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Saturday, 29 November 2008

The great Seiko J and K debate.

Seiko watch aficionados often hotly debate the meaning of the J versus the K on the Seiko model number so I thought I'd elucidate for the benefit of Quality Time customers and Seiko fans alike. There is a common misperception that all Seiko watches are made in Japan and this is not the case. However, all Seiko movements are indeed made there and some will then be assembled / manufactured there while others will be shipped to Malaysia, Singapore and even China to then be made into the completed watch. The J in the model number does indeed mean that the watch was made and assembled in Japan as in SKX007J (see left). There is an assumption that the Japanese made models are better quality, have better finishing and greater accuracy than models assembled elsewhere. At the mid price range of the market this is simply not true. What is true is that they command a greater resale value and are not as plentiful in the market. What this means is that there is a snob value attached to the J models. Seikos legendary history is associated with Japan so it seems the right fit to purchase the watch assembled there but in terms of quality there is no difference.

The K means made outside Japan, not Korea as some mistakenly suggest. These models are cheaper but the standard of manufacture does not suffer in the least as a result. Why? These watches are made by robots and they do not care where they are located and make the same watch regardless. The reality, then, is that in a globalised world economy Singapore / Malaysia and China can make the same quality watch as Japan. That is hard for us to bear and understand but nevertheless true! So should you go for a K or a J model. K = cheaper and high quality. J= more expensive and the same high quality. Personally knowing that it is a Japanese Seiko would swing it everytime for me. Illogical and irrational, I know, but its what you think that counts.

Feel free to message me about watches on the site. Best wishes J.