An Homage To A Great Seiko Figure: Tsuneya Nakamura

On the 25th of December 2018, the one who most likely biggestly affected Seiko’s cutting edge history, and possibly the account of the advanced lux watch survey industry in the twentieth century, passed away.

Tsuneya Nakamura arrived at the age of 95 years and a burial service was hung on the fourth of February in the city of Suwa, in Japan’s Nagano Prefecture, where Nakamura san went through the vast majority of his time on earth serving neighborhood industry and economy yet in addition instruction and arts.

Tsuneya Nakamura

Today we might want to honor this significant Seiko figure by backtracking the existence of the man that coordinated Seiko’s amazing accomplishment during the 60s and 70s.

Born on the eighth of March 1923, Tsuneya Nakamura joined Daini Seikosha Kameido (Tokyo) in 1944, toward the finish of World War II. He even encountered the bombarding of the production line in 1945. After this hard blow, practically the entirety of the leftover staff and machines were sent in the bumpy Nagano Prefecture where Seiko had just begun to design their fallback. The Suwa plant (named after the city of Suwa-shi) was set up and the youthful 22 years of age Tsuneya Nakamura was sent over in 1945.

Taken from «A Journey in Time – the Remarkable History of Seiko»

Seiko Marvel

As Japan recuperated from World War II with the assistance of the phenomenal American free enterprise, Seiko struggled sticking out, the creation offices were obsolete and the lux watch survey made were extensively propelled by European ones.

In the mid-1950s, Tsuneya Nakamura asked his leader the board that he makes another advanced lux watch survey to return Seiko on the horological map.

This is the means by which the Seiko Marvel was brought into the world in 1956, completely made by the (at that point) 33-year-old Tsuneya Nakamura. It was a cutting edge lux watch survey for its time and it began another period for Seiko. In the mean time, Suwa Seikosha’s creation offices had been modernized to deliver the Marvel and the entire venture was immediately delegated by incredible commercial success.

Seiko Marvel from 1958 (c) Ikigai Watches

Magic Lever System

But past the mechanical and financial effect the Marvel had, it prepared for some incredible accomplishments for Seiko in the coming decade.

The Marvel won numerous homegrown chronometry challenges, moving Tsuneya Nakamura to become a significant entertainer in the worldwide watchmaking industry.

From the Marvel, Suwa Seikosha made the Gyro Marvel, the absolute first programmed lux watch audit fabricated in Japan under the aegis of Nakamura san. This lux watch audit was outfitted with the celebrated “Wizardry Lever” framework, that is as yet being used in pretty much every programmed lux watch survey made by Seiko today.

(c) Anthony Kable

Grand Seiko

The Marvel additionally brought forth the Seiko Crown in 1958, a lux watch audit propelled by the Marvel, however putting the accentuation considerably more on the chronometry exhibitions with an overhauled movement.

Proud of its commercial achievement and its incredible outcomes in the Japanese Chronometry preliminaries, Seiko chooses, in 1960, the dispatch another top of the line of lux watch audit made to compete with the absolute best Swiss lux watch survey Grand Seiko.

(c) Ikigai Watches

The project was normally given to the 38 years of age Tsuneya Nakamura, the man behind the amazing Marvel. He was placed accountable for making, creating and dispatching what immediately became – and still is – Seiko’s leader brand.

Lord Marvel and Crown combined

The first Grand Seiko (otherwise known as the First) was the combination of two significant lux watch survey for Suwa Seikosha. For the style, the First takes its motivation predominantly from Lord Marvel, an extravagance rendition of the Marvel (hand engraved dial, jewel cut gold hands and files), and for the development, it takes its motivation essentially from the Crown, whose type will be additionally refreshed to make Seiko’s first “Chronometer” grade lux watch survey the Grand Seiko First and its cal.3180. Two of Tsuneya Nakamura’s best manifestations combined into a watchmaking masterpiece.

Seiko Marvel, Lord Marvel and Grand Seiko First(c) Ikigai Watches

Olympic Games ’64

The mid 60s additionally mark the start of a significant move made towards the extremely encouraging quartz innovation. Simultaneously, Seiko is picked to be the authority clock for the Tokyo 1964 Summer Olympic Games.

