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The Seiko museum in Tokyo
The Seiko museum in Tokyo

Nationwide Jewellers takes time out in Tokyo

A number of local jewellers increased their knowledge of a renowned Japanese watch manufacturer during a recent trip to Tokyo.
Jenni Franich with the Seiko Olympic swimming timer
Jenni Franich with the Seiko Olympic swimming timer

From 29 March to 10 April, a group of Nationwide Jewellers members visited the capital city, gaining insight into Seiko’s history and operations while touring its museum and factory.

The watch company’s museum included some of the first timepieces created by Seiko founder Kintaro Hattori, as well as the prototype for London’s iconic Big Ben clock. The group also saw the Quartz Astron, introduced in 1969 as the world’s first quartz watch, and the first six-digit LCD timepiece, launched in 1973.

At the Seiko factory, the Nationwide members inspected the movement assembly line and were allowed to view the areas where exclusive, limited edition watches were manufactured.

Colin Pocklington, managing director of Nationwide, told Jeweller that the buying group received a good response from those that attended, adding that a visit to a pearl farm was another trip highlight for members.

Jenni Franich from John Franich Jewellers in Auckland, New Zealand said it was a privilege to be able to experience firsthand the production of Seiko watches at the manufacturing facility as well as the evolution of time and time-keeping instruments at the museum.

The group was invited to test the Olympic swimming pool timing equipment and Franich was able to stop the Seiko swimming timer at exactly 9.58 seconds, joining only four other people in the last five years who had been able to do this.

She said another valuable aspect of the trip was the pearl farm “where we followed the journey of the Akoya pearl through seeding, cleaning and harvesting, and also held pearls freshly removed from the oysters”.

This was the first time Nationwide had organised a trip to Tokyo.

“Every two years we take members on a trip somewhere in the world; 2012 was a Rhine River cruise; in 2010 we went to Vietnam; and 2008 was a trip to Egypt. We are working on 2016 now, with the next venue to be announced at our conference in June,” Pocklington explained.

Nationwide is the largest jewellery buying group in Australasia, with more than 500 members in Australia and New Zealand.





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The Nationwide Jewellers group at the Seiko museum
The Nationwide Jewellers group at the Seiko museum

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