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Seiko Watch History

Seiko Watch History

Our Heritage

History of the only manufacture with every watchmaking expertise. The Seiko watch history began in 1881, when a 21 year old entrepreneur, Kintaro Hattori, opened a shop selling and repairing watches and clocks in central Tokyo.

Today, after more than 130 years of innovation, Kintaro Hattori’s company is
still dedicated to the perfection that the founder always strove to achieve.

On the following pages you can explore Seiko’s long history
and see many of our landmark watches.

Introduction of the world’s first multi-function digital watch cal. 0634.

In 1975 Seiko launched the world’s first digital quartz watch with a chronograph, the 0634. It could record time to 1/10 of a second and had a lap time function. It also incorporated an internal light, so that it could be seen clearly in the dark. It became a huge hit and created the market for high-function digital watches.

Introduced the world’s first TV Seiko watch.

The world’s first watch designed with both a tuner and headphone jack for watching TV at any time or place. Also equipped with an FM radio, together with all of the standard watch functions such as alarm, chronograph, and calendar.

Introduction of the world’s first analog quartz Seiko watch with 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.

 

Introduction of the world’s first watch with computer functions UC-2000.

After introducing the world’s first TV watch, Seiko introduced a wrist computer that stored data. It was the first of its kind. It had memory of up to 2,000 characters and could store telephone numbers and addresses as well as a diary or schedule for up to one month. The Seiko wrist computer marked the beginning of the age of portable information devices.

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Longines

Longines

For nearly a century and a half, Longines has been crafting precision timepieces out of its workshop high in the Jura mountains designed to serve the needs of adventurers of all stripes. While the brand with the winged hourglass may be most strongly associated with aviation’s early pioneers, Longines has carved its own place in history across countless ventures where precision timing is critical to success. From motorsports to horse racing to alpine skiing, Longines been a crucial part of all these endeavors. When SCUBA diving rose to prominence in the 1950s and 60s, capturing the public’s imagination and ushering in an era of underwater exploration, Longines was once again in the thick of it, producing precision dive watches at home on the wrists of professional and recreational divers alike. The Longines Legend Diver was born from this era, and its newest incarnation doubles down on the vintage styling by reimagining the Legend Diver with a bronze case and deep-green gradient dial.

While the Legend Diver can trace its lineage back to skin divers produced by Longines in the 1950s, the modern incarnation of the line is based on an iconic reference from 1960, the Longines reference 7042. This period in the mid-century was an era of exploration and experimentation, and not just underwater but in watch construction and design, as well. The 7042 was no exception, featuring an oversized (42mm) super-compressor case, inner-rotating bezel, and luminous hands and markers. The super-compressor design is a clever bit of engineering, whereby increasing water pressure increases pressure on the seals — the deeper you go, the tighter the seal. The case design, internal bezel, and dual hash-marked crowns are hallmarks of this style, and these aesthetic cues are all embraced in the current line of Longines Legend Divers.

Since Longines reissued the reference 7042 in the Longines Legend Diver, the watch has become a staple in the brand’s Heritage line, and Longines has produced several iterations in different sizes and finishes. This newest model marks a major departure in both case material and dial color, yet the bronze case and gradient green dial are a natural, organic fit for the watch’s vintage styling. Bronze is an ideal case material for this throwback design, evoking the grandeur and mystique of the early days of skin diving. In addition, bronze allows for an intimate ownership experience, as the watch will naturally patina over time, creating natural shifts in hue and texture that make each watch one-of-a-kind, telling the story of your adventures. Of course, the patina can be easily cleaned off and removed in a matter of minutes, allowing you to reset the clock and tell a new story.

Despite the vintage styling, the bronze Longines Legend Diver doesn’t overlook practicality and modern accouterments. The original reference 7042 featured a Plexiglas crystal, but in the modern iteration, Longines has opted for a highly domed box sapphire crystal that combines the warmth and charm of Plexiglas with the scratch-resistance and clarity of sapphire. Though the case is bronze, the caseback is crafted from titanium and features a re-creation of the original deeply embossed spear diver. To ensure legibility, no matter the time of day or the depth of the dive, the hands and hour markers are coated with Super-LumiNova.

The dial of the bronze Longines Legend Diver retains the styling of the rest of the line, including an internally rotating bezel, Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12, and a distinctive and extremely legible handset. What truly sets this model apart is the deep emerald-green lacquered dial, which darkens to black toward the periphery. The dial is gorgeous; combined with the gilt hands and markers and framed by the bronze case, the effect is captivating and evocative of a bygone era.

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