Where Are Seikos Manufactured????

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Where Are Seikos Manufactured????

Post by 3Flushes » January 23rd 2021, 3:44pm

Seiko now uses several different markings on their watches while providing no definitive legend as to their meanings, the inconsistency apparently designed to lend impressions of Japanese manufacture and obfuscate the factual origin of many of their products.

It is well known Seiko consigns all or part of their manufacturing and assembly to Chinese territories, Malaysia and Taiwan, for example, for a large number of products.
Image. Image
Above we have my Presage from the JDM. It is marked 'JAPAN 6r27' on the dial and 'MADE IN JAPAN' on the back.
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This is the JDM NEMO Turtle marked 'MADE IN JAPAN' on the dial as I have noted on several JDM products while shopping JDM sellers.

Image
Image
This is the Willard Turtle reissue marked 'JAPAN 6r35' on the dial and 'JAPAN' on the back.

Image
This is the Special Edition Ice Diver with no markings on the dial or back related to origin.

Image
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This is the Seiko 5 Brian May SE marked '4r36' on the dial, '4r36' on the back, and again, '4r36A Seiko Time Corp JAPAN' on the rotor. A reference to the manufacture of the movement or to Seiko's corporate address?

So enough with the pics; I have also seen numerous Seiko watches marked' JAPAN Mov't' on the dial with equally diffuse references on the back or rotor.

This is a deceptive practice on par with the false or misleading references to Swissness long called out on this board and it's time, as much as many here love them, to hold SEIKO to the same level of accountability; I have written to their offices to demand transparency as to the origin of Seiko products. They ought to get a hell of a kick out of that along with the complaints about bracelets and misaligned bezels and shit, ehh?

NOTE: Other than the Pressage photos, the pics are Seiko stock photos, The NEMO sniped from eBay AIR when I was looking for one.
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Re: SEIKO - Where's It From?

Post by biglove » January 23rd 2021, 4:12pm

No doubt an increasing number of Seiko products are largely made in China as the quality of cases and bracelets from there has continued to improve.

I am guessing that Seiko and Swiss brands have invested more in manufacturing in China to make the most of the cheap labor, all the while increasing MSRP.

Let us know if Hattori-san or his workers get back to you.
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Re: SEIKO - Where's It From?

Post by Watch Noob » January 23rd 2021, 5:01pm

Great thread topic. Off shoring work to cheap labor countries while raising MSRP is not a good look. The dreaded double whammy may come back to bite them in the ass.
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Re: SEIKO - Where's It From?

Post by TemerityB » January 23rd 2021, 6:07pm

3Flushes wrote:
January 23rd 2021, 3:44pm
This is a deceptive practice on par with the false or misleading references to Swissness long called out on this board and it's time, as much as many here love them, to hold SEIKO to the same level of accountability; I have written to their offices to demand transparency as to the origin of Seiko products. They ought to get a hell of a kick out of that along with the complaints about bracelets and misaligned bezels and shit, ehh?
I wish I could say I was surprised. Seiko gonna Seiko.
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Re: SEIKO - Where's It From?

Post by 3Flushes » January 24th 2021, 3:34am

biglove wrote:
January 23rd 2021, 4:12pm
No doubt an increasing number of Seiko products are largely made in China as the quality of cases and bracelets from there has continued to improve.

I am guessing that Seiko and Swiss brands have invested more in manufacturing in China to make the most of the cheap labor, all the while increasing MSRP.

Let us know if Hattori-san or his workers get back to you.
Yeah, I'm holding my breath over here alright.

The variability in QC is really becoming apparent.

Of the wide ranging variance reported in the WIS / Collector community for the overall performance of movements in consigned watches, the most frequently noted issue is poor regulation.

Durability is a less frequent problem, however, mechanical problems beyond adjustment are well documented in consigned watches and are not unknown to plague certain calibres, the 7s26, for example, replaced by the 4rxx series to add hacking and hand winding, which for all intents and purposes is the same as the NHxx which Noobs has demonstrated keeps very good time, his apparently having been well regulated by SteelDive, AIR.. I read about everything from balance staffs, to regulators, damn works just ground to a halt, sudden like, like a massive stroke.

Machining and assembly gremlins are also noted regularly and include tight or otherwise improperly functioning bezels, misaligned chapter rings and bezel inserts, and funky screw down crowns.

Aesthetics aside, because SEIKO does as nice a job on design and dials as about any other watch manufacturer, the severely averageness of the consigned products in comparison to swaths of excellent build quality and overall performance in the same models made at home makes one thing glaringly clear: The one thing you can't farm out is QC,

Sekiko has to try to mitigate the bullshit behind the scenes despite their public face of indignant indifference. I wonder if we can get the emails to factory A about the displaced balance staffs, to factory B about why can't they fix the CNC machine so the bezels click properly, and line the fuck up, to factory C to ask how fucking hard is it to line up a chapter ring, to factory D,E, and F to see if they are regulating movements with a goddam metronome ----

Citizen, if you're listening...
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Re: SEIKO - Where's It From?

