Who are Seiko?
Seiko are a well-known watchmaking company that originated in Japan in 1881. Seiko has solidified its position as a prominent brand in the watchmaking sector and is renowned for crafting dependable timepieces offered at accessible prices. Seiko has gained admiration from both avid collectors and everyday users. They have a strong reputation for producing a range of high-quality timepieces, such as luxury watches, sports watches, and everyday watches. Seiko used to go by the name Seikosha. In Japanese, ‘Seiko’ means exquisite, minute, or success and ‘sha’ signifies ‘house’.
What is the difference between Seiko and Grand Seiko?
Seiko and Grand Seiko are both part of the Seiko Group but are managed as separate brands in order to reach different audiences in the watch industry and, therefore, have some distinctions. Grand Seiko watches generally have a higher attention to detail and their movements are more precise. Each watch is handmade and with a higher level of sophistication and design. Seiko however are still a luxury brand with extreme quality at a more affordable price.
What is Seiko’s history?
Seiko began as Seikosha in 1881 when a 21-year-old entrepreneur named Kintaro Hattori developed a store specialising in the sale and restoration of watches and clocks in central Tokyo. Eleven years later, he created the first Seikosha factory. Kintaro Hattori fashioned his original clocks in this factory which marked the beginning of a company destined to evolve into one of the globe’s leading timekeeping manufacturers.
Seikosha's wall clock enterprise then soared throughout the 1890s and in 1895, he unveiled the Timekeeper, a pocket watch of vital importance. This creation set the stage for Japan's debut wristwatch and shaped the future of Seiko. During the Taisho Era, pocket watches retained their appeal, while imported wristwatches were still rare in Japan. However Kintaro was determined, and continued to create Japan’s first wristwatch and in 1913, the Laurel was produced.
In 1923, the devastating Great Kanto Earthquake damaged the company's headquarters and the Seikosha factory. Following the aftermath of the earthquake, the company designed a new timepiece, which was introduced for sale in December 1934. This was the first watch created under the new name ‘Seiko’.
A select group of Seiko's most skilled watchmakers were given the task of making the best watch that they could, aimed to provide unrivalled accuracy and durability. This watch was made to represent the best Seiko can offer and the first Grand Seiko model was created in 1960. In 2017 Grand Seiko was established as a separate brand with an independent range of watch models with its distinctive design, character, and presentation. After over a century of advancements, Kintaro Hattori’s enterprise remains committed to achieving the pinnacle of excellence he always pursued.
What are Seiko known for?
Seiko are known for their reliable and innovative wristwatches. They have a strong reputation for producing a wide range of timepieces. They are recognised for their precision, accuracy, and craftsmanship making them a prominent and respected name in the world of horology.
Since the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, Seiko has taken immense pride in contributing to international sports through cutting-edge timing technologies and services. Seiko extends its support to an array of sports, ranging from track and field athletics (IAAF) to sailing (The 49er and 29erXX Associations). In 1985, the IAAF extended a formal invitation to Seiko to serve as its timing partner for all major international athletics championships. Since that pivotal moment, Seiko has been providing timing systems and skilled personnel to oversee 16 World Championships, 8 Indoor Championships, and many other esteemed global events.
Seiko and sustainability
As part of the Seiko Group, Seiko Watch Corporation is committed to its initiatives designed to combat climate change. In recent times, the severity and consequences of climate change have escalated significantly and there is a significant movement to do everything possible to maintain the natural beauty of the environment. This has prompted the group to actively advance the integration of renewable energy, in pursuit of attaining carbon neutrality by 2050. Seiko takes part in a wide range of environmental activities such as supporting an underwater archaeology project focused on preserving a historical site, removing fishing ghost nets around the world, and sea turtle conservation in the US.
"Keep Going Forward"
Seiko remains committed to the brand's ethos of "Keep Going Forward." Beyond the realm of watchmaking, their pursuit of challenges extends to offering support and participating in marine conservation endeavours. This helps to safeguard the Earth's oceans for present and future generations, ensuring a lasting legacy for divers worldwide. Seiko’s Divers watches have found a special place in the hearts of enthusiasts. In dedication to preserving the marine environment, Seiko's "Save the Ocean" initiative is committed to safeguarding the sea's beauty for generations to come. This involves a partnership with divers globally to combat marine debris called the "Dive Against Debris" program. This is the world's largest underwater science and clean-up campaign. This initiative has seen the participation of over 70,000 divers, who have worked together to remove and report on the debris found in the ocean. Another way Seiko watches help battle climate change is contributing to Polar research in Japan which aim to predict the impacts of global warming. Seiko donates a portion of the proceeds from the ‘Save The Ocean’ collection to help support these environmental projects. Seiko's 'Save the Ocean' collection can be found online at Deacons or feel free to visit us in our Swindon Showroom.
Seiko’s commitment extends to minimising the environmental footprint of the company and not just the products. The catalogues, product packaging, and in-store display material of Seiko are reduced, eco-friendly, and recycled which all contribute to a cleaner earth. They are also digititalising all instruction manuals and warranty certificates to gradually phase out paper copies. When paper is used, Seiko has transitioned to FSC®-certified paper for product boxes and printed materials like catalogues. An FSC® certification means that the wood products and paper originate from responsibly managed forests or appropriately sourced recycled materials, contributing to the preservation of our forests.
As well as integrating renewable energy sources into their operations, Seiko has also worked towards reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released from their factories and they employ energy conservation initiatives throughout their offices and manufacturing facilities. Currently, three of Seiko’s domestic factories use entirely hydroelectric power provided by the Tohoku Electric Power Group. They aspire to secure 100% of the electricity demand at its domestic facilities from renewable energy sources, thereby reducing its annual CO2 footprint by an estimated 10,000 tons. Seiko also delivers a superior level of post-purchase service, to ensure that customers can cherish and utilise their watches for an extended duration. This reduces the waste created by buying lots of new watches over the years due to a lack of quality and maintenance.
Why should I buy a Seiko watch?
While renowned for its luxury timepieces, Seiko also crafts watches that are budget-friendly and ideal for individuals of all genders. These affordable watches are designed by expert artisans and are made to last with the highest quality materials. Seiko is great value for money. They sell quality products at an affordable price and are available in lots of styles and colours so there is a watch for everybody.
Which Seiko watches are collectable?
Limited edition Seiko watches can be hard to find like any limited edition watch but unlike others, they can be more affordable. One of the most popular Seiko watches is the Seiko Arnie SNJ025-028. This watch is named after Arnold Schwarzenegger who wore it onscreen in Predator and Commando. Other collectable Seiko watches include the Seiko Alpinist and the Seiko Monster SRPC91.
Where are Seiko watches made?
Seiko watches are made in Japan. All products are polished and prepared to pristine condition with many of the parts being made by hand. These affordable yet durable watches go through manual quality control inspections to ensure that you are getting the best out of your luxury products.
Are Seiko watches waterproof?
The majority of Seiko watches are waterproof, but specifications vary on the model. The back of your watch case states the degree of water resistance of that particular model which can be compared on the Seiko Water Resistance chart to find out more.
How to care for a Seiko watch
You should avoid subjecting your watch to strong shocks such as dropping it on the floor and you should abide by the specifications for your specific watch model when taking it in water. Chemicals shouldn’t be used on Seiko watches as this may cause a chemical reaction and discolouration on your luxury timepiece. Instead, dirt should be wiped off with a damp soft cloth to prolong its life.