Those who know Seiko mainly for its lower-priced quartz watches — and even many who have discovered the Japanese brand’s high-horology Grand Seiko timepieces — may be unaware that Seiko’s history of watchmaking stretches all the way back to the late 19th century, and includes several watch-world firsts. As we celebrate the Grand Seiko model’s 60th anniversary year, we spotlight 12 of the most significant pieces.
1. Seikosha Timekeeper (1895)
Seiko founder Kintaro Hattori was only 21 years old when he opened the K. Hattori watch and clock shop in Tokyo’s Kyobashi district and began building and repairing watches and clocks. He was only 31 when he partnered with an engineer named Tsuruhiko Yoshikawa to set up the Seikosha watch factory, forerunner of today’s Seiko, in 1892. After several years of producing high-quality wall clocks, Seikosha released its first pocketwatch, called simply the Timekeeper, in 1895. The 54.9-mm silver case was made in Japan, but most of the 22-ligne movement was imported from Switzerland. The English name “Timekeeper” was a product of Hattori’s shrewd business sense, as he realized that such a name would expand future export possibilities for the product.
2. Laurel (1913)
Hattori quickly recognized the growing worldwide popularity of the wristwatch and predicted that the demand for wristwatches would shortly outpace that for pocketwatches. Hence the debut of the Laurel in 1913, just 11 years after the first Hattori wall clocks. The Laurel had a silver case, 29.6 mm in diameter, a porcelain enamel dial, and a 12-ligne movement. At first, the need to import components meant that production was slow — just 30 to 50 pieces per day — but by 1910, Seikosha had managed to produce its own balance springs and by 1913, its own enamel dials.
3. First Seiko Watch (1924)
The Great Kanto Earthquake struck Japan in 1923, destroying the Seikosha factory and stocks and halting production of timepieces. However, the determined Hattori decided to quickly rebuild, despite the massive costs, and only one year later the world was introduced to the very first watch with the name “Seiko” on the dial. (“Seiko” is, of course, an abbreviation of “Seikosha,” which means, roughly, “House of Exquisite Workmanship” in Japanese.) The use of a non-English name indicated that Hattori had become confident enough in the quality of his products that they would sell despite the widely held belief (at the time) that products made in the West were of superior quality. The watch had a 24.2-mm case made of nickel and a 9-ligne, 7-jewel movement. Its small seconds subdial was standard all the way up until 1950, when the Seiko Super debuted as the first Japanese watch with a central seconds hand.
4. Seiko Marvel (1956)
Seiko considers the Seiko Marvel to be an epoch-making watch in its history, as it is the first Seiko watch whose movement was designed “fully in-house from scratch” — i.e., not influenced by other watch movements made in Switzerland or elsewhere. The movement diameter (26 mm) was larger than that of the Seiko Super (and matched the dimensions of the Seiko Automatic, which debuted the same year and is notable for being Japan’s first automatic wristwatch). It’s accuracy and stability, which incorporated a new Seiko invention, the “Diashock” shock absorption system, was far superior to that of its predecessors as well as that of other Japanese watches of that era. The Seiko Marvel was produced until 1959, when it was superseded by the Seiko Gyro Marvel, which had a new automatic movement with Seiko’s “Magic Lever” mechanism that increased the winding efficiency.
5. First Grand Seiko (1960)
This was the watch that Seiko created to be “the best in the world” in terms of accuracy and precision. The mechanical movement, Caliber 3180, measured 12 lignes and had 25 jewels and a frequency of 18,000 vph. The watch itself had a gold-filled case, 34.9 mm in diameter and 10 mm thick. Each Grand Seiko watch was certified with an original standard of precision that Seiko established (and which, today, is stricter in its criteria than even the Swiss agency COSC‘s standard for certifying chronometers). The watch, with its clean dial, long hands and applied indices, established the design codes that Grand Seiko watches still adhere to today.
