Japan is thought to start copy western technology after WWII and applied it in their own technology. This thought might be true, however there is a fact that need to be considered. In 1881, a jewelry shop was openned in Tokyo by Kintaro Hattori and clocks started to be produced in 1892 under the brand name of Seikosha.
This was the start of what is today the Seiko Group, consisting of ‘Seiko Corporation’, ‘Seiko Instruments Inc’ and the ‘Seiko Epson Corporation’.
Today, Seiko Corporation produces among other things: watches, glasses, jewelery, semiconductors, precision instruments, safety razors etc…
A few milestones of Seiko watchmaking are:
1895, start of the production of pocket watches.
1913, first wristwatches for the Japanese market.
1924, first wristwatches with the brand ‘Seiko’.
1955, production of automatic winding watches for Japanese market starts.
1963, introduction of the first quartz driven portable stopwatch.
1969, production of the first quartz wristwatch.
1973, first LCD quartz wristwatch.
1988, first quartz driven watch powered by automatic generators.
1997, Seiko introduces the ‘Kinetic’ driven quartz system.
2005, Seiko introduces ‘Spring Drive’, a mechanical automatic watch with quartz regulation.
In October 2008, Richard Garriott, a well known video game designer and adventurer, was the sixth private space explorer in history visiting the International Space Station, wearing a special designed Seiko watch, the Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk. Unfortunately the planned spacewalk did not take place. But the watch was used in the Space Station.
However, the first automatic watch known to be used in space was also a Seiko, the 6139-6002. It was the astronaut William R. Pogue who took this watch to Skylab 4 in 1974. As his private watch. Astronauts are allowed to take some private stuff with them into space and a lot of them use their own watches next to the official provided watches by NASA.
As you can see, Seiko has been very innovative and uses new technology to improve their products.
Today Seiko produces watches, ranging from good quality affordable mechanical watches (Seiko 5), quartz driven watches, divers, dress watches, sports watches, etc.. up to the luxury ‘Grand Seiko’ with Spring Drive technology.
Do you like to have one? Look at eBay and use the search engines on the internet. You will not be disappointed.
Author: Thomas Vreeken.
Owner of http://www.technicsandgadgets.com.
A website with challenging gadgets for everyone.