[WORLDKINGS] Top 100 companies over 100-years and still in business – P61 - Seiko Holdings Corporation (Japan): Asian famous watch manufacturer with 139 years of history (1881)

01-10-2020

(WorldKings.org) The story of Seiko began in 1881, when a 21-year-old entrepreneur, Kintaro Hattori, opened a shop selling and repairing watches and clocks in central Tokyo. Today, after more than 130 years of innovation, Kintaro Hattori’s company is still dedicated to the perfection that the founder always strove to achieve.

 

 

The story of Seiko began in 1881, when a 21-year-old entrepreneur, Kintaro Hattori, opened a shop selling and repairing watches and clocks in central Tokyo. Just eleven years later, in 1892, he established the 'Seikosha' factory.

In 1892 Kintaro Hattori bought a disused factory in Tokyo and Seikosha was formed (In Japanese, "Seiko" means "exquisite", "minute" or "success" and "sha" means house). It was here that Kintaro Hattori produced his first clocks and these marked the beginnings of a company that was to become one of the world's most important manufacturers of timepieces.

 

 

Throughout the 1890s, the success of Seikosha's wall clock business increased, and Kintaro looked to broaden the range of his business. In 1895, he created a pocket watch, the Timekeeper. It was a vital step forward, without which the future of Seiko would have been very different as it paved the way for Japan's first ever wristwatch.

At the beginning of the Taisho Era, pocket watches were still very popular and there were only a few wristwatches imported to Japan. Kintaro, however, was determined to be 'one step ahead' and embarked on the arduous task of creating Japan's first ever wristwatch. In 1913, he succeeded and the Laurel was produced.

 

 

In order to avoid an ill omen believed to be associated with the word "GLORY" in Japanese, Seikosha changed its trademark to "SEIKO" in 1924. In 1969, Seiko introduced the Astron, the world's first production quartz watch; when it was introduced, it cost the same as a medium-sized car. Seiko later went on to introduce the first quartz chronograph.

 

 

In the late 1980s, Seiko produced the first automatic quartz that combined the self-energizing attributes of an automatic watch with quartz accuracy. The watch is entirely powered by its movement in everyday wear. In 1991, to increase popularity, these watches were relaunched under the name Seiko Kinetic.

 

 

The company was incorporated (K. Hattori & Co., Ltd.) in 1917 and was renamed Hattori Seiko Co., Ltd. in 1983 and Seiko Corporation in 1990. After reconstructing and creating its operating subsidiaries (such as Seiko Watch Corporation and Seiko Clock Inc.), it became a holding company in 2001 and was renamed Seiko Holdings Corporation as of July 1, 2007.

 

 

Seiko watches were originally produced by two different subsidiaries. One was Daini Seikosha Co.,(now known as Seiko Instruments Inc.), and the other was Suwa Seikosha Co.(now known as Seiko Epson Corporation). Having two companies both producing the same brand of watch enabled Seiko to improve technology through competition and hedge risk. It also reduced the risk of production problems, since one company can increase production in the case of decreased production in the other parties.

Today, Seiko produces watches with quartz, kinetic, solar, and mechanical movements of varying prices, ranging from around ¥4,000 (US$45) to ¥50,000,000 (US$554,000).To separate the customer groups, Seiko has created many different brands in Japan and the international market including Lorus, Pulsar, and Alba.

According to en.wikipedia and en.wikipedia


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