Q. Why, Gonzo; are you so hell bent on Jap luxury than Swiss? Seiko, to be specific!

A. Because of my love for Jap luxury and that love has too many justified reasons borne out of many things present and in-sync with each other.

I know I don’t owe you an apology for I know I had been polite.

I’m unaware of the length of attention that you usually hold; might it be any longer, I give you something to keep you occupied for some time.

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I guess you’re aware of the Lexus LS400 from Toyota. The mother-ship launched this gleaming vessel to somewhat terrify the European automotive industry. It soon became the justifiable alternative to European luxury at a much better value. Ask any U.S. individual about the power of Lexus (as a brand) these days.

Perhaps, what you call hell bent is my perception of Seiko as a range of products that serve almost every purpose like the Lexus. From pilgrimage to the promenades and for everything in between! Only handfuls are aware of the allure of Japanese luxury, which is also virtually limitless. It is one of the most important watch brands over the planet.

I guess by luxury here you point towards mechanical watches, for which, Seiko, in its early days, was less on style. Quite a few of these watches exemplify technical excellence and innovations, based on its tradition of constant improvements. Even the Seiko subsidiary brands like Orient score higher than some of its European counterparts and competitors.

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It is not possible to list here Seiko’s accomplishments and technologies; neither I’m a tech geek. But there are tech geeks who might help you out. You just need to Google a bit. Ask them about the Grand Seiko, the  Presage and its other lines of impressive, very successful, luxury watches (the Brightz are also good ones); the high luxury Credor, Phoenix and Galante. These are essentially the JDM and not like anything that you see as Seiko in a shopping mall. They are incredible and very hard to find outside Japan. They meet (and sometimes beat) European luxury horology standards and are at par with Swiss, German, French and English craftsmanship. But, they are meant for the crowd; the proletariat, working class. Even the very high-end ones; which led me to believe Seiko fits into the echelon of true watch manufacturer. I won’t be surprised even if it’s the higher echelon.

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Must be, for Seiko makes all movements, dials, bracelets and cases on their own. It’s the same with hairsprings, mainsprings, gears and the rest. And some of Seiko components – sometimes the entire movement – finds place inside Swiss watches, which owe their 50% of magnificence to Seiko. TAG and Invicta, for example.

Moral of the story: Hand-assembled watches with manufactured-movements as good as European watches (if not better) must not cost tens of thousands of dollars. Extremely reliable, durable and very accurate luxury comes for a lot less than that. Still, if you want to go for Swiss, consider the Tissot T-Race Automatic Chronograph.

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below. Click to see details and buy them: