Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pre-owned Seiko 5 Automatic

Seiko 5 Automatic

Case Polished stainless steel
Dial Color:White dial
Bracelet Brushed stainless steel
Clasp Type Deployment
Calendar Day and date display at 3:00
Movement Japan automatic, 21 jewels
Crystal Hardlex
Water Resistant 30 meters
Case Thickness 12 mm
Bracelet Width 19 mm
Series Seiko 5
Style Casual
Size Men's
Case Height 35 mm
Case Width 37 mm
Luminous Hands and dotted hour markers
Case Back:Stainless steel


Seiko History and ongoing developments

The company started in 1881, when Kintarō Hattori opened a watch and jewelry shop called "K. Hattori" (服部時計店, Hattori Tokeiten?) in the Ginza area of Tokyo, Japan. Eleven years later, in 1892, he began to produce clocks under the name Seikosha (精工舎, Seikōsha?). According to Seiko's official company history, titled "A Journey In Time: The Remarkable Story of Seiko" (2003), Seiko is a Japanese word meaning "exquisite," "minute," or "success." (The meaning "exquisite" is usually written 精巧, while the meaning "success" is usually written 成功.)

The first watches produced under the Seiko brand appeared 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 1985, Orient Watches and Seiko established a joint factory. Recognized as a leader in timekeeping accuracy, Seiko products are often used as the official timekeepers of the major sporting events, including the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup editions in Argentina 1978, Spain 1982, Mexico 1986, and Italy 1990.

Grand Quartz, produced in 1978.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 is perhaps known best, though, for its wristwatches. They are known for their advanced technology and are one of the few wristwatch manufacturers that produce all of their watches and movements entirely in-house. Even minor items such as the oils used in lubricating the watches and the luminous compounds used on the hands and the dials are produced by the Seiko factories.

Seiko produces both quartz and mechanical watches of varying prices. The least expensive are around ¥4,000 (US$45) (Alba); the most expensive (Credor JURI GBBX998) costs ¥50,000,000 (US$554,000).[2] Seiko's mechanical watches are the most prized by collectors—from the Seiko "5" series (the 5 reflects the five essential features of the watch, namely shock resistant, water resistant, automatic, and day and date display), which is the most common; the Seiko automatic Chronometer series; the "Bell-Matic," with a mechanical alarm; to the highly prized luxury "Credor," "King Seiko," and "Grand Seiko" lines. Seiko Kinetic watches account for a large proportion of sales nowadays and combine the self-energizing attributes of an automatic watch with quartz accuracy. The watch is entirely powered by its movement in everyday wear. On 7 October 2005, Seiko announced the launch of the Seiko Spring Drive, a new movement that provides 72 hours of power compared to 40 hours for mechanical and 3 years for battery powered quartz watches. This new movement uses a "Tri-synchro Regulator". The power from the spring is used to turn the gear train and a generator. The generator powers a circuit that includes a low consumption (~25 nanowatts) quartz crystal oscillator. The oscillator is a part of a continuous feedback circuit, which holds the speed of the generator close to eight revolutions per second. According to Seiko records the resulting movement delivers accuracy commensrate with other quartz timed watch movements.

Seiko Pyramid Talk, the world's first quartz talking clock, from 1984.
The Hattori Clock Tower in Ginza, Tokyo, former headquarters and main store building of K. Hattori & Co., currently houses Wako.To the frustration of collectors, Seiko does not release all of its watch lines in every region; some are exclusively available in Asia, for instance. Many online retailers will ship watches overseas, though.

Seiko Corporation of America is responsible for distribution of Seiko watches and clocks, as well as Pulsar brand watches, in the United States. The models available in the United States are normally a smaller subset of the full line produced in Japan. Seiko Corporation of America has its headquarters (and Coserv repair center) in Mahwah, New Jersey. In the United States, Seiko watches are sold primarily by fine jewelers and department stores as well as 19 company stores located in various cities.

