Are Seiko Watches Still Made In Japan? – Here’s Your Answer
It’s challenging to find a brand surpassing Seiko when evaluating the most flexible watch companies in terms of both international reach and diversification within their brand portfolio. Beginning in 1881 with a small shop in Ginza, Japan, Seiko quickly established itself as one of the most celebrated watch brands globally.
Seiko is a Japanese company but not every one of its watches is made there. Although Seiko’s production is an internal process, it is spread out throughout many different countries. In this article, we’ll be discussing where Seiko watches are produced and offer more interesting information about Seiko watches.
So, to answer the question “Are Seiko watches still made in Japan?”, let’s first explore the history of Seiko.
Overview Of Seiko’s History As A Watchmaker
Seiko is a Japanese business that manufactures watches, clocks, jewelry, and a variety of electronic appliances.
Everything began in 1881, when Kintaro Hattori, a young Japanese entrepreneur, established his small, cozy store in the heart of Tokyo that sold and fixed watches and clocks. Hattori, who was just 21 years old, made a risky decision in his desire of creating something greater.
Hattori built the Seikosha factory in 1893 and started manufacturing wall clocks there. The Japanese word “Seikosha” means “Home of exquisite craftsman” In the year 1924, the Seiko brand was officially launched and started distributing its watches all over the world.
Hattori’s desires came to be realized in the following century as the watch company he founded performed watchmaking milestones and ultimately changed the direction of the whole watch market with the introduction of the first quartz watch in the world in 1969 – the renowned Astron wristwatch.
Japanese quartz watch initiatives have proven their value over time as they are still widely used by many watchmakers today. Seiko also created the first automated quartz watch and quartz chronograph in the world.
Seiko has established itself as a potential pioneer with innovative, extremely successful moves in the watch manufacturing industry. After more than 130 years of development, Kintaro Hattori’s brand still always remains dedicated to achieving excellence in every product.
Where Are Seiko Watches Produced Now And Why
Seiko is a Japanese brand, so its products are also manufactured in Japan. However, the reality is a bit more complicated because Seiko also has manufacturing facilities in other nations, such as Malaysia, China, and Singapore.
These factories both have their own specialization in different parts of the production of watches, with the Japanese facility often producing more expensive versions. Thus, if you want to purchase a Seiko watch, you might consider finding out where your favorite model is made.
Since the label “Made in Japan” seems to have more weight, several watch lovers may be unhappy to know that some parts of their Seiko watch are not fully produced in Japan. Many people think that this tag indicates a certain level of perfection of the products.
In fact, ‘Made in Japan’ watch parts can be made outside of Japan but the process must be strictly supervised by a Japanese manager. Thus, even though almost all Seiko watches have been assembled locally, many of the component parts were produced elsewhere in Asia.
In addition to Japan, Seiko branches in Singapore and Malaysia manufacture several watches such as the SKX, SARB, SARG, etc. However, Grand Seiko, Seiko’s premium product, is entirely produced in-house at the Shizuku Ishi studio in Iwate.
There are signs on the dials that show you where they were made. In general, the Seiko manufacturing process is a wholly internal process right up to the fabrication of the quartz pieces for mechanical movements, regardless of the nation.
Types Of Watches Made In Japan
Japan is one of the leading countries in the watchmaking industry with advanced technology products that make a strong impression on the public.
Several well-known Japanese watch companies, such as Seiko, Casio and Citizen, manufacture watches for the worldwide market, but they are not the only ones. If you are looking for a made-in-Japan good quality watch, the list that we have compiled below will offer some great options for you.
One of the major and popular Japanese watchmakers is Orient. In regard to manufacturing capacity, it is equivalent to companies like Casio; however, Orient exclusively makes mechanical watches, not digital models.
They seem to be more traditional than other well-known brands, yet they do have unique characteristics, including the small touches that Orient watch enthusiasts usually look for in their timepieces.
Seiko is perhaps the most well-known Japanese watchmaker, as was already said, thus it shouldn’t be surprising that it is our top pick. They pioneered the quartz revolution by creating the first quartz watch and making them more accessible to the general public at an affordable price.
