Top 10 Japanese watch brands you should know!

When it comes to watches, people usually think of Swiss watches. However, for so many years, Japan has been continuously challenging Switzerland with a series of the most innovative and most affordable watches on the market. It is not an exaggeration to say that some of Japan watch companies are now leading the global market in terms of technological design and creativity while the Swiss is still loyal with classical watchmaking.

In today’s blog, we will walk you through the list of top 10 Japanese watch brands.

Top 10 Japanese Watch Brands You Should Know!

1. Seiko

As the oldest and most prestigious Japanese watchmakers in existence, Seiko has been a major force to compete with the Swiss. In fact, Seiko, founded in 1881, is the Japan watch brand that created the world’s first quartz watch. This ground breaking invention in 1969 has marked the beginning of the quartz revolution and help Seiko earn their respect in the market. Since then, Seiko has continuously gained excellent reputation by constantly releasing the best quality watches at reasonable prices.

It is no secret that Seiko watches are popular for their high accuracy. This is the reason why Seiko watches are used in major sporting events, including the Olympics. The most famous Seiko watch lines are Seiko 5, Grand Seiko, King Seiko and Credor.

Seiko offer a wide range of collections with price ranging from $ 100 – $ 72,000.

japanese watch brands

Seiko, founded in 1881, is the Japan watch brand that created the world’s first quartz watch.

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2. Casio

Casio, founded in 1946, is a multinational consumer electronics and commercial electronics company in Japan. It entered watchmaking market in 1974 and took quite some times to reach its current status. It was not until 1983 that Casio shaken the watchmaking market when it produced G-SHOCK (DW-5000C), the world’s first shock-resistant wristwatch. Since then, Casio has never stopped innovating its products and became a trendsetter in the watch industry.

Undoubtedly, Casio is one of the best watch brands in the world. If you are looking for a high-tech watch with an affordable price, Casio is probably a great choice. In comparison with other watch brands in the same price range, Casio watches have superior quality which can easily satisfy even the most difficult customer. What made Casio watches so sought-after was their unique designs and advanced features such as shock resistance and water resistance. Especially, its G-Shock series were made from carbon fiber, which is much stronger than iron.  Another notable feature of this brand is that most of their watches use solar technology to recharge their batteries. Therefore, G-Shock series is extremely popular among sportsmen.

japanese watch brands

3. Citizen

It would be a shame if we did not mention Citizen – an Japanese watches brand. Started as an experimental watch manufacturer in 1924, Citizen has made spectacular breakthroughs, rocking the world watch market until nowadays.

While the Swiss still focus on mechanical watches, Japan is now more focused on embracing new electronic technology. In 1970, Citizen created the world’s first watch that uses Titanium which is very light, durable and rust resistance. However, the biggest milestone of Citizen is the introduction of Citizen Eco-Drive. This is a new solution in watch power usage, using natural or artificial light instead of traditional battery to create power for watches. Shockproof and waterproof capabilities also make Citizen watches perfect to wear under any condition. With these environmentally friendly products, Citizen has stepped up in the game, becoming one of the biggest  watchmaking company in the industry.

Their prices range from about $ 100 to more than $ 15,000. Citizen watches are not the most expensive on the market, but they absolutely are worth the money. In 2019, Citizen released the Caliber 0100 which is the world’s most accurate wristwatch right now.

japanese watch brands

Started as an experimental watch manufacturer in 1924, Citizen has made spectacular breakthroughs, rocking the world watch market until nowadays.

4. Knot

Next is Knot. Founded in 2014, it is a new watchmaking brand with the development history of 6 years only. However, nowadays, it is still one of the hottest Japanese watch brands, even challenging the biggest names in the industry. This small company, located in the center of Tokyo, has begun to create a buzz both in Japan and abroad thanks to their fashionable and high-quality watches.

Hiromitsu Endo, the founder of Knot, aims to provide wristwatches that truly brings out the spirit of Japanese modern lifestyle. Knot has been received positive reception from young people around the world thanks to their simple but eye-catching designs and outstanding quality. Besides, part of what makes Knot watches appealing is their affordable prices. If you are looking for a high-quality wristwatch that costs less than $ 200, Knot is the right answer for you.

japanese watch brands

Knot is one of the hottest Japanese watch brands nowadays, even challenging the biggest names in the industry.

