A VISIT TO THE SEIKO INSTITUTE OF HOROLOGY
By: John B. Holbrook, II
Copyright 2008 - all rights reserved
On Tuesday, October 14th I had the opportunity to visit the Seiko Institute of Horology as part of the 2008 Seiko Media Experience. It was most certainly a highlight of my week long trip to Japan, so I decided to dedicate a special report on this fantastic Seiko museum in Tokyo. I will apologize up front for the quality of some of the photos - the lighting conditions were not conducive to photography in many locations of the museum.
The Institute opened its doors in 1981, commemorating the 100th year anniversary of Seiko Corporation. The institute is housed in a four story building - floors 1 and 2 are a treasure trove of clock and watch exhibitions. The third floor is largely administrative offices, as well as housing a modest library. The 4thl floor has some meeting offices, and a storage room for many ancient time keeping devices that part of the official museum exhibit.
Here I am at the entrance of the museum:
Here I am with the rest of the international journalists which were invited to the Seiko Media Experience 2008:
Our guide during our tour of the museum - fluent in Japanese, English, and French:
We were guided through the various exhibits at the museum - from some of the earliest devices used by man to track time, to examples of some of Seiko's latest models:
Early in Seiko's history, the company avoided putting their own name on their time pieces, like these wall clocks. The thought was that the Seiko name would not sell well in Western markets:
Some classic and quite historically significant pocket watches:
And of course, the magnificent watches on display:
This plaque was presented to Seiko in 2004 honoring their acheivments and innovation with the quartz watch movement.
Of course, some gorgeous vintage Grand Seiko's were on display:
Some fan-favorite Seiko dive watches:
We then went up to the 4th floor "closet collection." Apparently there isn't room anywhere else in the museum to display these priceless early Japanese time keeping devices, which is a shame because they are both beautiful and facinating:
I cannot express how much I enjoyed my time visiting the the Seiko Institute of Horology - it is a jewel of both Japanese culture and tradition, as well a look back into Seiko's history. Very few watch manufactures have such a facility that is open to the public - but then the list of manufacturers which have Seiko's continuous history is a short one. If you have any interest in horology or Seiko, it's well worth your time to visit the Institute - here's their contact information:
Address: 3-9-7 Higashi Mukojima 3-chome, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 131-0032,
Hours of operation: 10 - 12; 13 - 16 hours (closed on Sunday, Monday, national holidays and year-end/New year).
By appointment only - Please call in advance (Phone: +81 3 3610 6248; Fax: +81 3 3610 6256).
**Photos & Text Copyright 2008 WATCH TALK FORUMS. No part of this report can be reproduced outside of WATCH TALK FORUMS without the expressed permission of John B. Holbrook, II.