Well, in terms of quality, Japanese watches always outperform their competition in the same price range. This is the No.1 factor that makes them so popular all around the world. As we know, everything comes from Japan is often assumed to be high-quality compared to what it costs, Japanese brands are not famous merely by smart marketing techniques, but such recognition come from their investment in each product, even the cheapest, Japanese watches are not exceptional.
In the watch industry, Swiss-made timepieces are considered the best, the second are ones come from other European countries (Germany, for example), and Asian watches (mainly from Japan) are at the end of the list (Fashion watches and “Made in China” replicas belong to another story). However, this balance has steadily changed for recent years. Japanese watchmakers are no longer the newcomers, they have managed to earn a spot in the market, and now, their products are second to none in terms of quality, even the Swiss watches. The problem here is that we often compare a budget Japanese watch with a luxury product from a European brand and say “Well, you see? This is just a junk piece!” Fair enough!
You know Toyota? Yeah, that’s a budget car producer, but they actually own Lexus, a luxury brand. And the same story can be seen in many other Asian companies. They have come to the market later than their established competitors, so they have to start from the lowest market segment, but it doesn’t mean they cannot create high-end products.
Japanese watchmakers still cannot stack up against their Swiss counterparts in the highest segment, but at the mid-range luxury market, they are second to none when it comes to fine finishing & reliable movements. The new generation of Seiko & Miyota calibers has been proven to be accurate and fully featured enough to replace ETA movements in many mid-range dive watch models. The “Grand Seikos” also attacked the US market a few years ago, they are Seiko’s quintessence, this watchmaker even applies traditional techniques of Japanese sword-smiths in these products’ polishing procedure. Grand Seikos are luxury watches, they are direct competitors of historical Swiss brands, their quality is superb, but due to the lack of brand history, they are often offered at a much cheaper price than Swiss-made pieces. However, in my opinion, the distance between them will gradually be shortened as Japanese companies don’t keep their best products solely to domestic market anymore. Brand-recognition cannot be built in a single day, it will take a lot of time for Japanese competitors to catch up with Swiss watchmakers.
That is the story in the luxury watch market, in the lower segment, Japanese watches always overtop their competitors. Affordable prices & high quality are the key to success of Japanese companies. If you want a European watch with the same quality level with a Japanese piece, you might have to pay double the price. Seiko and Citizen are the two biggest watch companies in Japan, they produce automatic as well as quart timepieces in mass. Orient is a brand of traditional mechanical watches and Casio specializes in producing affordable quartz pieces with youthful designs. You will notice that in the same price range, these Japanese pieces often have more useful features as well as better case build than other fashion watches which often emerge from the displaying shelves of watch stores.
Japanese watches used to be conservative in designing, but nowadays, they have a wide range of watch types & models for you to choose from. One of the bestselling watch types is versatile watches, which are sport watches with dressy appearance, to list out a few: Casio Beside (chronograph), Orient Mako (dive watches), some models of Seiko 5… (See more nice-looking Japanese dive watches here!)
Japanese watches are good options for those who want to buy a reliable budget timepiece. You have to make your purpose clear before making the purchase, Japanese pieces embody attention to detail, they are the symbols of Japanese craftmanship, but what they lack is the brand-recognition. That’s why they are offered at an attractive price range!