A Journey in Time, the Remarkable Story of Seiko

Cover - A Journey in Time

Author: John Goodall
Publisher: Seiko Watch Corporation - Produced by Good Impressions, St Albans, Hertfordshire, UK.
Published: 2003
Pages: 114
ISBN-10: N/A
EAN-13: N/A
Size: 225 x 260 x 18mm
Language: English
Rarity: 3
Recommended: 5

Content: This is the official history of Seiko released by the company in 2003. It covers the beginnings of the company, competition with the Swiss, Grand Seiko, quartz technology, Kinetic watches, the Grammar of Design, global designer partnerships, sports watches, sports timing, innovation and the Institute of Horology.

The book is divided into the following chapters.

  • Humble Beginnings Create a Sound Foundation
  • Innovation and Refinement
  • The Development Years
  • Competition Spurned Seiko to New Heights
  • The Pinnacle of Mechanical Excellence
  • The Day that Changed the History of Time
  • Kinetic Watches - All That is Best in Seiko Technology
  • The 'Grammar of Design'
  • The Influence of Global Design
  • Sports Watches That Go To Extremes
  • Sports Timing - The Measure of Greatness
  • The Innovation Goes On
  • The Guardians of Time

Comments: The book was originally provided in a white hard slip case that has no markings. A PDF version of this file is available on the web and can be found with a google search.


The World's Strongest Watch, Mechatronics Group Seiko

Cover- The World's Strongest Watch, Mechatronics Group Seiko

Japanese Title: 世界最強の時計、メカトロ集団 セイコー SEIKO 世界最強の時計、メカトロ集団 貿易之日本別冊
Author: N/A
Publisher: N/A
Published: 1st September 1982
Pages: 646
ISBN-10: N/A
EAN-13: N/A
Size: 183 x 258 x 31 mm
Language: Japanese
Rarity: 3.5
Recommended: 3

Content: The book contains articles on the history of the Seiko corporation as well as articles on the different factories, the development of quartz technology, and many different aspects of the Seiko group. This publication is designed as a Japan Trade Supplement

Comments:  Many of the articles in the book are extolling the virtues of the Seiko manufacturing processes and capabilities. All the different areas of Seiko are documented including the printer business, camera shutters, computers, precision manufacturing and quartz crystals. There are numerous adverts in the book for component suppliers; one of the adverts is for case manufacturer Hayashi Seiki Seizo who are responsible for the production of numerous Seiko cases to this day. There are two releases of this book with slightly different front covers, the contents of these releases are the same.


History of the Japanese Clock and Watch Industry (Vol.3) - Evolution of Seiko 1892-1923

Author: Hoshimi Uchida
Publisher: Seiko Corporation
Published: August 2000
Pages: 148
ISBN-10: N/A
EAN-13: N/A
Size: 210 x 150 x 80mm
Language: English
Rarity: 5
Recommended: 5

Content: This book gives an exhaustive history of the early years of Seiko up until the Great Kanto earthquake destroys the Seiko factory in 1923. It begins with a background on the clocks and watches of late 19th century Japan. It then covers the founding of Seikosha 1892-1900, Seikosha from Meiji to Taisho 1901-1913, Seikosha during and after WW1 1914-1923. The last section of the book has a comparison of early Seikosha watches to imported watches of the time.

Comments: The book gives the best outline of the early history of Seiko. It outlines what was happening in the early days of the Japanese watch industry and explains how Seiko grew from its humble beginnings. The comparison with imported watches of the time is interesting and compares general design as well as construction techniques. This book was commissioned by the Seiko Institute of Horology and is a follow up to the previous volumes Osaka Watch Incorporated and Wall Clocks of Nagoya from the same author. I believe there was also a Japanese language versions of these books.


The Magic of Seiko

Cover - The Magic of Seiko

Author: N/A
Publisher: Seiko Corporation
Published: N/A
Pages: 35
ISBN-10: N/A
EAN-13: N/A
Size: 240 x 330 x 30 mm
Language: English
Rarity: 3.5
Recommended: 3

Content: This is a large promotional brochure with a collection of short articles; the first is an interview with Shinji Hattori President of Seiko Watch Corporation, a short history of Seiko, caring for the environment, Spring Drive, the Space Walk, Credor and Grand Seiko, sports timing, Arctura, Sportura, Honda F1 team partnership, Velatura and Premier.