It’s under Nakamura’s direction that mechanical and electronic specialists buckled down, connected at the hip, to make the Quartz Crystal Chronometer, the world’s first compact quartz clock. This miracle of innovation was introduced to the 1963 Neuchatel chronometry preliminaries in the “Marine Chronometer” class, a first for a Japanese brand. It got the 10th spot, a respectable score for Seiko’s first course in this well known challenge. In 1964, for their subsequent investment, Suwa Seikosha won second to seventh spot with an improved rendition of the Quartz Crystal Chronometer.

(c) Anthony Kable

Seiko Crown Chronograph

On the exact year, this clock and its varieties were extensively utilized for the Tokyo Olympics and Tsuneya Nakamura assumed a conclusive part in beginning another period for sports timing, with both the utilization of quartz and the new mechanical stopwatches made for the event and that arrived at a never accomplished accuracy.

For the 1964 Olympics, Seiko likewise delivered their first chronograph wristwatch, the Crown Chronograph with a monopusher hand-wound development cherished by each Seiko gatherers out there. In this example too Tsuneya Nakamura had a conclusive contribution as those chronographs depended on the Seiko Crown, the immediate relative of the Seiko Marvel.

Seiko «Crown Chronograph» 5719-8990 (c) Ikigai Watches


For the Tokyo Olympics, the groups from Suwa Seikosha likewise got the plan to execute another gadget into that quartz clocks, a gadget that would straightforwardly print the outcomes when the circumstance is done, another first in the Olympics history. This little development got a particularly enormous achievement that in 1968, Suwa Seikosha dispatched the EP-101 (for Electronic Printer), the absolute first numeric printer to at any point hit the market. This prompted the introduction of the brand Epson in 1975, signifying “Electronic Printer’s Son”.

Epson EP-101 (c) Anthony Kable

Very Fine Adjusted

Even however the “Quartz Crystal Chronometer” may appear to be a recounted part of Seiko’s set of experiences, it encapsulates three of Seiko’s most significant accomplishments during the 60s: the Swiss chronometry competition, the 1964 Tokyo Olympics Games and the improvement of quartz innovation. What’s more, behind those three accomplishments, as yet unchanged man…

The investment in the Swiss chronometry preliminaries was Tsuneya Nakamura’s thought, a man that could compare constantly his work with the business chiefs to consistently push ahead. This is the thing that guided him through the production of the Marvel, this was the establishing thought of Grand Seiko and the actual substance of their investment in Swiss chronometry competitions.

Grand Seiko was an immense achievement, with its pinnacle being the creation in 1969 of the incredible VFA (Very Fine Adjusted), legendary lux watch survey in Seiko’s set of experiences, directed to inside +/ – 2 s/d (really +/ – 60 sec/month) with an assurance of two years, a totally amazing watchmaking. The congruity and developing prevalence of Grand Seiko just about sixty years after its dispatch additionally shows the achievement of this stunning endeavor started by Tsuneya Nakamura.

Grand Seiko 6185-8021 VFA (c) Ikigai Watches

Chronometer Competition

The chronometry preliminaries were likewise an extraordinary accomplishment for Suwa Seikosha as they in a real sense shook the Swiss watchmaking industry in 1968.

On the 5th of May 1968, the Council of Neuchâtel reported they dropped the lux watch audit classification of the chronometry preliminaries yet they actually gave the consequences of the lux watch survey submitted up to that point. Suwa Seikosha submitted two developments that got the second-best appraising ever for this class, the record actually being held by Omega from the past year.

When the scratch-off was declared, they chose to send some different developments to the Geneva chronometry preliminaries and they won spots four to ten, the platform being held by quartz models, and the primary spot in the production positioning. Their best scoring development in Geneva squashed Omega’s Neuchâtel 1967 record.

After this wave, the guidelines changed and just European produces were permitted to take an interest in Swiss chronometry trials.

