Saturday, June 10, 2017

Kintarō Hattori (1860 - 1934)

Kintarō Hattori was the son of a trader established in Tokyo. He had both commercial and technical training.

At the age thirteen he entered a textile company and was engaged the following year by Kobayashi Denjiro, one of the main watch and clock traders in Japan who gave him technical education.
Hattori began his career by opening his own time piece shop in 1881. At that time, it operated as a trading company which imported Swiss-made watches. Seizing every opportunity that came his way, this Japanese business visionary soon moved into wholesaling, direct and tradinghouse importing, and independent manufacturing.

Hattori started making his own timepieces in 1892 by building a small, experimental production facility. The next year he geared up and built a true factory in Honjo Yanagishima and named the organization Seiko.

His watches were so well made that they were given as gifts by the Imperial Household. He named his watches Seiko meaning “precision,” a name and a reputation they have maintained.

When the First World War started in 1914 Seiko benefited greatly from the earlier dominance of German alarm clocks on the British and French markets: British and French order switched to Japan.
Kintarō Hattori (1860 - 1934)
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