Seiko is a Japanese watch brand that has been manufacturing affordable fashion watches ever since 1881. The brand comes with several models in its assortment that have different materials and species. There are several timing mechanisms in the watch industry. For example, quartz, solar, or manual winding, but also automatic. What mechanism does Seiko use? Is Seiko automatic?

Some Seiko watches are automatic. Seiko also uses other movements like quartz, solar and kinetic watch movements. Automatic watches basically have a self-winding mainspring where you can drive the watch’s power by the movement of your wrist. Several Seiko models use this mechanism, but not all of them.

In this article, we wanted to dive a little deeper into the question and answer some of the additional queries. In the following paragraphs, we talk about what exactly an automatic watch does, which watches use Seiko’s automatic movements, and more.

Why Seiko isn’t automatic

Now, that isn’t entirely true. The fact is that Seiko uses several movements in their assortment. A watch’s movement is basically the engine of the watch that drives the watch’s power. This job can be done in different ways.

Seiko uses all of these movements and mainly uses automatic movements and quartz movements in their watches. Their Solar movements are also getting increasingly popular. So, Seiko isn’t always automatic, this depends on the model and the movement that that model uses.

The fact that we don’t call the brand automatic has to do with the fact that this phrase is just not correct. Movements are different from watches, and watches could also be different within the brand. Seiko offers different movements and watches within its brand. Although the brand isn’t fully automatic, they do manufacture a lot of their assortment with automatic watches, so in that in that sense, Seiko is partly automatic.

Is Seiko an Automatic Watch

What does automatic mean on a Seiko watch

Automatic watches wind themselves automatically. This happens when you make a movement with your wrist while wearing the watch. This basically creates a sweeping rotor that winds the mainspring, which provides the power in your watch. The fact that you don’t have to do anything but move the watch makes it ‘automatic’.

The majority of Seiko’s assortment makes use of these automatic movements. Automatic watches are handy when you don’t want to have to worry about battery life or self-winding the watch. These watches will just wind themselves and are capable of working for several decades without having to look at it running out. The only catch is to keep wearing it to create the movement which will charge the timepiece.

Seiko also uses quartz watches in their assortment. These work differently from automatic watches as they need a battery to keep working. Quartz movements usually live up to 2-3 years before they need ‘winding’ again by replacing a new battery. These are usually more accurate than automatic movements though, which is one of the reasons people choose quartz over automatic.

Another popular movement that Seiko uses is the Kinetic movement. While there are fewer movements in their assortment that use this mechanism, it is known to be pretty interesting. The Kinetic movement is relatively new compared to Seiko’s other mechanisms. It has quite the similarities with automatic watches, only the difference is the winding of a ‘capacitor‘ instead of automatically winding the mainspring in the watch. The benefit is the longer winding lifespan of these watches, they can last way longer than normal automatic watches.

What movement does Seiko use

Seiko makes use of several options that drive the watch’s power in different models. These all have different operating mechanisms. These are all the possible movements that Seiko uses in their company:

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Solar Automatic
Automatic + Manual woundMechanical
Spring driveKinetic
Quartz Quartz (digital)
Different movements Seiko uses:

These are all of Seiko’s movements that they use to power their watches and make them work. All of these are types of movements or parts of a specific movement. For example, Quartz digital movements are a different form of the normal quartz movements that Seiko also uses.

In the paragraph below we put together some of the most popular movements that Seiko uses in their watches. These are the main movements and are popular and beneficial in their own way:

Automatic & Quartz

Every watch model could have a different driving mechanism, this will always be stated in the description of the watch. Seiko uses mainly automatic and quartz movements as they are the most popular two in the industry. While automatic movements are wound by your own hand’s movement, quartz watches are driven by a battery that needs to be replaced every once in a while.


The Kinetic movement is relatively new and has a lot of similarities to automatic watches. The only difference is the winding of a capacitor in a kinetic movement instead of a mainspring that is being charged by your body’s movement.


Seiko’s Solar movements drive their power from light, when there is light pointed at this watch, the watch will convert this energy into electronic energy which will drive the watch’s power into moving the timepiece.

Which Seiko watches are automatic

Now that we know that not all of Seiko’s movements are automatic, but it varies from different models, it might be interesting to take a look at some of the most popular Seiko watches and the corresponding movements. We made a table with some popular Seiko watches and their movement types:

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Popular Seiko models and their movements:

Is Seiko Automatic watch good

Another interesting question you might ask is how good Seiko’s automatic movement actually is. This can be measured by taking several factors into consideration. For example, how many seconds a day is acceptable for an automatic watch movement? And how long does the movement last before it needs winding again?

Seiko automatic watches are very good. They are known to last an average of 40 – 50 hours before they need winding again, which is above average. The accuracy is also good with an average of +25 to -15 seconds per day depending on the model.

The industry states that a good automatic watch deviates between +/- 10 seconds per day on average. Seiko usually gets to those numbers but Seiko sets larger guidelines. The watch, when fully wound should last around 40 – 50 hours before it needs winding again. Which is good for an automatic watch and should be more than enough to keep most people going throughout the day.

Do Seiko automatic watches need a battery

Another common question that people think about is whether automatic watches still need a battery to keep being wound for several years. This is not the case, automatic watches have a mainspring that keeps being stimulated by your own hand’s movement, which causes the watch to keep working and keep boing wound over and over again.

Automatic watches have their own lifespan and can last several decades without having to look back at wounding when worn regularly. So, if you choose to go with an automatic watch, you have a watch that can last a very long time.

How do you set a Seiko automatic watch

Automatic watches are different from, for example, quartz movements. Quartz movements are battery-powered and could have different ways to set up the date and time for them. Seiko uses a two-click system for its automatic movements to set the date and time for your timepiece.

A crown on a watch is the button that you’ll usually find on the side of your watch. The crown is used to adjust the date and time on your watch. Seiko watches use a two-click system where you can pull out the crown into two stations. If you pull the crown fully out, you’ll be able to change the dials on your watch, and therefore, set the correct minutes and hours. If you pull the crown only one click out of your watch, you’ll be able to change the date and day on your watch.

This system isn’t something that only Seiko uses for their automatic watches. Most automatic watches use this system and will have this easy-to-use act for changing the time on watches. If you are someone who likes to see how to do this, we have a good video over here, explaining exactly how to change the date and time on your Seiko automatic watch.

Summing up

In this article, we discussed the question of whether Seiko is an automatic watch or not. The fact is that Seiko uses a lot of their watches with automatic movements, but it is not the only movement type that they use. They use several movement types in their assortment like, quartz, solar, automatic, and even kinetic movements.

Which movement is used for a specific watch comes down to the model and will always be in the description of that model. the majority of Seiko’s assortment uses automatic and quartz movements. The automatic movement is a mechanism that is used in watches to keep the watch winded automatically. This happens when you make a movement while wearing the watch, this will create a movement which will push power into the mainspring, which will keep the watch winded for several hours and days without having to look back at it.

If you are looking for more articles on queries of specific watch brands or want watch reviews etc. You can check out our website over here. We have all the different watch queries and news about the watch industry with expert research.

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