A rare and significant watch has recently been added to the Seiko Museum’s historical collection. It is one of 73 Seiko Observatory Certified Chronometers manufactured in 1969 with movements that passed the rigorous 45-day Neuchâtel Observatory Chronometer test. It is now on display on the fourth floor of the Seiko Museum in Ginza, Tokyo.
The watch has an interesting backstory. It was first acquired by a renowned Swiss horologist, Hans Kocher, who was the watchmaker who developed the Caliber 11 chronograph, which was used by several brands including Buren, Heuer, and Breitling and was released in 1969, the same year as Seiko’s own automatic chronograph movement, Caliber 6139.
The 18k gold watch had been in the Kocher family since Hans Kocher’s death in 1999. His son, Hans, his wife Susanne, and his sister Christine contacted Seiko in 2021, offering the watch to the Museum, and in July this year, the museum’s Deputy Director, Noboru Miyadera, visited the family in Riehen near Basel in Switzerland to collect the watch and bring it back to Tokyo, where it began life 53 years ago. The Kocher family had taken good care of the watch over the years, but it was still a happy moment for both the family and Mr. Miyadera when, with a few turns of the crown, the watch began to tell time.
Visitors can explore the new display showing the Seiko Astronomical Observatory Chronometer on the fourth level of the Seiko Museum in Ginza, Tokyo.