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.
When Kintaro Hattori founded his company in 1881, he was just 21 years old. During his fifty years at the helm, Seiko became the leading watch company in Japan, with its own design and production facilities. This achievement was a direct result of his single-minded vision that Seiko should be “Always one step ahead of the rest”. His words resonate still and continue to inspire Seiko today. Throughout this year, Seiko will release a series of creations that embody the spirit of Kintaro’s words and honour the 140th anniversary of the founding of his company.
The celebrations start with a series of Seiko Prospex, Presage and Astron watches inspired by the landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes of Japan.
The island of Iriomote in Okinawa Prefecture attracts divers from all over Japan and elsewhere.
Its abundant coral reefs teem with marine life but the island’s special charm lies in the primeval and pristine mangrove forests that surround it. Further, Iriomote is home to several species of flora and fauna that are rare and, in some instances, unique to the island. With its reefs, jungle, mangrove forests, beaches, rivers and waterfalls, Iriomote is an island of rich and varied beauty whose verdant nature is reflected in the deep green of the dials in this new series of timepieces.
The two mechanical watches in this Iriomote-inspired series are based on Seiko’s celebrated 1968 diver’s. One is a 300 meter water resistant, eight beat diver’s watch with a unique onepiece case structure. Suitable for saturation as well as air diving, it is made, assembled and adjusted by the skilled craftsmen and women of Shizukuishi and powered by Calibre 8L35, which was created especially for diver’s watches. The second mechanical watch is a contemporary reinvention of the 1968 original. It houses a six beat calibre and is 200 meter water resistant.
Both are offered as limited editions, of 3,000 and 6,000 respectively. The third watch in the series is a 200m solar chronograph. It, too, is a limited edition of 4,000. All three are presented on stainless steel bracelets but are also accompanied by an extra silicone strap. All three watches will be available in March at Seiko Boutiques and selected Seiko retailers worldwide.
A Presage Sharp Edged Series automatic watch, inspired by the Tokyo dawn.
Created in 2020, the Presage Sharp Edged Series combines flat surfaces with sharp angles that, together, allow the watch to sparkle wherever the light strikes. Like others in this series, this new creation has an Asanoha or hemp leaf pattern that has been used for a thousand years and more in Japanese fabrics. The gold color accents of the indexes and hands are set onto a black dial so as to be reminiscent of the sunlight that illuminates Tokyo in the early dawn. Whether on the stainless steel bracelet or the alternative black leather strap that is also included, this automatic Presage timepiece offers a very different, modern perspective on Japanese aesthetics. It is a limited edition of 4,000 and will be available in February at Seiko Boutiques and selected Seiko retailers worldwide.
Astron captures the beauty of cherry blossom by night.
The Japanese enchantment with cherry blossom extends far beyond the daylight hours. Yozakura is the name given to these ephemeral but beautiful flowers when, seen under a star-lit sky, they give an ethereal and magical glow to the space around them. With a black case and bracelet acting as the night sky, the purple dial with its pink hue captures the beauty of Yozakura. This subtly coloured dial becomes darker towards the six o’clock position, adding a mysterious depth and enhancing the illusion that it is a gentle spring evening in Japan. The case has the same curved silhouette and the same wide case lugs as the 1969 Quartz Astron and houses the latest and most advanced GPS Solar Dual-Time Calibre 5X53 which adjusts to the exact time anywhere* in the world, using just the power of light and offers both high speed time zone adjustment and time transfer functions. This unique Astron watch will be available as a limited edition of 1,500 at Seiko Boutiques and selected Seiko retailers worldwide in February 2021.