Post by biglove » January 24th 2021, 5:04am

^^^well said.

And Citizen, in every aspect in my experience, makes better watches than Seiko. Seiko's dial and case design offers a wider range of impressive work, especially in the GS/Presage lines but the Citizen Chronomaster paper dials are more impressive than any GS dial even.

While Seiko has JDM releases, Citizen has releases only for Europe and, of all places, Italy.

https://www.adrianogioielli.it/categori ... dXG9r7fluI
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Re: Where Are Seikos Manufactured????

Post by 3Flushes » January 25th 2021, 2:55pm

The home studio of GS manufacturing- funny- can't find a thing about any Chinese consignment factories.

A Visit to Seiko’s Mountain Retreat

By VivianSHIZUKUISHI,
Jan. 14, 2019

SHIZUKUISHI, Japan — Tucked in the mountains of Iwate Prefecture, more than two hours north of Tokyo by bullet train, is the small town of Shizukuishi, known to watch fans as the cradle of mechanical watchmaking in Japan. That’s because it is the home of the studio that makes several brands of Seiko mechanical watches, including Grand Seiko, the company’s luxury marque.

The quiet setting was one reason the town was chosen in 1970 for Seiko operations, said Yoshiaki Hayashi, managing director of the local operation, Morioka Seiko Instruments Inc., which includes the Shizukuishi Watch Studio: “It enables our craftsmen to concentrate on detailed work.”

“Iwate people are known for being precise,” he added, referring to the ironware-making tradition of the Sanriku Coast. “They tend to fit the requirements to become craftsmen.”

Seiko should know: It is one the largest employers in this town of about 17,000 residents. Part of the large factory building houses Morioka, its lightning-fast automated assembly lines producing quartz watches (the technology on which Seiko has built its prosperity and which continues to develop). But that’s a stark contrast with Shizukuishi’s more artisanal environment, just down the hall.

Seiko should know: It is one the largest employers in this town of about 17,000 residents. Part of the large factory building houses Morioka, its lightning-fast automated assembly lines producing quartz watches (the technology on which Seiko has built its prosperity and which continues to develop). But that’s a stark contrast with Shizukuishi’s more artisanal environment, just down the hall.

As its output grew, Seiko established the Shizukuishi workshop in 2004, and the Grand Seiko line — its mechanical watches, Spring Drive models and quartz collections — were rolled out internationally in 2010. (The line became an independent brand in 2017 and its first company, Grand Seiko Corporation of America, was established in October to market the models.)
One of the Shizukuishi hallmarks is the mirrorlike glow of its watch cases and bracelets, the result of an exacting technique called zaratsu, used by Seiko since the 1950s to create polished, distortion-free surfaces. Also, its dial patterns are inspired by the mountains and, in the winter, the snowy environment of Shizukuishi.

While Seiko’s midmarket quartz watches are made at several locations, all the company’s mechanical timepieces are made and assembled in Shizukuishi, from the tiny parts churned out in oil-filled baths (parts so minuscule their shape can be seen only through a microscope), through processing, assembly and adjustment, and on to testing (more than 400 hours for each timepiece)...
.

A facade Seiko has long attempted to hold up.

Full story and some great pics:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/14/fash ... japan.html
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Re: Where Are Seikos Manufactured????

Post by Watch Noob » January 25th 2021, 3:30pm

3Flushes wrote:
January 25th 2021, 3:22pm
Watch Noob wrote:
January 25th 2021, 3:20pm
Sorry not subscribing to that rag to read the rest of the story. I'll wait for the movie.
:Thumbsup:

I'm not a subscriber- the piece is in the public domain.
Hmmm, when I clicked your link it wanted me to subscribe, gave me this:

Keep reading The Times by creating a free account or logging in.
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Re: Where Are Seikos Manufactured????

Post by 3Flushes » January 25th 2021, 4:25pm

Watch Noob wrote:
January 25th 2021, 3:30pm
3Flushes wrote:
January 25th 2021, 3:22pm
Watch Noob wrote:
January 25th 2021, 3:20pm
Sorry not subscribing to that rag to read the rest of the story. I'll wait for the movie.
:Thumbsup:

I'm not a subscriber- the piece is in the public domain.
Hmmm, when I clicked your link it wanted me to subscribe, gave me this:

Keep reading The Times by creating a free account or logging in.
I went there from a google search and no pay wall... crazy
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Re: Where Are Seikos Manufactured????

