If you think that Switzerland has the monopoly in timekeeping, we are more than happy to inform you that you cannot be more wrong. In the Far East, one country stands out from the rest—Japan.
Japan is not only your trusted source on efficient cars, durable electronics and beloved gaming consoles, but it is also the Asian cradle of a respected watchmaking industry that manufactures timepieces that are plush as they are robust. A single piece can survive the harshest of conditions you put it through. They are leaders instead of followers in introducing sophisticated features, such as the use incorruptible of materials and satellite technology so your watch self-adapts to the time zone, definitely an edge over Western competition. It’s worth checking out the top brands the country has to offer as well as their top choices should you be sold to shop for one.
Top Japanese Watch Brand: Seiko
Who will ever go wrong with a brand that promises to be one step ahead of the rest? The company name itself is a giveaway, as it translates to “House of Exquisite Workmanship” in English, which is more than apt considering its legacy. Seiko, the original Japanese watch, has proven this time and again in its continuous undertaking of timepieces innovation, developing breakthrough technologies for quartz watches, kinetic watches and GPS solar watches.
Since 1881, when the watch conglomerate was still a fledgling watch and clocks shop in Tokyo’s Ginza District, it has already begun in creating and repairing exquisite timepieces. Japan’s first ever wristwatch, the Laurel, introduced in 1913, was a commercial success for Seiko right after the First World War when the world clamored for wristwatches. Global attention followed after Seiko dominated observatory competition for accuracy in Switzerland (an event almost as similar and as grand as the Formula 1 for automobiles), and soon after, introduced the world’s first ever quartz watch in 1969.
Today, Seiko remains more than just a timepiece pioneer as the brand’s top-of-the-game watches continue to threaten its Western competitors. Its in-house watchmaking processes, including its traditional polishing technique, zaratsu, is still one of the world’s best, making its timepieces the most accurate and aesthetically pleasing in the world. Watch out, Seiko’s global domination is only starting.
Grand Seiko SBGA101
One word: timeless. This exquisite timepiece boasts of Spring Drive, Grand Seiko’s third movement mechanism that combines the motive force of a mainspring with the high precision of a quartz watch.
Grand Seiko Diver:
No wonder professional divers are clamoring for this timepiece as it features Caliber 9S85 which has a precision of +5 to -3 a day. Built to withstand pressure, divers with this watch can definitely explore the waters of 600 meters deep.
Seiko Men’s SKX009K2:
Stylish yet functional, this watch can be worn while enjoying professional marine activities and serious water sports as it is water resistant to 200 meters. The watch also features a two-toned unidirectional bezel and blue dial, a day/date window and luminous hands/indices.
The Seiko Solar timepieces are the evidence of Japanese precision and in their passion for engineering. stylish beyond belief. More than that, you will not to charge batteries with these models as it is powered by solar energy.
This Seiko watch screams casual and modish at the same time, designed with a stainless steel case with scratch resistant sapphire glass, a screw down crown, and a crocodile-patterned brown leather strap.
#2 Japanese Watch Brand: Casio
When building your watch collection, there is one timepiece you should not forget: a reliable watch that is sure to last for a lifetime. As such, the indestructible Casio watches should be the first on your list especially since their wide range of collection features impeccable style, and extraordinary performance.
More than just timepieces, Casio is a manufacturer of a number of electronics and devices that gained prominence in the 90’s. Founded by Tadao Kashio, an engineer by profession, Casio was able to produce calculators, musical instruments, cameras, and of course, watches. Among all its products, it is perhaps the G-shock that we are most familiar with. For almost 35 years now, it has never failed to impress with its striking array of designs and durability.
Baby-G, the more compact and feminine sister of the G-Shock range, is a frequent to celebrities’ wrists. Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga are some of the stars that chose Baby-G’s gorgeous light colors and aesthetics. Needless to say, numerous collaborations with celebrities, and even with the US Armed Forces, ensued right away. And you know it’s a good sign when even the stars choose the versatility that Casio provides.
Casio G Shock
With a rugged design, the average G-shock is definitely shock resistant and has a 200-meter water resistant and is a must have for the guy whose middle name is “impressive”. The G-Shock usually comes with big Analog-Digital display and is the perfect companion for the most challenging activities.
Casio Pro Trek:
As a company with a cutting-edge technology, the Solar powered Pro Trek watch with its easy-one-touch operation of its Altimeter/Barometer, Compass and Thermometer is sure to saturate the market.
