The great history of Seiko watches
The history of Seiko watches dates back to 1881. Kintaro Hattori, a young entrepreneur in his early twenties, opened a watch sales and repair shop in central Tokyo. More than 130 years have passed since then, and Kintaro Hattori’s company is still dedicated to the perfection and innovation that its founder wanted to implement since the company’s founding.
We are going to take a journey through the history of Seiko watches, an emblematic watch brand recognised worldwide, of which Laguarda jewellers in Barcelona are official distributors.
The first steps of Seiko watches
When the company was founded in 1892, its first name was Seikosha (in Japanese, “Seiko” means “exquisite”, “minute” or “success” and “sha” means house). Kintaro Hattori bought a factory in Tokyo and produced his first wall clocks, marking the beginning of a watchmaking company that would become one of the most important in the world.
During the 1890s, the success of the business grew. Encouraged by the success, Kintaro created a pocket watch in 1895: the Timekeeper. With this initiative he set a precedent as Japan’s first wristwatch. In 1913 he produced the Laurel model, of which the company could initially produce only 30 to 50 watches daily.
In 1929 for the first time the company’s watches bore the name Seiko, and the brand was introduced as such to the world. Over time it became synonymous with precision, accuracy, innovation and refinement. That same year the Seiko pocket watch is designated as the official “Railway Watch” of Japan National Railway. Train conductors often cut out the wooden consoles on which they placed the official pocket watch so that it would be visible while driving their trains.
Leaping forward 30 years, during which time the Japanese company was constantly innovating, in 1959 it launched the Gyro Marvel. This model was the first self-winding watch equipped with Seiko’s patented “magic lever” system, which transmitted power from the oscillating weight in both directions.
In 1992 Seiko was selected to time the Olympic Games in Europe for the first time.
From 1999 onwards
The launch of the Seiko Spring Drive watches, a spring-activated mechanical luxury watch with quartz precision, took place. The same year also saw the introduction of the Seiko Kinetic, equipped with a stopwatch function in a very exclusive design.
In 2005, the first three-band, solar-powered, analogue Radio Wave sundial, capable of receiving the standard wave from Japan, the USA and Germany, was introduced.
In 2017, another remarkable event took place: Grand Seiko became an independent brand of Seiko. Grand Seiko is distinguished by its design, character, presentation and calibres.
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