BRAND HISTORY Seiko’s history dates back to 1881, when its founder Kintaro Hattori opened his first shop selling jewellery and watches in Tokyo. A decade later, he started manufacturing clocks, and subsequently pocket watches, under the brand name Seikosha. The company is also credited with making Japan’s first wristwatch when it debuted the Laurel in 1912.The Laurel marked a series of first for the company, which eventually rolled out timepieces under the Seiko name in 1924. Among the brand’s key milestones include the Astron from 1969, one of the earliest production quartz watch collections. The Astron was instrumental in opening the floodgate for affordable and precise electronic wristwatches – a development that almost wiped out the Swiss mechanical watch trade in the 1970s. Another well-known proprietary technology is the Spring Drive. Conceived in the 1970s but only seeing the light of day in 2005, the Spring Drive is a hybrid movement using a mechanical mainspring to power quartz-based timekeeping components.