Comments: This book is actually a reprint from the autumn 2008 Supplement of 00/24 magazine. The history section is a very short summary from the Seiko publication A Journey in Time.


Grand Seiko - Through Three Photographers Eyes

Cover - Grand Seiko Through Three Photographers Eyes

Author: N/A
Publisher: Seiko Corporation
Published:  2015
Pages: 125 (approx.)
ISBN-10: N/A
EAN-13: N/A
Size: 215 x 57 x 19mm
Language: Japanese / English
Rarity: 4
Recommended: 4

Content: To celebrate the 55th Anniversary of Grand Seiko three photographers were commissioned to provide their interpretation of Grand Seiko. Each photographer focused upon a different area that interested them.
Keiichi Tahara looked at the physical parts and presented them as sculptures highlighted with different lighting techniques. Yuji Hamada took a more non-traditional approach and focused on the concept of time. By looking at the differences between the movement of quartz, mechanical and spring drive mechanisms he attempted to depict the flow of time. Sakiko Nomura looked at the people who come together to create Grand Seiko and produced a series of portraits. 
The book contains the images each photographer captured and a short caption for each shot.

Comments:  More information on the project and artists can be found at the exhibit site Grand Seiko Through Three Photographers Eyes - http://www.grand-seiko.com/through-three-photographers-eyes/


Grand Seiko Book

Cover - Grand Seiko Book

Author: N/A
Publisher: Seiko Corporation
Published:  2001
Pages: 79
ISBN-10: N/A
EAN-13: N/A
Size: 198 x 198 x 12 mm
Language: Japanese / English
Rarity: 4
Recommended: 3

Content: This book primarily covers the production and marketing information for modern Grand Seiko’s. There are a couple of pages in the middle of the book that have photos of classic Grand Seiko models and a little information about each. 

Comments: The book contains very little detailed information and is really a promotional item. I believe that this book was provided to potential customers looking at high-end Seiko models or may have been a gift with purchase. This was a limited print run but does come up for sale occasionally.


Orient 60th Anniversary Commemorative Book

Cover - Orient 60th Anniversary

Japanese Title: オリエント★物語―機械式時計おもしろ計画進行中
Author: N/A
Publisher: Switch Publishing Co., Ltd.
Published: July 13, 2010
Pages: 200
ISBN-10: 4884182936
EAN/UCC-13: 978-4884182939
Size: 11 x 18 x 1.5cm
Language: Japanese
Rarity: 2
Recommended: 2.5

Content: This book has chapters on the following areas, History of Orient, conversation with staff, product archives and interviews with star staff.

Comments: The product archive section of this book highlights key models from the history of Orient. The archive section has a full page photo of the watch on one page and a short description of the watch on the opposite. The green section on the cover is a removable paper insert so may not be present on all copies, it is white underneath this strip. I would only consider this book of interest to true Orient fans and there is only a small amount of useful information to be found for most readers.


Golden Top, Credor Story

Cover - Golden Top Credor Story

Author: N/A
Publisher: Seiko Corporation
Published: 1999
Pages: 96
ISBN-10: N/A
ISBN-13: N/A
Size: 285 x 210 x 8 mm
Language: Japanese
Rarity: 3
Recommended: 2.5

Content: This book contains images of the line-up of the Credor 1999 collection, a timeline with key Credor models, and advertising. There are short articles on the various Credor movement types and interviews with various staff responsible for the Credor design and construction. 

Comments: This was a promotional item released by Seiko and is a collection of articles that were published in the Japanese World of Watches magazine. This publication was released to publicise the 25th Anniversary of the Credor Brand that was founded in 1974. The Golden Top reference is a play on the name Credor or "CRET D'OR“ which means "the golden top" in French.


Time - Dialogue of the East and West

Author: Hajime Nakamura, Klaus Maurice, et al. 
Publisher: Hattori Seiko
Published: 1983
Pages: 344
ISBN-10: N/A
EAN-13: N/A
Size: 156 x 216 x 30mm
Language: Japanese
Rarity: 5
Recommended: 1
 
Content: In October 1983, the Kyoto German Cultural Center sponsored by the colloquium "Time - Dialogue of the East and West". This is the participation of scholars of all areas of Japan and Germany, working on the grand theme of "time".
 
This book was published by Hattori Seiko and originally issued on May 16, 1986. It had a cover price 5,000 yen. Included inside the cover is a card with a short description of the contents and thanks for the participants efforts from the event sponsor Seiko. There is also an introductory paragraph thanking participants from Seiko Chairman Kentaro Hattori.

