Affordable Excellence: 11 Best Japanese Luxury Watches

Japanese watchmaking, with roots in the 1970s, continues to impress with brands like Seiko, Citizen, and Casio leading the charge.

Their innovative designs and technology have gained global acclaim, alongside smaller brands like Orient adding diversity to the scene.

Combining traditional techniques with modern innovations, Japanese luxury watches offer both style and performance.

Here are the best Japanese watch brands for 2024 in our comprehensive guide.

1. Grand Seiko Evolution 9 – Titanium, Deep Blue Dial ref. SLGH019

Grand Seiko ref. SLGH019

  • Retail Price: S$14,067
  • Market Average: S$12,120
  • Secondary Market Dealer: S$13,390

They include a deep blue dial inspired by the night sky over snow-covered slopes, a Zaratsu-polished high-tensity titanium case, a screw-down crown, 100m water resistance, a date window at 3 o’clock, and an anti-reflective coating on the glass’ inner surface.

  • Production Year: 2022
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: Deep blue, with silver-tone hands and index hour markers
    • Bracelet: High-tensity titanium with a foldover clasp
    • Bezel: High-tensity titanium
  • Function: Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Automatic Caliber 9SA5 movement with an 80-hour power reserve

Investing in this Grand Seiko watch is an opportunity for watch enthusiasts and collectors to own a piece with a unique design inspired by the natural beauty of Japan. 

The watch boasts a combination of distinctive features, high-quality materials, and exceptional craftsmanship, ensuring it will be a valuable addition to any collection. Furthermore, Grand Seiko’s commitment to innovation and evolution in design bodes well for the potential appreciation of this timepiece over time.

About

The Grand Seiko Evolution 9 ref. SLGH019 is a sleek men’s Hi-Beat 36000 timepiece from Grand Seiko’s Evolution 9 line. It’s inspired by the colors and landscape of Mt. Iwate in winter. The design draws on Grand Seiko’s deep roots while conveying a strong sense of evolution with its confident and powerful presence.


2. Credor Quartz Watch – Rose Gold, White Dial ref. GBAR016

Credor Quartz Watch ref. GBAR016

  • Retail Price: S$7,845
  • Market Average: S$6,690
  • Secondary Market Dealer: S$7,654

They include a quartz movement, an elegant white dial, a pull out crown, an 18ct rose gold case, and a brown leather strap.

  • Production Year: 2022
  • Case Size: 34.8mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: White, adorned with the iconic rose gold-colored Credor logo, indexes, and hands
    • Bracelet: Brown leather strap
    • Bezel: Fixed, smooth 18ct Rose Gold
  • Function: Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Quartz Caliber 8J81 movement, powered by a battery with a 3-year lifespan

Investing in it can be an excellent choice for those seeking a stylish and elegant timepiece. Its sophisticated design and reliable quartz movement make it a practical and fashionable investment. However, it is essential to consider the rarity of this classic dress watch on the pre-owned market and potential fluctuations in private market prices of quartz watches before making a decision.

About

The Seiko Credor GBAR016 is a stylish and elegant men’s timepiece that exudes sophistication. It has a 34.8mm 18ct Rose Gold case and a brown leather strap, adding a vintage touch to the overall design. This handsome watch also has a white dial that contrasts its masculine gold body and provides a clear backdrop for its flawless golden details.


3. ORIENT STAR Open Heart – Stainless Steel, White Dial ref. RE-ND0003S

Orient Star ref. RE-ND0003S

  • Retail Price: S$1,014
  • Market Average: S$812
  • Secondary Market Dealer: S$609

This watch features water resistance to 50m, a semi-skeleton view at 9 o’clock, Roman numeral hour markers, an automatic movement, and a see-through caseback.

  • Production Year: 2022
  • Case Size: 30.5mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: White, with blue-tone hands and black Roman numeral hour markers
    • Bracelet: Brown leather strap with a golden foldover clasp
    • Bezel: Fixed, smooth, gold-plated stainless steel
  • Function: Hours, Minutes, Small Seconds, Power Reserve Indicator
  • Mechanism: Caliber 55C40 Automatic Movement with a 40-hour Power Reserve

Its durable stainless steel case, sapphire crystal, and automatic movement make it a reliable timepiece for everyday use. The elegant blue leather strap and Roman numeral hour markers also provide a sophisticated aesthetic that appeals to casual and professional settings.