Post by bbattle » January 25th 2021, 4:39pm

According to that NYT article, all of their mechanical watches are made there at Seiko's mountain retreat.

full article artfully pasted:

SHIZUKUISHI, Japan — Tucked in the mountains of Iwate Prefecture, more than two hours north of Tokyo by bullet train, is the small town of Shizukuishi, known to watch fans as the cradle of mechanical watchmaking in Japan. That’s because it is the home of the studio that makes several brands of Seiko mechanical watches, including Grand Seiko, the company’s luxury marque.

The quiet setting was one reason the town was chosen in 1970 for Seiko operations, said Yoshiaki Hayashi, managing director of the local operation, Morioka Seiko Instruments Inc., which includes the Shizukuishi Watch Studio: “It enables our craftsmen to concentrate on detailed work.”

“Iwate people are known for being precise,” he added, referring to the ironware-making tradition of the Sanriku Coast. “They tend to fit the requirements to become craftsmen.”

Seiko should know: It is one the largest employers in this town of about 17,000 residents. Part of the large factory building houses Morioka, its lightning-fast automated assembly lines producing quartz watches (the technology on which Seiko has built its prosperity and which continues to develop). But that’s a stark contrast with Shizukuishi’s more artisanal environment, just down the hall.

The mix echoes Seiko’s complex structure (some visitors are shown a half-hour PowerPoint presentation on that subject alone). Founded in 1881 as a watch and clock shop in central Tokyo, it now is called the Seiko Holdings Corporation, with scores of companies and hundreds of products, most related to timepiece technology.

Seiko’s relationship with mechanical watches is similarly complicated: It introduced the Grand Seiko — what a company timeline calls its “signature piece” — in 1960. Then it decided to focus on inexpensive quartz models and stopped making mechanical timepieces entirely from 1973 to 1988, the period that the industry still calls the Quartz Crisis, resuming production only when mechanical watches began to regain public acclaim for their craftsmanship and style.

As its output grew, Seiko established the Shizukuishi workshop in 2004, and the Grand Seiko line — its mechanical watches, Spring Drive models and quartz collections — were rolled out internationally in 2010. (The line became an independent brand in 2017 and its first company, Grand Seiko Corporation of America, was established in October to market the models.)

One of the Shizukuishi hallmarks is the mirrorlike glow of its watch cases and bracelets, the result of an exacting technique called zaratsu, used by Seiko since the 1950s to create polished, distortion-free surfaces. Also, its dial patterns are inspired by the mountains and, in the winter, the snowy environment of Shizukuishi.

"While Seiko’s midmarket quartz watches are made at several locations, all the company’s mechanical timepieces are made and assembled in Shizukuishi, from the tiny parts churned out in oil-filled baths (parts so minuscule their shape can be seen only through a microscope), through processing, assembly and adjustment, and on to testing (more than 400 hours for each timepiece)."

Employees of all ages, including the 90 master craftsmen and women of Shizukuishi, mill about in the various production rooms. They wear cotton factory uniforms — gray or black trousers and jackets of various colors. (On a recent day, Mr. Hayashi wore a pink jacket, but he noted that the colors didn’t have any special meanings.)

The organization of the Shizukuishi factory’s production lines resembles that of its Swiss counterparts, but the atmosphere is singularly Japanese. Visitors entering the building must replace their shoes with a pair of company-provided plastic slippers. And twice each workday, around 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., employees absent-mindedly stretch, bend and jump, the calisthenics called radio taiso that are done in many Japanese factories.

“It’s refresh time,” Mr. Hayashi said as the factory loudspeakers began to broadcast the instructions, done in song and accompanied by piano notes.

The watchmaking process culminates in the assembly room, a clean space that requires a head-to-toe cream-colored jumpsuit with an attached cap and shoe covers. Once visitors are outfitted, they pass through an airlock, which blows a gust of air over them to get rid of as much dust as possible.

This room is where the mechanical watches really come to life. It has large windows overlooking lush greenery and views of Mount Iwate in the distance, a place of worship in both the Buddhist and Shinto religions. Rows of elite technicians, who wear white coats over their jumpsuits and white hats that look a bit like a Jiffy Pop pan when the popcorn is ready to eat. They work in silence, assembling and adjusting watches at their desks, which are customized by the traditional woodworking business Iwayado Tansu in Iwate and finished with an urushi lacquer.

The studio has its own system of ranking a craftsman, called meister in the German manner: bronze, silver and, at the pinnacle, gold. Only six men now hold the gold designation and, to retain it, they must pass a test every two years.

One of them, Katsuo Saito, 50, is an authority on assembling the Calibre 68 movements for the Credor mechanical watch line.

“The movement assembly is nurtured by intuition. I use my intuition to adjust,” he said as he put the finishing touches on a movement. “You have to constantly adjust while you’re assembling a watch movement; otherwise you have to go back to the start. When I put the final parts together, it’s the moment the watch begins its life.”

