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Citizen Watch Co.

Citizen Watch Co., Ltd. (シチズン時計株式会社, Shichizun Tokei Kabushiki-gaisha?) (TYO: 7762 ) is the core company of a Japanese global corporate group based in Tokyo, Japan. The company was originally founded as Shokosha Watch Research Institute in 1918 and is currently known as the manufacturer of CINCOM precision lathe machine tools as well as CITIZEN watches. The trade name originated from a pocket watch CITIZEN sold in 1924. It is one of the world’s largest producers of watches. From Wikipedia.

In 1924, they created one watch. they named the watch “CITIZEN” in hopes of launching into the world and being loved by citizens. Later, “CITIZEN” became their company name, and this is the origin of their production. their concept has never been changed, and they’ll keep producing new values of watches fused with technology and beauty.

In 1980, Citizen developed the smallest module of that time in the world. In 2002, they developed an even smaller movement. Now, various movements produced in Japan establish a global position as an industrial defact standard. Beside this, Citizen continues to advance the products by challenging the ultimate technologies, and some examples are; “Eco Drive” which allows the releases from battery changes, and “Wave Watch” with all metallic case which was said to be very difficult to develop. Also, they’re developing arm information device that supports activities of the watch holders without reminding the power of technology.

Just like clothes not only have functions to protect people’s body or keep from cold but also give life to people, watches don’t only mean to let people know the time but also to show the value or individuality of the person and adds decoration. Citizen brightens all scenes of people’s life and adjusts to any values such as trends, traditions, age, sex, time or places by fusing technology and beauty.

How to minimize the conflict between men and machine; this question is what they call “Human Ware”. Metal allergy is an example for this concept. Citizen was the first to sell watches made with titanium in the world, and they prove that titanium did not cause metal allergy. they’re also developing watches of universal designs. The universal designed watch “MU” is for everyone for magnificence and high recognition.

Their various lineups give further choices to your lifestyles; happy and dreamy “mechanical clocks”, “wave clocks” that gives an accurate time and date at anywhere in Japan by receiving standard waves of electric time which the error is 1 second in 100.000 years, highly fashioned license-brand clocks, and interior clocks for all arrangement. From Citizen’s homepage.

Casio Computer Co., Ltd.

Casio Computer Co., Ltd. (カシオ計算機株式会社, Kashio Keisanki Kabushiki-gaisha?) (TYO: 6952 ) is a Japanese electronic devices manufacturing company founded in 1946, with its headquarters in Tokyo. Casio is best known for its calculators, audio equipment, PDAs, cameras, musical instruments, and watches. In 1957 Casio released the world’s first entirely electric compact calculator.

Casio was established in April 1946 by Tadao Kashio (樫尾 忠雄, Kashio Tadao?), an engineer specializing in fabrication technology. Kashio’s first major product was the yubiwa pipe, a finger ring that would hold a cigarette, allowing the wearer to smoke the cigarette down to its nub while also leaving the wearer’s hands free. Japan was impoverished immediately following World War II so cigarettes were valuable, and the invention was a success.

After seeing the electric calculators at the first Business Show in Ginza, Tokyo in 1949, Kashio and his younger brothers used their profits from the yubiwa pipe to develop their own calculators. Most of the calculators at that time worked using gears and could be operated by hand using a crank or using a motor. Kashio had some knowledge of electronics, and set out to make a calculator using solenoids. The desk-sized calculator was finished in 1954, sold for 485,000 yen and was Japan’s first electro-mechanical calculator. One of the central innovations of the calculator was its adoption of the 10-key number pad; at that time other calculators were using a “full keypad”, which meant that each place in the number (1s, 10s, 100s, etc…) had nine keys. Another innovation was the use of a single display window instead of the three display windows (one for each argument and one for the answer) used in other calculators.

In 1957 Casio released the Model 14-A, the world’s first all-electric compact calculator, which was based on relay technology. 1957 also marked the establishment of Casio Computer Co. Ltd.

In the 1980s, its budget electronic instruments and home keyboards gained huge popularity.

In the same decade the company also became well known for the wide variety and innovation of its wrist watches. It is one of the early manufacturers of quartz-crystal watches, both digital and analog. It also sold a calculator watch at one time. It was one of the first manufacturers of watches that could display the time in many different time zones and of watches with temperature, atmospheric-pressure, and altitude displays.

Especially popular are its dual function (LCD and analog) watches, some of which, called Wave Ceptors, receive radio signals daily from an atomic clock to keep accurate time. These watches come with lengthy manuals(50 pages each in English and Spanish, each the size of a business card): those users who master all the intricate features will be able to tell time in many time zones, use alarms and timers, and even follow Daylight-Saving Time; those who ignore or misunderstand the manual can expect many surprises. From Wikipedia.

Seiko Holdings Corporation

The company started in 1881, when Kintaro Hattori opened a watch and jewellery shop called “K. Hattori” (服部時計店, Hattori Tokeiten?) in the Ginza area of Tokyo, Japan. Eleven years later he began to produce clocks under the name Seikosha (精工舎, Seikōsha?). According to Seiko’s official company history, titled “A Journey In Time: The Remarkable Story of Seiko” (2003), Seiko is a Japanese word meaning “exquisite”, “minute”, or “success”. (The meaning “exquisite” is usually written 精巧 while the meaning “success” is usually written 成功.)

