SeikoUSA.com

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It’s your watch that tells most about who you are.

The above is a quote from the SeikoUSA.com site. Does that mean anyone wearing a Rolex is not the brightest bulb in the room? The answer: Yes. The Distillery can summarize Rolex watches in two words: Caveat emptor. (I’ve owned two of them — and sold two of them. Rolex, without doubt, makes the worse watches of which The Distillery is aware. They cannot even come close to keeping accurate time in this day of cesium clocks. Rolex is one product where it is most definitely all about the name. Trust me and buy a watch that works, not a Rolex.)

On the other hand (or is that wrist?), I still have a Seiko watch that an aunt gave me approximately 35 years ago — and it’s still working and keeping very accurate time, without once needing a servicing in all those years. (My dress watch is a Seiko Micky Mouse watch. I’m very proud of it.)

But what about SeikoUSA online? The SeikoUSA.com site starts with a nice bass beat, but once in the site there is enough silence that one really can hear one’s watch ticking. An exception is the Seiko Kinetic Auto Relay. There we find so-so graphics and the endless repetition of a very short passage of music. You will want to click that “music off” link ASAP, or at least choose something other than the default. Also, do not bother navigating to http://www.viewpoint.com. The site apparently has nothing to do with watches, UTC, water clocks, or Big Ben. Seiko must not have been able to afford its promotion and therefore aligned itself with Viewpoint.com. (Is The Distillery missing something here?)

The next multimedia content found is for the Seiko Milemarker. However, hold your horses. After 30 seconds or so of music, we can again hear our own watches ticking. (Seiko, maybe that might work — a very low-volume ticking somewhere in the background. It would be better than either the terrible music or deafening silence you now offer visitors.)

What next? Spring Drive. At least this time we are immediately offered a choice to enter the mini-site with music on or off. Whew! That’s a relief. And finally, the sort of content we expect from one of the world’s best-known brands. We find a nice musical introduction and then a [very short] pleasant voice-over. But then again, the roar of silence. One must click on View Video under History to continue the light and sound show. Other short videos are found under Mechanism and Design. Oops, two additional videos are found under Mechanism: Three Key Innovations and Glide Motion.

From there we can click to reach the Credor Spring Drive Sonnerie. It is here that SeikoUSA begins to get more things right. The background music and softly ringing bell are very pleasant, but also do not wear out their welcome. We find a two-minute film about the Sonnerie. (Yes, they attempted to hide the controls. Look over to the right for narrow and broadband options camouflaged within the image of the watch’s workings.)

The film provides very little information, but if the watch rings as we hear it online, someone at Seiko got their harmonics very right. It is a very pleasant tone the watch generates and that we hear. Look no further. The remainder of the site is still under construction. Also, you cannot buy the Sonnerie just yet. It will be made available for private showings and purchase in Paris this upcoming November 2006. (Private showings? I think that means it’s very expensive.)

And last, we have Seiko’s historical timeline, A Journey in Time. Once again, a very short clip of music quickly gives way to silence. However, maybe all the silence at the SeikoUSA site is consistent with one of its taglines: The Quiet Revolution. That, they got right.

Home page: SeikoUSA

Seiko watches graphic

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