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Watchmaker Seiko celebrates 130th anniversary

November 3, 2011 |  1:50 pm

Seiko is celebrating its 130th birthday with three commemorative models
Japanese watch manufacturer Seiko is celebrating its 130th birthday.

To mark the milestone, Seiko has released three new commemorative models that look like pieces worn during the middle of the last century. The limited-edition watches are variations of the classic Grand Seiko model, featuring a crocodile band in black or brown and a high definition, dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.

Seiko may be best known for its innovations in watchmaking. It was the first to introduce the automatic chronograph watch (1969), the TV watch (1983) and the Spring Drive watch (1999), but its commemorative models are a true throwback to the classics. The new models don't use a digital system to keep time. Instead, they wind manually -- the old-fashioned way -- and are available with platinum ($25,000), 18 karat yellow gold ($16,500) and stainless steel cases ($6,500).

Seiko is one of the oldest watchmakers in the world, competing over the years with Rolex, founded in 1905; Audemars Piguet, founded in 1875; and Patek Philippe, founded in 1839. Seiko was started as a small operation by 22-year-old Kintaro Hattori in Tokyo in 1881.

With all the evolutions in watchmaking technology, there is still something to be said for the classic timepiece that never goes out of style.


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Photo credit: Seiko