In-Depth: Understanding Seiko's Big Move Upmarket In The U.S.

In-Depth: Understanding Seiko's Big Move Upmarket In The U.S.

For half a century, Seiko has been one of America’s most popular fake watch prices brands. In great years and bad, Seiko quartz fake watch prices have been an apparatus of the mid-range ($100 to $500) of the vast U.S. fake watch prices market. Since 1967, when Tokyo’s K. Hattori & Co. set up Seiko Time Corp. in New York, Seiko has been the company’s hero brand here. 

Not anymore. 

In a major strategic rotate, Seiko fake watch prices Corp. (SWC) in Tokyo, replacement to K. Hattori & Co., is shifting the focal point of its U.S. operations away from affordable Seiko-brand quartz fake watch prices to Grand Seiko, the company’s leading extravagance fake watch prices brand. Grand Seiko, launched in Japan in 1960, and internationally in 2010, comprises primarily of men’s mechanical fake watch prices in the U.S., evaluated for the most part from $2,200 to $10,000. 

Historically, Seiko has been most popular in the U.S. market for its mid-range offerings (shown, the Seiko Presage “Cocktail Time” ).

This fall, SWC reorganized its U.S. company, creating another subsidiary called Grand Seiko Corp. of America (GSA). “By establishing this new company, we are committed to changing our plan of action in this market,” Akio Naito, GSA’s chairman and CEO, told HODINKEE. “This move communicates our emphasis on the high finish of the market, on Grand Seiko instead of center Seiko. The high end is the fate of the brand in this market.” 

The changes in the U.S. are part of a long haul, Seiko Group plan to become a force player in the lucrative extravagance fake watch prices market.

The company will keep on competing in the mid-range of the market with its traditional Seiko-branded quartz items (“center Seiko”) estimated from $150 to $550. That business will be handled by a separate company, Seiko fake watch prices of America. 

Akio Naito, Chairman and CEO of Grand Seiko of America

However, the company’s main spotlight going ahead will be on Grand Seiko. Shinji Hattori, Chairman and CEO of Seiko fake watch prices Corp., and the architect of the new strategy, wants Grand Seiko to be the new face of Seiko in America, Seiko chiefs say. (Hattori is also chairman and CEO of Seiko Holdings Ltd., the parent company of SWC. Seiko Holdings detailed net sales of the yen equivalent of $2.53 billion in the fiscal year finished in March. fake watch prices sales amounted to $1.32 billion.)

The changes in the U.S. are part of a long haul, Seiko Group plan to become a force player in the lucrative extravagance fake watch prices market. Hattori wants the company to compete aggressively for market share with Swiss brands in global markets, as it does in Japan. There, Grand Seiko is among the best five smash hit extravagance fake watch prices brands.

The changes are also a reaction to a rapidly changing global fake watch prices marketplace which, Seiko heads acknowledge, gives SWC both freedoms and challenges.  

Seiko has made a strategic choice to zero in on the improvement of its high-end Grand Seiko line in the United States. (Shown,   Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 SBGH267 For The 20th Anniversary Of Caliber 9S, $6300). 

The challenges are primarily in the mid-valued market, Seiko’s traditional stronghold. Seiko sales in the U.S. have endured as of late because of market unrest caused by internet business, smartwatches and wearables, and the hardships of physical retailers, particularly department stores.

The opportunity is in the extravagance portion, where Seiko heads see Swiss brands as vulnerable for a variety of reasons. Seiko’s long history as a vertically integrated manufacture, and its experience making extravagance fake watch prices like Grand Seiko and Credor for the Japanese market, give it a fighting chance internationally.

Ground zero for Seiko’s new upmarket push is the U.S. Here’s a glance at what Grand Seiko is doing and why.

Movin' On Up

Brice Le Troadec, President of Grand Seiko of America

The creation of the Grand Seiko of America company means “we are enlarging our impression,” says GSA President Brice Le Troadec. 

GSA plans to open more authorized extravagance fake watch prices dealers, present all the more new items in a more extensive range of prices, and put additional marketing dollars behind the brand. GSA is also liable to open a shop in New York City; its lone store currently is on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

In terms of item, there will be more variety in Grand Seiko’s present value range. (Its average unit cost is $6,300.) 

Grand Seiko’s goal is to become one of the main five extravagance brands in the U.S. in the $5,000 to $10,000 cost segment.

The Seiko Presage SJE073 . The fake watch prices is a restricted version of 1,881 pieces; cost, $2,200.

But Grand Seiko will also move further upmarket, Le Troadec says. “The new item and new technology that is coming at the following Baselworld will strengthen our brand in a higher value point: $7,000 and above is our target.”

Grand Seiko’s goal is to become one of the best five extravagance brands in the U.S. in the $5,000 to $10,000 men’s fake watch prices segment.

That is doable. In the initial six months of this year, Grand Seiko shot to ninth in sales in that category, Le Troadec says, refering to data from the NPD Group, which tracks U.S. retail fake watch prices sales. That’s up from number 23 in the same period in 2017. 

