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Seiko watches: history, innovations and best 2021 models

1881: the story of SEIKO begins.

Kintaro Hattori opens a watch sales and repair shop in Ginza, Tokyo. SEIKO's story begins in 1881, when a young 22-year-old entrepreneur, Kintaro Hattori, opens his watch sales and repair shop in Tokyo.

kintaro-hattori-seiko-1881Only eleven years later, in 1982, he founded the "Seikosha" factory.

1913: introducing the Laurel, the first-ever wristwatch made in Japan.

Kintaro was determined to be "one step ahead" and embarked on the daunting task of creating the first ever Japanese wristwatch.

1913-seiko-laurelIn 1913 he achieved his goal by producing the Laurel. At first the company could only produce thirty to fifty watches a day but, for the first time, Kintaro had established a competitive advantage.

1924: the first SEIKO branded watch arrives.

1924-first-ever-seikoThis was the first to adopt the name SEIKO, presenting for the first time in the world the brand that later became synonymous with precision and accuracy, innovation and refinement.

1956: here is the "Diashock" system.

Impact protection is essential and SEIKO's solution was the creation of the Diashock, a system that absorbs the impact on one of the most fragile parts of a mechanical watch: the pivot of the balance shaft.

1956-diashockDiashock also helps reducing friction thus ensuring an optimal balance wheel's oscillation amplitude.

1969: presentation of the caliber 6139.

As the world's first automatic chronograph with a "magic lever", column wheel and vertical clutch, this was probably the first watch of its kind in the world.

1969-seiko-6139It was a milestone in SEIKO's journey to lead the chronograph making's technology.

1969: SEIKO introduces the first quartz watch in the world.

The SEIKO Quartz Astron was presented in Tokyo on December 25, 1969. It offered unparalleled performance.

1969-seiko-quartz-astronIt had an accuracy of +/- 5 seconds per month, a hundred times more accurate than any other watch, and worked unstoppably for a year, which is 250 times longer than most mechanical watches. The quartz revolution had begun.

1983: the world's first analog quartz watch with chronograph.

The mastery of the quartz technology and watchmaking of SEIKO mechanical chronographs came together in the creation of the world's first analog quartz chronograph.

1983-seiko-first-analog-quartz-watch-with-chronographCapable of measuring time up to five hundredths of a second, with intermediate time and a tachometer. Designed by the famous Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro.

1999: the launch of the Spring Drive technology.

The Spring Drive movement is a SEIKO's exclusive.

1999-first-seiko-spring-driveThe traditional escapement is replaced by a completely new regulator that powers non-ticking hands providing a smooth sliding movement (called "glide motion") and a precision of one second a day.

2005: SEIKO presents the world's first analogue solar-powered watch with three-band radio control.

SEIKO introduces analogue radio-controlled solar-powered watches capable of receiving the standard wave of three countries (Japan, United States and Germany).

2005-world-first-analogue-solar-powered-watch-with-three-band-radio-controlIt is the first device of its kind in the world.

2012: SEIKO introduces the Astron GPS Solar, the world's first solar-powered GPS watch.

By developing its patented energy-efficient GPS receiver, SEIKO was able to create a watch that could receive GPS signals and identify time zone, date and time data using the global GPS satellite network. It recognizes all the 39 time zones on earth.

2018: SEIKO wins the "Sports Watch" Prize at the Grand prix d'Horlogerie de Genève.

Seiko-gphg-2018It is the re-edition of the 1968 SEIKO Diver 300m, the world's first Hi-Beat diving watch.

2019: SEIKO wins the "Divers Watch" prize at the Grand prix d'Horlogerie de Genève.

Seiko-gphg-2019The SEIKO Prospex LX Line wins the award for best diving watch of the year. Here is a list of the most recent SEIKO watches hands-on reviews on Horbiter®:

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