The origins of the Orient Star premium brand date back to 1901. At that time, men's wristwatches were still a rarity. While women certainly already wore wristwatches as pieces of jewelry, the male sex still considered the classic pocket watch as the appropriate timepiece. Based on this, the watchmaker Shogoro Yoshida founded the company Yoshida Tokeiten in the Tokyo district of Ueno in 1901. He imported pocket watches and sold them wholesale to Japanese retailers.
From the year 1913, Yoshida began manufacturing watch cases. In 1920, Yoshida founded Toyo Tokei Seisakusho and expanded the portfolio to include the complete manufacture of clocks, both pocket watches and table and wall clocks. From 1934, the company also produced wristwatches and just two years later moved to its own four-story factory building in the Hino district of Tokyo.
During World War II, watch production was stopped by order of the military and the company had to produce measuring instruments and fittings for the Japanese Air Force.
After the war ended in 1946, watch production resumed, but the company ceased operations in 1949 due to the poor economic situation in Japan at the time. However, the now former employees of Toyo Tokei established their own company called Tama Keiki in the same factory building a year later in 1950. Again a year later, the company was renamed Orient Watch. It manufactured wristwatches, alarm clocks and bearings for mechanical movements.
1951 - the year of the birth of Orient Star
Initially, the wristwatches called Orient Star were assigned to a collection under Orient Watch. Over the following decades and due to new technical developments, Orient meanwhile developed and manufactured its own movements with various complications, the Orient Star series shifted more and more to the premium segment. By this time, in the early 1960s, Orient Star had long since established itself internationally and competed with well-known Swiss brands due to technical developments and an innovative design.
The 1960s were a real time of awakening for Orient Star. Design and technology of the watches were, and still are, focused on uniqueness. For example, the Racer F3, released in 1968, with an egg-shaped case, or the World Diver, created a year later. The next decade was marked by a bit of a split within manufacturing at Orient, but one that ultimately solidified the reputation of the Orient Star brand. While Orient itself shifted to the production of quartz watches in the 1970s to serve the mass market, Orient Star remained true to the mechanical movement as a separate production line.
In the 1970s, the foundations of Orient Star luxury watches are laid
This included, among other things, the first automatic movement of its own manufacture, the caliber 46 from 1971, which to this day forms the basis for most wristwatches from Orient Star. This resulted in watches with „perpetual calendar“ or the design masterpiece „Monbijou“, a skeleton watch with a wonderful charisma. Some of these 1960s watches have been reissued in honor of the 70th anniversary of the founding of Orient Star. For example, the Orient Star New Skeleton, which is equipped with up to 70 hours of power reserve, or the Orient Star Diver 1964 Second Edition.
In 2001, Seiko Epson, one of the three core companies of the Seiko Group, acquired a majority stake in Orient. For many years before that, Orient had already worked closely with Seiko Epson, for example in the development of its automatic watch movements. In 2009, Orient, and with it Orient Star, became a wholly owned subsidiary of Epson. Particularly in the high-price segment, Seiko, Epson and Orient mutually benefit from each other by exchanging developments. In 2003, the Orient Technical Center was founded specifically for this purpose, from which, among other things, the caliber 88700 emerged. A high-precision movement that is used in watches and chronographs in the luxury class from Orient Star, but also from Seiko. Orient Star stands for watches and chronographs of the highest reliability and a design that exquisitely combines classic, present and future.