6. Seiko Crown Chronograph (1964)
With all of its previous accomplishments, it is not surprising that Seiko was also responsible for creating Japan’s first chronograph watch. Its story begins with the 1964 Olympic games, held in Tokyo, for which Seiko was the official timekeeper. Seiko provided more than 1,200 units of various types of stopwatches for the Olympic timers, and to commemorate the event, also issued a commercial version of its wristwatch chronograph, which had a monopusher system. The Seiko Crown Chronograph had a stainless steel case, 38.2 mm in diameter and 11.2 mm thick, and water-resistant to 30 meters. The movement was the 12-ligne, 21-jewel Caliber 5719.
7. Seiko Diver’s 150M (1965)
It was just one year after releasing the first Japanese-made chronograph that Seiko launched the first dedicated divers’ watch made in Japan, the Seiko Diver’s 150M. As its name implies, its stainless steel case was water-resistant to 150 meters, and measured 38 mm in diameter and 13.4 mm thick. The watch had a bidirectional rotating bezel and was fitted with the automatic Caliber 6217 (17 jewels, 18,000 vph). At the time, diving was a relatively rare hobby, so this was a very specialized product. As diving grew in popularity, Seiko continued to refine its dive watches. In 1968, it introduced a version with a high-beat movement (36,000 vph) and 300-meter water resistance. Its first Professional Diver’s watch in 1975 was water-resistant to 1,000 meters, and also the first dive watch with a titanium case; and another version of the Professional Diver’s in 1986 (the first with a unidirectional bezel) increased the water-resistance to 1,000 meters. Seiko’s in-house standards for its dive watches helped establish the ISO standards for dive watches that is still in use today.
8. Seiko 5 Sports Speed Timer (1969)
Nineteen sixty-nine was an important touchstone for the watch industry, as it was the year of what’s been dubbed “the great automatic chronograph race.” A handful of Swiss brands — and one notable Japanese one — vied to become the first manufacturer to produce and market a wristwatch chronograph watch with automatic winding. The results of this competition produced a number of watches that are today regarded as icons, such as the Breitling Chrono-Matic, Zenith El Primero, and Heuer Monaco. But the first of these automatic chronographs actually on the market (in May 1969, to be precise) was Seiko’s 5 Sports Speed Timer. The world’s first automatic chronograph equipped with both a vertical clutch and a column wheel, the 5 Sports Speed Timer had a 30-minutes counter, a tachymeter-scale bezel, and a day-date display with an innovative bilingual system: wearers could set it to read in English or Japanese. The movement, caliber 6139, beat at a high frequency of 21,600 vph and the 30-mm stainless steel case was water-resistant to 70 meters.
9. Seiko Quartz Astron (1969)
The very same year that Seiko was winning the race to the market for an automatic chronograph watch, it also unveiled the watch that at one point threatened to render all mechanical watches obsolete. The Seiko Quartz Astron, the world’s first quartz wristwatch, represented a groundbreaking technological breakthrough. The watch’s tuning-fork-shaped quartz oscillator gave the Astron’s movement, Caliber 35A, an amazing accuracy of just +/- 5 seconds per month, far greater than any mechanical movement. The movement’s small, thin, stepping motor conserved energy by moving the second hand only once per second, a new development for wristwatches. The oscillator proved to be very shock-resistant and worked at a very low voltage, ensuring a battery life of one full year. Interestingly, whereas quartz watches would develop a reputation as inexpensive timepieces for the masses, the first one was decidedly luxurious, boasting an 18k gold case. This model celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019 with a special commemorative edition.
10. Seiko A.G.S. “Kinetic” (1988)
Seiko did not give up on mechanical watchmaking innovations and other types of technologies after it introduced its quartz watches. The brand introduced a solar-powered watch in 1977 and a quartz watch with hand-wound power generating in 1986. In 1988, it introduced a new technology that would help define the brand for the modern era for its Seiko A.G.S. (Automatic Generating System, which later become known as “Kinetic”), a watch whose movement had an oscillating weight that converted the motions of the wearer’s wrist into electricity that powered the quartz movement.
11. Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk (2008)
Seiko introduced another new technology to the watch market in 1999, releasing the first watch with a “Spring Drive” movement, which has a quartz oscillator but is powered a mainspring like a mechanical watch. Since that debut, Spring Drive has found its way into numerous Seiko watches, including some modern versions of the Grand Seiko. Perhaps its most notable iteration is in the Spring Drive Spacewalk, which was specially commissioned by video-game mogul Richard Garriott, whose father was a NASA astronaut and Seiko wearer, and who, in October of 2008, visited the International Space Station (Garriott’s initial goal, which did not materialize, was to become the first civilian to walk in space, hence the model’s name.) The watch, which was limited to 100 pieces, was engineered specifically for space travel, with a specially designed gasket that made it extra airtight in frigid temperatures, a lightweight case made of high-intensity titanium, and a large dial with easy-to-read chronograph subdials and three times the amount of luminous material as on a standard luminous watch. Additionally, the large chronograph pushers were made to be easily operable by someone wearing the thick gloves of a spacesuit.
12. Seiko Astron GPS Solar (2012)
Seiko CEO and President Shinji Hattori (descendant of the founder), was sending a bold and unmistakable message when he opted to resurrect the name Astron for Seiko’s solar-powered GPS watch, launched to great fanfare at Baselworld 2012. Like the first Seiko Astron, which introduced the world to quartz timekeeping, the new Astron GPS Solar represented the debut of an entirely new and potentially game-changing watch technology. It is an analog, solar-powered watch that receives GPS satellite signals and adjusts to the precise local time anywhere on Earth. It recognizes all 39 time zones (mechanical world-time watches display only up to 37) and has a manual reset. The Astron covers the globe by first determining its location using GPS, then comparing that information with an onboard database that divides the Earth’s surface into one million squares, each of which is assigned to a particular time zone. The Astron’s system is superior even to those of radio-controlled watches, which receive terrestrial radio signals from atomic clocks, in that it automatically recognizes what time zone it is in. For much more on the Seiko Astron GPS Solar, click here to read our review.
This article was originally published in 2014 and has been updated.
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I have two Seiko watches I have great experience I have big fan of Seiko
Seiko is the name world trust…
Dedication & Hard work become success..
Great . All rhe very best.
I have been wearing Seiko watches for a long time, the one that I’m wearing now is a Seiko GPS solar Astron.
This watch is very good, especially when I travel overseas and want to know my hometown time.
I sent the watch to Seiko last time after wearing it for more then 3 years and it is now as good as new.
A 7A28 should have been on here
I am a Seiko lover and fan
I love seiko watches. Would like to aquire a kinetic watch that shows both day & date and has illuminous hands.
Excellent!!! the best of all time
I started to wear seiko watches in 1970. I really like seiko watches. Durable tough and stylish. I have more than 20 seiko watches, in 2012 I purchased a Seiko Astron GPS Solar to my surprise this watch is a failure. Not accurate and charging very poor. Tq
I started to wear seiko watches in 1970. I really like seiko watches. Durable tough and stylish. I have more than 20 seiko watches, in 2012 I purchased a Seiko Astron GPS Solar to my surprise this watch is a failure. Not accurate and charging very poor. Tq
I have 2 numbers of (seiko 1 number,and 1 number seiko5 black dail)
I want to gift my son 1 set of seiko watch on his wedding please suggest me the model to be purchases
I need seiko spring drive spacewalk
I am a Sieko watch fanatic.
Seiko watches are beautiful
Interesting article for the watches loving community
I had a Seiko (two button) digital watch 1974 which l had for many years. It was a great watch…would love to find another like it…one can dream l suppose.
I have a Seiko 5 cactus watch on my hand for the last 50 years without any problems. Automatic winding and has not given no problem
Overall a very good article. But I thought the iconic Seiko 5 Sportsmatic watches introduced in 1963 which was also a first would feature in this article.I was a bit disappointed on that front Otherwise it was a good read. Thank you.
