Sometimes I feel that I am alone on this one, but I just looked over at the Orient & Seiko forum and I couldn’t help thinking that I probably never can buy a Seiko watch. I consider myself as a complete watchnut and I even consider myself to at least have some knowledge about wristwatches and buying a Seiko or other Japanese watch really doesn’t fit in. This goes for new and vintage Seikos, but especially the new ones.

Although I have thought a lot about the popular Seiko Divers watches, or a nice Seiko 5 automatic lowcost watch, just for fun, but I still rather spend the money on an exclusive leather strap for one of my Swiss and German built watches. It is like a Japanese car I think, perfect cars, nothing wrong with them… but I would never buy them. Just a matter of taste and preferences I guess. Maybe it is the lack of identity, it could be Toyota, but when I look a bit closer, it may be a Nissan or Honda as well. European watches are like European cars I guess. You can identify most of them from miles distance, and every now and then.. they break down 🙂

What do you think? Are you a Seiko collector/lover?

Robert-Jan Broer
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Robert-Jan Broer

Founder & Editor at Fratello Watches
Robert-Jan Broer, born in 1977, watch collector and author on watches for over a decade. Founder of Fratello Watches in 2004.
Robert-Jan Broer
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  • Nivelacuso

    Hi Robert-Jan,

    I must disagree with you on this one.
    Seiko is among my favorite brands (van der Klaauw, Omega, Sinn to name a few are other favorites)
    Why is Seiko on my favlist?

    I think mainly because they offer very much watch for the money. I mean? try to find a vintage Swiss integrated automatic chronograph with colomnwheel for under $200,00. (I refer to the Seiko 6139 and 6138 movements)

    Or what about their vintage alarm watches, or their navigator ?GMT? watch. Or look at their vintage plus modern divers (like the already legendary BM and OM)

    Also, all their movements are fully made in-house.

    And sure, there are many many models that don?t appeal to me because of their (asian orientated) looks, but Seiko makes so many different styles based on each movement, there are always 1 or 2 styles that are appealing to one. Seiko can be seen as the forerunners of the Swatch concept?..

    What I like less is the fact that many Seiko movements are not handwindable (is that a correct english word???), and that most movements don?t hack.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Hans Mennink

  • Hmmm…

    I disagree a bit as well, however that’s on the digital part of the watches. I like mechanical watches, and it’s not likely that I should buy a Seiko mechanical watch. However the digital multifunction part of the Seiko range is a different story. I like those instruments quite a lot, and I own some of them as well. And then the specials which the from time to tome produce (Final Fantasy) – Marvelous!

    By the way, I think I remember right that you, Robert Jan, own one or two of the Seiko digital models as well; am I right?

    The reason which Hans descibes here above – “mainly because they offer very much watch for the money” – isn’t quite important to me on these watches. Even if a Seiko gives a lot bang for the buck, it still isn’t a lot of bucks so it remains a little bang as well. I’d rather pay something more for a watch which is a real bang 😉

    Cheers,

    Gerard

  • Hi Gerard,

    I don’t have a Seiko actually. I do have a Casio G-Shock 20th anniversary model, but that’s digital. That’s a different story to me. It makes no sense to me to buy a digital Swiss watch when electronics are the same mass produced stuff anyway.

    I was referring to the mechanical watches, and it is not very likely for me to get own in the future 🙂

    RJ

  • SteveW62

    Sorry R-J ( & Gerard ) , I have to disagree with your comments.

    My comments here are directed at VINTAGE Seikos. (70’s & 80’s models)

    I think SOME vintage Seikos are very underated. I am a particular fan of the 6138 & 6139 watches, the Bell-matics & especially the 70’s divers. ( I own a few of each of these & Yes, I have an Orange Monster )

    Yes, they are cheap to buy, but they are very good value for the money.

    Cheap in this case does not mean “less bang”, it just means an affordable entry price to the collectors scene.

    Long may the prices stay low, so that I can buy all the watches that I want 😉

    I do have to admit, my interest in Seikos stops at the quartz (including Kinetic) & digital models.

    To me Seiko is the exact opposite of Panerai. There is no Seiko hype, just good value for money.

    Steve

  • I actually do think there is a Seiko hype going on since a few months. The major fora have their Seiko departments and I see loads of Seiko Divers and other ‘Monsters’ showing up on the various boards. I admit it worksm because I was about to ‘paypal’ some money to an online dealer as well, but just before I checked-out the shoppingcart, I came to my senses and ordered a strap for my Panerai instead 🙂

    Anyway, it is nice to see all these opinions. I can appreciate Seiko for what they are doing, especially the mechanical watches, but they just aren’t made for me I guess. I stick to the Swiss brands, hyped or not.

