Last Updated on November 11, 2023 by Asfa Rasheed
When we think and talk about watches, we immediately consider Swiss watch brands, and we frequently believe that what they produce is the best among the bests in the world. Asia, despite being the world’s largest continent, is frequently overlooked when it comes to luxury watch brands. But that was the case decades ago. Today, Asian watch brands are gaining importance and prominence internationally because of the efforts of brilliant artisans and businessmen. Many A-listers and billionaires in Western countries favor Asian watches such as Casio and G-shock. Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, and Justin Bieber are just a few examples.
Aside from the aforementioned watch brands, Eastern men also develop a plethora of other fantastic timepieces. In this post, we’ll look at a few of them and their most notable models.
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Grand Seiko: Sports Collection
Grand Seiko has always been the understated choice of the discerning aficionados looking to impress themselves. Spring Drive, a hybrid mechanical/electric family of calibers that is precise, economical, and features a seconds hand that moves in a perfectly smooth glide, is the company’s most well-known product. Grand Seiko produced a limited-edition Sport Collection to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Spring Drive, which features the SBGC230 GMT chronograph (100 pieces) with a 44.5mm rose gold case. It’s a bigger, more impressive presence than the normal fashionable Grand Seiko models, but it’s appropriate for a tough tool watch that’s shock and temperature resilient. The movement of the Spring Drive is consistent to 0.5 seconds every day.
Hajime Asaoka: Tsunami
There are modest workshops, and then there are one-man operations, where a single pair of skilled hands oversees every aspect of the timepiece. One of the latter is Hajime Asaoka. His artwork is a rethinking of watchmaking customs as they would have been if they had lived during the Art Deco period, and his immaculate dimensions must be seen in reality to be fully appreciated. The brand offers a variety of conventional models, such as the Tsunami, a sophisticated and streamlined time-only movement with a modest seconds indicator. From the front, the Tsunami appears simple, yet the 16mm balance wheel governs the case back. The 16mm balance wheel occupies most of the 37mm casing, and elements are brushed rather than polished.
Citizen: Calibre 0100
The Citizen Calibre 0100 is not only the most precise watch ever manufactured, but it is also the most consistent solar-powered timepiece ever created, with only +/- 1 second of variance every year. There’s no breakthrough technology here, but what you do get is careful design and production to provide the greatest quartz movement imaginable. Each oscillating crystal is adjusted to its unique temperature sensitivity, and the movement checks and modifies its temperature once each minute. Shocks and magnetism are protected and compensated for by other mechanisms. Given its accomplishments, the Calibre 0100 is aesthetically modest, with a 37.5mm casing that fits the mold of classic dress timepieces.
Credor: Eichi II
Credor timepieces embody the pinnacle of watchmaking art, as portrayed through Japanese expert craftsmen’s traditions and practices. Credor made tourbillons and intricate strikers and repeaters, but Eichi, a wristwatch that does nothing but tells the time, is its most famous product. Credor released a rose gold variant of the existing Eichi II to mark its 10th anniversary. The markers and emblem are painstakingly hand-painted, and the case is cold-forged to preserve the shine of the precise Zaratsu polishing procedure. The manually wound Spring Drive caliber that is made renowned by sister brand Grand Seiko is visible via the transparent caseback, and it features a gently gliding seconds hand that adds to the watch’s overall harmony.
Guo’s interest in the mechanical realm was sparked by his father’s profession of mending sewing machines, which brought him to vintage timepieces and antique clocks. Guo Ming is an independent watchmaker from Jiangsu Province on China’s eastern coast. He is the youngest Chinese contender to be evaluated for membership in the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI), a Swiss organization that supports autonomous artisans around the world. Guo originally drew the AHCI’s attention with an amazing flying tourbillon pocket watch, and his latest work is The Goddess Chang’e Flying to the Moon timepiece. The enamel dial is an exquisite portrayal of a setting from Chinese myth, with a rabbit – the goddess’s companion as per mythology – as a retrograde seconds indicator, enclosed in a 43mm case.
Ming: 19.02 Worldtimer
Ming is a watch purist’s dream come true, carving out its own niche despite its short existence. Ming Thein, the Malaysian designer, and inventor of Ming Thein watches are praised by fans for his unique designs. It’s noted for not having a running seconds hand or a date window, instead choosing for curving spring bars and flared lugs, as well as the bold, sleek, and contemporary look. One of the brand’s latest models is the 19.02 Worldtimer. The complexity is represented by a revolving disc that sits beneath the gradient sapphire crystal, with Kuala Lumpur taking the GMT+8 spot. It’s transparent around the borders, allowing you to see the rose gold baseplate inside.
Japan is well-known for its low-cost, high-quality, and dependable watches. The reality is that Japan has already advanced to high-end and expert watchmaking, producing the finest contemporary timepieces that are well worth the investment. The Grand Seiko from Japan is a renowned example of this. Being in the top 5 countries producing the best watches in the world, they truly deserve to be recognized in the luxury watch market.
China, on the other hand, has some real watchmaking expertise, but the phrase “Made in China” frequently conjures up images of low-quality goods. However, because their brands are recognized by Swiss watch groups, it is also deserving of global recognition.
Last is Malaysia which is known for its low-cost luxury goods and fashion timepieces. As middle-class customers desire sophisticated watches, conventional timepieces with practical functions are evolving into on-trend, beautiful watches with brand value. This is why Asian Watch Brands are gaining market share not just in their nation, but in other countries as well.