As a team, the workers assemble 300 to 400 mechanical watches a month. They share all the tasks.

Sachie Kudo, 44, is the only woman working in the assembly room. She is a team leader for the adjustment process of automatic movements for women’s watches.

“A lot of workers were involved in making these watches, and this is the final stage where I assemble these parts, imbued with their spirits and emotions, and shape them into a watch,” she said. “So, I am nervous and I always want to assemble better ones.”
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Re: Where Are Seikos Manufactured????

Post by jason_recliner » January 25th 2021, 4:48pm

3Flushes wrote:
January 25th 2021, 2:55pm

While Seiko’s midmarket quartz watches are made at several locations, all the company’s mechanical timepieces are made and assembled in Shizukuishi, from the tiny parts churned out in oil-filled baths (parts so minuscule their shape can be seen only through a microscope), through processing, assembly and adjustment, and on to testing (more than 400 hours for each timepiece)...[/i].

A facade Seiko has long attempted to hold up.
Yep. Absolute fetid horseshit. I expect better from the Times. Wait a minute - no I don't.
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Re: Where Are Seikos Manufactured????

Post by biglove » January 26th 2021, 12:03am

That NYT piece reads like some Staur bullshit. So much for proper journalism. Jeebus.
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Re: Where Are Seikos Manufactured????

Post by 3Flushes » January 26th 2021, 3:20pm

bbattle wrote:
January 25th 2021, 7:00pm
It's almost like the NYT reporter repeated the Seiko corporate line. In exchange for a "token of their appreciation".
That token was likely keeping up their advertising.

Seiko has been marshaling the front that their products are made primarily in Japan through their advertising and 'puff pieces' like the NYT feature for a long time.

Complaints about Seiko QC issues began to proliferate on the boards about six or seven years ago but began to appear sporadically as early as 2010 from what I could find.

Complaints back then mostly centered around mechanically challenged movements and severely mediocre timekeeping. Seikos smoke and mirrors, and deflection mumbo jumbo is longstanding and well practiced; the Swissnese hucksters got nothin' on Seiko.
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Re: Where Are Seikos Manufactured????

Post by TemerityB » January 26th 2021, 8:24pm

3Flushes wrote:
January 26th 2021, 3:20pm

Complaints back then mostly centered around mechanically challenged movements and severely mediocre timekeeping. Seikos smoke and mirrors, and deflection mumbo jumbo is longstanding and well practiced; the Swissnese hucksters got nothin' on Seiko.
Preach on, Flushes.

Far as I'm concerned, Seiko is fast becoming the Japanese Invicta. Based on the past five years, how could anyone barring the most rapt fan boys come up with any other determination? The crazy part is that Grand Seiko could legitimately become the luxury market's #2 choice behind Rolex. Are they simply going for the gold and have ushered in an era of mass-produced shit on the lower end? Sure feels that way.
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Re: Where Are Seikos Manufactured????

Post by biglove » January 26th 2021, 8:44pm

I have a SARX079 inbound. Bought it new from an AD for $150 less than what they go for on eBay.

Want to see the how the Sharp Edge Presage compares with GS.
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Re: Where Are Seikos Manufactured????

Post by Watch Noob » January 27th 2021, 5:52am

biglove wrote:
January 26th 2021, 8:44pm
I have a SARX079 inbound. Bought it new from an AD for $150 less than what they go for on eBay.

Want to see the how the Sharp Edge Presage compares with GS.
I'm not a big fan of green dials, but when it's done right, it's awesome. This model looks, (at least from pics on the interwebz) that it's done right.
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Re: Where Are Seikos Manufactured????

Post by boscoe » January 27th 2021, 9:22am

On topic: Grand Seikos are definitely made in Japan. I have seen reliable reports about offshore operations for other watches.
Off topic: Many of you know I've spent 50 years in the news biz playground. While I detest the NY Times for its smarmy smugness and pretense it does not have an editorial agenda, a Times reporter could NEVER be bought for a watch. Most of these guys and gals have actual ethics - unlike the "journalists" at Fox News. Seriously. I've worked for both of them. Times folks would push back on doing stories to keep advertisers happy. Fox & Friends would drop their drawers and were/are happy to spew unsubstantiated crap that helped trigger the Washington mob.
But has nothing to do with left or right. Just business models. Fox plays to audience as does the equally hypocritical Times. That said, I know the Fox dudes (and dudettes) secret financial lives. You'd be appalled at the financial connections to the fat cats they cover.
This is not to say my career is above reproach, BTW
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Re: Where Are Seikos Manufactured????

Post by codguy » January 27th 2021, 11:14am

Cecil......

I've seen for the most part that Casio does a good job listing Country of manufacture on the caseback, be it Japan, China or Thailand.
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