What’s the difference between the King Seiko and the Grand Seiko watches?
It all started in 1890 with a man named Kintaro Hattori who had created the Seikosha factory. In the beginning, they predominantly made clocks. Later, in 1923, Seiko was officially established as a watch brand.
In 1937, the Daini Seikosha division was established. Daini Seikosha was a as a secondary division of Seiko which was created in order to scale their companies brand upwards.
During World War II, in 1941, Seiko began devoting more of their efforts towards the war. By 1949, all Seiko factories were obliterated. All but one.
Grand Seiko vs. King Seiko
Ten years later, the Suwa Seikosha factory, the only of which to survive the war, and the Daini Division, began working on Seiko timepieces once again.
These two divisions started working independently of each other.
A friendly competition ensued. They were passively pitted up against each other while both creating Seiko watches.
According to the Time Piece Chronicle, Seiko did this on purpose. They wanted to create this competition in order to drive their company forward and create the best possible product.
In 1960, the Suwa Seikosha factory revealed the Grand Seiko J14070. A 35mm, Cal 3180 Movement with a hand-wind, 45 hour power reserve and 25 jewels!
The First Grand Seiko
This was the first Grand Seiko ever created. The first Japanese watch to ever hold a chronometer grade certification. A year later, the Daini division created the King Seiko. This watch was also 25 jewels with hand-wind movement but did not carry a chronometer grade certification. The Daini division didn’t think it was important enough for them to test their watch for that.
Now, at the very moment these companies released their first major timepieces, they had created this perception that the Grand Seiko is slightly higher-end than the King Seiko. And this is mainly due to the chronometer grade certification.
As time went on, both Grand Seiko and King Seiko created very detailed, very impressive high-grade watches.
In the early 1980’s, things began to change for both divisions. The Daini division turned into Seiko Instruments Limited and the Suwa division evolved into Seiko Epson corporation.
The King Seikos aren’t around today. You can actually find King Seiko watches at an absolute steal when comparing them to the vintage Grand Seiko. Either way, you can’t go wrong with either watch. Both watches are high-end luxury watches with a rich history backing them up.