Orient Automatic Watches: Past, Present and Future

March 22nd, 2010 | 3 Comments

While Orient watches have just recently invaded the United States market, boasting strong sales and doubling Rolex’s online traffic, the company behind the phenomenon has surpassed the 60-year mark, with its roots extending all the way back to 1901, and the number of watches produced exceeding 80 million. The company currently manufactures and distributes over two million watches a year, and is looking to continue expansion internationally.

Because of its rich and diverse history, Orient has become respected as a leader in automatic watches.

Read on to learn how Orient’s history contributes to the company’s reputation for quality and expertise:

1901-2007: Beginnings to Orient Watch Co.

In 1901, Shogoro Yoshida opened a wholesale watch shop in Ueno[http://www.japaneselifestyle.com.au/tokyo/ueno.htm], a commercial district in downtown Tokyo. For 50 years, the watch shop thrived as it innovated watchmaking and sales. In July 1950, the wristwatch manufacturing company was founded under the name Tama Keiki Co., and began production in the Hino Factory.

The 1955 Memorandum Trade agreement with China resulted in the establishment of an export contract, and Orient was able to begin its advance into overseas markets.

Orient expands overseas

The company’s first automatic-winding watch went on sale in 1962. In 2003, the company established its Orient Technical Center, where 50 years of experience go into producing quality in-house movements. Thanks to this center, Orient has also been able to expand the scope of its production to printer components, quartz oscillators, silicon wafers and other electronic devices, making the company a leader in manufacturing.

Throughout its long history, Orient continued its overseas expansion and created a strong distribution network throughout 70 countries. Its strongest markets were, and continue to be, Latin America and Central & Eastern Europe, and the brand is aiming to continue increasing its global recognition.

2008-2010: Orient Automatic Watches enter the U.S.

Already positioned as a global leader in manufacturing and sales, Orient Watch Co. was prepared for its move into the United States. Under the name Orient Watch USA, the company has been posting record sales as it markets its products in new and innovative ways.

One of Orient’s most notable moves is its Name That Watch contest, which debuted in October 2009 and continues today.

Mark Kim, Orient’s Director of North American Sales, says “After some Orient buffs started nicknaming our watches, like the Orient ‘Mako,’ we realized the creative potential of our fans and wanted to reward them.”

And thus, the contest was born. It asks the public to submit names for different collections, such as the CEV0900, and the winner receives an Orient watch from the series. Their coined name is used on Orient Watch’s official US website to help identify the line.


Orient, a consumer-centric company, is also using social media (such as Twitter) to promote great deals on its automatic watches and ask customers about the watches they’re wearing. In February 2009, Orient made another popular move by partnering with Amazon to sell watches on the superstore’s website.

What’s your favorite facet of Orient’s long history? Leave a comment below and you could win an Orient automatic watch!

Cassie Wallace

  1. 3 Comments | Tell us what you think!

  2. By Travis on Mar 22, 2010

    I just received my Diver CEM65001B. It is a really nice watch. The service was great and it arrived only a few days after ordering. I am ordering another watch and one for my wife as well. Thank you for making an affordable, durable, great looking watch.

  3. By Jeff on Mar 23, 2010

    It is nice to see that Orient is keeping current with social media. I also like the fact that the company solicits input from its user base via the ‘Name the Watch’ contest. I look forward to acquiring my first Orient and first automatic watch someday.

  4. By Steve on May 3, 2010

    This week I am ordering the Planet Ocean Automatic. It is a beautiful timepiece, that has styling to remain in place for years to come. I cannot wait until it arrives, as I am already looking for my “next” Orient.

3 comments | Tell us what you think!