About

The Orient Star Open Heart ref. RE-ND0003S is a sophisticated and elegant women’s timepiece from the renowned Japanese watchmaker Orient. It’s the perfect watch for the bold, modern woman who desires a beautiful and extraordinary watch. It fits the description to the T with its eye-catching 30.5mm gold-plated steel case, white dial with an open heart view, and comfortable strap.


4. Seiko Astron Limited Edition – Titanium, Asphalt Dial ref. SSH129

Seiko Astron ref. SSH129

  • Retail Price: S$3,923
  • Market Average: S$3,246
  • Secondary Market Dealer: S$2,705

Its main features are GPS Solar Technology, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal over the dial, an asphalt dial, subdials at 3,6 and 9 o’clock, and water resistance to 100m.

  • Production Year: 2023
  • Case Size: 42.7mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: Asphalt, with Lumibrite-applied hands and index hour markers
    • Bracelet: Titanium, with a three-fold clasp with a push-button release
    • Bezel: Titanium, angular-shaped, with UTC time zone display codes
  • Function: Date, Day, GPS, Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Small Seconds
  • Mechanism: GPS Solar Quartz Caliber 5X53 movement with 12 jewels and 6-month power reserve (in active mode) and 2 years (in sleep mode)

It’s a limited edition (600 pieces), therefore increasing its appeal among most watch collectors. Also, its unique asphalt dial and the advanced GPS solar technology make it an attractive timepiece for collectors and enthusiasts. Plus, its strong and lightweight titanium bracelet and the sapphire bezel and crystal ensure it’s durable and comfortable to wear.

About

The Seiko Astron ref. SSH129 is a sturdy men’s limited edition watch designed for adventure. It’s inspired by the action-packed CG animated film Resident Evil: Death Island. It’s the exact watch the character Chris Redfield wears in the movie, and it’s evident from the olive green dial that matches his uniform.

The dial’s asphalt texture is also a nod to his aggressive side. Pair this with the solid titanium body, strong bracelet, and precise movement, and you have a reliable machine that’s all set for rough play.


5. Grand Seiko Evolution 9 – Rose Gold, Brown Dial ref. SLGA008

Grand Seiko ref. SLGA008

  • Retail Price: S$75,390
  • Market Average: S$76,160
  • Secondary Market Dealer: S$78,842

The main features are a Special Dial mark at 6 o’clock, a date window at 3 o’clock, a sapphire crystal caseback, brown tree rings dial design, a Zaratsu polished distortion-free mirror finish, and a dual-curved sapphire crystal (front and back).

  • Production Year: 2021
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: Striking brown tree rings dial with Rose Gold-tone hands and hour markers
    • Bracelet: Brown crocodile leather strap with a three-fold clasp with push button release
    • Bezel: Fixed, smooth 18k rose gold
  • Function: Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds, and a power reserve indicator
  • Mechanism: 9RA2 Spring Drive movement with 38 jewels and 5-day power reserve

It’s a limited-edition timepiece from a legendary watchmaker. With only 140 pieces produced, it offers exclusivity, a stunning design, intricate craftsmanship, and a high-performance mechanism. Additionally, the watch showcases the brand’s dedication to innovation and excellence, making it a collectible piece for watch enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.

About

The Grand Seiko Evolution 9 ref. SLGA008 is a stunning limited edition luxury men’s timepiece with a unique and stylish look. With a gentler and warmer feel, it features a brown dial with special markings that perfectly matches the handsome 40mm 18k Rose Gold case. Its flexible brown strap wraps up its design nicely and emphasizes the watch’s commitment to consistency, quality, and comfort.


6. Credor Quartz Watch – Stainless Steel, Mother of Pearl Dial ref. GSTE951

Credor Quartz Watch ref. GSTE951

  • Retail Price: S$6,222
  • Market Average: S$6,559
  • Secondary Market Dealer:S$7,001

They include an oval-shaped stainless steel case, Mother of Pearl dial, diamond hour markers, an onyx pull-out crown, and a quartz movement.