Above: 1968 Geneva chronometry preliminaries results for a development presented by Suwa Seikosha and changed by Kiyoko Nakayama. Source: Anthony Kable

On a side note, it’s intriguing to see that the initial ten lux watch audit Suwa Seikosha introduced to the 1964 Neuchatel chronometry preliminaries were totally changed by Tsuneya Nakamura himself, who didn’t simply dispatch the task yet in addition took an essential part in it and being developed of the hey beat developments utilized for the chronometry preliminaries, while likewise working with the R&D groups on quartz and on the watches for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The 41 years of age engineer was certainly going strong!

Above: Tsuneya Nakamura in 1969. Source: Anthony Kable

Quartz Technology

Even however he began another period for Seiko with the Marvel, despite the fact that he was the maker of Grand Seiko, despite the fact that he was the main impetus behind the interest in Swiss chronometry preliminaries and the improvement of howdy beat development that went with it, despite the fact that he had a focal influence in creating sports timing for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, despite the fact that he was behind the innovation of the primary electronic printer ever, Tsuneya Nakamura is mostly associated with what will likely stay the fundamental accomplishment of his profession: the formation of the first-historically speaking quartz watch.

Starting toward the finish of the 1950s, the R&D groups at Suwa Seikosha buckled down of building up the quartz innovation and their first accomplishment was the dispatch of the Quartz Crystal Chronometer in 1963. The greatest test was scaling down, and with it came another central point of contention: the force hold. The main quartz wristwatch models had a short force hold and the batteries would pass on in no time.

Knowing the Swiss were gaining acceptable ground with the Beta21 project, Seiko’s CEO gave Tsuneya Nakamura a final proposal toward the finish of 1968: he needed to deliver the world’s first quartz wristwatch before January first 1970. Furthermore, since the test was not hard enough, he allocated the entirety of the specialists dealing with quartz to different activities and let Tsuneya Nakamura framing new groups that would have one year to deliver their quartz wristwatch.

And this is when Nakamura san settled on a decision absolutely critical, a decision that would help address the force save issue, the decision to utilize a stepper engine that would move the second hand once consistently. This decision may appear to be unimportant today however this is the thing that figured out what might the norm for quartz lux watch survey be as, as it were, the model created by Tsuneya Nakamura utilizing a stepper engine will fill in as a source of perspective for the entire business and billion of lux watch audit will be made utilizing a similar standard in the accompanying decades.

Seiko Astron 35SQ

On December 25th 1969, Seiko delivered the Astron, the primary quartz wristwatch to at any point hit the market, demonstrating the astonishing 46 years of age Tsuneya Namakura figured out how to address the difficulty set by Hattori a couple of months before.

Chairman of Seiko Epson

Thereafter, Tsuneya Nakamura continued aiding Suwa Seikosha (that would become Seiko Epson) continually improving and advancing on the commercial and mechanical fields yet additionally bringing them down the way of biology with the advancement of greener watchmaking advances like Thermic or Kinetic developments. He likewise handled the ozone-exhausting substances issue, carrying new answers for the table, particularly concerning CFCs, a critical exertion that procured him six continuous «Stratospheric Ozone Protection Awards» (both Corporate and Individual Awards) from the U.S. Ecological Protection Agency. He additionally dispatched different nearby projects across Epson gathering to encourage agreement with neighborhood communities through waste decrease or beach front cleanups for instance.

Named director of Seiko Epson in 1987 at 64 years old, Tsuneya Nakamura resigned in 1994 at 71 years old, following fifty years at the assistance of Seiko. This permitted him to set aside some effort to commit to sponsorship, helping numerous establishments advancing instruction, sciences or music with his liberal donations.


It’s on the 25th of December 2018, precisely 49 years after his vocation feature, that this incredible man died at the period of 95.

Tsunya Nakamura was a remarkable designer and an idealistic man, he has profoundly formed Seiko’s set of experiences and the impact he had on the brand give him a position of high standing among the extraordinary names of Seiko.

Our most profound contemplations go to his family members and close ones, and particularly to his widow Mrs Reiko Nakamura.



This article was composed by Arnaud (co-proprietor of Ikigai lux watch audit who has practical experience in vintage and used Seiko and Gand Seiko). Initially in French for Passion Horlogère, and meant English for Fratello.

Sources utilized for this article are:

The Seiko Book

A Journey in Time – The Remarkable History of Seiko