The History of Seiko

Back to News & Exhibitions

Watches ChicagoIf you are looking for a watch that oozes style and sophistication, there are many factors to consider in your search. Price, efficiency, the look and feel—all important variables to consider when shopping for a watch that compliments your personal style. Seiko has a long history of creating sleek watches and anyone looking for a stylish watch should definitely consider popular brand of timepiece makers, Seiko.

The History of Seiko

The Japanese word literally translates to “exquisite or success.” The Seiko Corporation is a Japanese watch company started in 1881 by Kintaro Hattori. Hattori’s first shop, K. Hatoori, sold both jewelry and watches in Japan’s Ginza area. In 1892, Hattori began manufacturing clocks under the name of Seikosha, expanding his product line. Seikosha roughly translates to “House of Exquisite Workmanship”.

Even though he began making watches in the late 19th century, his watches did not have the Seiko brand name that we know and love today until 1924. In 1969, Seiko introduced the world’s first production quartz watch to the world, the Seiko Astron. The price of an Astron wristwatch cost would be the equivalent price of a mid-sized car today. And in 1973, Seiko announced the world’s first LCD quartz wristwatch that had a six-digit, digital display.

Retired NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz wore a Seiko 5 during his career. Kranz was wearing the Seiko 5 6119-8460 when Apollo 11 reached the moon’s surface in 1969. His watch was sold in 2014, still working perfectly.

Seiko Today

Today Seiko is a popular brand that produces a variety of timekeeping styles. It’s used in some of the world’s most important events and has been used as the official timekeeping stopwatch of the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, and the International Association of Athletics Federations because of Seiko’s precision engineering.

The Seiko makes both quartz and mechanical watches. They are one of only a handful of companies that manufacture every single part of their watches in-house and are known for their technological advancements. In addition to manufacturing quartz and mechanical movement watches, Seiko also produces solar and kinetic watches as well. With the kinetic watch, the wearer powers the watch with his or her wrist movement, generating electrical energy.

The prices of Seiko watches range from several thousand dollars down to less than one-hundred dollars. Like some car manufacturers, certain Seiko watches can be available in some regions and not in others. Seiko’s United States branch is headquartered in Mahwah, New Jersey.

Many watches that are available in Asia are not available in the U.S., but you may be able to find luxury watches in Chicago through designated dealers, luxury watch repair shops, online, or in the phonebook. If you are looking to purchase a Seiko watch in Chicago, these would be the places to start your search. When it comes to style, technology, and reliability, there are few brands better than Seiko.