  • Production Year: 2021
  • Case Size: 24.8mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: Mother of Pearl, with silver-tone hands and 12 diamond hour markers
    • Bracelet: Stainless Steel, with a special link pattern and steel push button clasp
    • Bezel: Fixed, smooth, stainless steel
  • Function: Hour, Minutes
  • Mechanism: Quartz movement powered by an SR512SW battery

Its stunning mother-of-pearl dial and diamond hour markers make it a stylish add to any collection. Plus, its stainless steel casing ensures durability and longevity. And its quartz movement offers accurate timekeeping and minimal maintenance.

About

The Credor ref. GSTE951 is a versatile and sophisticated ladies’ watch. Credor, a sub-brand of Seiko, is famous for its intricate design and attention to detail. These qualities are evident in the watch’s 24.8mm oval-shaped steel case, a beautiful Mother of Pearl dial, and a matching steel bracelet with a special link pattern, making it a visually striking and durable timepiece.


7. Seiko Astron GPS Solar – Stainless Steel, Blue Dial ref. SSJ003

Seiko Astron ref. SSJ003

  • Retail Price: S$2,164
  • Market Average: S$2,029
  • Secondary Market Dealer: S$1,758

Its main features are GPS Solar Technology, a ceramic bezel, LumiBrite lume on hands and hour markers, a date window at 3 o’clock, and a blue flange on the dial’s outer rim.

  • Production Year: 2021
  • Case Size: 39mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: Blue, with a sunburst pattern and LumiBrite lume-applied hands and hour markers
    • Bracelet: Stainless steel, with a three-fold clasp with a push button release
    • Bezel: Fixed, smooth, blue ceramic
  • Function: Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds, perpetual calendar, and GPS time adjustment
  • Mechanism: Caliber 3X22 GPS Solar movement with 8 jewels and precision of +/- 15 seconds per month

It boasts innovative technology, solar power capabilities, and a beautiful design. Its GPS Solar technology ensures it will always display accurate time, and its solar-powered feature guarantees a low-maintenance timepiece.

About

The Seiko Astron GPS Solar ref. SSJ003 is a revolutionary unisex timepiece that automatically adjusts to the correct time through GPS. It has a simple yet breath-taking steel, blue dial design consisting of a well-polished 39mm steel case, matching bracelet, and deep blue dial with white and silver details. It pinpoints your exact location and spots your precise timezone by getting signals from four or more GPS satellites.


8. Citizen Eco-Drive Silhouette Crystal – Stainless Steel, Silver Dial ref. EW2348-56A

Citizen Eco-Drive ref. EW2348-56A

  • Retail Price: S$460
  • Market Average: S$372
  • Secondary Market Dealer: S$304

Some of its notable features are Eco-Drive technology, pink gold-tone stainless steel construction, Swarovski crystals on the bezel and some hour markers, a date display at the 3 o’clock position, and 50 meters water resistance.

  • Production Year: 2019
  • Case Size: 28mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: Silver-tone two-tone accented dial with luminous hands
    • Bracelet: Stainless steel with foldover clasp and push-button release
    • Bezel: Fixed stainless steel bezel with Swarovski crystal accents
  • Function: Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Eco-Drive E013 movement technology, powered by light

It’s environmentally friendly and low-maintenance. The Eco-Drive technology ensures you’ll never need to replace a battery, and the stainless steel construction ensures durability. With it, you get a stylish and practical timepiece, making it an excellent addition to any watch collection.

About

Looking for a luxury timepiece that’s both glittery and functional? The Citizen Eco-Drive Silhouette Crystal ref. EW2348-56A offers that and more. It’s a beautiful and elegant women’s timepiece that blends function and style, making it a perfect choice for mostly formal occasions. It’s part of Citizen’s renowned Eco-Drive lineup, which means it’s powered by light, eliminating the need for battery replacement.


9. Citizen Classic Coin Edge – Stainless Steel, Silver Dial ref. EM1050-56A

Citizen Classic Coin Edge ref. EM1050-56A

  • Retail Price: S$352
  • Market Average: S$331
  • Secondary Market Dealer: S$324

They include a silver-tone 3-hand dial with bold Roman numerals, a coin edge bezel, a bracelet with a silver-tone stainless steel foldover clasp, powered by light with Eco-Drive technology, and water resistance to 50m.

