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 the 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:
- you create an account for free;
- you register a payment method;
- you start shopping or participating in Japanese auctions;
- after buying something or winning an auction, the amount is taken from the registered payment method;
- a small service fee is added to the amount, plus international shipping charges;
- the agency manages the contacts with the seller and receives the goods in Japan;
- 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.
|Dead stock (NOS)||デッドストック|
Brands and series
|Seikosha (Seiko old name)||精工舎|
|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|
|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|