Watches made in a certain country and / or the country of origin of the watch brand
Clocks have reached the whole world, and they are constantly evolving changing the way of measuring time. From the sundial 3000 years before Christ, the appearance of the wristwatch in the 20th century and now from our smartphones or our watchphones.
But each country builds them differently. Each brand has its own strategies and objectives. While the Swiss seek extreme elegance, the Chinese want to reach everyone and not just a few people.
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Japanese watch brands are famous for their low cost compared to watches of the same category in Western countries. This is due to its low production costs.
Japan not only makes quality watches at low cost, it is also a pioneer in the construction of exclusive watches and precious materials. Japan has been one of the leading pioneers in technological and engineering advancement in the world of watchmaking.
It is in Japan where the quartz watch was born. Quartz watches are much more accurate and cheaper to manufacture than mechanical watches, whether manual or automatic. The quartz watch completely changed the destiny of watchmaking. Since then, now anyone has the facility to buy a watch of great quality and precision.
Japanese watches are always at the forefront, they never stop innovating the technology of their watches, for example there is satellite technology that allows watches to update the time automatically or solar technology in their solar watches, which allows you to recharge its batteries to give the watch greater autonomy.
While Swiss watches have focused on the production of fine watches, with a luxurious aesthetic and implementation of high-end materials, Japanese watches have dedicated their efforts to the production of functional, practical and accessible watches for the general public.
Best Japanese watch brands
Founded in 1918, Citizen is over a century old and is Japan’s second-oldest Japanese watch brand. Its origin lies in Tokyo, where it was originally founded as the Shokosha Watch Research Institute.
The success of Citizen is fundamentally based on its wide range of watches, which cover all price ranges, and where you can also find an elegant analog chronograph, a solar tactical military watch or digital watches.
But the brand is much more than variety, as it has outstanding advances such as Citizen Eco Drive technology, one of the most advanced in the field of solar-powered watches. So advanced that it is capable of saving energy for up to 1 year in some models, so that your watch will always be ready to be used, even if you have it stored for long periods in a drawer.
This represents a clear advantage over automatic watches, whose power reserve can last a maximum of 50 hours in the best of cases.
If we add to Eco Drive technology the hundreds of models that the brand has manufactured, we have a large number of watches with multiple functions that we can use as many times as we want without fear of draining the battery.
It even manufactures radio-controlled solar clocks, capable of setting the time automatically by means of the signals they receive from the different atomic clocks distributed around the planet.
Possibly the best known of all, who has not had a Casio on his wrist? What you might not know is that the company initially started out manufacturing consumer electronics. In fact, the world’s first electric calculator, it was launched by Casio in 1957.
Founded in 1946 in Tokyo by Tadao Kashio, an engineer by profession, the company initially focused on making printers, musical instruments, calculators, projectors and other electrical appliances.
But it was in watches where it stood out the most, especially in the 80s and 90s, with such legendary models as the Casio calculator and the Data Bank, possibly the first smart watches, even before the smartphone era.
Currently, one of its most popular models is the G-Shock, a watch whose structure is capable of withstanding practically anything, such as bumps, falls, water or dust. If we combine this with the multiple functions that the brand has always integrated into its creations, we have the perfect sports watch.
It is not uncommon to find a G-Shock with several sensors, to measure for example the altitude, the pressure or the temperature of the environment, all this powered by solar energy. Some are even radio controlled and set time alone. For this reason, it is not uncommon to see them on the wrist of some other soldier of the US armed forces.
But Casio is much more than G-Shock and also has elegant models made of steel or titanium, such as the Edifice series, robust analog designs that also have a good load of technological functions, including bluetooth or even GPS positioning in the models. high-end.
To talk about the history of Japanese watches is to talk about Seiko watches, one of the oldest watchmaking houses in Japan. In fact, with its more than 140 years of history, it can be said that the brand is not only one of the oldest in Japan but also in the rest of the world.
It was founded in 1881 by Kintaro Hattori in Ginza (Tokyo) and since then it has gone from being a small watch store to one of the most important brands in the world, which is mainly due to its continuous commitment to innovation and development. of new technologies that have revolutionized the market.
One of these advances is precisely the quartz machinery, equipped for the first time in the “Seiko Astron” in 1969, the first quartz wristwatch in history and ancestor of many of the watches that most of us carry today. A battery-powered device, up to 30 times more accurate than any mechanical watch of the time.
But Seiko has not only limited itself to quartz watches, it also has some of the most precise mechanical watches on the market, thanks to technologies such as the “Spring Drive”, which manages to combine an automatic movement with a quartz oscillator, obtaining a absolute precision without the need for batteries or accumulators.
Currently the brand produces watches in all price ranges, from the cheapest digital ones to luxury pieces of several thousand dollars. Among the most economical are the diving “Seiko Monster” and “Prospex”, or the more dress-up “Presage Cocktail” series and in the high range watches such as the Grand Seiko, one of the most precise watches in the world, created and made with precious metals.