  • Production Year: 2020
  • Case Size: 28mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: Silver-tone with black-tone hands and Roman numeral hour markers
    • Bracelet: Silver-tone stainless steel, with a foldover clasp with push buttons
    • Bezel: Fixed, silver-tone stainless steel, coin edge
  • Function: Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Eco-Drive E031 movement technology

Investing in a Citizen Classic Coin Edge watch is a wise decision due to its timeless design, Eco-Drive technology, and combination of style and functionality. The watch’s elegant appearance makes it suitable for various occasions while maintaining a minimalist look.

About

Another beauty from Citizen’s Eco-Drive collection, the Citizen Classic Coin Edge watch ref. EM1050-56A is a modern luxury women’s watch with a monochromatic steel design. It has a silver dial that adds some excitement and sexiness to its simple look. It also has a smooth steel bracelet with a special link pattern that fits around the wrist like a jewel.


10. Citizen Attesa Atomic Timekeeping – Black Super Titanium, Black Dial ref. AT8187-75E

Citizen Attesa ref. AT8187-75E

  • Retail Price: S$3,375
  • Market Average: S$3,213
  • Secondary Market Dealer: S$3,341

Its most exciting ones are a scratch-resistant DLC-coated Super Titanium™ case and matching bracelet, subdials at 12,6 and 9 o’clock, a black grained dial, a blue DLC bezel with world time markings, and world time in 26 time zones.

  • Production Year: 2022
  • Case Size: 42mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: Black grained, with silver-tone lume-applied hands and index hour markers
    • Bracelet: Fixed, DLC-coated Super Titanium™
    • Bezel:  Fixed, world time equipped, blue DLC
  • Function: Chronograph, Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds, World Time
  • Mechanism: Eco-Drive H800 movement powered by any light source

It’s an excellent choice due to its long-standing reputation for reliability, durability, and innovation. It is also a lightweight and highly functional timepiece, making it perfect for individuals who value style and performance.

About

The Citizen Attesa Atomic ref. AT8187-75E is a limited edition men’s timepiece. It was the first watch released to celebrate the Attesa collection’s 35th anniversary and has a masculine bluish-black design consisting of a 42mm Super Titanium™ case and bracelet with DLC coating, a grained dial, and Eco-Drive technology. This tool watch also has an impressive wrist presence and comfortable heft, making it a reliable everyday watch for the modern male.


11. Grand Seiko Quartz GMT Watch – Stainless Steel, Blue Dial ref. SBGN005

Grand Seiko Quartz GMT ref. SBGN005

  • Retail Price: S$4,328
  • Market Average: S$2,790
  • Secondary Market Dealer: S$2,876

They include a deep blue dial, water resistance to 100m, a bezel with a 24-hour scale, a red seconds hand, and a date aperture at 3 o’clock.

  • Production Year: 2020
  • Case Size: 39mm
  • Materials
    • Dial: Deep blue dial with large, bold hands and indexes featuring Lumibrite for easy visibility
    • Bracelet: Stainless steel, with a three-fold clasp and push-button release
    • Bezel: Steel, with a 24-hour scale
  • Function: Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds, GMT (second time zone)
  • Mechanism: 9F86 Quartz movement

As part of the reputable Grand Seiko brand, it holds potential for value retention and appreciation over time. Also, with its sporty design and GMT function, this watch serves as a versatile and practical choice for active individuals and travelers.

About

The Grand Seiko ref. SBGN005 is a men’s quartz GMT watch with a pleasantly confident personality. It’s designed for everyday wear with its solid 39mm steel case and bracelet and use by active travelers with its legible dial and functional bezel. This watch is an ideal travel companion with its reliable performance and distinct design philosophy.


