Top 5: Japanese Watches


Check your wrist — there is a good chance you are wearing a high-quality Japanese watch. The big three brands from the land of the rising sun are Seiko, Citizen and Casio . Here is a list of the 5 best, most popular and praiseworthy collections or pieces that you can get today. Cheaper than their European counterparts , Japanese watches often pride themselves on technological features and inexpensive yet durable designs. Gems exist, though, and beautiful, high-quality luxury watches from Japan are available. There is a watch in this list for all budgets.

1. Casio G-Shock

Since the 1980s, each G-Shock watch shares the core value of “toughness,” which is translated well in each model. The technical-looking plastic watches are popular for a generation that feels out of touch with traditional watches. Also, those demanding high-durability pieces often go to G-Shock first as the features and price simply cannot be beat. Seen here is the Casio G-Shock X-Large Combi GA-100. It combines the classic digital G-Shock look with analog hands, extreme durability, world time, alarms, 1/100 of a second chronograph, and an auto LED backlight.

2. Seiko Orange Monster

The Seiko SKX781 Orange Monster is a perfect starter mechanical watch. With a loud orange dial and large hands, this is of the least expensive highly capable dive watches available. The 42mm-wide steel case has an iconic style with high durability, and contains a workhorse Seiko-made 7S26 automatic mechanical movement. Known for its almost indestructible nature, the watch is water resistant to 200 meters. The Orange Monster is a perfect choice for demanding outdoor activity, as well as “desk diving.” This is a solid value with a street price of just over $200, despite a retail price of $475.

3. Seiko Ananta Spring Drive

Ananta is a collection of beautiful Katana sword-themed watches with a welcome Japanese character, and the first of more luxury Seiko watches set for global availability. The best Ananta watches contain Seiko’s Spring Drive movement that combines the heritage of mechanical movements with the precision regulation of quartz. Seen here is from a limited edition of 150 pieces from the 2010 Seiko Ananta Spring Drive Chronograph watch series. In high-grade titanium, it has a black-coated bezel and dial, with gold-toned hands and hour indicators. The automatic 5R86 Spring Drive movement has the time, chronograph, date, and GMT hand.

4. Casio Pathfinder

The Pathfinder collection from Casio is the poster child for the “watch that does everything.” Pathfinder watches contain at least the following: an altimeter, barometer, compass, thermometer, perpetual calendar, alarms, world time, chronograph, countdown timer, and the time. Other features may include light-powered, atomic-controlled quartz movements, moon phase indicators, sunrise/sunset times, tide charts, and more. No one wearing a Casio Pathfinder ever feels devoid of timepiece capability. Seen here is a Casio PAW-2000 ultra-thin Pathfinder watch. It has a duplex LCD screen and a fully packed set of features. It is available on a resin or titanium watch strap.

5. Citizen Campanola Collection

Campanola timepieces are beautiful hand-assembled luxury watches by Citizen that have quartz movements that are much less expensive than their mechanical counterparts. Enter the Campanola Grand Complication watch (ref. AH4000-01X). In a large hand-polished steel case, the handmade dial is done in a style called “Japanese rosewood.” It has the time, perpetual calendar, moon phase indicator, chronograph, GMT hand, and a minute repeater. Campanola watches are noteworthy for their visually stunning designs that give Citizen watchmakers the opportunity to have fun, providing watch lovers with unique luxury creations.