What Are The Best Japanese Mechanical Watch Movement Makers?

Chad G. from San Jose, CA, USA asks:

What is the best Japanese automatic movement manufacturer? I know Seiko Spring Drive is the cream of the crop, I am thinking more of the economy-esque movements, comparable to an ETA 2824 or 2836. Miyota, Seiko, Orient.....etc. Accuracy, durability, longevity, maint costs, etc.

There are not that many mechanical watch movement producers in Japan, The big three watch brands there are Casio, Citizen, and Seiko - and Casio is strictly quartz. Citizen owns the movement maker Miyota, which makes movements for mechanical Citizen watches but also sells movements to third party brands. Miyota has the 9000 series collection of watches including the Miyota 9015 which they pen as an ETA competitor.

Seiko is probably the most prolific mechanical movement maker in Japan. They produce low-end automatics up to the beautiful movements in Grand Seiko watches, and a lot in between. Seiko also owns Orient Japan, which produces very good-for-the-price mechanical movements as well.

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  • jalind

    I’m shocked and dismayed you mention Orient as an afterthought. They are Japan’s #2 watch company, not in volume of watches made or in revenue, but in overall quality and prestige, and they’re not far behind Seiko in that regard. They’ve been making their own in-house movements for decades, and their primary product is mechanical watches, not quartz. Furthermore you are utterly and completely incorrect – about as WRONG as WRONG can get – in parroting the claim that Seiko Watch Company owns Orient Watch Company, as if it’s another Seiko brand label like Pulsar, Alba or J.Springs. WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG. I’m sick of seeing this repeated. You need to edit your article to correct this. Seiko Watch Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Seiko Holdings, a publicly traded corporation on the Tokyo Stock Exchange under the SEIKO stock symbol. Orient Watch Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Epson, a publicly traded corporation on the Tokyo Stock Exchange under the EPSON stock symbol. They DO NOT have any common management, up to and including the respective and DIFFERENT Boards of Directors of SEIKO and EPSON. They are two independent watch companies, owned by two completely independent holding corporations. SEIKO DOES NOT OWN ORIENT!

  • Shawn Lavigne

    i believe you r correct in your assertion, and i’m surprised that the ablogtowatch team hasn’t updated this article/answer. unless seiko does own orient, but i don’t think it does.


      They don’t update because they don’t care [sadly]