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TKOG

Why Japanise Trumps Swiss Every Time...

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Hello everyone,

Right, this will be a controversial one.

Yes, I think Japan beats Switzerland. You may think I'm off my rocker but just hear me out. As far as I'm concerned, the Japanise market is where it is at right now, and I think it is far under appreciated. Japanise watch brands are producing higher quality products than ever for extreme affordability, with the workmanship previously held exclusively by Swiss watch brands. 

Ok, I understand the attraction of the heritage, history and pure class that comes with Swiss made watches, heck, I own a few myself. And yes, they do probably still come out on top on quality against their Japanise counterparts. But in terms of value for money, they simply cannot compete. 

For me, I get just as much enjoymant from my Japanise pieces as I do from some of my Swiss ones, even though they were just a fraction of the price.

Take Seiko, a company I would argue being perhaps most under appreciated in the watch community. They are producing incredibly high quality, in house watches for only a few hundred pounds. Look at the SARB collection, simply fantastic, high quality time pieces that you can't go wrong with. 

So there you go, that's my view anyway. I know Switzerland will always be the home of horology, but Japan needs more recognition, I highly recommend you check them out.

What are your thoughts on this matter?

 

All the best,

TKOG

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I had a modern Seiko, not a Seiko 5 but a monster gen 2 that on the high street would cost a couple hundred i guess. There was nothing wrong with it but after a day or two just wearing it around the house i noticed scratches on the metal that were not there before.

I decided to polish them out so started with a mild way to do it i thought, a leather strop i used to mirror knife blades with. Anyway the watch steel was brushed steel so had those lines on the surface. To my amazement the strop made mince meat of the finish and before i knew it had polished right through to smooth metal.

That tells me two things in my opinion. The steel if cheap or soft and the brushed steel is very shallow and not of high quality. A simple bit of leather would not strip off brushing on a high end Swiss watch, no way. I only did a few swipes and the watch finish was ruined permanently.

So I vote that Swiss are better quality and finish but Japan smash them for price and are good quality but in my experiance the Japan steel and finishing is weak.

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4 minutes ago, xellos99 said:

I had a modern Seiko, not a Seiko 5 but a monster gen 2 that on the high street would cost a couple hundred i guess. There was nothing wrong with it but after a day or two just wearing it around the house i noticed scratches on the metal that were not there before.

I decided to polish them out so started with a mild way to do it i thought, a leather strop i used to mirror knife blades with. Anyway the watch steel was brushed steel so had those lines on the surface. To my amazement the strop made mince meat of the finish and before i knew it had polished right through to smooth metal.

That tells me two things in my opinion. The steel if cheap or soft and the brushed steel is very shallow and not of high quality. A simple bit of leather would not strip off brushing on a high end Swiss watch, no way. I only did a few swipes and the watch finish was ruined permanently.

So I vote that Swiss are better quality and finish but Japan smash them for price and are good quality but in my experiance the Japan steel and finishing is weak.

You have brought forward the biggest problem on the Japanise market. There are excellent watches you can buy, but also some absolute trash. I seriously recommend the SARB line, they are fantastic domestic releases, so quite hard to get hold of, but well worth it.

 

Thanks,

TKOG

27 minutes ago, Bruce said:

an old Scottish saying: Yer teachin yer granny tae suck eggs :laugh:

Haha, well something I feel passionate about on the watch market.

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Loads of Japanese rubbish on sale in Thailand, many you wouldn't have heard of. There's a reason for that. On the other hand, there is GS.

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2 minutes ago, TKOG said:

You have brought forward the biggest problem on the Japanise market. There are excellent watches you can buy, but also some absolute trash. I seriously recommend the SARB line, they are fantastic domestic releases, so quite hard to get hold of, but well worth it.

 

Thanks,

TKOG

Yes good point, I have not tried any domestic release or any high end Japan stuff to be fair. I have a 1982 Seiko dive watch and i love that one.

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 Another reason why some Japanese makes are generally unlauded in countries like the UK is the paucity of what is actually available to buy in the shops.  I am not a Seiko fan by any means but most of the stuff that people in the know rave about on forums like this one is only available on the Internet (or in a selection of other countries including Japan).  I have two very nice Orients but there is not a single dealer in the UK (or almost all of western Europe as far as I know!) JDM rules.

 They don't exactly make it easy for people in this country to get to know and appreciate them. Now, experts, why is that? 

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Why Japanise Trumps Swiss Every Time...

Price. :)

As others have said tho, there have been some japanese s**t coming from NOT japan. I'm pretty wary of those watches.

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1 hour ago, Bruce said:

an old Scottish saying: Yer teachin yer granny tae suck eggs :laugh:

 

52 minutes ago, AVO said:

 Another reason why some Japanese makes are generally unlauded in countries like the UK is the paucity of what is actually available to buy in the shops.  I am not a Seiko fan by any means but most of the stuff that people in the know rave about on forums like this one is only available on the Internet (or in a selection of other countries including Japan).  I have two very nice Orients but there is not a single dealer in the UK (or almost all of western Europe as far as I know!) JDM rules.

