Long known as a luxury brand in its native Japan, watchmaker Seiko is more associated with quartz movements in the rest of the world. But the company has been working to elevate its reputation internationally, and CEO Shinji Hattori is beginning to have striking results. The fourth generation of the Hattori family to run the 135-year-old company, Hattori has been aggressively pushing the brand into the global luxury market, opening 72 boutiques since 2004, and adding locations in Frankfurt, Moscow and New York in the past two years.
“Seiko is now on the right track to establish a distinct and important place in the luxury watch market,” Hattori says. Most important, the company has proven that it can make mechanical watches that compete with the best. The company released its first tourbillon, the Fugaku, in 2016, with the famous Great Wave Off Kanagawa depicted on its face and retailing for $460,000. And three watches have won prizes in the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève the watch world’s Oscars. These watches “are the new face of Seiko, and they demonstrate that we offer watches that are truly unique, with our own technology, character and craftsmanship,” Hattori says.