To a serious mechanical watch fan, the idea that any quartz watch might be something you’d call a value proposition – much less a quartz watch costing thousands of dollars – might seem ridiculous, but if you’re of a certain turn of mind there’s a kind of integrity and purity to be found in Seiko’s Grand Seiko quartz watches you won’t get anywhere else. Grand Seiko mechanical watches, of course, are generally considered by serious watch lovers to be one of the best things to happen to watchmaking since Huygens stuck a spiral spring on a balance, and Seiko Spring Drive is a reminder of Arthur C. Clarke’s adage that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic – but quartz?

Well, as with many things, a little understanding of the basic problems the quartz Grand Seiko was designed to address can go a long way towards understanding why it’s worth taking an interest in – and, just maybe, even loving. Quartz watches are pretty simple: inside the watch is a tiny quartz…