Seiko: The Second Best Brand for Financially Challenged Watch Collectors?


The day before I met billionaire Fabergé egg collector Malcolm Forbes my mother shook her head sadly. “How terrible to be chasing something with only 44 examples.” Copy that. The more options, the bigger and better the hunt, the more satisfying the reward. If you’re partial to a mono-brand collection, Seiko is a sure thing, offering a veritable sea of choices . . .

As Fergie would say, h-h-h-h-old it! Who assembles a mono-brand watch collection?  That’s lazy and unimaginative, right? And yet it happens all the time. For good reason.

Seiko goes diving in so many ways

Collectors fall in love with watch brands. Often, a watch brand. They find something deeply, irresistibly compelling about a particular brand’s history, aesthetic, engineering, manufacture and/or marketing. Something makes them feel a Twistian desire for MORE.

In that sense, it’s pretty silly for me to “recommend” Seiko as a brand upon which to form/refine a watch collection. Either their products speak to you or they don’t. But the odds are excellent they do. Not all of them, obviously. But something.

Seiko’s watchfinder tells the tale, filtering access to 256 models across six brands, including eight “drive systems” (from quartz to radio sync solar to Spring Drive). The selection isn’t up-to-date and doesn’t include Grand Seikos, Japan-only watches or discontinued models. There are a thousand Seiko models out there, somewhere.

Funk Seiko chronograph

But focusing a collection on Seiko isn’t all about an unparalleled selection of styles, calibers and price. As you know doubt know, Seikos are manufactured entirely in-house, subject to fanatical quality control on every part, for every watch. You can buy the “wrong” Seiko for a collection, but you can’t buy a bad Seiko.

Again, collecting is a deeply personal pursuit, one that should be exempt from external judgment. But I’d bet that Seiko collectors own more examples of their chosen brand than collectors of other brands. Except SWATCH, of course . . .


  1. I’ve been extremely happy with a vintage Citizen with the column wheel chronograph. I call it my broke hoe Monaco.

    • Citizen makes some amazing timepieces, and the world’s most accurate watch in the history of the world ever. Except for the Apple Watch of course.

  2. I do love vintage Seikos, Orients and Citizens. I believe Seiko is the master of variety in that respect; Orient and, most of all, Citizen seem to me they had a way smaller catalogue in comparison, back in the 60’s and 70’s. Great piece, thanks.

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