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The entire Hatsudai lecture
Chapter 2: Physics and mathematics
Chapter 3: A Cultural History
Chapter 4: Social Studies
Chapter 5: Psychology, psychiatry
Chapter 6: Philosophy
Chapter 7: Summary Discussion

Comments: This book contains the notes from a series of lectures that were held in Kyoto where presenters examined the topic of “Time”. As these lectures cover the theoretical and philosophical aspects of time it is of little interest to general watch collectors.
 


GS9 Magazine

This is a short magazine that is produced by Seiko for their Club GS9 group. This is a group that people who purchase a GS from one of the GS MasterShops in Japan are able to join. In addition to various events each member is provided with copies of the GS9 for a year. Issues are traditionally released twice per year. The Club GS9 is only open to membership for Japanese residents.

The first issue of the magazine was called CN.9 (Caliber Number Nine) before the name was changed to GS9. The name is a reference to the Grand Seiko calibres that all begin with nine such as the Quartz 9F, Spring Drive 9R and Mechanical 9S. The magazine contains articles on Grand Seiko history, key staff and associated lifestyle stories.

Author: N/A
Publisher: Seiko Corporation
Published:  2014 - Current
Pages: ~30
ISBN-10: N/A
EAN-13: N/A
Size: 198 x 198 x 12 mm
Language: Japanese / English
Rarity: 3
Recommended: 3

CN.9 Vol. 1

Contents:

  • Grand Seiko: Two trips to go around
  • isit Shiojiri where Grand Seiko is born
  • BASELWORLD Report
  • History: My GS talking about it
  • A Certain Day of GS: Makoto Tanijiri 4 DAYS in New York
  • MASTER OF JAPAN: Architect Toyo Ito
  • ART OF GS / GS OF ART – Mechanical Hi-Beat 36000 GMT, GS Selfdater etc.
  • Portrait of Technique “Hand Repair” Seiko Premium Watch Service Station
  • The Epoch Makers: Observatory Chronometer
  • NEWS CN9
  • Food: Restaurant – A dream dish of Kamakura vegetables
    • Place: Art Photo store IMA CONCEPT STORE
    • Product: Todd Snyders “New” dress shoes
    • Book: BAR RADIO Ozaki Koji’s love reading
  • Blessed Men in History
  • Master Shop in your city

 

GS9 Vol. 2

Contents:

  • Grand Seiko: The way to mechanical revival

    • Mechanical Grand Seiko Road to Revival New and Old Developer Interview
  • History: My GS speechless
  • ART OF GS / GS OF ART – Historical Collection 62GS reissue design
  • MASTER OF JAPAN: Interview with Takeo Kikuchi Fashion Designer
  • Portrait of technique “Assembling Hands”
  • The Epoch Makers: First Automatic winding hi-beat 61GS
  • NEWS GS9
    • Food: Shaved Ice
    • Fashion: Evolutionary Royal Road jeans
    • From GS9 Club: GS9 Club launched
  • Blessed Men in History
  • Master Shop in your city

 

GS9 Vol. 3

Content:

  • Design of Tikara
    • The mystery of Seiko style
  • History: My GS speechless
  • A Certain day of GS: Seiji Nishihata 1 Week in Indonesia
  • ART OF GS / GS OF ART
  • The Epoch Makers: Origins of Seiko Style, Seiko 5
  • GS9 Club Information: GS9 Club Salon 2015 plan
  • NEWS GS9
    • Place: Café in the forest that appeared in Otemachi
    • Breakfast: A day beginning from the worlds breakfast
    • Fashion: Knit superb fit comfortable technique
  • Book: Yuya Yanagi Sanya’s reading love
  • Blessed Men in History
  • Master Shop in your city

 

 

GS9 Vol. 4

Contents:

  • Reasons to be loved for a long time
  • What is Seiko service Centre? Self-maintenance course
  • History: My GS talking about it
  • Technical Papers “Hand to Design”
  • ART OF GS / GS OF ART 
  • MASTER OF JAPAN: Director Miyamoto Amon
  • The Epoch Makers: Quartz Rolls Royce Caliber 9F
  • GS9 Club Information: GS9 Club Factory Tour 2015 Review
  • News GS9
    • Place: Kagurazaka’s Holiday Book Café
    • Cosmetics: Tsubame Sanjo Toothbrush
    • Fashion: Button-down shirt that the world envies
    • Book: Brewer Heizo Ichiro’s reading love
  • Blessed Men in History
  • Master Shop in your city

