Jacob Osborn

7 Best Japanese Watch Brands | Man of Many


1. Seiko

Upon creating the first quartz watch in 1969, Seiko kicked off the biggest revolution of the modern horological era. To this day, the brand continues to deliver excellent timepieces of the mechanical, automatic, and battery-powered variety. Keeping the spirit of innovation alive are automatic dive watches like the SKX173, which winds itself based on the motion of your wrist and survives plunges down to 200 metres.

2. Citizen

As another one of the ‘Big Four’ watch brands in Japan, Citizen comes preceded by decades of groundbreaking innovation. These days, it’s best-known for the development of Eco-Drive technology and “superquartz” movement. The former hosts a built-in solar panel while the latter is like quartz on steroids.

3. Casio

No conversation of Japanese brands is complete without the name Casio, which created the world’s first mass-produced digital watches. While this quintessential brand is still very much digital and even a little retro at heart, it’s come a long way since the days of calculator watches and other gimmicks.

4. Orient

What began as Tokyo’s Yoshida Watch Shop in 1901 became Orient Watches by 1950. Currently owned by Seiko Group, this iconic Japanese watch brand specialises in self-winding and hand-winding mechanical movements of exceptional quality. That said, it also produces both quartz and solar-powered models.
Veer into microbrand territory and Minase might be the first name that pops up. Established by Kyowa Co., Ltd. in 2005, these luxurious watches are produced in limited supply and hard to find outside of Japan. Every component is designed, built, and assembled in-house, with the avant-garde aesthetic and powerful performance to show for it.

5. Minase

6. Frank Miura

If you can’t afford an expensive Franck Muller watch, this purposefully similar brand might be your next best bet. An alternative to the legendary Swiss watchmaker, these well-made knock-offs come in at a significant fraction of the price. And when we say “significant fraction,” we’re talking like 1/100. Is each watch made from scratch in Japan? If you have to ask, then this probably isn’t the brand for you.
Have you noticed the abundance of one-name watch brands yet? In Japan, they take minimalism quite seriously. That brings us to Knot, a recently-launched brand that uses choice details, classic complications, and premium materials to render strong minimalist impressions. Choose amongst a variety of handsome models or get yours custom-made. Either way, this Japanese watch brand is happy to deliver and for a great price.

7. Knot

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