The Credor Eichi II, Now with Deep Blue “Ruri” Dial
Seiko's high-end time-only watch, now with a deep blue colour scheme.
Credor… A name that might not tell a lot to some of our readers, but that is synonymous of the best that Japan can produce in terms of high-end watchmaking. Credor is Seiko’s top of the range collection, even above the already handsome Grand Seiko watches. Since 2008 and the first Eichi watch, this name symbolizes a combination of refined, minimalistic design and superb hand craftsmanship. Today, the second iteration of this watch gets a new dial, in fact the visual opposite of the existing model. Meet the Credor Eichi II GBLT997, with its deep blue “Ruri” dial.
When Seiko, under its sub-brand Credor (established in 1974), introduced the Sonnerie watch in 2006 and the Eichi in 2008, it gave this collection a whole new direction. The idea was to offer the best of what Japanese watchmaking can create. Refined design, highlight on hand-executed dials and movement decorations and some of the top-tier complications. Simply, haute horlogerie, the Japanese way. Into this collection, you’ll find for instance one of the rarest and most complex of all movements, a sonnerie (launched 2006) or a minute repeater (launched 2011), both powered by Spring Drive movements. In 2014, Credor will update its time-only watch with the Eichi II. This year, as Seiko is about to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the establishment by Kintaro Hattori of the company known today as Seiko Watch Corporation, the Credor Eichi II is back in a new platinum version, this time with a blue dial.
The original Eichi II was, until now, offered with a white dial punctuated by hand-painted blue indexes and logos (in platinum or in rose gold). The new version retains the same 950 platinum case of 39mm, yet its dial is mirroring the colours. The base is a deep blue colour known in Japan as “Ruri”, and elsewhere as lapis lazuli. This dial, like the rest of the watch (made, assembled and finished by hand), is the work of the elite team of watchmakers at the Micro Artist Studio in Shiojiri. All the elements of the dial, meaning the 12 indexes and the letters of the name Credor are hand-painted on to the porcelain dial by one of the studio’s own craftsmen. To create contrast with the base, these are now white.
The base of the dial is made of porcelain and it took over two years to develop this particular shade of Ruri blue. Just like enamel, the porcelain is applied by hand and fired repeatedly to obtain the desired colour and depth. Thanks to the careful application of the porcelain glaze by hand, which creates surface tension, this gives the dial a slightly domed shape. The very nature of porcelain leads to the glaze being slightly thinner at the edge and centre of the dial, providing a degradé colour on the edges. Matching the colour of the dial, the Credor Eichi II Ruri Blue is worn on a blue crocodile strap closed by a 950 platinum three-fold clasp.
Inside the case of this reference GBLT997 is the same, superbly finished hand-wound Spring Drive movement than the white Eichi II. Visible through the caseback, it reveals true haute horlogerie decoration, done by hand at Micro Artist Studio. For instance, the anglage are not flat but “bercé”, creating a rounded surface. The holes for rubies and the screws are all mirror finish and the screws are heat-blued and polished, all that contrasting with the subtle straight brushed decoration of the bridges. The barrel has the shape of the bellflower that is the symbol of the city of Shiojiri and all the edges are again hand-bevelled. The movement relies on the hybrid Spring Drive technology, providing superior accuracy and a smooth movement of the seconds hand.
Availability & Price
The Credor Eichi II Ruri Blue GBLT997 will be available in January 2021, and its release marks the beginning of a year of celebration of the company’s 140th anniversary. It will be priced at EUR 59,000. It is not a limited edition, yet the production is done in small quantities.
More details at www.seikowatches.com.
Not my style, but there’s so much to like here. Always wanted to add a Spring Drive watch to my collection but the whole “must send back to Seiko Japan for servicing” thing scares me.
I can’t be more satisfied with my RG version. This is probably another home run in high-end Seiko portfolio.
41 jewels and not one chanton in sight. Too much for the design, not a Japanese thing? The price even for Platinum which now trades at approximately half the price of gold is almost criminal.I know it is a dress watch but just water resistant with no depth rating? Perhaps the emperor is wearing some of those invisible clothes. I like Grand Seiko and if Credor brought something new to the game perhaps I could be sold (secondary market where reasonable prices can be found only.)
@Shirl – Chaton’s are not needed in watches any more as the jewels are all synthetic now a days. Only a handful of brands, like A Lange & Sohne, use it as a nod to traditional watchmaking. Since Grand Seiko literally makes everything you see on the watch, they make sure the jewels (dyed, lab created sapphires) will stand up to the test of time. The spring drive movement utilized in this watch is also one of the greatest horological inventions in over a century. The co-axial escapement, which Omega now employs, was simply an update on the escapement. This particular spring drive movement, additionally, has a mainspring that as it unwinds it also generates a type of reverse torque to further stabilize the energy release. Everyone that works on these watches are at the top of their game and have gone through many years of experience to have the opportunity to create these works of art.