Seiko watches are nothing to scoff at. Sure, the watch industry may be ruled by the Swiss manufacturers, but companies like Seiko have been able to create a niche for themselves. This is primarily due to their exceptional craftsmanship and value for money. Seiko isn’t a company that only makes simple quartz watches. It offers everything from mechanical watches to divers watches. Its lineup consists of timepieces that can easily compete with Swiss watches.
Seiko Watches Full Guide
The History of Seiko
Seiko has a long and storied history. The company got its start in Japan back in 1881 as a watch and jewelry shop. “Seiko” itself means “exquisite” in Japanese. The very first watches produced under this brand hit the market in 1924. The company is highly regarded for bringing the quartz revolution, which forever changed the watch industry. Seiko’s Astron was the first production quartz watch in the world when it was introduced in 1969. Seiko eventually released the first quartz chronograph as well.
Seiko is no stranger to making automatic watches as well. The company produced the first automatic quartz movement as well, which combined the self-energizing quality of an automatic watch with the accuracy afforded by quartz. It has since significantly expanded its product catalog which includes watches with kinetic, quartz, solar, and mechanical movements. It offers products across different price ranges that range from $45 to over $500,000. Some of its most well-regarded product lines include the Seiko Prospex, Presage, and the Grand Seiko.
One of the main reasons why Seiko is much loved by the world over is because of the robust nature of its men’s watches and women’s watches. Even some of its most affordable models are known to be sturdy enough to last a lifetime. A Seiko timepiece is always a good buy as the watch is undoubtedly going to last you a long time.
Seiko’s Best Collections
Fans of the brand much love the Seiko Prospex collection. It offers stylish and durable tool watches at a very affordable price point. Prospex stands for “professional specifications.” This collection of professional watches was launched in 1965 with it being further divided into Sea, Land, Sky, and Street.
Take the Prospex LX line, for example, it’s regarded as the true spirit of Seiko, a timepiece that’s at the pinnacle of sport on land, at sea, and in the sky. The “LX” moniker hints at the Latin word for light and subtly nods at the way that light is reflected in the flat and broad surfaces of the case. Seiko developed the LX line in partnership with Ken Okuyama Design, and it retains the design elements of a true Seiko with a contemporary feel.
The Prospex collection has watches like the Ref. SNR031J1 which is a professional 300m diver’s watch with a spring drive movement. A power reserve display is also present on the dial. The case itself is made from Titanium. It’s a robust sports watch at a price point that’s competitive against similar products from Swiss manufacturers.
This collection also includes automatic diving watches such as the Seiko ‘Save The Ocean models. Ref. SRPD21 Ref. SRPD23 feature bright blue dials and intricate wave patterns and 200m water resistance in a stainless steel case. This watch holds a special place in many Seiko fans’ hearts because the proceeds from the sales go to the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center. It’s a non-profit that raises awareness for methods to protect marine life and ocean habitats. Their exceptional value for divers watches at just $525.
The Presage collection has timepieces that can hold their own against some of the best luxury watches on the market; dress watches to be precise. The collection offers everything from modern and classic styles to retro designs that are a sure hit with aficionados. Seiko often releases limited-edition models of the Presage that include parts manufactured in the Grand Seiko studios.
Seiko’s concept behind this collection is to combine a Japanese aesthetic sense with traditional craftsmanship with the company’s exceptional watchmaking skills to provide everlasting performance. It’s further divided into Prestige and Basic lines so the collection can cater to a broader range of customers.
Ref. SPB091J1 is one such example from the Prestige line. It has an automatic movement with manual winding capacity and a power reserve display on the dial. At 40.5mm, it’s the perfect size for a modern dress watch with a stainless steel bracelet. This is one of the best stainless steel watches that you can get from Seiko. At $2,000, it’s very competitively priced given the kind of movement that it has.
The Basic line of the Presage collection is much loved for its “Cocktail” watches like the Ref. SRPB43J1. This 40.5mm timepiece also has an automatic movement with manual wind capacity. The dial has a date display, and there’s even a stop second-hand function. The cow steer band is held in place with a three-fold clasp that has a push-button release. The watch sits nicely on the wrist and will easily slip under the cuff of a dress shirt, making it an exceptional value as it generally sells for under $400.
The Seiko Premier collection is meant for both men and women that are looking for elegant dress watches. These timepieces combine a classic and modern design with Seiko’s innovative technology to create some truly stunning watches.
The Ref. SSA375 is particularly noteworthy. It’s a limited edition automatic skeleton watch that was designed for tennis superstar Novak Djokovic. This is the watch that’s designed to be worn by him out on the tennis court. The 42.9mm watch has a racquet motif on the dial with an “open heart” window which showcases the balance wheel of the movement. It also carries Novak’s signature on the case back and his “D” emblem on the brown. Seiko made 2,000 units of the black dial version and 3,000 of the one with the rose gold-tone case.
Seiko is a company that has single-handedly taken on the Swiss watch industry and remains competitive to this day. It’s living proof that it is indeed possible to take on the Swiss behemoths as long as you’re innovative and true to your craft. Seiko has remained quintessentially Japanese in this respect, focusing less on branding and creating hype and more on manufacturing truly robust timepieces that are an excellent value. A Seiko watch is certainly very capable of lasting you a lifetime. Some of its more complicated pieces offer incredible value for money that’s unmatched by some of its closest competitors.
You should have absolutely no qualms about acquiring a Seiko as your next watch. Be it a diver’s watch, a dress watch or any one of its many respectable timepieces from the various collections. Many of the brand’s fans would go on to say that no watch collection will be complete if it doesn’t have a couple of Seiko timepieces. The more you think about it, and the more you look into what Seiko has achieved throughout its long and storied history, the more you realize that statement to be accurate.