The history of Seiko began in 1881 when Kintaro Hattori opened a shop in Ginza to repair and sell timepieces. In 1892, he opened a factory called Seikosha to produce his own clocks. Twenty years later, when pocket watches were still the standard, he was experimenting with wristwatches, which were state-of-the-art technology at that time. In 1913, his company produced Japan’s first wristwatch, the Laurel, the first of many innovations that have advanced the art of watchmaking, including the first quartz wristwatch in 1969 and the groundbreaking technology that is Spring Drive in 1999. In 2023, Seiko will celebrate the 110th anniversary of its first wristwatch with the release of a series of commemorative timepieces. The celebration starts with the announcement of a new creation that draws its inspiration from the 1913 Laurel.
Faithful in design, modern in technology.
The new watch revives the form and design of the Laurel in every detail. The round case is carefully constructed to retain the elegance of the original while housing a modern automatic movement. The characteristic Arabic numerals, the retro-style blued hands, and a large onion crown are also faithfully re-created, in keeping with the nostalgic feel of this special timepiece. Just as with the 1913 original, the new creation features a pristine enamel dial. Its depth and beauty, as well as its lauded stable appearance over time, are made possible thanks to master craftsman Mitsuru Yokosawa and his colleagues at a workshop specializing in enamel production.
The new creation runs on Seiko’s high-performance Caliber 6R27, which has a power reserve indicator at the nine o’clock position and a date indicator at six o’clock. The crystal is a boxed-shaped sapphire with an anti-reflective coating on the inner surface, delivering high legibility from any viewing angle.
The Seiko Watchmaking 110th Anniversary Seiko Presage Limited Edition will be available from January 2023 at Seiko Boutiques and select retail partners worldwide as a limited edition of 2,500.
The 1913 Laurel.
As more and more companies focused on manufacturing table clocks and pocket watches, Kintaro Hattori, who had foreseen the coming of the age of the wristwatch, continued to think further ahead of his competitors by beginning the development of a wristwatch of his own. In 1913, Seikosha began production of the Laurel. After the release of the Laurel, Seikosha made tremendous advances in its development of every wristwatch manufacturing technology, from design to micro-fabrication and machine tool manufacture. In 2014, the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers designated the Laurel as one of its “Mechanical Engineering Heritages” in recognition of its contribution to the development of mechanical technology.