Was there a product by name “Sekosa” with day & date 21 jewels automatic markings at 9o’ clock position? Is it genuine?
Good article on the history of seiko. I bought my first seiko in 1983, and it still works. Sadly I had to change the strap, could not get a clasp for the original strap.
Seiko 5 origin
Superb watches I have many in my collection.
I have Seiko 5, Bell-Matic, Astron GPS, GS, Kinetic, Premium chronograph Perpetual, Presage and more. Fan of SEIKO. Some inherited from my father and Uncle.
My first was a sports 5 whichI purchased in the NAAFI IN SINGAPORE my latest is a valatura soon to be a solar watch when shops reopen
Need to know if Seiko SRPD 55 is made in Japan or China
Always Been a fan of Seiko as was my father, really great and underated.
I would have liked to see the tuna diver’s watch included in this list.
Have a rare one 1st day date saiko quartz says Japan 7546 SQ above the 6 o’clock with the box under it black dail unusual movement clicks off 2 seconds stops 2 seconds stops lol wondering with the much bigger battery what’s its worth good condition. Correction on the numbers
Nice article! But I would have included the Seiko Bell-Matic. A watch I used to wake me for several years.
Seiko spring drive.
I want this watch ?
I want to buy the seilo watch that i chose .
Thanks a lot.
Have Seiko sports 150. A gift from my mother. This watch changed my mind about quartz watches. Its hadva very tough life, in electrical distribution lines. Cable splicing. Burying telco cables, auto mechanics , etc
Did have to change bands a couple of yrs ago. Ran a few batteries down. I cherish this watch for its longevity and.connection to mother.
Did the Seiko Military Chronograph 7T62-0AH0 Green, ever produced with a stainless steel back and titanium case?
Would not buy another Seiko again. I have 2 old Seiko watches from the past. Alas they are no longer repaired.
Fantastic chronometers – but no spares available
Seiko made a big error in manufacturing some of its watches outside Japan. Flooding the market with cheap watches to be marketed in the developing world. Now, Seiko wants us all to buy this notion of Grand Seiko being a high end time piece. This will not fly here or in Bombay. The best example is its production of Seiko 5. In order to achieve higher perceived value and charge accordingly, you must manufacture all your watches in Japan and keep improving the automatic movements that are at best average.
Had seiko watches for years, time to get a new one solar
Seiko is very good brand, i like Seiko, ND I use mostly Seiko brand..
I love this brand
thank you for histery
Really a very interesting article. Never realized the great lengths that were adapted in the making of Seiko watches. Will definately appreciate the value of the name and watch the next time I am in the market for a new watch. Thank you for the enlightenment!
I have a collection of Seiko watches for years. kinetic, Solar. They are all great time peices. Also like Citizen watches. My dad bought me a pocket watch Ingram back in the 40’s. Can’t remember what ever happened to it ??.
Thank you for a very enlightening article. I’ve been a Seiko wearer for a long time. I’m trying to figure out how to aquire a Grand Seiko before l leave this mortal coil. I’ve owned Citizen Solar and one lovely Rolex. But l believe I’ll find great satisfaction with a Grand Seiko.
I still have my 1969 seiko sports watch that was given to me by by Dad brand new but not stop working. Is there a place where I can send it for repair? Love the watch so much
I found a watch online I would like to purchase but I cannot find any reference to the maker anywhere. It’s a “Vintage Fine Seiko 1520-3310 * 17J Manual Wind wristwatch . any info would be appreciated. Thank you! Bella
I have been a fan of Seiko watches and found the history of Seiko watches very interesting
Awesome homology time trip! I love Seiko watches.
In my 20s I owned many Seiko watches, mostly battery operated analogue divers watches and solar powered digital watches. I found them to be very reliable and accurate. As I got older and my finances improved I discovered Swiss mechanical watches, Omega, Rolex, Breitling and Tag.
