A major factor in Seiko’s six-year growth spurt was the success of its high-end watch brands in the domestic market and overseas. Unlike Casio and Citizen, Seiko has two major luxury brands in Japan, Grand Seiko and Credor. In 2012, the relaunched Astron model, the world’s first solar GPS watch, joined the lineup. A surge in tourists to Japan in 2014 and 2015, primarily from China, helped boost Seiko’s high-end sales, as well as those of Presage, a collection of mechanical watches priced from $500 to $2,000, and the Prospex sports watch line.
Sales of Seiko’s core mid-and-lower priced watches also did well in the domestic market, particularly in 2013, when the company’s watch sales rose 25%.
Overseas, Seiko benefitted from strong sales to China in the 2010 to 2012 period and the U.S. from 2010 to 2013. In 2013, Seiko noted that “sales to major chains and department stores progressed favorably in the United States.” Astron also sold well overseas, as did Prospex, when it was launched internationally for the first time in 2014.