 They don't exactly make it easy for people in this country to get to know and appreciate them. Now, experts, why is that? 

Can't agree more, personally, I'd love to see some of the high quality Japan stuff sold here so it can get the appreciation I think it deserves.

3 minutes ago, gimli said:

Why Japanise Trumps Swiss Every Time...

Price. :)

As others have said tho, there have been some japanese s**t coming from NOT japan. I'm pretty wary of those watches.

Yes, it's ok but it means you have to put in the research for the best stuff so you avoid all of the stuff made in Tiawan and China. It's a real shame, but not enough to put me off!

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Sounds like the steel used in certain Japanese steel is ANNEALED so essentially softened.

Edited by bry1975

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On 5/21/2016 at 19:59, xellos99 said:

A simple bit of leather would not strip off brushing on a high end Swiss watch, no way. I only did a few swipes and the watch finish was ruined permanently.

Have you tried a similar test on a low end Swiss watch? If you are looking at something in the £200 price range you are not going to get the same quality as with a £5k watch (although some expensive watches may not be great quality).

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i like them  both ! !  Here is a story;  i  heard  long ago:   "the swiss sent  seiko "the smallest watch screw ever made" ".  seiko sent it back with a hole drilled through it    vinn

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Agree this is controversial and probably much to do with the mass market development of Japanese watches fuelling technological advancements  vs the niche and boutique Swiss makers with good quality but heavily brand focussed products and reliance on longer heritage. 

In today's world both have their place and as with all things you pay your money and make your choice .

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and low end swiss watches arnt made by the swiss, they carry the name, but not the title "swiss made". i have a new  rotary with a case thats scratched on the back. i only wear it once or twice per month with a suit, and ive had it 5 months, so i doubt its had 20hrs wear. and my skin cant be that tough and gnarly. my pulsars and seikos get rotten treatment from me, as i seldom take them off, and am currently four years into a pulsar chrono, thats been through the cement mixer, and a fall from roof frameing onto concrete (no9 marker knocked off ) its had scratches, but a wiz on the buffer wheel, without taking it apart, and a rinse in petrol followed by tooth brush and soap and it looks nearly new.

a bit mean, but i love this pulsar.

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On 5/28/2016 at 13:13, bry1975 said:

Sounds like the steel used in certain Japanese steel is ANNEALED so essentially softened.

I think they keep the good stuff for the samurai swords!!

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It's like Rolls Royce. The Swiss watches are undoubtedly top quality, but rely on the name they made in previous years/generations.

Japanese watches are like the Japanese cars, not everyone's cup of tea but boy are they good at what they do.

Carrying the car analogy even further it's also image. A top business man/pop star/statesman looks better getting out of a Roller than a Toyota. Allegedly.

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On 21/05/2016 at 21:16, TKOG said:

 

Can't agree more, personally, I'd love to see some of the high quality Japan stuff sold here so it can get the appreciation I think it deserves.

 

 

If you're after a Grand Seiko they are available in the UK here.... http://www.grand-seiko.com/store/europe/uk.php

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If there is one company that is NOT under-appreciated in the watch community, it has to be Seiko!

Sorry to disagree with you, dear TKOG, but if you keep an eye on this excellent forum you will see that the best Japanese watches - quartz, mechanical, and with solar or kinetic type movements - are actually highly regarded. Makes like Seiko, Orient and Casio have all made great contributions to watch history, and there are other less well-known Japanese names to conjure with, in terms of both vintage and modern timepieces.

Obviously, Swiss watches have the heritage and the notion that the term "Swiss Made" automatically denotes quality and watchmaking skill is now obsolete. OK, in the higher price bracket, Swiss watches are still up there, and have a cache that Eastern watches just don't possess. But in the real world, watches from Japan can hold their own with their "Swiss" cousins.:)

 

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I've gone by the rule "Seiko for work, Swiss for play" purely on a cost basis. Reasoning if a £45 Seiko gets destroyed its not a great loss, and have Seikos taken some abuse. Once when removing a 24 volt DC starter off an earth mover, I shorted the bracelet between the + feed and the chassis, resulting in the watch literally being blown off my wrist and landing on rock some 5 feet below, apart from a few dings and a new strap the watch was fine for about another 8 years. I replaced it with an Orient Chicane which does the job just fine when I'm not wearing my £10 Chinese offering. When they first became available, I looked long and hard at a Grand Seiko, but ended up going Swiss.

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Isn't it a bit naive to make such a statement, bit like me coming along and claiming that all Swiss watches are better than Japanese? Surely some will and some won't?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I think part of the issue with watches like Seiko is their inconsistency. I'm not sure when, but I think it was around a year ago I bought a Seiko series 5 and was immediately struck with buyers remorse. I thought at the time, "how much can I expect from a $58 dollar watch" and assumed I would wind up throwing it in the garbage in a few weeks. But much to my happiness it has become my knock-around watch (when I'm doing something I don't want to subject on of my more expensive watches to), and it has performed flawlessly. That said, I would say close to 50% of the Seiko reviews I read are (it seems justifiably) negative. I think the whole thing speaks to quality control, and until Seiko can start to match the Swiss in that sense they will probably be a second tier watch company.

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