Seiko is a Japanese holding company that holds subsidiaries which manufacture and sells watches, clocks, electronic devices, semiconductors, jewellery and other optical products.
The company was founded in 1881, when Kintarō Hattori opened a watch and jewellery shop called “K. Hattori” in the Ginza area of Tokyo, Japan. Eleven years later, in the year 1892, he began to produce clocks under the name Seikosha.
In 1969, Seiko introduced the world’s first production quartz watch Astron. When it was introduced, it cost so high, the same as a medium-sized car.
Seiko later went on to introduce the first quartz chronograph. Later in the late 1980s, Seiko produced the first Kinetic watch that combined the self-energizing attributes of an automatic watch with quartz accuracy. The watch is entirely powered by its movement in everyday wear.
The company was incorporated and was then renamed Hattori Seiko Co., Ltd. in 1983 and Seiko Corporation in the year 1990. Seiko produces watches with quartz, kinetic, solar, and mechanical watches of varying prices. The first Grand Seiko was released in the year 1960.
On December 25, 1969, Seiko released the world’s first quartz watch, the Seiko Quartz Astron. During the ten years of development period at Suwa Seikosha, Seiko manages to create many parts which enabled viable application of quartz on the wristwatch. For example, Seiko cut the crystal oscillator into the shape of a tuning-fork, developed integrated circuit and step motor to properly operate the signals from the crystal oscillator.
In 1973, Seiko announced the world’s first LCD quartz watch with the six-digit digital display. In 1975, Seiko launched the world’s first multi-function digital watch. In 1978, Seiko released the Twin Quartz Watch to address the impact of temperature on the frequency of the quartz crystal oscillator, which put a limitation on the accuracy of the quartz watch. Seiko put the second crystal in the watch that’s linked with a processor that detects the change in temperature and signals the main oscillator to compensate. The result was a huge improvement in the watch’s accuracy.
In 1988, Seiko combined the automatic with electric watch making with Seiko Kinetic, a journey that’s powered by the user and transform the energy into electricity for the quartz movement.
Seiko is also named as the official timekeeper of the Gran Turismo racing game series, published by Sony Computer Entertainment. Seiko also produces other electronic devices. The company produced a range of digital synthesisers for use in electronic music. Today, the music division, a part of Seiko Life Sports, produces metronomes and tuning devices.