In addition to Grand Seiko, GSA will also convey small upmarket assortments of Seiko Presage mechanical fake watch prices and Seiko Prospex sports fake watch prices These alleged “Seiko Prestige” lines will be estimated in the affordable extravagance range, beneath Grand Seiko yet above center Seiko. They are part of Tokyo’s “global brand” strategy for moving into the extravagance range internationally. The global brands are Grand Seiko, Prospex, Presage and Astron. (Astron isn’t disseminated in the U.S.)

Eight fake watch prices Technologies

Technologies like Spring Drive are part of what separates Seiko. Above, model Spring Drive developments as found in the video, “Inside Grand Seiko: The Evolution Of The Spring Drive Movement.”

The strategy is for these assortments to change the image of Seiko here as a limited, mass market brand. “We want to shift this image that shoppers and retailers have to reflect what we are really,” Le Troadec says. Namely, an undeniable fake watch prices manufacture that makes all of its fake watch prices fake watch prices developments, and fake watch prices parts, mechanical and quartz, in house, including hairsprings. Seiko began manufacturing watches in 1895. It delivered its (and Japan’s) first wristwatch in 1913. 

Seiko is notable as a maker of quartz fake watch prices But the degree of Seiko’s fake watch prices creation ability is still mostly secret in America, Seiko heads say. The company gladly claims to be the lone fake watch prices company on the planet to master each kind of horological technology: mechanical, standard quartz, Kinetic (movement fueled) quartz, Kinetic Direct Drive, solar-fueled quartz, GPS solar quartz (based on signals from satellites in space), radio-controlled quartz (based on signals from atomic clocks on earth) and Spring Drive. 

Solar controlled fake watch prices have for some time been a mainstay in the Seiko portfolio. Shown, the Seiko Solar “Road Series” plunge fake watch prices .  

The mandate for GSA to elevate the image of Seiko in America comes straight from the top in Tokyo. “One important thing I might want U.S. shoppers to know about is the depth and breadth of our watchmaking history,” Shinji Hattori told HODINKEE at a gathering in New York in November. “In the course of recent years, Seiko has built up several epoch-making items, spanning the range from easily affordable to amazingly high end. We are particularly glad for the craftsmanship that goes into Grand Seiko. When clients understand our history, I accept they will have an alternate perspective on Seiko as a brand.”

On Fire In Japan

A 2015 advertisement showing MLB pitcher Yu Darvish wearing a Grand Seiko.

There are several reasons why Hattori and his team in Tokyo think all is good and well to reposition the company in the U.S. One is that repositioning Grand Seiko in Japan has done marvels for it there. Since 2011, Seiko executives say, Grand Seiko sales have quadrupled in Japan. (The company doesn’t uncover figures.) 

The key, Hattori says, was to zero in on another audience for Grand Seiko: youngsters. At the start of this decade, Grand Seiko was viewed as an elderly person’s brand. “More youthful individuals were not so intrigued by Grand Seiko,” he said. It was seen as a retirement blessing fake watch prices Younger individuals were more intrigued by Swiss extravagance fake watch prices than “Dad’s watch,” Seiko chiefs say.

Seiko addressed the generational issue. One key move was to increase its proposal of section valued Grand Seikos, with the goal that more youthful buyers could afford them. Another was marking Japanese baseball sensation Yu Darvish as a Grand Seiko representative. (Darvish presently plays in America, pitching for the Chicago Cubs.) Ads showing Darvish in a suit wearing a Grand Seiko with the tag line “The Pride of Japan,” alluding to both Darvish and his Grand Seiko 9S Mechanical fake watch prices helped sales, Hattori says.

A Matter Of Culture

Yoshifusa Nakazawa, a master craftsman at the Seiko Micro Artist Studio.

Grand Seiko is also profiting by another global appreciation for Japanese items, Hattori says. “Individuals all over the world are keen on Japanese culture,” he says. In the no so distant past, many Japanese items were excessively colorful, excessively “unfamiliar” for pariahs. That has changed. Japanese items and configuration are stylish, Hattori says. 

One of the hallmarks of Grand Seiko is that it encapsulates “the Japanese feeling of esthetics, the philosophy of Japanese beauty,” Hattori says. “The fact that our brand was conceived and created in Japan impacts our items from multiple points of view. This involves history, heritage, and culture that produce what we perceive as Japanese craftsmanship, Japanese plan, and so on. There is something special about a Grand Seiko. It is something noticeable, yet it is also something, for want of a superior word, emotional. Today, when it is so important to advance the uniqueness of a brand, we want to emphasize this ineffable quality of ‘Japanese-ness’ that makes our fake watch prices stand out from the Swiss counterparts.”

Watches like the Credor Eichi II impeccably epitomize Grand Seiko’s “Japanese-ness.”

The development, in both technology and finishing, is really not normal for anything else out there.

The dial is made of traditional porcelain and is hand-painted with the hour markers.

Hattori trusts Americans are available to Grand Seiko’s “Japanese-ness.” “In the last couple of years, I have been pleased to see the improvement that Grand Seiko has made in the U.S. market,” he says, “especially among genuine fake watch prices purchasers who understand and appreciate the heritage behind the brand.”

