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Lifehack: How to buy Seiko watches from Japan

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Lifehack: How to buy Seiko watches from Japan

Seiko, oh Seiko, a name so grand,
A watch that’s crafted by a master hand.
With precision and skill, it ticks away,
Through days and nights, come what may.
In a world that’s fast-paced and ever-changing,
Seiko stands firm, unwavering and unchanging.
Its timeless design, a beauty to behold,
A sight to see, a story to be told.
From sunrise to sunset, through every hour,
Seiko keeps ticking with a steadfast power.
A symbol of reliability and trust,
A watch that’s built to last, a must.
So let’s raise a toast to Seiko, the king of time,
A brand that’s truly one of a kind.
May its legacy continue to shine,
Forever and always, a timeless sign.

How to buy Seiko watches

Seiko is one of the biggest names in the watch industry, and its watches are available in virtually every corner of the world. Today, with their overseas expansion in the luxury sector, even Grand Seiko watches are increasingly available everywhere.

Despite this, there are many watches that continue to be almost unfindable outside he Japanese market. We speak in particular of vintage models, but also of some limited or JDM editions.

Although interesting pieces occasionally appear on Chrono24 and Ebay, we know that the best is concentrated on Japanese websites, especially on the main Japanese auction site: Yahoo! Auctions.

When accessing the site, the first thing that usually “scares” is the language: since it is a site for Japanese people, obviously everything is written in Japanese. Another problem, not least, is that most sellers don’t offer international shipping.

At first glance, therefore, it may seem very complicated, if not impossible, to buy watches from Japan. In reality, as we will see shortly, it is not only possible but also very easy.

Buying from Japan is simple

When a problem affects many people, you can be sure that someone will look for solutions to solve it. The solution in this case is an intermediary, someone who buys the products in Japan and sends them to us in our countries.

For this purpose a multitude of agencies have been created. At the cost of a small fee, they take care of buying for us the products of our interest, receiving and checking the goods in Japan, and sending them to us via international shipping.


In most cases the process is automated: this means that you just need to create an account, and you will be immediately able to bid in real time.


These are some of the main websites that offer the possibility to buy products from Japan:

The system works in much the same way for each of these services:


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  1. you create an account for free;
  2. you register a payment method;
  3. you start shopping or participating in Japanese auctions;
  4. after buying something or winning an auction, the amount is taken from the registered payment method;
  5. a small service fee is added to the amount, plus international shipping charges;
  6. the agency manages the contacts with the seller and receives the goods in Japan;
  7. after checking the goods, the agency proceeds to send them to you by the chosen shipping method.


The language barrier

Even if the intermediary website is in English, the language barrier remains for the search for watches, since most product pages have titles and descriptions written in Japanese.

To make your life easier, I have compiled a list of the most useful Japanese terms to find Seiko watches. You can copy/paste these in the website’s search box.

Generic terms

Watch 時計
Wristwatch 腕時計
Pocket watch 懐中時計
Automatic 自動巻
Manual 手巻
Spring Drive スプリングドライブ
Quartz クオーツ
Kinetic キネティック
Hi-beat ハイビート
Divers watch ダイバーズウォッチ
Chronograph クロノグラフ
Dead stock (NOS) デッドストック
Vintage ビンテージ
Antique アンティーク

Brands and series

Seiko セイコー
Grand Seiko グランドセイコー
King Seiko キングセイコー
Seikosha (Seiko old name) 精工舎
Credor クレドール
Prospex プロスペックス
Presage プレザージュ
Brightz ブライツ
Lukia ルキア
Astron アストロン

Collectible watches

Laurel (first) 大正ローレル
Tensoku 天測時計
Super スーパー
Unique ユニーク
Marvel マーベル
Cronos クロノス
Indicator インジケーター
Gyro Marvel ジャイロマーベル
Lord Marvel ロードマーベル
Sportsman スポーツマン
Gold Feather ゴールドフェザー
Seikomatic セイコーマチック
Liner ライナー
Crown クラウン
Grand Seiko First グランドセイコーファースト
King Seiko First キングセイコーファースト
Skyliner スカイライナー
Laurel ローレル
Champion チャンピオン
Alpinist アルピニスト
Grand Seiko Self Dater グランドセイコーセルフデーター
Crown Chronograph クラウン クロノグラフ
Quartz-Astron クオーツアストロン
Speed Timer スピードタイマー
World Timer ワールドタイマー


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