All About Seiko watches
You don’t need to know much about watches in order to have heard of Seiko. Originally founded in 1881, the Japanese watch brand Seiko has achieved countless successes and made itself one of the most influential watch brands in the world.
One of the most known achievements of the legendary watchmaker Seiko is its release of the world’s first quartz movement watch in 1969. It had totally shaked and transformed the whole industry at the time and prominently built its name as a pioneer of watchmaking.
For over 130 years, Seiko has continued to strive for delivering the best quality and innovation to the world. The company is now a house of numerous masterpieces including its signature model Seiko Astron, Seiko Prospex, Seiko Presage collection and more. Robust, precise, innovative yet reasonably priced, the Seiko watches are among the most popular watches over the globe.
Today the Japanese watch brand Seiko is highly renowned for its exquisite yet affordable timepieces all over the world. It began its watchmaking journey to success from a small watch shop in Tokyo.
The Japanese watch brand Seiko was originally founded in 1881 by a 21 years old clock shop worker Kintaro Hattori. With years of experience working in a clock shop and exceptional entrepreneurship, he opened the Seiko watch shop for selling and repairing watches in Ginza, Tokyo, at a very young age.
Initially, Kintaro Hattori imported clocks from a trading house which traded foreign goods in Yokohama. With his great relationship with the trading partners, Kintaro could be provided products earlier than many competitors and access large orders. The product ranges that his company was offering had been much wider and more advanced. Due to the founder’s outstanding management and fantastic relationship with suppliers, the Seiko company had already gained exciting success since its early stage.
In order to develop its own timepieces, Kintaro Hattori hired the talented engineer Tsuruhiko Yoshikawa for product development and set up the Seikosha factory in 1892. After a short span of time after the factory was opened, the first Seiko timepiece, the Seikosha wall clock, was released. Although their first clocks and pocket watches were not well received in the market at the beginning. The business of the company finally started to grow and gained profits since the 1910s with new machinery and a new market in China. The name of Seikosha started to be known overseas.
To rebuild the business after the huge Great Kanto Earthquake and to search for breakthroughs, Seiko released its first wristwatch in December 1923. With high precision and durability, the Seiko watches had significantly recovered the company’s business and brought further success after its pocket watch was selected by the Japan National Railway as their official railway watch in 1929.
Now let's take a deeper look at some of the notable Seiko watch collections.
Seiko Astron is considered as the brand’s symbol of innovations. Actually there are two different Astron watches that each represent a game-changing watchmaking technology to the whole industry. The first Astron was the first quartz watch of the world and struck a later-called “quartz crisis” to the whole Swiss watchmaking industry.
Like its predecessor, the second generation of Seiko Astron is also one of the “world’s first”s of the brand. It is commonly described as the “second revolution” of Seiko.
Seiko Quartz Astron
In the 1960s when Seiko was enjoying its success on the market of automatic chronograph watches, the company had also prepared an unexpected bomb for the whole mechanical watch industry. In 1969, the brand introduced the world’s first quartz wrist watch, Seiko Quartz Astron.
This first Seiko quartz watch is powered by its Calibre 35A movement with a tuning-fork shaped Quartz oscillator that offers exceptional accuracy of +/- 5 seconds / month. It was far more precise than most of the mechanical movements at the time. In addition to high precision, the movement was proven to be shock resistant and durable to be able to maintain the battery life for one full year.
With undeniable quality and surprisingly low prices, the Seiko quartz Astron instantly received overwhelming responses and was sold like a hot cake. The mass market started to prefer a Seiko quartz watch over the Swiss mechanical watches. This “Quartz Crisis” had led to bankruptcy of many Swiss watch brands and on the other hand motivated the birth of many masterpieces that the Swiss brands produced for survival, such as the legendary Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.
Seiko Astron GPS Solar
Resurrecting the name Astron, Seiko released another “world’s first” at Baselworld 2012. The new Seiko Astron was the world’s first GPS solar watch, representing an entirely new watch innovation in the industry. In short, it is a solar-powered analog watch that receives GPS signals from the satellite to adjust the local time display. Let’s take a further look at its two major features:
Solar Power – this Seiko solar watch is equipped with photo-voltaic cells on its dial to absorb lights. The light absorbed will be then converted into electricity and power the Astron solar watch. This sustainable power enables the watch to run perfectly for years or even decades without any need of changing the battery, ever.
GPS Function – this Seiko GPS watch is able to first determine its location using GPS and automatically synchronise the precise time of that exact time zone. The Astron GPS watch can recognise a total of 39 time zones while receiving the data of the whole surface of Earth.
The Seiko Presage is the representative dress watch collection of the brand. The versatile Seiko dress watch collection consists of gorgeous variants in various styles, colors and complications. Despite being an elegant dress watch, some models of the Seiko Presage watches also offer the brand’s technical features such as power reserve indicator, chronograph, retrograde indicator and more. With brilliant designs and incredible quality, the Seiko Presage watches are an ideal companion that are perfect to fit with any of your outfits.
Referring to “Professional Specifications”, the Seiko Prospex watch is the brand's diver watch in its sports watch lineups. First introduced in 1965 with the reference 6217, this Seiko dive watch is one of the signature innovators of the brand. It also contributed to a handful of the “world’s first” for the company’s achievements.
In 1975, this collection came up with the world’s first titanium professional diver watch, the Seiko Prospex Diver 600m. Further in the following years, it also released the first professional quartz dive watch and the first hybrid diver watch with an analog alarm respectively in 1978 and 1982.
Seiko is a brand that fully houses incredible timepieces with groundbreaking innovations. Besides it does not only provide Seiko watches for men but also offers a wide range of exceptional Seiko watches for women.