WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,953 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello guys,

I said I like those obscure brands watches. This is another one that I think few people knows about. I searched the web, and found no information about a Seikosha pocket watch. Still I hope someone could help with its history and background. When was it made, and how many were made? There is a number of 21 under the balance, Is it a caliber number? There is also a number on the inner side of the caseback.The watch is big at about 50mm.

Cheers,

Zhang
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,655 Posts
Hi -

Seikosha was the mother company of Seiko. Your watch, as a pocket watch, dates between 1895 and 1937, when the name Seiko was introduced as a brand name (Seiko means "precision" in Japanese. with the suffix -sha meaning "house, i.e. "precision house" or precision factory).

Don't have much additional information, as this era at Seiko isn't all that well documented, being part of Japan's "bad" history, i.e. before 1945.

If there is a mark on the back with a number, this can narrow down the date, but the Japanese do their dating differently: if its says "21" then it would refer to the 21st year of the reign of the appropriate emperor...

JohnF
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,568 Posts
I hate to quibble John but Seiko appears to mean "exquisite", "Minute", and "success" in Japanese while -sha does mean "house". I think it was an inspired choice by Kintaro Hattori.

The Meiji Era began in 1867 and includes the shift in Japan from the Lunar to the Solar calander (thus loosing several weeks in Dec 1872). If the 21 refers to the year of the era than it would be 1888. The Showa Era lasted from 1925 to 1989 with the death of the Emperor Hirohito. It could be the 21st year of that Era which would put it at 1946 (an interesting but unlikely year for the watch).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,655 Posts
Hi -

The root of Seiko, sei, means "because of, owing to," i.e. a causal relationship between what is meant by the "sei" and what is done/created. Hence the sentence "ano kata ga ibyo de kurishimu no wa amari taberu sei desu" would translate as "He suffers from stomach trouble because he eats too much". It is a form of familiar speech...

The -ko ending appears to be a gerund form...but Japanese wasn't my major in college...:)

But it gets more complex than that, given that Japanese uses a lot of Chinese ideograms in its writing, and that these have indeed multiple meanings:

Seiko for instance (the brand name of the watches) is
formed of Chinese jing1 gong1. But there is another
word, also pronounced seiko, and which means "success, achievement",
formed of Chinese cheng2 gong1 (this gong1 is not the same as
that of jing1 gong1 of the Seiko watches). There is yet another
word also pronounced seiko, which means ... "sexual intercourse"!
It is formed of the Chinese xing4 jiao1. As you can see, Chinese
jing1, cheng2, and xing4 all became sei in Japanese.


(Gee, what can't you find on the internet when you look long enough. :) The above was found on sci.lang...)

But given that the official Japanese language history of Seiko uses the meaning that docrwm gives, I will bow to the inevitability of a reference to Wikipedia and accept that my guess is ... well, it sounds better to me, but what the heck, no spilt milk. :)

And here is what Wiki says about Seikosha...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,568 Posts
Hi -

The root of Seiko, sei, means "because of, owing to," i.e. a causal relationship between what is meant by the "sei" and what is done/created. Hence the sentence "ano kata ga ibyo de kurishimu no wa amari taberu sei desu" would translate as "He suffers from stomach trouble because he eats too much". It is a form of familiar speech...

The -ko ending appears to be a gerund form...but Japanese wasn't my major in college...:)

But it gets more complex than that, given that Japanese uses a lot of Chinese ideograms in its writing, and that these have indeed multiple meanings:

Seiko for instance (the brand name of the watches) is
formed of Chinese jing1 gong1. But there is another
word, also pronounced seiko, and which means "success, achievement",
formed of Chinese cheng2 gong1 (this gong1 is not the same as
that of jing1 gong1 of the Seiko watches). There is yet another
word also pronounced seiko, which means ... "sexual intercourse"!
It is formed of the Chinese xing4 jiao1. As you can see, Chinese
jing1, cheng2, and xing4 all became sei in Japanese.


(Gee, what can't you find on the internet when you look long enough. :) The above was found on sci.lang...)

But given that the official Japanese language history of Seiko uses the meaning that docrwm gives, I will bow to the inevitability of a reference to Wikipedia and accept that my guess is ... well, it sounds better to me, but what the heck, no spilt milk. :)

And here is what Wiki says about Seikosha...
John,

Very interesting. I did indeed find much of what I wrote in one of the official Seiko history books. I've also been on a bit of a search lately for Seiko history and translating (by machine and use of dictionary) various oddball sources.

That said, ......
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,953 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi John,

I see that you are a Chinese and Japanese language expert.:-! I never thought Seiko could have so many meanings.:-D But as a watch and camera shutter brand, the best translation is precision engineering (精密工程) IMHO. The Chinese translation of Seikosha sounds like a "precision house".

It is impossible for me to know the meanings of Japanese brands such as Nikon, Canon,etc without Japanese language knowledge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,655 Posts
Hi -

I wish I were such a person, I'd be earning a LOT more money if I were (you wouldn't believe what someone fluent in English, German, Chinese and Japanese with an economics or finance background could earn in investment banking...let's put it this way: such a person can buy any damn watch they want to, even if it's in the six figures...).

The expertise comes from knowing where to look: take a look at the link to sci.lang on the Usenet to see who really came up with that description. Not my doing at all...

Me, I kind of like precision house as well: but according to Seiko, it's what docwrm says...

JohnF
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,568 Posts
Hi -

I wish I were such a person, I'd be earning a LOT more money if I were (you wouldn't believe what someone fluent in English, German, Chinese and Japanese with an economics or finance background could earn in investment banking...let's put it this way: such a person can buy any damn watch they want to, even if it's in the six figures...).

The expertise comes from knowing where to look: take a look at the link to sci.lang on the Usenet to see who really came up with that description. Not my doing at all...

Me, I kind of like precision house as well: but according to Seiko, it's what docwrm says...

JohnF
John,

I also like the connote of "Minute" as well. It is a very interesting choice when you look at the Kanji and its Chinese origins as well as the standard useage definitions of spoken Japanese. Precision House with the implication of Minute is inspired IMHO as a name of a new watchmaking enterprise in Japan at the end of the 1800s.

-Robert
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,953 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sorry,the dial is missing. But I saw some with an "Imperial" brand name.

Your watch is in a much better condition. The inscription on the caseback indicates it was made for the national railway on the year of 昭和36.Was that 1961(1925+36)?
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top