The Seiko Ananta Spring Drive Chronograph was introduced last year, so this is not a 2010 model. However, during Baselworld 2010 was the first time I had a chance to see it close-up. It is a good looking timepiece, and it could easily be mistaken for a watch costing thousands more. The bezel features a black PVD treatment, and it's fully polished. The case sides, lugs, pushers and crown are a mixture of polished and brushed steel. The case is 46 mm x 15.8 mm thick and has fairly large pushers, so it looks pretty big. Although, the case is well designed, so it does not feel uncomfortable on your wrist.
2010 sees three new Seiko Ananta watch models. The fanciest and most exclusive of which is this great looking limited edition Spring Dive model in titanium. Functionally, it has the same Seiko in-house made Spring Drive 5R86 movement as last years Ananta Spring Drive Chrono GMT model - but this new version is in a 46mm wide titanium case with gold toned hour markers and hands. It is limited to just 150 pieces world wide.
This article is about two things. First, about the very nice Seiko Ananta Spring Drive watches (yes they are available in the US), and also about what you need to know about the Seiko Spring Drive movement. In addition to the Spring Drive version of the Ananta watches, there are also versions of the watches with in-house made in Japan, Seiko automatic mechanical movements. Though I am going to save additional discussion of them for another article.
In a nutshell, if you don't already lust for a Spring Drive watch, you should. Let's talk more about the Ananta watches. The watches are important as they represent the first higher-end Seiko watches that have come to America in a long time. In fact, they are world market watches meaning that they are to be sold globally. The watches are based on the look of Japanese katana swords. No doubt you'll see this look all over the watch from the sides of the case to the hands, and the hour markers. Little katana touches are all over the watch, even on the automatic rotor, to remind you of the sharp influence. By the way, when I was in Japan visiting Seiko we visited a traditional Japanese sword maker who still makes the awesome samurai style swords. As a kid I grew up utterly wanting one of these (and still do). To hold an actual one in my hands (not just some look-alike) was truly awesome. It took a lot of will power for me to hold back, and not find a watermelon to hack up.