The history of Seiko is the history of a family-owned business involving three generations of the Hattori family, under whose guidance the company has prospered for more than 135 years. Under the present Chairman, Shinji Hattori, the grandson of the founder, Kintaro Hattori, the company has recently studied how best it can respond to the challenge of the 21st century with a new vision, philosophy and structure. The first era of Seiko embraced the pioneering days, the creation of new factories and the manufacture of various types of timepieces for the first time in Japan. The second era started in the second half of the 20th century when the company began to open important export markets. The third era began with an explosion in sales and production after the company’s historic launch of the world’s first quartz watches in 1969. The fourth era saw the company expand its brand portfolio, create a global network of support companies and assume global leadership in watchmaking technologies. Today, another new era beckons.
When Seiko led the world in the introduction of quartz watches in 1969 and pioneered true mass production and automation in the 1970s, they had an enormous advantage over their Swiss rivals. Ever since the early days of clock production – and after visits
to the USA at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century – Kintaro Hattori and his successors had believed in and invested in vertical integration. By the end of the 1960s, Seiko’s highly automated production lines could sort and assemble all
the parts of a watch, test and adjust them, and then case them up without the need for human intervention. It was comparatively easy to adapt this automation to the assembly of quartz watches. The hand-crafting of Grand Seiko and Credor still continued during this period of course.
SEIKO’s core values are “reliability based on quality” and “worldwide brand recognition”. SEIKO’s additional strength is as a manufacturer, with its power to combine, seamlessly and at a high level,
(a) technological development capabilities that continue to achieve world firsts and
(b) design development capabilities that can create original designs.
SEIKO, in its longstanding tradition of trustworthiness, will bring to people who are in the mainstream of society, products and services representing innovation and perfection. These products and services will encourage, impress, and instill expectations of innovation and advancement.