What Japan is proud of - Craftsmanship! : Japanese Watches II

Inside the SEIKO Museum

Part 1 - Evolution of the "Timepieces"

1st Floor mainly focuses on the evolution of the timepieces.

(1) The Start of Time Measurement

Equatorial Sundial made in Qing Dynasty, China (see photo)
Chomon points the Polaris, and it casts the shadow on the dial parallel to the equator. Hour markers from autumn to spring equinox are at the back side of the dial. Interesting.

The Korean Sun Dial on the right and the portable one on the left (see photo).
The marker is inside the "bowl".

Edo era Japanese "clocks"

Incense Clock (Edo Period, Japan) see photo.
Measure the time by the length of the incense burned to ashes. The incense is shaped and placed with the "shaper" below. Some lasted more than 36 hours.

The "Stick Incense" Clock (Edo Period, Japan) see photo.
The stick incense is still used today, mostly for temples or tombs. But this clock appears to have been used at the "bar" (you know what I mean...) and you pay the girls according to how many sticks had been burned....

The Birth and Development of Mechanical Timepieces

Tower Clock (Prototype of the Westminster Clock, Big Ben)
weight-driven, double three legged gravity escapement - UK

The Big Ben (The Westminster Clock) was set at The Houses of Parliament in London (1859)

And the mechanism got smaller and smaller...

Then came the Advent of Quartz Watches and Clocks

From the pursuit for accuracy with the mechanical watches in 1950 to...

The photo of the quartz clock (gigantic!) for broadcast stations in 1958 made by Seiko....

Just 11 years later in 1969, SEIKO already launched its first Quartz wrist watch ASTRON 35SQ.

And what we cannot ignore is SEIKO's contribution and innovation for the sports events - did you know....? I wish I could show you more photos.

Starting Block equipped with the "Flying" sensor - Senses the pressure on the block, measures the change of the pressure for 0.5 sec before the Start.

Long list of the sports events including Olympics in which SEIKO was chosen as the official timer.

Video camera captures the moment of the goal and decided the place and the time. Moving the cursor on the runner gives the time of the runner. Not only highly accurate, but also quick result (no need to develop or enhance the film).

Wow, I didn't know anything about most of these high-tech in the sports events....

Please stay tuned for the Part 2 - SEIKO history and Wa-Dokei (Historical Japanese Clock) Collections


by KIH