Even though Casio was established in 1946, they didn’t make watches until the 1970s. They debuted with a quartz one, known as the Casiotron, and soon moved on to produce a more variety of types with many useful features. Their casual watch lines were also durable and resistant to normal wear, which was highly regarded all around the world.
One more of the major four watch companies from Japan that the world is well aware of is Citizen. They are renowned for their Eco-Drive movements, which run on solar power and never require a battery swap. They also dedicate a lot of work to making stunning watches from technical and design aspects.
Minase is a brand-new boutique watchmaker with headquarters in Japan that was founded in 2005. Minase’s history started as a machining company, proceeded with the production of watch cases for other brands, and then made a move into the watch industry and began producing their own watches.
Because of the parent company’s skills, Minase was able to establish itself as a reputable watchmaker quickly. These watches are beloved for their beautiful cases, which stand out because of their luxurious finishing.
The Evolution Of Japanese Watchmaking Industry
Since the beginning, Japanese watchmaking has moved forward significantly. Japanese watchmaking was initially greatly influenced by foreign technologies and brands. But over time, Japanese watchmakers started to create their own distinct aesthetic and set of skills.
The invention of the quartz movement marked one of the significant turning points in the history of Japanese watchmaking. Seiko introduced the Astron, the first quartz timepiece, in 1969. This watch rocked the market since it was more precise and reasonably priced than traditional mechanical timepieces.
The Japanese watchmakers immediately adopted this technique, which raised the reputation of Japanese watches globally. The advent of independent Japanese watchmakers in the latter half of the 20th century was another highlight.
These watchmakers were free to try out new designs and technology since they weren’t associated with any major businesses. Japanese watchmaking is still evolving and innovating today. The development of eco-friendly timepieces is currently the top goal for many Japanese companies that include bamboo and recycled plastic into their designs.
They are also putting cutting-edge technology into their timepieces, such as smartwatches and solar-powered movements.
The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Seiko Watches
Japanese watchmaker Seiko has a solid reputation in the watch industry. Not only are their designs brilliant and express their philosophy perfectly, but they also offer each customer the greatest quality watches that are extremely accurate as well as trustworthy.
Let’s find out the advantages and disadvantages of Seiko watches.
1. The advantages
Seiko watches are renowned for their accuracy, and their high-quality construction ensures smooth operation. Seiko is praised for its quality timepieces. The company uses durable materials and smart movement technology to manufacture excellent watches. This builds the watch’s overall level of perfection.
Seiko does research on newer materials, sources of energy, and movement designs. In order to prevent corrosion, they became the first watchmakers to utilize titanium for making the case as well as the bracelet of their diving watches.
The key characteristic of Seiko is their usage of automatic movements in their timepieces, which means that they run on the movement of the user’s wrists and don’t require batteries
These watches have a wonderful benefit in that they are long-lasting and have high durability. If you buy a Seiko watch, we believe you won’t need to replace it for 4 to 5 years.
They offer a wide range of timepieces, ranging from classy and sophisticated exquisite watches to sports and chronograph watches.
Because of their large and strong network, they have shops and service centers all over the world, allowing customers to easily maintain their Seiko watches.
2. The disadvantages:
In comparison to other Japan’s watch brands, these Seiko watches are extremely costly. Before purchasing any Seiko watches, you should consider your options carefully.
Because these watches are made of high-quality materials, wearing them may sometimes make you feel heavier and a bit uncomfortable.
A Look At Some Of The Most Popular Seiko Models Made In Japan Today
As a long-standing expert in the watch industry, Seiko has produced a wide variety of watches such as GMT complications, chronographs, mountain explorers, and dive watches. But among all of these options, there are a few more interesting and exceptional models that we have listed below.
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1. Seiko Cocktail Time
Price: $400 – $500
The Cocktail Time SRPE15J1 is famous for its incredibly eye-catching dial. This gorgeous watch, which is a member of the Prestige collection, has a lot useful features. First, there’s the sunray dial that has to be seen to be believed.
It stands out even more because of the attached logo, time markers, date window border, and pitched dauphine hands. Moreover, its steeply domed Hardlex crystal creates a fantastic vintage vibe that will undoubtedly be a characteristic that appeals to many people.
