In the last article we learned that Shogoro Yoshida began what is the present-day Orient Watch Company in 1901 in Tokyo. Check out the full Pre-War History for all the details.
After Toyo Takei Manufacturing shut down in 1949, the following year, Yoshida’s wristwatch manufacturing company was reborn, founded under the name Tama Keiki Company. Tama Keiki continued manufacturing watches at the Hino Factory, which opened nearly 2 decades before in Tokyo.
Just one year later, in 1951, Tama Keiki changed its name to Orient Watch Company, and the first “Orient Star” went on sale. By 1955, Orient Watch developed the Memorandum Trade Agreement with China. This agreement made it possible to begin expanding into overseas markets.
Over the next 5 years, Orient released the “Dynamic,” a (as the name suggests) dynamic mechanical wristwatch featuring 3 hands, followed by the “Royal Orient,” which represented the cornerstone of the golden age of domestically-produced mechanical watches.
The 1960s brought a slew of new Orient models and wristwatch innovations. These included the company’s first automatic-winding wristwatch “Super Auto” (1962), “Grand Prix 100” (1964), “Multi-Year Calendar” (1965), a new flagship watch at the time, “King Diver 1000” (1965), and “Fineness” (1967), which at the time was the thinnest watch in the world with a movement measuring 3.9mm.
Over the next several decades, the Orient Watch Company grew, reaching new markets, new countries, and new consumers. In 2003, the Orient Technical Center (OTC) was established and the assembly of luxury watches began. Following this establishment, the high-precision Caliber .88700 movement went on sale via the Royal Orient watch line.
In 2007, Orient established a sales subsidiary in China, “Orient Watch Co., Ltd. China”, further growing the company. And in 2008, Orient Watch Company officially entered the U.S. market, under the name Orient Watch USA.
No matter how big the company or the brand get, some things never change. Stay tuned to learn about hallmarks of the Orient brand.