5. Orient

Orient is a name that has been resonating in watchmaking business for nearly 70 decades. Started its journey in 1950, Orient, has constantly learn and inherit the cultural elite of the watch industry to produce watches with excellent quality. Nowadays, it is one of the most sought-after Japanese watch brands in the world. Not only being attractive for their elegant, heritage appearance, Orient watches also leave deep impression on their great durability and stability.

Currently Orient has 2 product lines: Orient and Orient Star. Although the Seiko Group owns Orient now, Orient is still a notable name among Japanese movement watch brands. The brand focuses on mechanical watches, both the self-wind and manual-winding. However, it also produces quartz and solar watch models.

japanese watch brands

Orient is a name that has been resonating in watchmaking business for nearly 70 decades

6. Minase

Next is Minase. Founded in 2005, it is a small company in comparison to all of the major brands we’ve mentioned above. However, their production are very well-known and there are many good reasons for it. Unlike other brands, Minase creates watches in Japanese traditional style. The construction of Minase watches are quite similar with wooden puzzles. It means that you can disassemble and reassemble them without harming the inner mechanics. Unique design is also part of what make Minase so special. Because of their intricacy, only around 500 watches are produced and sold every year.

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japanese watch brands

7. Hajime Asaoka

Another name in the list – Hajime Asaoka. Hajime Asaoka is an self-taught independent watchmaker. He began making watches in 2005 and introduced his first watch in 2009. Beside his incredible ability to master the knowledge of watchmaking, Hajime Asaoka is also known for making watches 100% by himself. That means that he is involved in all steps of watchmaking including design, feature development,…Over the next decade, Hajime Asaoka has continued to produce crafted masterpieces. Their prices are above 50,000$.

Japanese watch brands

Hajime Asaoka watches are above 50,000$

8. Credor

Another familiar name in the list – Credor. Credor, introduced in 1974, is a high-end watchmaking brand that has been around for ages. In fact it is a sub-brand of Seiko. At that time, Seiko wanted to design a wrist watch series that was solely made of precious metals. That’s the reason why they choose the name Credor as it comes from “Créte d’Or” (French), which means ‘’the ultimate of the gold”. Obviously, the name speaks itself perfectly.

Credor watches are among the most luxury watches in the world. They are considered masterpieces thanks to their high accuracy and lavish designs. Their prices can be up to more than 450,000$!

japanese watch brands

Each piece of The Credor Fugaku GBCC999 costs roughly 460,000$

9. Frank Miura

Similar to Knot, Frank Miura is a new name in watchmaking industry. Their products were first launched in the market in 2012. Did anything spring your mind when you first heard the brand name? Yes, it is quite similar to Franck Muller – a Swiss watchmaking brand. Though Frank Miura’s watches look quite alike with those of Franck Muller, their prices are much lower. Moreover what made Frank Miura watches truly special and unique is their unorthodox designs. You can see some animated characters or even Kanji words on the top of these watches. If you are looking for a fun, wacky but still elegant watch at an affordable price, Frank Miura is probably great choice for you.

Japanese watch brands

Similar to Knot, Frank Miura is a new name in watchmaking industry

10. Grand Seiko

Grand Seiko, launched in December 1960, is a high-end japan watches brand. Along with Credor, it is a sub-brand of Seiko. The brand aims to bring out creative but practical inspiration. Since the begining, the engineering team of Grand Seiko has been determined to create the most advanced watch in the world.

In terms of luxury appearance and high precision, it is no exaggeration to say that hardly no Japanese watches can compete with the Grand Seiko watches. Though their prices can be up to 72,000 $, it is not a waste of money to buy it. With all advanced features and lavish design, Grand Seiko watch can definitely prove that your money was spent wisely.

Japanese watch brands

Grand Seiko, launched in December 1960, is a high-end japan watches brand


So that’s top 10 Japanese watch brands you should know. Hopefully, this blog can give you enough information to pick the right watch for yourself.

And now you probably understand why Japan can be a threaten to Swiss in watchmaking industry right? If you have any question or concern, please share with us in comment section.

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About Hayami Mori

Hayami Mori is an awesome travel blogger & photographer. She was born and raised in Tokyo and have been here for nearly 25 years. She loves traveling and always wants to introduce her beautiful Japan to travelers from all over the world. Therefore, her blog is a great source of information for people looking for what to do in Japan as well as provides some tips to make their trips unforgettable.