2. Seiko Samurai
Price: $400 – $500
The Samurai was first released in Seiko’s catalog in 2004 and gained popularity right away. This collection was given the fan-invented name of “Samurai” because of the pointed hands and dial markings that closely resemble those of a Samurai sword. The series has quite many interesting different dial colors, such as the SRPB51’s elegant dial tone, the SRPC07’s vibrant orange, etc.
3. Seiko Sumo
It is a member of the “Prospex” family and is known as the Sumo. Seiko has created an exceptional version of the Sumo SPB181J1 in collaboration with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). It serves as another demonstration of Seiko’s standing as a diving watch industry pioneer.
The Sumo displays Seiko’s superior finishing techniques with a beautiful look. Additionally, it has a more sophisticated movement: the 6R35 with a remarkable 70-hour power reserve and better accuracy right out of the box.
4. Seiko 5 sports
Price: $200 – $350
This is the ideal synthesis of all of Seiko’s skills. It has been tried and tested because it is the successor to the extremely popular SKX007. It has a strong, reliable movement, excellent craftsmanship, stunning appearance, and a particular characteristic that makes it special.
Try it if you’re searching for your first Seiko or if you don’t already have one of these. You’ll fall in love with this gorgeous watch in a flash.
5. Grand Seiko GMT Shosho
Price: around $6,800
The Grand Seiko is said to be a prestigious representative of Japan in the high-end watch market, which had hitherto been controlled by Swiss watchmakers. We selected a model from the “Nature Time” collection with the name Shosho, whose dial is gracefully inspired by the moving water of Japanese lakes in summer.
It features a high-beat movement that has a GMT complication. A blue hand on the interior bezel of the watch displays the time in the 2nd zone.
1. Is Seiko as good as Swiss Made?
The key difference between the Swiss and Seiko movements is that the former tends to be more aesthetically appealing, while the latter is more frequently developed with accuracy and precision in mind. Both are utilized by several watchmakers worldwide to power timepieces of all varieties.
2. Which is better, a Seiko or Casio watch?
In truth, there is no obvious answer. It actually depends on your personal preferences and requirements. Seiko and Casio watches are as stylistically unlike as it is possible to get. Casio watches are generally more contemporary and creative, whereas Seiko watches are more traditional and elegant.
Seiko is more suitable if you’re searching for a traditional, mechanical watch and sometimes a premium watch. However, Casio is the brand to choose if you’re looking for a more reasonably priced, functional watch.
3. Does Seiko make high-end watches?
The Grand Seiko luxury brand provides watches created by master watchmakers in Seiko’s two prestigious watchmaking studios using premium materials and exceptional movements. Because of its straightforward form and delicate, beautiful design, every Grand Seiko watch is easily recognizable.
4. Is Seiko high quality?
They are, of course! The company strives to provide innovative formats and styles that are perfect for the contemporary market. The word “Seiko” in Japanese meaning “exquisite” accurately describes the meticulous manner in which their items are created.
Seiko has been known for producing high-quality timepieces and having a wide range of products for more than 100 years. Their timepieces require little maintenance, combine technical accuracy with high performance, and offer aesthetic appeal as well as reliability.
The firm has a stellar reputation for accuracy, which is far greater than the typical quartz watch’s accuracy of around 15 seconds every month at 5–10 seconds per year.
5. Why do Swiss watches cost more than Japanese ones?
Because of their luxurious embellishments, silky leather, or superior precious metals, Swiss timepieces are often more expensive. Japanese watches tend to focus on practicality and functionality and always will.
6. How many years will a Seiko watch last?
Most automatic watches tend to last forever if maintained properly. The Seiko 5 is renowned for being extremely durable and keeping time regardless of being not serviced for 10 to 20 years.
7. Is Seiko a male or female watch?
Seiko is an extremely versatile brand, they manufacture watches for both men and women, but still mainly lines for men.
You shouldn’t be concerned about the problem: “Are Seiko watches still made in Japan?” because the firm has mostly produced its best watches at factories in Japan. Although some parts can be produced in Malaysia or Hong Kong, there is hardly any quality difference when all watchmaking progress is under strict supervision.
To summarize, with superior quality at an affordable price, Seiko is establishing itself as one of the most worth-buying watch brands on the market and their watches are undoubtedly excellent choices if you are planning to buy a watch.