There was a time when Swiss watches were the best mechanical watches and Japanese brands made the best innovative digital and analogue watches that were battery or solar powered using satellites and radio signals . Seiko and Citizen watches are still the best when it comes to using 21st century technology and now Seiko make the Grand Seiko which can hold its own with the Swiss mechanical watches. My favourite Swiss brand is Rolex , I have owned a few over the years and currently own a GMT 2 Pepsi. Having said that I now wish to add a Seiko to my collection, an Astron. That way I will own a great mechanical watch and a great watch using 21st century technology.
Loved Seiko since my childhood and have two now. The 1960s grand Seiko is the coolest
Beautiful/joyful/proudful/ an rich man watch,
I have been a collecror of Seiko watches for iover 40 years and found the article very interesting. I particularly like the ana-digi watches from the 70s and have many. I also am very fond of the divers watches which represent great value compared to other makesm
I have been a collecror of Seiko watches for iover 40 years and found the article very interesting. I particularly like the ana-digi watches from the 70s and have many. I also am very fond of the divers watches which represent great value compared to other makes.
I had almost purchased Seiko Quartz Astron in 1969.
And coincidentally I also purchased a Seiko Astron GPS solar in 2012 and very very surprisingly dropped it in a Air India flight .
I have my seiko watches since 1980s all were durable and nice quality.. Hope to get new model this time..
Bought them years ago always liked them good watches
Enjoyed the article, I’ve had a long love of horology and Seiko being an inexpensive watch, when I was young is where I started. The diversity of the cycle brand watches I’ve always enjoyed and owned several. Pre Grand Seiko, King Seiko , and Credor which give VC and Patek quality a good run. Some people get a little snobby, when it comes to watches thinking only Swiss watches are the best. I personally find Swiss made on the dial only means in most cases overpriced & not necessarily quality. Will Swiss watch maker tell you how many Japanese and Chinese parts are actually in their watches? They’ll only give you a percentage of foreign parts allowed to carry the Swiss made logo. Sadly I believe a lot of Swiss horology actually belongs to the German farmers /watchmakers, take a look at history of H Moser & cie& You’ll find hard to be a Swiss made snob of horology when you consider all the different nationalities that contribute into the developments that created the modern watch. I tend between joy the engineering craftsmanship and artistry all together.
I love Seiko watches.
I am somehow disappointed with Seiko in the sense that I have this Seiko quartz I bought 10yeas ago and perfectly worked till battery died. When I wanted battery replacement I was told I will have to spend 390 US Dollars to get that done. What a disappointment at a Seiko products.
Not hard to do yourself. Plenty of places to get the parts you need for under $20
I have a seiko 5 speed timer that was given to me by my dad a long time ago. I am looking for authorized seiko dealer that can fix it since it is very memorable to me and it’s my first watch
Happy with my Kenetic, replacing my capacitor for the third time, last about 10 years each.
Seiko Astron is a beautiful time piece would love to have one for my collection
I think you missed the great Seiko watches of the 70’s! Like the 007 model and more.
What about the World Timer?
Most beautiful, most attractive, but the cost, cannot be met by middle class people
I Bought A Seiko Kinetic Diving Watch In 2008. A Excellent Watch. Its 11-Years Old And Have Never Had The Back Removed Never Have Taken It To A Repair Shop Yet. Its A Great Watch.
I am a watch lover. I like very much Seiko watches
Seiko stands among the elite in watch making technologies.
Very nice watches ❤️❤️❤️
Seiko watch is Best, l like seikoWatch. Thank you
I HAVE THE SEIKO TALKING WATCH, OLD BUT STILL LOVE IT.
I have a old 1930s -1950s or 1960 say watch Seiko from Japan were can I send u a photo of it so I can learn more about it thank you.
Great history I am impressed
Very nice and the quality is the best.
My favourite watch brand since childhood. But my recent complaint about problem was not problem was not responded though within warranty period. Felt sad. Later i approached a local watch shop.