Summary

The following table highlights the models above, plus their key features, retail, private market, and pre-owned prices:

Model

Key Features

Retail Price

Private Market Price

Pre-Owned Price

Grand Seiko Evolution 9 ref. SLGH019

  • Deep blue dial 
  • 100m water resistance
  • Date window at 3 o’clock

S$14,067

S$12,120

S$13,390

Credor Quartz Watch ref. GBAR016

  • Quartz movement
  • Elegant white dial
  • Pull out crown

S$7,845

S$6,690

S$7,654

Orient Star Open Heart ref. RE-ND0003S

  • Water resistance to 50m
  • Semi-skeleton view at 9 o’clock
  • Roman numeral hour markers

S$1,014

S$812

S$609

Seiko Astron Limited Edition ref. SSH129

  • GPS Solar Technology
  • Asphalt dial
  • Subdials at 3,6 and 9 o’clock

S$3,923

S$3,246

S$2,705

Grand Seiko Evolution 9 ref. SLGA008

  • Special Dial mark at 6 o’clock
  • Brown tree rings dial design
  • Zaratsu polished distortion-free mirror finish

S$75,390

S$76,160

S$78,842

Credor Quartz Watch ref. GSTE951

  • Oval-shaped stainless steel case
  • Mother of Pearl dial
  • Diamond hour markers

S$6,222

S$6,559

S$7,001

Seiko Astron GPS Solar ref. SJ003

  • GPS Solar Technology
  • Ceramic bezel
  • Blue flange on the dial’s outer rim

S$2,164

S$2,029

S$1,758

Citizen Eco-Drive Silhouette ref. EW2348-56A

  • Eco-Drive technology
  • Pink gold-tone stainless steel construction
  • Swarovski crystals on the bezel and some hour markers

S$460

S$372

S$304

Citizen Classic Coin Edge ref. EM1050-56A

  • Silver-tone 3-hand dial with bold Roman numerals
  • Coin edge bezel
  • Water resistance to 50m

S$352

S$331

S$324

Citizen Attesa Atomic Timekeeping ref. AT8187-75E

  • Scratch-resistant DLC-coated Super Titanium™ case and matching bracelet
  • Blue DLC bezel with world-time markings
  • World time in 26 time zones

S$3,375

S$3,213

S$3,341

Grand Seiko Quartz GMT ref. SBGN005

  • Water resistance to 100m
  • Bezel with a 24-hour scale
  • Red seconds hand

S$4,328

S$2,790

S$2,876

FAQs

1. What is the number one watch in Japan?

The number one watch in Japan can be somewhat subjective, as it depends on individual preferences and specific criteria such as style, technology, and price. However, one of the most respected and established Japanese watch brands is Seiko, well-known for its reliable and diverse range of watches. They are followed closely by other renowned brands in global watch market like Citizen and Casio.

2. What is Japan’s most expensive watch?

Japan’s most expensive watches are typically found within the luxury division of well-known brands. For example, the Grand Seiko line offers exquisite Grand Seiko watches with prices ranging from a few thousand up to S$67,631 and more. Remember that costs can differ greatly depending on the use of precious materials, intricate designs, and advanced mechanical movements.

3. Are watches made in Japan good?

Yes. Japanese pieces are known for their high quality, reliability, and innovative technology. Significant Japanese watch brands like Seiko, Citizen, and Casio have established a strong reputation for producing timepieces with precise movements, durable materials, and unique features. For instance, Citizen is well-known for its Eco-Drive technology which eliminates the need for battery replacements, while Casio is famous for its G-Shock series, known for being shock-resistant and highly durable. The Japanese watch industry has also demonstrated strong capabilities in both mechanical watches and digital watch technologies, focusing on continual improvement and innovation.

Final Word

Japanese watchmaking has a long and prestigious history, from iconic brands like Seiko and Casio to artisanal timepieces featuring meticulous craftsmanship. The allure of Japanese watches lies in their perfect fusion of traditional timekeeping principles and innovative, cutting-edge technology.

Key Takeaways

  • Japanese watch brands such as Seiko, Citizen, and Casio boast a strong global reputation due to their reliance on innovative technologies and aesthetically appealing designs.
  • Japanese watchmakers have successfully balanced the old and new for a uniquely distinctive product by incorporating traditional craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology.
  • Luxury Japanese watches offer style and performance to their admirers, making them a worthy addition to any watch collection.

Looking to buy or sell your luxury watches? Watch Book is your one-stop destination for trading Rolex, Patek Philippe, Tissot, Sinn, Zenith, and other luxury timepieces. Find your next watch today or list your item for free!

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