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The Seiko Elnix: a watch electrified
Before Quartz there was Electric
#1
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Better response on post The Seiko Elnix: a watch electrifiedIn the short period between 1957 and the mid 1970s Electric Watches reigned. Electric means they have a battery, either a balance wheel or a tuning fork and either electrical contacts or a transistor. This was a very short-lived transitional phase: transistors were just becoming available and mass-produced quartz watches had not yet appeared.

Electric Watches really have died out, the last one was probably made in the mid 1970s. In strict terms, Electric Watches are those without any electronic components i.e. no resistors, diodes or transistors; just a coil, contact and battery.





The fascinating Seiko Elnix is an electric watch and quite uniquely so. Seiko had five series of electronic movement calibres with the Elnix marked as the last Emperor; the most advanced and last transistorized electric watch. 

3100 : 1969
3200 : 1972
3300 : 1972
3700 : 1971 the EL-370
07     : 1973 the Elnix

   

The watch above, an 0703-7070, was among the first series of Elnix, it came out of the Seiko factory in 1973, interestingly this Elnix was and has always been, one of two numerical dials produced for this electric watch. It is vanishingly rare as it was produced just from 1973 until 1975. Below you see from left to right the production years 1974, 1975 and 1976. The last one sporting the other numerical dial with more modern numerals and therefore a different model number.

           

The Elnix below came out in 1974, actually at the beginning of a newly designed dial and a flurry of new Elnixes - the red in the Elnix logo was discarded in 1975 catalogues (which was loaded with Elnixes). Interestingly, the Elnix 0703-7020 in this thread (below) has the old hand style but the new logo. Buying it nowadays would set you back some 496 dollars, so a vintage buy of 90 dollars is a steal as far as I am concerned.

       

On the dial the gold colour Elnix logo spirals upward arrow-style (symbolizing electricity). Underneath the nostalgic logo is the symbol of Daini. This watch is equipped with day-date functions, it also has a smooth sweeping second hand which is a dead give away that it is not a quartz, but to confuse matters, it is also not an automatic. 
You see, this watch is powered by the 16 Jewels 0703A. It has a frequency of 4 Hz and an amplitude of 8 beats per second or 28,800 bph. (That puts it in the same league as a chronometer). A 1.55 volt Silver Oxide Battery breaths life into the movement, not a rotor or a hairspring. These watches still use a balance-wheel and should not be confused with quartz-controlled movements or Bulova's Accutron "tuning fork" technology.





The production period for the Seiko Elnix however is short lived, until 1976.... as soon after the Quartz would dominate the Japanese watch industry. Still, they went the full mile, evolving this electronic watch eventually into the 0723 movement of the Elnix SG. Seiko developed this 28800 bph movement - with 8 beats per second- for accuracy of course, SG on the dial signifying Superior Grade, and they brought that home with the 1/5th seconds ring on the dial. 
These electric watches are an important milestone, and most of these watches still run problem free, when you want a good quality Elnix be prepared to pay the price. Fortunately, as it happens (for a lot of watches under Seiko's sway) that won't break the bank
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#2
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Better response on post The Seiko Elnix: a watch electrified
More photos of the Elnix can be found here...
Adminishing the #$@ out of it
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#3
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Another great article admin, there really seems to be no limit to what Seiko has done with watches the last 60 years or so.
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#4
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If you want vintage, this is a prime example. It is scarce, quirky, innovative, great design, proven reliability and sometimes one of a kind. You can buy the handmade expensive modern watches - as a very limited edition of two or three - but why should you when these vintages just fit the bill so perfectly?
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#5
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The video are a nice addition too..
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#6
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Updated the main article!
Adminishing the #$@ out of it
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#7
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Finally SG explained... It all makes sense now to me. Seiko does like Superior grade watches.
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#8
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I do like the era of the electric watch, all the major brands hopped on the bandwagon in those days, creating memorable pieces
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#9
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Yep, good update.. I thought this thread was dead but you never can tell. Little tidbits of knowledge come to the fore - but that is what makes vintage watch collecting interesting.
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