Orient vector logo
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The Orient Watch Company, Limited is Japan’s largest producer of mechanical watches. It has been a subsidiary of the Seiko Epson Corporation since 2001 and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Seiko Epson in 2009. The company produces both quartz and mechanical watches, but concentrates its marketing efforts and receives 55% of its international sales from the latter.
The company was founded in Tokyo, July 1950; though, it has roots that date back to 1901 when Shogoro Yoshida opened a wholesale watch shop in Ueno. In 1901, Shogoro Yoshida established the Yoshida Watch Shop in Ueno, Tokyo. by 1912, the production of gold cases began and by 1920, the Toyo Tokei Manufacturing plant was established. The produced table clocks and gauges. It was not until 1934 in which the production of wristwatches began, and as time went on, in 1936, the Hino Factory was built. After the Toyo Takei factory was shut down in 1949, Tama Keiki Co. Ltd. was established and started producing out of the Hino factory in July of 1950.
It wasn’t until 1951 when Tama Keiki Co., Ltd. changed their name to Orient Watch Co. Ltd. This same year the “Orient Star” went on sale. Orient Watch Co. was able to expand their visibility overseas after a memorandum trade agreement with China in 1955. The “Royal Orient” became the cornerstone of the golden age of domestically-produced mechanical watches after it went on sale in 1959. Throughout its long history, Orient produced and innovated, with milestones that included the “Dynamic” in 1956, “Grand Prix 100” in 1964, and the “Tenbeat” in 1970. Through its sixty-year history, the company has contributed several technological advances in watchmaking efficiency such as the development of power-reserve indicators and use of in-house movement production of watches in the hundred-dollar price range. By 2004 had perfected their Caliber 88700 which was featured in the Royal Orient Brand. In 2010, Orient Watch Co. Ltd. celebrated its 60th anniversary with a limited edition model. Orient watches have been often lauded for their reliability, robustness, and tremendous value.
Orient Watch prides themselves on the fact that they manufacture all of their movements in-house in Japan. In-house movement production, defined as a watch manufacturer having direct intellectual property rights to the movement they produce, is not common; the list of companies that do this is very short.
Orient sets itself apart from the other major Japanese watch companies by focusing on self-winding mechanical watches.