Seiko Watches: Always At The Cusp Of Technology

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The Seiko Corporation began as K. Hattori & Co., Ltd in 1881; it later became Seikosha clock supply factory and finally Seiko Corporation in 1895. The line of work was always about timepieces, initially with wall clocks, and then pocket watches.

Pocket watches which were also known as fob watches, due to the short leather strap which allowed them to be secured to the belt of a waistcoat. In 1923, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake centered under Oshima Island destroyed most of Tokyo, and the ensuing fires took away the Seiko factory and headquarters before Seiko Watches had even begun.

The Taisho Era began in Japan in 1912; the new emperor was taken as a good omen for business. The Seikosha company decided it was time to introduce a new watch, which, for the first time, used the brand name Seiko.

This branding would continue into the current day for wristwatches, while wall clocks continued under the Seikosha brand name. This new Seiko watch had a diameter of approximately 1.1 inches, tiny by current standards.

The terminology we use in describing watches can be confusing to most people. The term movement, for instance, refers to the moving parts of the watch, with exception of the hands. The most common types of movements are mechanical, quartz, and electronic. Except for the mechanical watches, very few moving parts exist within the movement.

Digital watches were first introduced to the marketplace by two separate American companies. The resulting excitement within the world of watch-making is  a revealing lesson for all businesses. While these first watches were more accurate, they had problems with high price and short lifespans. Their introduction, however, sent a spark through the Swiss watch making industry as they took another look at the quartz movement.

There are times in the business world when a maker becomes so powerful they become almost synonymous with the product they make. Swiss watch technology had so outpaced the rest of the world that they became accustomed to their place at the top of the watch-making community. The Swiss were completely dominant.

In 1925, the Swiss held an annual watch show called Baselworld to show off the many types of watches manufactured in their country. In 1967, one of the exhibitions presented their first ever quartz movement wristwatch. Because it lacked the traditional mainspring and moving parts, they considered it a novelty and did not protect the technology. This allowed the rest of the world the opportunity to strike.

With great strides in miniaturization and continued increases in accuracy, wristwatches were incredibly popular and were manufactured in a dizzying array of shapes and sizes. As time went on, extremely accurate watches were no longer the sole domain of the high end expensive watches, but rather accuracy was affordable. With the increased flexibility, the decrease in size constraints yielded, and women could color and style coordinate their watches with their clothing, and accessorizing became the norm.

The watches of today are far more than simple devices used to keep time. They are accurate enough to assist with celestial navigation and serve multiple functions as well. Other technologies advance, so the comic strip radio watch may never be financially practical, but the technology to produce it exists. Watches now come with calculators, schedulers, and many keep two time zones at a time, with specialty watches available programmed with every time zone.

Throughout the last one hundred years, watches have made surprising changes and adaptations to stay an integral piece of technology for the individual. Changing sizes, increased accuracy, and affordability have kept them a staple product for the masses.

By constantly updating the technology and paying attention to the demands for convenience, style, and functionality, wristwatches have prevented their replacement by other technological wonders. One can get the time from a laptop or cellular phone, but almost everyone still wears a watch. With Seiko Watches introducing new technology in the form of electronic ink watches, they will not be going away anytime soon.

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