Orient is the third company in Japan by volume of watches produced only surpassed by Citizen and Seiko, the first if we talk only about automatic watches. It was founded in Tokyo in 1950, but its founder, Shogoro Yoshida, started the watch business in 1901 in Ueno, also in Japan.
As a curiosity, since 2009 it belongs to Seiko, being one of its basic pillars when attacking especially the sector of automatic watches with adjusted prices. Remember that Seiko focuses mainly on the sale of quartz watches, and only has very high-end automatic watches.
Although it is not currently an independent brand, in the past Orient also made great contributions to world watchmaking, such as the power reserve indicator, which shows on the dial an indicator with the level of winding that the watch has left.
The designs of this brand are usually based on more classic styles, with dress watches reminiscent of the models of the 50s, although they also have watches with more timeless designs, such as those of their diving series, Ray and Mako, which compete directly. with the Seiko Monster.
Although for the most part they are mid-range watches, they also have luxury or semi-luxury models, we are talking about the Orient Star series, with pieces that can cost several thousand euros.
Yes, due to its electronic heritage, Casio only makes quartz watches. Although who wants an automatic watch, having a practically indestructible radio controlled solar watch on the wrist.
Although Spanish watch brands have not played as important a role in the history of watchmaking as the famous German or Swiss watches, it is true that the Spanish watch industry is currently having a good time thanks to mergers and acquisitions of new companies.
In fact, there are currently more than 90 Spanish watch brands in Spain, many of which manufacture their parts entirely in Spanish territory, although there are also Spanish brands that assemble their designs totally or partially in Asia or even in Switzerland.
The commercial expansion of some Spanish companies has meant that some of them have been able to deploy on Swiss terrain or even get a significant stake in some of their watch firms, being able to manufacture part of their components there.
Best Spanish watch brands
Festina was founded in 1902, and although it was initially a Swiss brand, in 1984 it passed into the hands of Miguel Rodríguez, a businessman from Barcelona who integrates it together with other brands of his property, so it is currently a Spanish brand.
At present, the group has five more brands on the market apart from Festina: Lotus, Calypso, Candino, Jaguar and Regata. Which makes it the largest watch manufacturer in Spain.
Its main production centers on the peninsula are in Barcelona (where the headquarters are also located) and Toledo, although the brand also manufactures its watches in Switzerland and China.
The Festina collection is made up of elegant and functional chronographs at prices that move in the mid-range. Its main market is Europe, a
The history of Viceroy dates back to 1951, when it was founded in Switzerland, although it did not become one of the Spanish watch brands until 1982, when it was acquired by the Madrid-based Munreco group, which revitalized the brand, leading it towards a new global audience.
The Munreco group also owns brands such as Sandoz or Mark Maddox, and distributes Maurice Lacroix high-end watches in Spain.
Viceroy watches occupy a mid-range segment focused on the creation of fashion watches, with correct finishes for their low price, although they do not use mechanisms of Swiss origin.
Their quartz watches use mechanisms of Japanese origin, especially Miyota, while their mechanical designs use movements made in China, although no less reliable for that.
Despite being a Spanish brand, its production centers are located in China, from where they import the watches that are later sold in Spain.
Lotus deserves special mention for being one of the best-known Spanish watch brands today, also from the Festina Group but with an important role in history and unique characteristics that make it stand out from other brands on the peninsula.
The history of Lotus given from 1902, the year in which it was founded in Switzerland, although its history in Spain begins in 1981, when Miguel Rodríguez Domínguez, a Barcelona businessman who owns the Festina Group, acquired the company, even before buying Festina.
A few years later, the new Lotus business strategy conquers the market thanks to the introduction of new functions such as the chronograph, little used at that time in mid-range analog watches, and high-quality materials such as titanium, more typical of men’s watches. high-end.
Lotus shares production facilities with its sister brand, Festina, and its watches often feature Japanese Miyota Citizen quartz movements.
Today it is difficult not to see someone around us with a Lotus watch, and despite not being Swiss watches, they offer current designs of acceptable quality for a fairly affordable average price.
Radiant is another brand with a long history in Spain, it was founded in 1948 and from its creation the Cadarso group emerged, a business conglomerate that also distributes other brands such as: Victorinox, Guess, Breil, etc.
Radiant watches had their peak in the 90s with models such as the legendary Radiant Dakar, although today they have moved to a segment with lower cost models to revitalize the brand.
Although in the beginning they mounted Swiss calibers, the truth is that today most of their models use machinery of Japanese origin or even Chinese in the case of automatic models.
You could say that they are Spanish watches because the company that manufactures them is Spanish, but most components are imported from Asia. Even so, the mid-range models continue to offer good quality at quite competitive prices.