Founded in 1881 in the heart of Tokyo, Japan, Seiko’s legacy is as a true watch manufacturer covering all parts of the watch making process from design to production.
Kintaro Hattori begins selling watches
The story of Seiko began in 1881, when a 22 year old entrepreneur, Kintaro Hattori, opened a shop selling and repairing watches and clocks in central Tokyo. Just eleven years later, in 1892, he established the 'Seikosha' factory.
First wristwatch in Japan
In the beginning of the Taisho Era, pocket watches were still very popular and there were only a few wristwatches imported to Japan. Kintaro, however, was determined to be 'one step ahead' and embarked on the arduous task of creating Japan's first ever wristwatch.
Introduction of Quartz Astron
The world's first quartz watch, the Seiko Quartz Astron was introduced in Tokyo on December 25, 1969. It delivered unmatched performance. It was accurate to within 5 seconds per month, 100 times more accurate than any other watch, and it ran continuously for a year, or 250 times longer than most mechanical watches.
First analog chronograph
Seiko's mastery of quartz technology and of mechanical chronograph watchmaking came together in the creation of the world's first analog quartz chronograph. It measured elapsed time to 5/100 second and offered split time capability and a tachymeter. It was designed by the celebrated Italian car designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro.
The world's first Diver's 1000m with a ceramic outer case
The Diver's 1000m was the first watch to use ceramic material for the outer case layer. The lightweight, corrosion resistant titanium case with a remarkable one-piece structure enabled this watch to withstand depths of 1,000 meters.
The world's first Kinetic
In 1988 came a big breakthrough; Seiko KINETIC, a watch with an oscillating weight that converted the wearer's motion into electricity and thus powered the quartz movement.
Introduction of Spring Drive
Spring Drive is a technology unique to Seiko. The traditional escapement is replaced by a totally new regulator that delivers silent and smooth glide motion hands and accuracy of one second a day.
Introduction to Radio Wave Solar
Seiko commercialized solar powered radio controlled analog watches capable of receiving the standard wave of three countries (Japan, US and Germany), the first device of its type.
100th Anniversary of Seiko
When, in 1913, Seiko built its first wrist watch, the company’s president called it the Laurel. It was not only a first for Seiko, but also a first for Japan and it was the beginning of a tradition of innovation that resulted directly from Kintaro Hattori’s determination that Seiko would always be “one step ahead of the rest”. Movie shows Seiko’s historical timepieces.
Grand Seiko becomes independent
Grand Seiko has always been distinct in its design, character, presentation and, more recently, its calibers. In order to further reinforce its unique appeal and to reach out to a wider audience, it was decided to take one step further and presenting Grand Seiko as an entirely separate brand.