Seiko chronographs are known worldwide for their quality and innovation when it comes to timekeeping. Dubbing their products the “only manufacture with every watchmaking expertise since 1881,” Seiko was first established as K. Hattori and began producing wall clocks in 1892 through their Seikosha clock supply factory. Just three short years later, the pocket watch was introduced. Throughout the early 1900s, Seiko was busy improving the scope of their watches to include wristwatches and the chronograph pocket watch. By 1953, their first TV commercial aired in Japan, featuring a small chicken fiddling with a desk clock!
Seiko’s next challenge? Incorporating quartz timekeeping into their already world renowned watches. By 1969, the Quartz Astron was introduced, incorporating the piezoelectric effect of crystals to keep time. According to Seiko, “the accurate tick is generated by…an electric current [passing] across a quartz crystal, vibrating in a regular way at lightning speed”. The effect itself was first observed in 1880 and implemented in 1927, but was only made practical by Seiko in the late 1960s. It boasted a crystal shape affixed with springs and vacuum sealed to resist shock and temperature change, a long-lasting battery, and miniaturized parts that were finally small enough for the everyman.
A short time after the quartz mechanism was introduced, it was being used many different types of digital and dress watches and the patent for it’s design was even made open for other companies to use. Seiko’s technology was soon used in applications for personal computers, vehicles, digital cameras, televisions, and more.
Now, in the 21st century, Seiko has several lines of watches including Grand Seiko, Anata, Sportura, and many more, allowing anyone to find the watch that fits their needs, personality, and style. They all have one thing in common, however: they all live up to Seiko’s high standard of excellence that they have been perfecting since 1881.