by Seiko watch design

  • 日本語
  • English

Vol.2 Vol.2

It has been over 100 years since the first Japanese domestic wrist watch was manufactured in 1913. This time, from among the many watches created during this long history, we would like to introduce the uniquely innovative watches that appeared during “the dawn of the digital watch” from the 1970s through the 1990s, and tell you about the design concepts and special techniques used in making these products.

  • UC-2000
  • 05LC
  • Receptor
  • C359
  • T001

Wrist-Type Computer

The world’s first wrist-type computer released in 1984. Consisting of two parts, the watch and the built-in printer controller, it allowed you to play games after first inputting a BASIC program using a keyboard. It boasted a memo function for up to 2,000 characters, a phone and address list, and a built-in schedule management function covering the following month. A pocket size keyboard (optional) could be attached to enable you to work out of the office.

Designs filled
with dreams and vision

The watch, the controller, and the optional keyboard were in a box-type casing with a straight line emphasis and a coordinated design. The coloring was a high contrast two-tone gray base with orange buttons as accents. At the time this design expressed a future vision full of dreams. During this time of the Family Computer and the PC, this kind of mini-PC-like design became exceptionally popular.

Liquid Crystal Digital Quartz

This is the liquid crystal digital quartz watch that came out in 1973. Employing a simple 7-segment display, it had a 4-digit liquid crystal display for the hour and minute only, and did not display the second. The 3 buttons under the LCD were used for the switching the light on and off and for resetting the time. Very few of these watches were ever made, and at present they are highly valued due to their rarity.

The watch body
and matching parts

The body of the watch is a half-sphere like a UFO. The dome case, the elliptical glass of the displays, and the positioning of the 3 buttons has a very fine balance. This simple shape and small displays that have been cut out in oval shapes are amazingly well harmonized. And it feels as if the buttons positioned around the case and radiating out from the center of the watch have been designed with great care and attention. The mesh band has been 3-dimensionally soldered to create an integrated feel.


This watch was put on sale in 1990 in the American market only. By working with signals using FM radio sub-carriers, weather forecast and other data could be received and individual messages could be displayed and received, making this an extremely revolutionary watch for its time. It was configured in such a way that calling the Receptor number on the phone would bring up a telephone number for the purpose of replying, and fixed phrases could be sent out directly.

economical design

Created from a simple, perfect circle as its core component, the Receptor is a watch with a modern, clean-cut design. The buttons and the displays have uniformity, and the various parts are laid out in an overall design that is exceptionally functional and waste-free. The watch band which incorporates a metal segment that also serves as an antenna, is seamlessly linked to the case in an example of brilliant design.

Checkmate Calculator-Alarm

A digital quartz watch with high-performance functionality introduced in 1979. This watch was aimed at the businessman. In addition to light and alarm functions, its most distinguishing feature was its “calculator function.” The buttons on the calculator were very small and could not be pushed with a finger, so the watch came with a stylus-like instrument specifically for operating the calculator.

A refined design full of
user-friendly functionality

A streamlined watch in keeping with the digital watches of its time. Finished with a functional design that facilitates easy operation by visually differentiating the displays and the calculator functions. The band design, too, is slim and sharp, dressy yet also functional, with an intellectual air about it suitable for the high class businessmen of the time.

TV Watch

The TV watch was introduced in 1982. An epoch-making watch that made it possible to enjoy TV shows or radio programs outside. Along with the portable audio players that were experiencing a boom at the time, it gave rise to the new “era of being able to freely enjoy movies or music outdoors.” With the welcome appearance of such technical advances as the newly developed liquid crystal and LSI technologies, the users’ “dreams” became a reality.

Minimal surface design

Since it is necessary to connect the body of the watch and the headphones by cable to the receiver in order to enjoy a TV or radio program, each is divided into a separate unit. The body of the watch is a minimal surface design with few decorations. To enhance legibility, the screen is slightly tilted with a black molding around it. The receiver is a straight forward, easy to operate design. The perpendicular red lines that enhance the black casing are the key design component.

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