Seiko has a long-standing reputation for producing high-quality, luxury watches. With simple, understated designs and reliable functionality, Seiko should be at the top of your list when looking for luxury watch brands.
Like many watch brands, Seiko comes from humble beginnings and boasts an interesting history. They arguably make the Best rose gold women’s watches and stand alone in a market saturated by Swiss made watches. Here are four things you need to know about Seiko.
Founded and Produced in Japan
When it comes to luxury watchmaking, the Swiss tend to dominate the list. Even watch designers in other countries tend to have a Swiss influence, whether through partial ownership or for manufacturing. Seiko’s origins date back to 1881 when a young entrepreneur named Kintarō Hattori opened a shop to repair watches and clocks. From there, he began making clocks and eventually moved onto watches.
In 1892, Hattori was presented with the opportunity to purchase an old, derelict factory. He did so, and named it the Seikosha factory, which was the first version of the Seiko brand name. The factory was largely responsible for making wall clocks, which proudly showcased the Seikosha brand name on the face. The success that stemmed from the high-quality wall clocks inspired Hattori to branch out into other fields. Thus, he expanded into the creation of pocket watches in 1895, when such timepieces were a sign of respectability and high fashion.
Seiko is a Japanese word that means exquisite. The word “sha,” which was a part of the original brand name, means “house.” They dropped the latter part of the name to create a higher end brand and appeal to a luxurious target market. The first watch under the Seiko name hit the shelves in the 1920s and was closely followed by the world’s first quartz watch and the world’s first quartz chronograph. Japan has a long-standing reputation for innovation and technological advances. Seiko is just one of many examples proving this to be true.
Seiko has a lot of different watches meant to benefit people with varying interests. In addition to a targeted focus, Seiko has a lot of interesting, practical features as well. For example, they have self-recharging watches like many of the different brands of luxury watches. However, they also have quartz regulation watches with no battery to speak of. Consider the fact that your watch may never stop ticking, long after you’re gone.
Seiko’s advances come from approaching watchmaking as engineers rather than traditional watchmakers. While purists and Swiss watch enthusiasts may lack appreciation for this approach, Seiko manages to do what many luxury watch companies fail to: combine modern engineering and innovation with traditional watchmaking practices. You may ask how they’ve managed to combine these approaches in a way that still adheres to the Swiss made watch practices. The answer: by taking an “if you can’t beat them, join them” approach and making friends with the right people.
Swiss Inspired Movements
The movements in Swiss watches are what sets them apart from the rest of the world. Movements, in layman’s terms, are the cogs, calibers or gears that must all move together to make a watch work the way it does. In many countries, these components are plastic or machine manufactured. In Swiss watches, they’re hand assembled, high-quality metal, and require skilled watchmakers to put together.
Seiko viewed the Swiss practices as both a threat and opportunity. So what did they do? They reached out to Swiss watchmaking legend Philippe DuFour and had him teach the Seiko watchmakers his methods. It’s for this reason that Seiko, despite not being a Swiss watchmaking company, offers the same quality as many of the leading luxury watch brands.
Seiko in the Movies
Seiko has been in numerous movies on the wrists of A-list celebrities. While many of their brand ambassadors are in the European sporting circuit, Seiko watches have graced the Hollywood scene more than once. Most notably, Sigourney Weaver could be seen wearing a Seiko Speedtimer during her stint in outer space in the 1986 sci-fi classic, Alien. More recently, Kristen Stewart made Seiko her watch of choice while walking the red carpet during the heydays of the Twilight Saga.
Outside of the Hollywood scene, Seiko’s innovative designs and excellent timekeeping function have made this brand the official timepiece of the Olympics five different times, as well as the official timekeeper of the World Cup on four separate occasions. Hence the prevalence of athletes in their brand influencer roster.
Seiko is perhaps one of the most underrated luxury watch brands, simply due to the fact that it doesn’t operate out of Switzerland. However, their gorgeous designs and cutting-edge technology should bump them to the top of your list while shopping for the perfect luxury watch to complement your unique style.