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Seiko ‘Made in Japan’ – Really Made In Japan?

Are Seiko Made in Japan Watches Really Made In Japan?

As many of you will know, there is huge controversy surrounding whether watches labeled ‘Swiss Made’ actually live up to that expectation, the regulations are very loose and allow large parts of the watch to be made in China, but the end product still be labeled as ‘Swiss Made’.

This is often overlooked with ‘Made In Japan’, and as hard as it is to say for me (as I am a HUGE Seiko fan), I have discovered that Seiko watches labelled ‘Made In Japan’ are not typically made in Japan.

This surprised me, and it surprises many others too, here is popular YouTuber (who we interviewed on TheWatchFace) J. Anthony’s view on the matter:

He noted in his video that his Seiko SARB stopped running which resulted in him opening the case back, only to find out that the case had an inner marking stating that it was made in China.

This got me interested as to how this could happen as I thought the SARB line, which is a japanese domestic model line, was made in Japan. I was wrong.

After some digging, I came across some articles on WatchUSeek, where forum members discussed this exact issue:

On these articles, members have reported on the Japanese laws which state that products manufactured outside of Japan can still be labeled ‘Made In Japan’ as long as the work is overseen by Japanese nationals. To me, this sounds rather misleading, but then again the watches are all made to the same quality standard by Seiko, so it shouldn’t make a difference on the watch. Although the ‘J’ variants (“Made In Japan”) usually sell for more on the second hand market!

I have to admit, this does bother me a little… it bothers me not because I dislike goods being made in China, I dislike it because of the misleading statement (at least in my eyes) that is on the dial. many people pay more for the ‘J’ labeled Seiko watches because they want their watch to be made in japan, but the reality is that they are made in the same factories as the ‘K’ watches.

Remember where you heard it first!

Wrapping up

I hope these weren’t too bad news for you and that you found this informative!

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  1. Post comment

    It’s all BS. Swiss watches can have unpolished gears come from China and be polished then marked as parts that are Swiss made. Same with sapphire crystals where most artificial sapphire is produced in China. Though having it ground, polished and getting an AR in either Switzerland, Germany or Japan gets them labeled as products/parts made in those respective countries.

    I don’t want to get hammered on high quality replicas being made and sold from Ghangzhou, but the fact remains that there are high quality AP and others being made in small quantities there. You only have to look at RWI to see them.

    I just ordered a Seiko SARB065 and like any other watch, I have a Swiss/Italian trained watchmaker available to service the product, if need be, as the warranty only applies if you live in Japan.

    While not the originals, but a country that has really stepped up its game at reverse engineering and making some quality products, yes all handbags with the Prada cross patterned Saffiano leather, are only made in China as well, we have to recognize that we live in a globally produced society.

    I nearly was tarred and feathered for stating on a non-watch forum, to a very young man, that he at least handle an good replica of the AP 15400, before spending $16K, before dedicating that sum of money before buying the genuine article. He could pay off his student debt, put a down payment on a house or feed his children, and be just as happy with a homage or a Seiko.

    I knew going in that many Seiko movements are made and assembled in Thailand and that Citizen has Japanese supervisors on staff in SE Asia overseeing the production of Miyota movements.

    I’ve kind of laughed at TGV from the Urban Gentry YouTube channel on his 5 reasons for not ever wearing or buying a rep. His first being self respect. If you need a branded watch for self respect you might need to redefine the term. His other point was financing crime. We all pay taxes and yet are dismayed with how and when our governments spend their/our money. I can say that having a job in China sure beats life in a prison camp.

    Yes I’ve owned reps. Most of my collection are/have been genuine watches, but the how and why only matter if the watch holds its own on a timekeeper and keeps time similar to COSC regulations, as well as needing my divers to not leak or implode when diving or scuba in salt water. In actuality I use a Luminox PVD Quartz when messing around in saltwater as I’m close enough to read the unlumed numbers and bezel or it’s so dark the tritium tunes kick in. In reality, a Quartz watchbis more reliable and sturdier than an automatic no mater how much I love them.

    In the army almost everybody wore Casio G-Shock watches. I was an exception with a Tissot T-Touchbas I was a medic and needed the other features.

    In the end watches, tell the time, look and feel good and most companies use shady tactics to make profits. The same can be said of governments. That’s all pretty much out of my control. My best asvice is to understand as much of watchmaking as one can and/or have a competent watchsmith who will gladly work on any watch you bring them.

  2. Post comment

    I found my 009K on Amazon Warehouse deals at 40% off their regular price, it’s made in Malaysia not Japan. I read several articles and the Japan difference is not worth it.


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