The first watches produced under the Seiko brand appeared in 1924. In 1969, Seiko introduced the Seiko “Astron”[1], the world’s first production quartz watch; when it was introduced, it cost the same as a medium-sized car. Seiko later went on to introduce the first quartz chronograph. In 1985, Orient Watches and Seiko established a joint factory. Recognized as a leader in timekeeping accuracy, Seiko products are often used as the official timekeepers of the major sporting events including the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup editions in Argentina 1978, Spain 1982, Mexico 1986 and Italy 1990.

The company was incorporated (K. Hattori & Co., Ltd.) in 1917, renamed Hattori Seiko Co., Ltd. in 1983 and Seiko Corporation in 1990. After reconstructing and creating its operating subsidiaries (such as Seiko Watch Corporation, Seiko Clock Inc.), it became a holding company in 2001 and renamed Seiko Holdings Corporation as of July 1, 2007.

Seiko Holdings is one of the three core companies of the Seiko Group. The Seiko Group consists of Seiko Holdings Corporation (SEIKO), Seiko Instruments Inc. (SII) and Seiko Epson Corporation (EPSON) which is known for its printers in Europe and North America and its diverse line of electronics and computer equipment within Japan. Although they have some common shareholders including the key members of the Hattori family (posterity of Kintaro Hattori), the three companies in the Seiko Group are not affiliated. They are managed and operated completely independently. Seiko Watch Corporation, an operating subsidiary of Seiko Holdings Corporation, markets Seiko watches while Seiko Instruments and Seiko Epson manufacture their movements.

Seiko is perhaps known best, though, for its wristwatches. Seiko is known for their advanced technology and is one of the few wristwatch manufacturers that produce all of their watches and movements entirely in-house. Even minor items such as the oils used in lubricating the watches and the luminous compounds used on the hands and the dials are produced by the Seiko factories.

Seiko produces both quartz and mechanical watches of varying prices. The cheapest are around US$50; the most expensive (the Credor Spring Drive Sonnerie) costs over $US100,000[1]. Seiko’s mechanical watches are the most prized by collectors—from the Seiko “5” series (the 5 is proposed to reflect 5 essential features of the watch namely shockproof, waterproof, automatic, with day and date display), which is the most common, the Seiko automatic Chronometer series, the “Bell-Matic” with a mechanical alarm to the highly prized luxury “Credor”, “King Seiko” and “Grand Seiko” lines. Seiko Kinetic watches account for a large proportion of sales nowadays and combine the self-energizing attributes of an automatic watch with quartz accuracy. There is no battery to change; the watch is entirely powered by its movement in everyday wear.

Frustratingly for collectors, Seiko does not release all of its watch lines in every region. Some are exclusively available in Asia, for instance. Many online retailers will ship watches overseas, though.

Seiko Corporation of America is responsible for distribution of Seiko watches and clocks, as well as Pulsar brand watches, in the United States. The models available in the United States are normally a smaller subset of the full line produced in Japan. Seiko Corporation of America has its headquarters and Coserv repair center in Mahwah, New Jersey. In the United States, Seiko watches are sold primarily by fine jewelers and department stores, as well as 19 company stores located in various cities.

Seiko’s 2004 marketing campaign emphasized that a watch, as opposed to other traits (such as what car they drive, for example) tells most about a person.

Various Seiko watches were worn by the cinematic James Bond 007 in four films, starring Roger Moore, from 1977-1985. Also, a Seiko watch was worn by Sean Connery in the 1983 Bond film, Never Say Never Again.

Seiko also produces other electronic devices. Notably, during the 1980’s, this company produced a range of digital synthesizers, such as the DS-250, for use in electronic music. Today, the music division, a part of Seiko S-Yard, produces metronomes & tuning devices. From Wikipedia.

Orient Watch Co., Ltd.

Orient Watch Co., Ltd. (オリエント時計) is a Japanese watch company, established in 1950.

The Orient Watch company traces its roots back to 1901 and the horological marketing of its founder, Shogoro Yoshida, in Tokyo. Orient Watch is the only manufacturer, among the big three, to dedicate themselves to mechanical movement watches. For many years, Orient was number three in the Japanese watchmaking triumvirate of Seiko, Citizen, and Orient. However, Casio, riding on the heels of the quartz revolution begun by Seiko in the 1970s, quickly supplanted Orient with watches that were marketed primarily in the United States, but which were also popular in Japan and Asian markets. Nevertheless, Orient stayed the course with a conservative design philosophy and a marketing strategy that has largely ignored the US in favor of Japan and other Pacific rim countries, the Middle East, Russia, and South America.

Today, Orient has manufacturing facilities in Japan, Singapore, and Brazil, and offers a wide range of watch designs and styles, including mechanical, quartz, and light powered (similar to Citizen’s Eco-Drive line). Seiko Epson now owns a controlling interest (52%) in Orient.

In 1985 Orient and Seiko established a joint factory. Orient produces a wide range of automatic and quartz watches ranging in price from reasonably inexpensive (about 50USD / 50Euro) to very expensive (7000USD). As of 2006, Orient Watch has the largest Japanese mechanical movement production exceeding Seiko’s and Citizens combined production figures. Through large scale production, the value offered by their watches are considered one of the best in the industry. Orient Star and Orient Star Royal are the middle and high-end brands, with the Royal Orient being their flagship line.

Mid-priced Orient watches are perceived by enthusiasts as offering excellent quality and value for money. Orient manufactures its own movements, which is quite unusual because most manufacturers outsource this aspect of their business. Unlike Citizen, Orient does not sell their movements for OEM production.

Orient watches are not as popular in North America, but appear to be popular elsewhere in the world. North American purchasers can find Orient watches on the usual auction sites. Orient Star and Orient Star Royal watches are quite hard for North American purchasers to find. From Wikipedia.

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