While it’s certainly true the Swiss watchmaking built its reputable on the idea of heritage, on skills learned and honed over generations, luxury high-end Japanese watch manufacturers can and do compete offering life-enhancing function over lavish design.
Pushing The Boundaries
As in the past, the same is true now. The Japanese manufacturers have always pushed the boundaries using technology and have beaten the Swiss manufacturers to include satellite technology long before TAG decided to follow suit and created their own connected models. It seems even the memory of the Quartz Crisis, one of the largest ‘disturbances in the force’ during the 1970s and 1980s didn’t seem to seat in the collective memory of the Swiss watch fraternity, leaving the conservative industry standing, as technology takes route in the horology arena.
Happily, the Swiss manufacturers are slowly warming to the idea of introducing technology into their design, and we’ve started to see technology augmented Swiss made timepieces appear on the market. Having said that, something will always remain true, and that is the ability of the Japanese to provide high-end luxury watches for a fraction of the cost of their equivalent Swiss offerings.
Citizen has been with us since the 1930s and has been innovating from day one. Better known in the modern era for its proprietary power supply called Eco-Drive, absorbing natural and artificial light through the dial to charge its battery that never needs replacing. If that’s not enough, Citizen, much like Casio, owns its very own satellite-syncing technology released in its Satellite Wave collection guaranteeing absolute accuracy with the push of a button.
With all this, you might expect high prices but with a price range between £100 to £2000, there’s a price that’s right for everyone. The most interesting if not surprising thing to note about Citizen is their recent acquisition of respected Swiss movement manufacturer La Joux-Perret, paving the way for the expansion of its mechanical business. DWS choice Promaster Navihawk GPS Chrono Perpetual
You may not know this but Seiko has been making groundbreaking steps since introducing Japan’s first diver’s watch in 1965 and can even boast that its dive watches have been on several missions with Roger Moore’s 007. As early as 1969 Seiko released their ‘Astron’ model that became the world’s first commercially available quartz watch, although somewhat more expensive than today’s movements at price of a small car, it set the standard for battery driven and super-accurate movements.
Never a company to stand still, its flagship timepiece is their very own in-house and award winning movement, the Grand Seiko, representing their top of range luxury.
Everyone knows the G-Shock collection regardless of whether you like it or not, it’s a rugged workhorse that will never let its owner down. Back in 2014 Casio introduced their hybrid time-keeping system, using GPS and Casio’s Multi-Band 6 technology allowing G-Shock to receive radio signals for a consistent and precise timekeeping.
Move forward to 2017 and the G-Shock is still going strong but the now we see exciting things in their collection. For those of you reading my posts, you will know what’s coming next. Yes, that’s right, yet again I want to pull on your coat about the Casio Edifice 500 series which is by far my favorite modern Japanese watch.
Okay, so it’s not the first brand name on anyone’s mind when we are talking about Luxury timepieces, but that’s only because this brand is sadly, and incorrectly overlooked. With only 66 years behind the brand, you could be forgiven for thinking its too young to be taken too seriously. The reality, however, couldn’t be further from the truth as because Orient is a subsidiary of Seiko, so it’s a young member of the big four.
The difference between Orient and its bigger sisters is its focus on mechanical watches over quartz driven movements.The collection mainly consists of timepieces based on variations of classic styles such as vintage dress watches, and dive watches that can often be seen as homages to some of the biggest names.
For more information about where to look for your favorite watch brand why not read my watch store reviews to get a better idea where to look?
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