Seiko is a unique watch…
and i love it..
Seiko is my first watch that my father bought for me 1979.
Need info on the divers watched 200wr
The 1992 black Seiko my wife gave me, I wear it every day, since May of 1992. I just replaced the band, I found an original online, keeps perfect time my wife of 25yrs passed in 2017. Close memories.
Hi, the old model watches are very fine looking. I personally like the old models. Thanks.
I owned a Seiko-bellomatic when I was in the USAF. it was such a reliable watch. It was stolen and I could never find another. Great watch.
Seiko is # 1. Of course ! I Collect them.
I’ve always liked Seiko watches
I love my Seiko quart of 35 years. I also purchased recently a quart for my wife. This article is excellent; enjoyed reading it very much.
I Iove My Seiko kinetic. I was told, when I purchased it that it was perpetual. However, it stopped running when I left it sitting on the dresser while I was in the hospital. I took it to a jeweler. He did not take it apart, but did inform Me that it needed a cell replacement. The cost of this cell is $80.00. It is not a battery, it is a cell. I have no idea if this is so. Could You please educate Me further on this.
What does the designation LS mean on a Seiko?
My ladies watch was bought in 1983 and the band has broken. Is there a possible replacement available? The numbers are 393185 and 2021-5009 (RD)
Have you considered asking a jeweler?
Greatefull watch around the world with best of quality. That’s why costly and that will be dreaming for us ever.
I found this very informative. Most of my 1970s Seikos are automatic powered. Sometimes the bracelets are rough. Maybe I should fix a leather strap and change the look?
My favorite Seiko is….my Orients.
The thing I really like about Seiko is that they bought Orient but haven’t “done” anything to them. No demand Orient use Seiko movements…no requirement that Orient size their movements or watch cases to Seiko standards…no design standards have been dictated…. it’s like Orient is still its own quirky, awesome little underdog that’s in no way tied to Seiko. Companies taking over other companies always spout that horsecrap about “nothing will change and ” blah blah blah….when everyone knows lawyers have been happy to be dethroned as the most “worthless bunch of professional liars” by the modern CEO who, today, is frequently the most despicable and untrustworthy employee of any given company. But not at Seiko…..so far.
That kind of straightforwardness requires corporate maturity and self-confidence and Seikos management seems to have it.
Oh….and my Pressage. I really liked that watch once I put a black leather strap on it and ditched the overly large crown for a cabochon.
Recently purchased a seiko 5 sports from amazon in USA, surprised to see nowhere “ made in japan “ there, with a broken heart I return the watch back..take care in future.
I have a couple of old Seiko watches, both in great condition. The first is a digital over analog, with digital stopwatch, date and alarm, it has a gold bezel. The second is a world time watch with date and is a self wind. I just wanted to check value, the digital over analog I think was only made for o short time, then Seiko made an analog over digital. Both are great watches and I have enjoyed them both, although I don’t wear them as much anymore. They may not be worth much, but I just was interested to see what they may be worth.
No 7A28? Not a even partially complete that model! Worlds first quartz chronograph with all metal gear train. 7548? 7C43/46? Credor? I know it is hard to come up with a succinct list of Seiko models considering all their firsts compared to other brands like the R brand or the O brand, but heck do some better research!
I recently purchased a seiko ska 371 divers watch. The craftmanship is phenomenal, and I am so happy with it.
I’m trying to find out when my Seiko watch was made it was passed down to me from Grandma.
I now own a Solar Seiko. Love it. I have an older Disney watch which I need to get repaired. Where would I send it?
All the power Seiko watches
Is the v700 5k30 the same design the5y30 5069?
I NEED SEIKO SPRING DRIVE WATCH
Actually the first automatic Chrono from Seiko hit the Japanese market in February 1969, which means that they were selling these watches just a month after Zenith announced “el primero”, which also means that Seiko’s automatic Chronos must have been designed, tested and put into production in 1968 in order to deliver it to stores by February.
