Credor Eichi II, 'Ruri' Blue Dial, GBLT997, Platinum

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This Credor Eichi II is a special piece released in honour of Seiko’s 140th anniversary. With a deep blue, porcelain-glaze dial and elegantly designed movement, the watch is an unusual and rare piece that represents some of the best of Japanese horology.

Where the love of fine watches comes from

The first mechanical timepieces in Japan were brought over in 1551 by Christian missionaries, most likely from Spain. At this point in history, Japan ran off a different system of time, where days were split up into six hours that counted backwards from noon to midnight, without the use of the number two or three for religious reasons. This meant that the Japanese had to quickly learn how to adapt these mechanisms for their style of time telling.

This built a tradition of clock, and eventually watch making, in Japan, which was one of the first countries in Asia to truly industrialise. While much of this economic and industrial power was stripped away after the war, there was a resurgence in manufacturing with over 10,000 people employed in watchmaking Japan in the late 1940s. You also started to see quality testing beginning to emerge at this time, with the first competition taking place in 1948. There was then another surge for the industry, thanks to the demand fuelled by the Korean War. So much so, that in 1954, Japan produced 5.6 million timepieces.

Many already know what then happened in 1969, with the introduction of quartz coming from this island nation. It proved that, whilst the history of innovation in horology might not be as long as it is in Europe, the Japanese have done more than their fair share to advance the science of telling time.