    Best regards,

    Robert-Jan

  • RJ, you’re missing one key word in your assessment of Seiko’s (and for that matter Citizen’s)…

    That word is “VINTAGE”… I think if you look at vintage Seiko’s and Citizen’s you might find some interesting pieces. I own 3-4 of each brand and they are great fun to wear, for casual or high risk activities where you’d be concerned about scuffing up your expensive Swiss or German watches.

    Do some searches on Vintage Seiko and Citizen watches and I think you’ll find some interesting watches worth considering…

    Cheers!

    Chuck

  • I have looked there Chuck and didn’t found a thing. I gave up, they just are not my cup of tea I guess. 🙂

    Oh well, maybe my opinion does change. I also never thought I would buy a Sinn, and I did. Although I still would have to take an extra step because it is Japanese.

    Best regards,

    RJ

  • Noah

    Just look at any Seiko watch there art!
    And all those Crazy watch faces of the sixies and seventies How could you not like them?

  • oscar

    how would i find the year and movement # of a vintage seiko 5 i just purchased, and what do the #’s mean on the back?
    the watch is beautiful, works well, but i do not know how to change the day.
    please help, thanks.

  • Nick

    If you have the same type of seiko 5 like I own, you have to press the crown in. It has two positions the furthest position in changes the day, most likely in 2 languages. pressing the crown in to the first position changes the date. I had mine since 1969.

  • Ivan

    SEIKO T001-5019 TV watch

    Hello,

    I own one of the SEIKO T001-5019 TV watch,

    no receiver, NOS, 99,9% MINT CONDITION,

    like new, working. Can send you pictures.

    Will try to sell it on e-bay, how much

    can I ask for it ?

    Thank you for your help.

    Ivan

  • Matt

    I guess I understand. Being that I would never buy an American made automobile. The US produces plenty of cars from foreign makers, as for me, I look at the VIN’s first character…better be a “J”!! That’s cool the Europeans choose not to be in our “import” classification. After all, they’re “European”. Thank you Jim Moran, Hugh Woods, and E. Toyoda for working together for good business with an incredible product. All that said, it seems a little bit cliche to say that the JP products are great, but, one want to spend extra money to prove they’ve made it big. The problem lies in that the check one is paying for the repair, for the rental car, and the car note, does little to help appreciate the fact it is not in your garage
    sincerely
    matt

  • Chris

    I don’t think I’ve ever worn a watch because of where it was made. If you like the style why worry what anyone else thinks? I’ve spent a lot of time in South East Asia where 11 out of 10 Swiss (and many other) watches are fakes, so unfortunately for some of you high end market watch fans, the first thing I tend to think when noticing a Breitling etc., on your wrist is:- “nice copy.”

    70’s Seiko and Citizen designs work for me anyway.

  • Don

    I have been collecting and researching 1950-60’s SEIKO’s for about a year. Seiko follows the Japanese auto industry in perfecting its product –leading to world wide sales. The Seiko’s of the late 50’s and early 60’s ( Marvel 19 Jewel & 23 Jewel & Crown 19 & 23 ) were and are fantastic time keepers. Remember that is the prime goal of a timekeeper to keep time . Don

  • David Sorkin

    If you are interested in a collection that defines watch history and advancement, how can you not have at least one Seiko? If not for history’s sake then, if you collect for looks, functionality, durability…basically any reason, how can you not have at least one Seiko. Of course, if you collect by brand or location, I get it. But to swear off a great watch simply because its Japanese, or because they also make mass produced stuff, or because you don’t like 95 percent of the 1,000 styles they produce annually is just plain snobbery. Oh wait, watch collectors. I forgot. My bad! 🙂

  • Han_lamande

    Funny looking back at this. Now that Tag Heuer have taken a Seiko movement and made it into an “inhouse Heuer movement”, I wonder if opinions have changed. I own many swiss watches for the right reasons not just because they are swiss made. I also own many Seikos including 2 grand seikos and 4 king seikos and let me tell you that they are some of my favorite watches I own. Nothing like someone telling me its only a seiko when in fact it is a $7000 grand seiko that compares in quality to any swiss manufacturer and runs to greater accuracy than most high end swiss watches too, you have this funny warm feeling inside and you thing to yourself “yes its only a seiko”.
     

  • SKX007

    I find that Seikos – especially the newer ones – appeal to my taste for contemporary refinement and understatement, and I suppose I am one of many men who prefer to spend money on things other than repairwork…at least if it is something that could have been avoided through better engineering and manufacturing.

    To me, reliability through superior engineering and manufacturing is basic ingredient in quality; that is where the author and I diverge.

    You see, I’d rather invest in quality upfront. In that sense whether you spend $200 or $7000 on a Seiko, a truly enduring and reliable product, it’s a bargain – to put it in a way the author can understand – in much the same way a Mercedes-Benz saloon was 30-40 years ago.

    I am presently wearing an extremely well-made, satisfyingly precise, eminently reliable Seiko watch. A real pleasure, and, of course, regardless of what I spent, the price was right.