Seiko's 2004 marketing campaign emphasized that a watch, as opposed to other traits (such as what car they drive, for example), tells the most about a person.

Various Seiko watches were worn by the cinematic James Bond 007 in four films starring Roger Moore from 1977–85. Also, a Seiko watch was worn by Sean Connery in the 1983 Bond film Never Say Never Again. A Seiko Chronograph is also worn by Jason Bourne in the book "The Bourne Identity" by Robert Ludlum.

Seiko also produces other electronic devices. Notably, during the 1980s, the company produced a range of digital synthesizers, such as the DS-250, for use in electronic music. Today, the music division, a part of Seiko Life Sports, produces metronomes & tuning devices.

SEIKO 5 - the meaning of the "5"

A great marketer had the idea in the 70ies: to be a SEIKO 5, the watch has to have the following 5 (five) attributes (thus the name SEIKO 5): 1. Automatic, 2. Water resistant, 3. Shock resistant, 4. Date, 5. Day. Please note that some SEIKO 5's are in fact SEIKO 4's, if the "Day" function is omitted, then the Caliber 7S25 is used. The only difference to the normally found 7S26 is the omission of the day wheel. Also re-issues of SEIKO 5 Sports often use the 7S36 caliber. Again the 7S36 is similar to the most popular 7S26, yet it features 23 Jewels as opposed to the 21 Jewels in the 7S26. Please note that all these movements beat at a rate of 21'600 bph (beats per hour) or 6 bps (beats per second). As a comparison, an ETA 2824-2 beats at 28'800 bph or 8 bps. A Miyota 82xx beats at 21'600 bph. Why do I mention these three movements? Because they are found in probably 80% of all inexpensive automatic wrist watches. A market share that is huge, yet challenged these days (2006) by an increasing share of inexpensive China Made automatic movements.

About the many model lines of SEIKO

SEIKO's many model lines are sometimes overlapping and there are SEIKO 5s today that do not remind much of a SEIKO 5. One example is the "Jungle Master" or "Land Shark" line of watches that do not have much in common with the classic SEIKO 5s but rather look like expensive sports watches. It gets much more complicated if you try to separate PROSPEX models. The reason is simply the history of the development of the lines. Sometimes a model has been re-issued and at the same time changed the line. And of course today, there are many SEIKOs that are automatic, water and shock resistant, offer date and day but are not called SEIKO 5. The SEIKO 5 label was created at a time where those 5 attributes were normally found only in much more expensive wrist watches.

Short SEIKO History

I will not say a lot about Japan's Nr. 1 watch company, because SEIKO's history speaks for itself: great tradition in watch making, legendary quality at affordable prices, a flood of new models and innovations have made SEIKO the undisputed leading Japanese watch company. Started as Hattori Seiko Co. at the beginning of the last century. First American parts were assembled to inexpensive (military) watches. After all, a lot of Japanese soldiers needed to be equipped with inexpensive but reliable watches in WW I and WW II. At the same time, American machinery and tools were bought and Japan started manufacturing their own movements and parts. Besides the Swatch Group of Switzerland, the umbrella that holds brands like Omega and ETA, Seiko is today the only watch manufacturer that produces all components. And there are only two companies left in the watch world, that produce e.g. their quartz crystals themselves: SEIKO and ETA.
Well, lately - 2002 to 2003 - Citizen is giving SEIKO a hard time in the market of the analog quartz watches. Citizen's Eco Drives have been very successful with the introduction of the Duratect surface hardening technology for Titanium and stainless steel. In addition, Citizen has managed to hire some designer talent it seems. It really started with the 2002 catalogue.
Grand Seiko is the top tier of Seiko. Grand Seikos were hardly known outside the island before the internet bridged boundaries. Another upper tier watch brand hardly heard off outside Japan is the CREDOR line. Also interesting, in Japan, SEIKO (and all other Japanese brands for that matter) offers a lot more models and lines and even sub brands then on the international markets.

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