 

GS9 Vol. 5

Contents:

  • Feature: Journey through Grand Seiko
  • My GS, spoken word
  • MASTER OF JAPAN: Interview with Mr. Tsuneyasu Miyamoto soccer leader
  • ART OF GS / GS OF ART
  • Portrait of technique "Hand holding a diamond" 
  • The Epoch Makers: SBGX005 and others
  • GS9 Club Information: GS9 Club Salon 2016
  • News GS9
    • Sweets: Attraction of Beantouver
    • Place: Café in Kyoto long established vitality
    • Music: Speaker enjoying sound with eyes
    • Book: Shoeshine craftsman Yuya Hasegawa
  • Blessed Men in History
  • Master Shop in your city

 

GS9 Vol. 6

Contents: 

  • Let’s Go to the Adventure of Knowing GS
    • GS’s Past Present and Future
  • Art of GS / GS of ART
  • History arm in arm, GS talks
  • GS supporting SUGOUDE, a hand creative form
  • MASTER OF JAPAN: Jazz pianist Hiromi Uehara
  • The Epoch Makers: The first GS model
  • From GS9 Club
  • GS9 Favourites
    • Gourmet: Featured Shop with delicious space
    • Art: Exotic Artist Archimboldo Exhibition
    • Fashion: Reproducing the phantom “Russian Calf”
    • Place: Onsen Resort in Northern Forest
  • Blessed Men In History
  • Master Shop in Your City

Seiko Technology Notebooks

Cover - Seiko Technology Notebook - Waterproof

Japanese Title: セイコー技術手帳
Author: N/A
Publisher: Seiko Corporation
Published: 1963
Pages: ~40
ISBN-10: N/A
EAN/UCC-13: N/A
Size: 256 x 180 x 5mm
Language: Japanese
Rarity: 4
Recommended: 3.5

Content: The “Technology Notebooks” were released in 1963 and were intended to showcase different technologies and make them easily understood by sales and support staff. They are relatively technical and explain how the different technology works but they explicitly state that this information is also intended for retail staff to be able to explain the technology to their customers.

These were released for a number of different topics including waterproof technology, automatic self-winding mechanisms and calendar functions.

Comments: There were likely other volumes released but these are the only ones that I am currently aware of.


Seiko Watch Catalogues

Cover - Seiko Watch Catalogue 1971 No. 2

For the Japanese market Seiko release a product catalog to retailers that contain their current model line-up. The catalogs are organized by watch category and are separated into men’s and women’s models. Each model is presented with a product shot and the product model number, list price, calibre, case number and strap or bracelet. 

Prior to 1966 the model information was provided to dealers via the Seiko News issues and smaller individual sheets. In 1966 the catalogs were first released in their current form. The catalogs are traditionally released twice per year. Some years there are supplemental issues released but these are not regular.

Author: N/A
Publisher: Seiko Corporation
Published: 1966 - Current
ISBN-10: N/A
EAN/UCC-13: N/A
Size: Varies
Language: Japanese
Rarity: 2-5 (Pre-1970 catalogs are much less common)
Recommended: 5

Years: 1966 - 1974 Vol. 1
Size: 185 x 254mm
Pages: approximately 125 (varies)
Contents: Images of watches with movement, case number and short description.

Years: 1974 Vol. 2 - Current
Size: 210 x 297mm
Pages: approximately 150 (varies)

Contents: Images of watches with movement, case number and short description. 
In the issues from 1976 Vol. 1 to 1993 Vol. 2 there is a rear section that includes indexes, movement tables, case material abbreviations, bracelet modification instructions and similar tech information. From 1994 onward this information was removed and a just simple model index with model and page numbers is included.

Comments: These catalogs are extremely useful as they can show the original watch design, bracelet or strap. The catalogs allow the simple cross reference of the movement and case number with the model number. 


Seiko News

Seiko News 1956 No. 1

Author: N/A
Publisher: Seiko Corporation
Published: ??? - Current
Pages: ~10-50
ISBN-10: N/A
EAN/UCC-13: N/A
Size: Varies
Language: Japanese
Rarity: 3
Recommended: 2-5 

Content: This is a newsletter that is provided to Seiko dealers and it contains information on new watch models, promotions, point of purchase items. There are also commonly interviews with store owners, display suggestions and general educational pieces on new technologies.