Boasting style and features, the Casio Edifice, in all its stainless steel an multi-function chronograph glories is a watch you should not miss. Also, this watch offers you a water resistance of up to 100 meters.
Great for casual wear, the Casio Digital amazes with its daily alarm, hourly time signal and auto calendar functions with extremely affordable pricing. The Casio Digital watch is by far the best investment you can make when buying your first watch.
With an approximate battery life of 10 months, that may even last up to 23 months, without full exposure to sunlight, you are getting a wise investment for your money with this watch. Its LED light with afterglow, and neo-brite luminous hands are just added bonus to this watch’s overall impressive function.
#3 Japanese Watch Brand: Citizen
While most rivals, especially fellow Japanese brands, are top contenders for Citizen when it comes to quality, few can match the watchmaker’s wide array of items. The brand sets itself apart by having a collection that appeals to every taste, occasion and budget. From the glitzy and dressy to the technical and clear-cut, there will always be something that will let you get the most bang out of your buck.
Besides its many offerings, the Japanese watchmaker is also a global leader and innovator of the craft, maintaining the accuracy of its timekeeping in all shapes and forms. Its Eco Drive technology is probably the most notable of all that it has introduced—the watches are made to last and need no battery replacements, thanks to its power being dependent on light. This innovation has won Citizen many awards as well as the envy and admiration of other brands.
Citizen has proven itself adept in its use of quartz for many decades, but is now also proving to set its sights into the future, especially with its acquisition of the kindred Swiss company Manufacture La Joux-Perret, which has many luxury goods as clients under its wing.
Citizen Eco-Drive AW1361-10H
Get yourself some of that vintage charm with this Citizen watch that brings to mind an old-timey aviator style. It has leather with contrast stitching for a strap, and will go swimmingly with similarly colored clothes.
Citizen BL5250-02L Titanium Eco-Drive
Made with an active man with a certain fondness for water sports, this water-resisitant Citizen watch is made of titanium and can be subdued up to 600 feet.
Citizen BJ7000-52E Nighthawk Eco-Drive
This Citizen is a handsome piece that boasts of the brand’s Eco-Drive technology and a dual-time capability, perfect for the serious watch collector and the man who is always on the go.
Citizen ‘Promaster Diver’ BN0150-28E
Citizen is true to its promise of infusing technology with beauty, as seen in this diving watch that needs no battery replacement and is easily readable, thanks to its luminous watches.
Enjoy a timepiece for the man of refined tastes even on the weekend. The stainless steel watch maintains accurate timekeeping and complements your ensemble no matter the style.
#4 Japanese Watch Brand: Orient
Orient is the name that completes the biggest watch companies in Japan. The youngest among the four, it focuses more on mechanical watches than it does quartz, which makes it stand out from the local competition. It is also the brand of choice for the classic man—even though there are contemporary and sporty options, Orient is best known for its classic watches that appeal to men fond of timeless staples and rich details.
At the forefront of mechanical watchmaking, Orient’s focus is on producing watches that are long-lasting but also fairly priced. The Japanese obsession with accuracy, quality and sensible design is evident in its timepieces. Parts of the watches are meticulously made in-house so it could give fans and customers the highest quality possible.
Orient 2nd Gen. Bambino Ver. 1′ FAC00005W0
You can effortlessly identify Orient’s Bambino through its domed design, both in the crystal and the dial.
Orient ‘Polaris GMT’ FDJ05003W0
The frequent traveler would truly benefit from Orient’s dual time watch, as you could know what time it currently is at your destination and how many hours are left before you could call back home in an instant.
Orient ‘Ray II’ FA002004B9
Orient Ray is an improved timepiece that has the features of self-winding and hand-winding, and is projected to be the company’s next bestseller.
Orient Blue Mako XL Automatic Dive Watch CEM75002D
The original Mako may be a fan favorite, but this version promises to be bigger, stronger and better, so watch out.
Orient Smart Disk Rainbow Automatic WV0761ER
Enjoy a sleek exterior and a colorful dial in one with this Orient watch that is precise in its timekeeping and the exact opposite of boring with its rainbow theme.
The Swiss may boast of their refined aesthetics, but the Japanese continues to live by its values of efficiency and practicality with its exports. You can trust that each manufactured watch will stay with you for a lifetime, granted that you aren’t careless with them and that they don’t attract the attention of thieves.
Featured image credit: Nor Gal / Shutterstock