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.