Comments: The format of the Seiko News has changed over the years but the general type of information contain within has remained consistent.

Published: mid 50’s – mid 60’s
Size: 173 x 250 x 2mm
Notes: The issues are sequentially numbered. I am unsure when the first volume was numbered, if they were released on a monthly basis then the first issue would have been in mid-1958 but it is unlikely that issues were initially released monthly. In the early to mid-60's there were annual binders that were released to store the years worth of issues and make it easier to refer back to the issues. These binders were made of a heavy card and had metal strips to secure the issues.

Published: mid 60’s – mid 1976
Size: 180 x 256 x 4mm
Notes: The cover design for these was an image and a white top quarter, in the early 70’s the design changed to a mainly black design. The volume numbering continued from the previous issues. I have not seen official company binders from this period.

Published: mid 1976 – 1995 Vol. 1
Size: 210 x 295 loose leaf
Notes: These sheets were identified by different color headers. Blue indicated Seiko, yellow for non-Seiko branded items (Disney Time, Tomony etc.), green for clocks and red for advertising.

Published: 1995 Vol. 2 - < 2000
Size: 180 x 255 x 4mm
Notes: The format returned to a multi-page stapled newsletter from the previous loose leaf format.


Suwa Let’s Go

Cover - Suwa Let's Go 1965 No. 11

Author: N/A
Publisher: Seiko Watch Corporation
Published: 1950’s - 1970’s
Pages: ~40
ISBN-10: N/A
EAN-13: N/A
Size: 183 x 258 x 3mm
Language: Japanese
Rarity: 5
Recommended: 3.5

Contents: Suwa Let's Go is an internal magazine / newsletter that was produced for the Seiko Suwa facility from the 1950’s to the 1970’s. The issues seem to have been released on a monthly basis. Each issue contains a range of topics such as new models released, general technology changes, internal policies such as QC, staff clubs and special interest group updates and staff marriages and children born. Just like the Seiko News issues the material varies from issue to issue so it is difficult to determine how useful any specific will be. 
 
Comments: The rear page on each issue has a copy of the various current advertising campaigns.


Citizen Catalogues

Cover - Citizen Catalogue 1971 No. 8

Author: N/A
Publisher: Citizen Watch Co.
Published: 196?? - Current
ISBN-10: N/A
EAN/UCC-13: N/A
Size: Varies
Language: Japanese
Rarity: 2-5 (Pre-1975 catalogs are much less common)
Recommended: 5

Content: Citizen release product catalogues to dealers that showcases their product line up in the Japanese market. Traditionally these were released on a biannual schedule but in recent years Citizen has released only a single issue per year. The size of these changed from a smaller form factor to a larger size in 1977. The Citizen catalogues contain images of the watches as well as basic specifications and list prices. In the volumes between 1977– 1994-6 there are additional tables and details listed in the rear of the catalogues. There are also supplemental issues that have been released but these are not regular. 

Comments: The catalogues were initially sequentially numbered till 1976, this numbering would suggest the first release was in 1967. From 1976 the catalogs were released with a suffix that indicated the month of release e.g. 1976-6 indicates a 1976 June release or -1 indicates a January edition. Traditionally these are released as -1 and -6 but some years have -4 or -5. In 1996 the naming convention was changed so they were just named as year then Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. From 2008 onward only a single issue per year has been released. 

Published: 1967 - 1976-6
Size: 183 x 256 x ~5mm

Published: 1977-1 - Current
Size: 210 x 297 x ~7 - 15mm


Citizen Times

Cover - Citizen Times 1960 No. 39

Author: N/A
Publisher: Citizen Watch Co.
Published: 1957 ? - Current ?
Pages: ~20-40
ISBN-10: N/A
EAN/UCC-13: N/A
Size: 180 x 256 x 2mm
Language: Japanese
Rarity: 3
Recommended: 2-5 

Content: Similar to the Seiko Newsletters these are the official communications between Citizen and their dealers. These newsletters contain product announcements, interviews with staff, promotional campaigns, point of purchase displays and interviews with retailers.

Comments: The volumes I have between 1960 and 1965 are sequentially numbered and are normally released on a monthly basis. The earlier issues are released every couple of months so following the numbered issues they would have likely been first released in 1957 but may have been earlier. The covers of the issues occasionally feature Japanese models but often feature antique European watches and clocks. There were official binders produced that held approximately a years worth of issues.