The Astron GPS SolarKintaro Hattori160th AnniversaryLimited Edition
“One step ahead of the rest.” The 160th anniversary of Kintaro Hattori’ s birth is marked with a special Astron GPS Solar watch.
Today, Seiko proudly celebrates the life, career and achievements of its founder with a limited edition Astron GPS Solar watch that exemplifies to perfection Kintaro’s vision that Seiko should always be “One step ahead of the rest”.
Kintaro Hattori 1860 – 1934- Businessman, visionary and philanthropist –
When Seiko’s founder Kintaro Hattori was born in 1860 in central Tokyo, Japan was undergoing massive social and industrial changes as it took its place on the world stage after more than two centuries of self-imposed isolation. It was a time of opportunity and no-one grasped its significance more than Kintaro. At the age of just 17, he set up his own timepiece repair business at his home and, just four years later, he founded his own company, repairing, importing and selling clocks and watches. Under his leadership, his fledgling “start-up” grew to be Japan’s pre-eminent timepiece manufacturer. It was with good reason that he soon became known in Japan as the “King of watches in the East”.
Kintaro at age of about 30
- Born in Ginza, Tokyo.
- Establishes K. Hattori & Co. (age 21).
- Establishes Seikosha Factory and starts producing wall clocks (age 31).
- Opens a store at the corner of Ginza 4 chome and produces the company’s first pocket watch, Timekeeper.
- Now the largest watch & clock dealer in Japan, Kintaro opens sales agencies in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
- Introduces Japan's first wristwatch, the Laurel.
- The Seikosha factory and the offices of K. Hattori & Co Ltd. burn down in the fire that devastated Tokyo after the Great Kanto Earthquake on September 1. Kintaro immediately started to re-build them and won the trust of the public by publicly offering to replace free of charge about 1,500 watches and clocks that were to be repaired but were destroyed by the fire.
- Launches the first watch to carry the SEIKO name.
- Establishes the Hattori Hokokai Foundation to provide scholarships and public works support. The Foundation is still active today.
- Dies at the age of 73.
Seiko Astron. The world leader in GPS Solar technology.
In 2012 , Seiko demonstrated its leadership in high technology watchmaking with the world’s first GPS Solar watch. By connecting to the GPS network, Astron adjusts at the touch of a button to every time zone on earth and, by taking all the energy it needs from light alone, never needs a battery change. It offers local time with atomic clock precision on your wrist, wherever you are on earth. Today, eight years on , the latest generation of Astron GPS Solar technology powers the new Kintaro Hattori 160th Anniversary watch and joins the long list of horological innovations, including the world’s first quartz watch in 1969, that exemplify Kintaro’s philosophy and have kept Seiko at the forefront of watchmaking technology.
NOTE: If there are changes in the region / time zone / DST, manual selection may be required.
A design that speaks of Seiko’s heritage
With its deep black tones, gold tone accents and high gloss bezel, the watch has a commanding presence on the wrist that befits its heritage.
The watch case and bracelet are in titanium with a scratch-resistant hard-coating.
Zirconia ceramic bezel
The bezel is made from Zirconia ceramic and has sixteen facets, one for each decade since Kintaro’s birth.
A case back that tells the Kintaro story
The case back carries Kintaro’s name and three reminders of his legacy. The trademark “S” that he registered in 1900 occupies the center of the case back. His motto “One step ahead of the rest” appears above it and the name Seiko which was first used in 1924 takes pride of place on the rim.
The words “Limited Edition” and the individual watch’s serial number (0001/2500-2500/2500) are inscribed on the case back.
Note: The case back direction might be different from the photograph.
A supplementary crocodile strap
The watch is accompanied in its presentation case by a supplementary crocodile strap which is easy to affix and perfect for those special, more formal, occasions.
The ‘S’ mark; Kintaro’s first trademark.
From 1900, Kintaro used this ‘S’ mark with both square and round rims on his products. It was registered as the trademark of his company, K. Hattori & Co. A commemorative lapel badge featuring this landmark design is offered with the watch.
A special presentation box
The watch is offered in a special presentation box with a commemorative “S” mark badge and includes a card carrying a message from Kintaro’s great-grandson and the company’s current Chairman & CEO, Shinji Hattori.
Technology of Astron
The GPS Solar Caliber 5X53 Dual-Time connects up to twice a day to the GPS network to maintain its precision* anywhere in the world. It adjusts automatically to Daylight Saving Time** and, when the wearer changes time zone, he or she simply pushes a button and the hands move rapidly to the correct local time, thanks to the system that moves the hour, minute, and seconds hands independently. In addition, the wearer is able to change the main time display instantly from home to local time and vice versa. It is a perfect watch for Novak and all international travelers. Travelling can be stressful; Astron makes it just a little less so.
- * When the dial detects sunlight, the watch connects to the GPS satellite network and adjusts automatically to the correct time. If the watch is hidden from light, it remembers the time of its last successful manual connection and attempts to receive the GPS signal again at that same time.
- ** If the time zone adjustment is successful, the watch will display local Daylight Saving Time wherever this is in operation. (This does not apply when a time zone is selected manually)
The Astron GPS Solar
Kintaro Hattori 160th Anniversary
［ Caliber 5X53 ］
Limited edition of 2500 pieces
Available in the month of Kintaro’s birth, October, at Seiko Boutiques and at selected retail partners worldwide.