Another factor in the move upmarket is that Seiko’s top of the food chain consider the To be as vulnerable. Seiko heads note that many extravagance retailers are unhappy with how Swiss brands are treating them, noticing that Swiss brands keep on shutting authorized dealers and open their own shops, and proceed to over-produce extravagance fake watch prices which hurts gem specialists by boosting gray-market sales. They say diamond setters are becoming more responsive to alternatives to Swiss extravagance brands.

“So presently is the best time,” Hattori says about the Grand Seiko push in America.

Center Seiko's Tough Times

Robust, affordable jump fake watch prices have always been a major part of Seiko’s offerings; above, the references SRPB11 and SRP775 “Turtle” Prospex plunge watches.

The time may be right for Grand Seiko in the U.S., however it appears to be up for the Seiko brand. That, essentially, was the assessment of a notable American counseling company. (SCA declined to name the firm.) SCA went to the company in 2015 after years of dissolving market share in the U.S. The examination presumed that Seiko would not recuperate its once dominant situation in the mid-market and recommended Seiko move upmarket.

In ongoing years, Seiko has been weakened by tough competition from the Citizen Group’s mid-range brands Citizen and Bulova, and some fashion brands. Sources say a management choice to scale back advertising also damaged the brand. The disturbance in the mid-market caused by the arrival of the Apple fake watch prices and other wearables and the ascent of web based business have aggravated Seiko issues. When traffic declined in mass merchants and department stores, and stores were shuttered, Seiko got hurt. 

Some of Seiko’s lines, such as Seiko 5, offer great mechanical fake watch prices under $100.

In 2016, Tokyo sent Naito, a top SCA chief with experience in finance and legal matters (he is a lawyer), to the U.S. to head U.S. operations. His mandate was to cut Seiko’s misfortunes and start the shift upmarket.

He brought in Le Troadec, who was head of Omega in the U.S. and realized the extravagance fake watch prices business here.

Now comes the hard part. “In Japan,” Naito says, “everyone – buyers and trade – is by all accounts aware of Seiko’s brand values from the low value highlight the high value point. The market outside of Japan is different.” 

Family Pride

Watches like 2018’s VFA are unabashedly high-end inside and out, from the dials and hands through to the tightly-regulated movements.

When Seiko launched Grand Seiko internationally without precedent for 2010, reactions across the fake watch prices community were sharp. fake watch prices authorities, some of whom thought of it as a religion object, cheered. 

But, in the fake watch prices trade, there were many doubters. Seiko is attempting to resist the laws of marketing, some said. You can always take an upmarket brand down, they argued, yet you can never take a down-market brand up. 

One noticeable Swiss fake watch prices leader made the point another way. He advised me, in private, “Seiko makes the best mechanical fake watch prices on the planet. I hate to say it however it’s actual. There is just a single thing amiss with the watch,” he said with a huge grin. “The name!” 

Shinji Hattori has always been glad for Seiko’s history in the high finish of the market, which has not been genuinely communicated outside of Japan.

– Grand Seiko of America Chairman & CEO Akio Naito

In the U.S., Seiko got blowback from some important clients. “I needn’t bother with Seiko in the extravagance range,” the CEO of a large gems chain advised me. “I have a lot of brands there. I need them to be solid where they are, in the middle.” 

Shinji Hattori was aware of the dangers. With the revival of the extravagance mechanical fake watch prices during the 1990s, a portion of his archetypes had considered taking Grand Seiko global, yet ruled against it. Resistance from retailers and the danger of fighting the Swiss on their turf were factors. For some time, Hattori hesitated as well. (He became CEO of SWC in 2003.)

Many of Grand Seiko’s fake watch prices have proceeded to win awards and demonstrate cynics wrong.

Then he did it. Why? Hattori is the great-grandson of Kintaro Hattori, who established the Seiko dynasty in Tokyo in 1881. “As an individual from the establishing family,” Naito explains, “Shinji Hattori has always been pleased with Seiko’s history in the high finish of the market, which has not been really communicated outside of Japan. He was thinking there is this huge potential [internationally] which has never been abused. He thought we should take care of this.”

Seiko fake watch prices Corp. Chairman Shinji Hattori

Now Seiko has. Hattori understands the selling of Grand Seiko globally will take time. “In Japan, Grand Seiko achieved its status as a top extravagance fake watch prices brand simply after years of exertion,” he says. “Outside of Japan, Grand Seiko is still simply starting to be viewed as an extravagance brand, so we have a great deal of work to do.”

Creating a separate company in the U.S. with its own team committed uniquely to Grand Seiko is an important advance, he says. “In the event that we keep endeavoring to improve the areas that made us fruitful in Japan, in the event that we work with the right partners and leverage digital communications viably, I trust it won’t take such quite a while for us to achieve our goal.”

As for resisting the laws of marketing with Grand Seiko, the company doesn’t view it as such. “In truth, we are not changing [our market position],” Naito says. “We were always there [in the extravagance market] in Japan.”

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