiencing these models are slim. The Seiko Credor Eichi II Credor brings true fanatical attention to detail to the classic three-hand dress watch concept, standing as a gem of its highly distilled, artistic Japanese minimalism and JDM watch landscape.
On paper, the 39.5mm-wide by 10.3mm-thick cases of the Seiko Credor Eichi II line are anything but simple. Available in 950 platinum or cold forged 18k rose gold, this fully Zaratsu polished look brings traditional dress watch case design to its visual fundamentals. The short, gently tapered lugs are unfinished, the case sides are vertical and unadorned, and the gently sloping bezel is perfectly smooth. Outside of the deep, mirror-like luster of the case materials, the only real visual decoration here is the credor emblem engraved on the crown at 3 o’clock. When working with such a minimal canvas, fine detail becomes extremely important, and the Eichi II is a prime example of this principle. With its slim bezel, the design wears a bit larger than the numbers suggest, but the relatively thin case profile and its well-proportioned reduced lugs make it an elegant and balanced wearing experience. Naturally, the caseback on both case variants is given over to a wide sapphire display window. Although Seiko claims the Credor Eichi II is water resistant, it doesn’t offer a specific depth rating, but it’s far from a sports timepiece.
Like the cases, the dials in the Seiko Credor Eichi II series are exercises in refined minimalism, executed with fanatical dedication to craftsmanship and fine detail. Each dial in the series is made of hand-fired porcelain, applied layer by layer in a painstaking process by artisans in Seiko’s exclusive Micro Artist Studio. From there, a master craftsman hand-paints each thin line of the dial’s indices as well as the credor symbol. Both platinum and gold-cased models are available with the original variant of this dial, which has a milky, almost liquid glass white porcelain surface with a delicate domed effect and miles of visual depth. Both the lettering and indices complement this white color with a solid midnight blue tone, which blends beautifully with the heat-blue tapering handset.
For those who prefer a darker backdrop, Seiko offers the Platinum Credor Eichi II with a “Ruri” blue dial option. Named after the Japanese word for lapis lazuli, this deep, almost black blue is built up with layer upon layer of translucent blue porcelain glaze and develops a narrow but noticeable fading effect in the center and around the edge of the dial. As the enamel layers begin to thin in these areas, the dial color changes from midnight blue to a narrow band of royal blue, sky blue and finally bare white, which acts as a low highlight for the entire dial. In contrast to this subtle hue, the hand-painted dial text and indicators are in a striking optic white, while the handset is refinished in brightly polished bare metal.
The in-house hand-wound 7R14 spring drive movement is what makes the Kredor Eichi II series so distinctly different from its Swiss and German counterparts. Most Swiss (and, to a lesser extent, German) minimalist High quality watch making The pieces keep their cases and dials austere but adorn the movement with a panoply of finishes, keeping the finish of the Seiko Eichi II focused and clean. Not to mention the finish isn’t pretty. Every element, from the horizontal brushing of the three-quarter plates to the blued screws, hand-polished sinkers and anglaze and floral skeleton mainspring barrel, is highly detailed and of extremely high quality. However, the overall effect is more tastefully restrained and airy than the shock-and-awe approach to traditional movement finishing seen from brands like Patek Philippe.
Mechanically, it’s a radical departure from its European counterparts, with Seiko’s unique spring drive regulation technology combined with manual winding with quartz control and a proprietary glide-wheel escapement to deliver precision beyond even the most precise mechanical movements at a claimed +15/. -15 seconds per month. The 7R14 also uses a unique torque reserve system that recovers excess energy released by the mainspring to rewind and allow the movement to reach a solid 60-hour power reserve. Seiko completes the Credor Eichi II line with classical alligator leather deployant straps in semi-gloss black, mahogany brown or midnight blue.
Although JDM culture (even in watchmaking) is behind us, the Seiko Credor Eichi II line proves that some of Japan’s greatest horological treasures are still reserved for its home market. Although not officially sold outside of Japan, all three variants of the Seiko Credor Eichi II are now available through Credor authorized dealers. At MSRP for the Credor Eichi II line $42,000 USD For rose gold patterns, and $57,000 USD For Platinum models as of press time. For more details, please visit Lender’s website.