Why didn’t they make a big splash like Zenith or Heuer-Breitling-Hamilton-Dubois?
Simple… the Japanese were saving themselves for the big news (Baselworld 1969) when they introduced the first Quartz watch and that, for them, at that point meant looking forward, to the future, just like in 2012 with the Astron and the GPS precision… Seiko to me… is always a step ahead of the game, innovating, pioneering, exploring, Seiko what a watch!
Have owned my 7T42 Chronograph for nearly 30 years , the most reliable great looking watch IMO (I chose it over a more expensive TAG Heuer and have never regretted it.)
I was given a seiko world timer quartz watch, with the serial #’s on the back of 237295 and 5752-6438, and I am curious as to what year the watch was made; any input will be appreciated; Thanks!
Awesome! Thank you
When I was in the Army in 1971 I bought-from the PX-a Seiko Automatic 17J #240382, I still wear it today. Many compliments have been received about the looks and style.
I bought my husband a brand new seiko for Christmas in 2016. Its a simple solar watch. No bells and whistles. It stopped working. Took it in for repair. The capacitor is gone and it has rust. Its a dress watch. If it was worn 10 times its a lot. Repairs will cost more than I paid for the watch. I’m very disappointed in seiko.
Rust as it was exposed to water.
I requried Spring Drive spacewatch.
Hello all. I must confess my addiction and admiration for Grand Seiko. If one were to examine the history of this fantastic watch brand that started in 1960, they would see that it is the best kept secret in the watch industry. They are every bit as well made, probably even better finished than most Swiss watch brands today including the big guys like Rolex….
Their 9F Quartz is considered by many to be the best quartz ever made with an accuracy of +\- 5 seconds a year, whilst the Spring Drive boasts an accuracy of +\- 1 second a day.
Once you compare the quality you will become hooked just like I did, and I also have 4 Rollers to compare this to….
Seiko would have to be the most underrated watch brand in the world.
Swiss – watch out. You will neee to lift your game as the Japanese are coming with better quality and innovation,
From Gerry Dimatos in Australia…
I’ve owned a beautiful art nouveau design Seiko watch for thirty years. Black and gold wrist band with an elliptical face. Do you have a photo of the one I describe? Mine slipped off my wrist at Heathrow Airport on my way back to New Zealand. If there is any hope of finding it, such a photograph would help.
What about the 1960s Olympic world time with the Olympic flame on the back of the case
Hi Mark – I have a Seiko watch that my father was given as a gift/test by an executive at Seiko in Japan some forty or more years ago. My father is deceased now and that is why I have the watch. I am a small time collector. The watch is rectangular and has beneath the Seiko name at the 12 position these initials: U.F.A. On the back case there is this information: SEIKO Stainless Steel / 3923-50-10 / 290069 / Japan – A / BATT No. 77. I don’t know how long ago the battery was changed, but it has been years (maybe many years). The watch runs perfectly after all this time. At the top of the dial is the word Quartz and to the right is a red jewel. Do you know anything about this model? I can take a photo and provide it if you would like to see it.
Being a watch lover, I like to comment on the watches that people are wearing. When I actually do make a comment to people regarding their choice of watch, people invariably say “oh it’s just a Seiko”. If only they new the history of this wonderful watch brand.
Hi. I have a small collection of 12 Seiko “S” Super watches with Seikosha movements. A few have sub second hands and some are marked chronometer. I believe them to be from the 1940-50s but I am unable to find out any history or information regarding these watches. All are working well and in an excellent condition.
Any and all advice would be most appreciated
I am Seiko lover since 1973 and owned automatics , however Grand Seiko’s hand don’t spell the great watch.
Give chance to me to rewrite.
Wow! Have many Seiko’s but did not know all of that history! Thank you WT for a very informative article!
I would say that Seiko Lord Marvel 36000 should definitely make this list of Seiko’s most important watches.
Absolutely fantastic history of a great brand.
Interesting article. How technologybenifits the masses.
