The story of Seiko began in 1881, when a 21 year old entrepreneur, Kintaro Hattori, opened a shop selling and repairing watches and clocks in central Tokyo. Just eleven years later, in 1892, he established the 'Seikosha' factory. (In Japanese, "Seiko" means "exquisite", "minute" or "success" and "sha" means house). It was here that Kintaro Hattori produced his first clocks and these marked the beginnings of a company that was to become one of the world's most important manufacturers of timepieces.
Throughout the 1890's, the success of Seikosha's wall clock business increased, and Kintaro looked to broaden the range of his business. In 1895, he created a pocket watch, the Timekeeper.
In the beginning of the Taisho Era, pocket watches were still very popular and there were only a few wristwatches imported to Japan. Kintaro, however, was determined to be "one step ahead" and embarked on the arduous task of creating Japan's first ever wristwatch. In 1913, he succeeded and the Laurel was produced. In the early days, the company was able to produce only 30 to 50 watches per day, but, for the first time, Kintaro had established a lead on the rest.
In 1923, the Great Kanto Earthquake struck and the company's headquarters and the Seikosha factory all burned down. A fresh start had to be made. Just after the Earthquake, the company had created a new watch and it went on sale in December 1924. It was the first to carry the name Seiko, introducing to the world for the first time the brand name that was later to become synonymous with precision and accuracy, innovation and refinement.
Today, after more than 130 years of innovation, Kintaro Hattori’s company is still dedicated to the perfection that the founder always strove to achieve.