Seiko Building in Ginza Japan by timfranklinphotography

What is the difference between SII, TMI, and Seiko Epson Watch Movements?

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Seiko Building in Ginza Japan by timfranklinphotography

What is SII, TMI, Epson?

  • SII aka Seiko Instruments Inc is based in Japan
  • TMI aka Time Module Inc based in Hong Kong
  • Seiko Epson Corp. is based in Japan

All of which are owned by Seiko Holdings (based in Tokyo Japan).

From Wikipedia:

“Seiko Watch Corp., a subsidiary of Seiko Holdings Corp., markets SEIKO watches while Seiko Instruments Inc. and Seiko Epson Corp. manufacture their movements. Time Module (TMI), a member of the Seiko Group, was established in 1987 with funding from Seiko Watch Company, Seiko Instruments Inc., and Seiko Epson Corp. to manufacture watch movements. On January 26, 2009, Seiko Holdings and Seiko Instruments announced that the two companies will be merged on October 1, 2009 through a share swap. Seiko Instruments became a wholly owned subsidiary of Seiko Holdings on October 1, 2009.”

This is from TMI:

“Time Module (H.K.) Ltd. was established in 1987 with original funds from Seiko Corporation, Seiko Instruments Inc. and Seiko Epson Corporation. Effective from 1st of December, 2015, Time Module (H.K.) Ltd. is wholly-owned by Seiko Holdings Group, and is dedicated to offering high quality watch movements manufactured by Seiko Instruments Inc..”

Are SII/TMI/Epson movements made in Japan?

No. Not all Seiko movements are made in Japan. Seiko makes calibers in Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore. They also manufacture watch parts and components in China, which are then used to assemble movements in the aforementioned locations with a mixture of human-made, machine-made, and part human part machine made. As it turns out, few Seiko watches are actually entirely made in Japan.

From Wikipedia:

“Seiko is perhaps best known for its wristwatches, all of which were at one time produced entirely in-house. This includes not only major items such as microgears, motors, hands, crystal oscillators, batteries, sensors, LCDs but also minor items such as the oils used in lubricating the watches and the luminous compounds used on the hands and the dials. Seiko watches were originally produced by two different subsidiaries. One was Diani Seikosha Co.,(now known as Seiko Instruments Inc.), and the other was Suwa Seikosha Co.(now known as Seiko Epson Corporation). Having two companies both producing the same brand of watch enabled Seiko to improve technology through competition and hedge risk. It also reduced risk of production problems, since one company can increase production in the case of decreased production in the other party.

Currently watch movements are made in Shizukuishi, Iwate (SII Morioka Seiko Instruments), Ninohe, Iwate (SII Ninohe Tokei Kogyo), Shiojiri, Nagano (Seiko Epson) and their subsidiaries in China, Malaysia and Singapore. The fully integrated in-house production system is still practiced for luxury watches in Japan.”

From jayhall0315:

“…..due to the nature of customs and labor laws in Japan, products are generally allowed to be stamped with Made in Japan if they are produced outside the national boundaries as long as they are manufactured in a wholly owned Japanese firm where the work is overseen by Japanese nationals. Generally speaking, watches priced below about 90000 yen (currently $838 US dollars) do not contain enough profit margin to be made in Japan. This is not just for Seiko, but for all major Japanese manufacturers. Watches priced roughly from 90000 to 250000 yen (currently $838 to 2328 US dollars) are often finished or with final assembly done in Japan and higher end watches above this point are often fully assembled in Japan. …..”

Example of a Seiko Time Corp caliber 7S26C made in Malaysia:

Seiko caliber 7S26C made in Malaysia

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[…] Difference between SII and TMI […]

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[…] What’s the difference between SII, TMI, and Seiko Epson Watch Movements? […]

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[…] What’s the difference between SII, TMI, and Seiko Epson Watch Movements? […]

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[…] You might find this caliber listed as being produced by Hattori aka Epson aka TMI (Time Module Inc) aka Seiko Instruments Inc. We’re not sure why all the different names, but sure they all lead back to Seiko. Learn more about this here. […]

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[…] You might find this caliber listed as being produced by SII aka Hattori aka TMI (Time Module Inc) aka Seiko Instruments Inc. Learn more about the different names here. […]

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[…] Hattori aka TMI (Time Module Inc) aka Seiko Instruments Inc. Learn more about the different names here. Other calibers with the same base movement are VK63 and […]

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[…] To nije prvi put da Vostok koristi mehanizme Seikovih firmi i tovise informacija na What is the difference between SII, TMI, and Seiko Epson Watch Movements? Watch Movement | CaliberCo…) […]

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[…] Difference between SII, Epson and TMI […]

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[…] Difference between SII and TMI […]

h. gelders
Guest
h. gelders

Seiko movements are like Eta’s: 1 basic movement of which nearly all others o.t. brand are slightly diversified each time a ‘new’ movement is occuring or has occured.
I am a watchmaker, pupil o.t. late watch’master’maker himself, George Daniels OBE, so I know/am for 100% sure this is true.

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[…] Originally Posted by Bughead …it leads back to Seiko. More info about that here: What is the difference between SII, TMI, and Seiko Epson Watch Movements? References From WUS Members: KeepTheTime are fabulous | KeepTheTime is a great […]

Onüth SHA
Guest

Thanks a lot for clarifying once and for all the myth of “Made in Japan” regarding Seiko watches… I kill and laugh myself every time when I see people believing that a SKX or Seiko 5 even stamped with mention Made in Japan is really made in Japan. With the price the watches are sold less than 100 USD, come on people get yourself into real…! Yeah you have Japanese quality, finish and control but let’s make it clear those watches never saw a inch of Japan territory for sure. Nice article, clear and explicit…!

Kamil
Guest
Kamil

And how about the sbdc051 and the sbdc053 models, both signed made in Japan? What’ś your opinion about their provenance?

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[…] watch companies and used in non-Seiko branded timepieces. Learn more about Hattori/SII/TMI/Epson here. It may be possible to interchange these movements, but the height is slightly taller than the 7T62 […]

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[…] You might find this caliber listed as being produced by Hattori aka Epson aka TMI (Time Module Inc) aka Seiko Instruments Inc. We’re not sure why all the different names, but sure they all lead back to Seiko. Read more here […]

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