The company was founded in 1881, when Kintarō Hattori opened a watch and jewelry shop called "K. Hattori" in the Ginza area of Tokyo, Japan. Eleven years later, in 1892, he began to produce clocks under the name Seikosha meaning roughly "House of Exquisite Workmanship".
The first watches produced under the Seiko brand appeared in 1924. In 1969, Seiko introduced the Astron, the world's first production quartz watch; when it was introduced, it cost the same as a medium-sized car. Seiko later went on to introduce the first quartz chronograph. In the late 1980s, Seiko produced the first Kinetic watch that combined the self-energizing attributes of an automatic watch with quartz accuracy. The watch is entirely powered by its movement in everyday wear.
Today Seiko still leads the way in horology.