Actually I inherited a perfectly working almost new looking Seiko 8223-8009 with Sr No 140200. When would this have been manufactured 1981 or 1991. What is the kind of value that is associated with it.(not that I want part with it)
I recall a brief article some years ago in (I think) Popular Mechanics magazine about a Seiko model that used an oscillating platinum bar driving a self-winding mechanism through tiny toothed belts. I can’t find anything at all about it anywhere on the internet. Am I hallucinating?
I saw the 2008 Spacewalk for sale recently on eBay… but the $43K sticker gave me a shock. Too bad because that is a cool item. For me, I want their first chronograph. It still looks good today. Reissue anybody?
There’s a retailer in the UK still selling one of these…it’s in their window but they don’t know its value…
Excelente marca la uso desde los año 70 ,calidad y bellos modelos
I bought 2nd hand a Seiko ‘5’ automatic $40. It has the days in german before it clicks over to each english day an hour before 1am?? i.e. die (then)tues, mit (then)wed.
Was this for the german market or some used parts added do you think, or just plain fake??
It’s not German.
I am Seiko lover,in early seventies when I used to service Seiko 5 , the finish and mechanical strength was unmatched to contemporary Swiss watches
According to the article the first Seiko automatic chronographs were available in May 1969. I have seen one with a serial number that corresponds with March ’69 and I own one which was made in April ’69.
I just picked up a Speedtimer from May of 1969. My guess is that they were manufactured earlier to build up the supply chain. Also, I don’t think the records are that complete on when the watch first went on sale. It’s entirely possible that a few made it out for sale earlier than May. Seems like I’ve heard of a February 1969 that’s out there.
I bought 2 Seikos in the 70s i would love to do a commercial.
I just owned a Seiko Nivaflex automatic, can you kindly give some detail regarding this watch? Thanks.
I totally agree… 100+ years of history of engeneering and innovation… the Grand Seiko and the Credor decimal minute repeater is obviously a proof of their superiority in innovation, precision and history… using the Myochin steel, finding the sound of the wind bell, more than 20 years of research in delivering a perfect spring drive called the “silent/quiet revolution” in Switzerland in amazing… honestly, I rank them equal to Lange und Sohne and PP.
The only downside is their marketing strategy outside Japan (which is similar to Toyota and lexus, struggling to position it equal to the Big guys – Mercedes, BMW etc…- yet they are amazing… I can go on and on on the Japanese engendering with a lot of story… any way the Grand Seiko and Credor should be part of a purist watch collector with Patek, lange, Leffour, Voutilainen etc…
It’s a shame that a lot of people in this world see Seiko as just cheap and worthless…..just a watch company that makes watches that anyone can own. The bigger picture that people don’t see is that Seiko also caters for the wealthier diehards with models like Ananta, Grand Seiko and Credor. Seiko also has throughout its entire history been very persistent and at the forefront of innovation.
Let’s see…..they invented without going into fine details about the achievements:
First Mechanical Chronograph to make it to market,
Kinetic Direct Drive,
Grand Seiko (Which meets higher standards than COSC) and
Need say no more :)
But everyone please feel free to add to this if you wish because I’m almost sure I’ve forgotten something :)
And let’s not forget the first vertical clutch stop watch which was not reliable that any avaiable swiss made stop watch
You forgot to mention the Solar Seiko and the Perpetual Calendar with a battery life of 10 years!! I have both models and the work perfectly after many years of use, only 1 battery change for the Perpetual Calendar after 11 years of constant use.Extrenely good watches.
..not forgetting the first 6 digit display (including seconds) digital watch. Such an incredible company. I would have added something to the list with the 6138 chronograph movement, maybe a Bullhead (because I have one)!
It is also one of few companies that invent and make their own timepieces unlike some very expensive brands that only make the cases for their less expensive lines and buy the timepieces from eta or miyota.
Is Seiko 5 Sports Speed Timer (1969) has a case bigger than 30mm?
Yes, it’s 40mm.