Please note that all the below are my personal observations and notes. They do not in any way constitute the position nor stand of Seiko Thailand or Seiko Japan.
Watch lovers always take the opportunity to visit their well loved watch manufacturer. I am no exception, however in my case it’s just the service center.
Having just arrived in Bangkok I took the opportunity to bring some of my watches in for servicing.
Servicing of Seikos in Singapore is under Tiong Sia (however I’m certain the watch technicians are also trained in Seiko Japan), while in Bangkok, it is under Seiko Thailand.
Some thoughts on Seiko in Thailand
In my short stint in Bangkok so far, I can say safely that Seiko is a lot more popular in Bangkok than in Singapore based on my watch spotting experience thus far. This also aligns with my thoughts especially since there are so many Thailand only Seikos in the market. Silver Sumo anyone? Or how about the Thai LE MM300? The latter was speculated on watch forums to be fake, but I have seen it for sale at a Grand Seiko boutique in an upscale shopping mall! Can’t get any more authentic than that.
Seiko Service Center
The address for Seiko Thailand Service Center is:
Seiko Service Center (Bangkok) SEIKO (Thailand) Co Ltd
4th Fl., 1091/286, 1091/297-299, New Petchburi Road, Makkasan, Rajthevi, Bangkok 10400
Tel:+66-2-255-1245/1250 (6 lines)
Now the Seiko Thailand service center is almost equal distance from the Makkasan Airport Link, Phloen Chit and Chit Lom BTS stations.
I went to Seiko Thailand on 2 consecutive days via different routes. On my first day, I walked from Makkasan Airport link, while on the second trip I walked from Phloen Chit BTS station. Both walks range from 1.5km to 2.0km, but I personally find the Phloen Chit route more pleasant as you are walking past embassies, shopping centers, main roads etc. The Makkasan route was a lot quieter and less shady.
Seiko Thailand is located in a building by itself just beside Bangkok Palace Hotel.
There’s a Seiko boutique on level 1 but do not get your hopes up too high! The only interesting range I saw there were the Prospex range, some JDMs and some Albas. There were no Credors, Grand Seikos nor Galante. These can only be found in Seiko Boutiques at selected high end shopping malls.
On the left hand side of the building is the Seiko reception with a lift going up to Level 4 where the service center is located.
I’m pretty certain it is the same watch care instructions that are provided in all Seiko manuals, but definitely interesting to see an all-Thai version!
Some personal notes
On my second trip there, I managed to speak to X, whom I had been corresponding with for some time via email as I wanted to service a Credor of mine. He had been with Seiko Thailand for over 30 years now.
We had a very interesting conversation while I was waiting for my watches to be checked and the gaskets changed.
1) Seiko Thailand has a clean room for servicing 3 hander mechanical and spring drive Grand Seikos. Any Spring Drive Grand Seiko chronograph has to go to Seiko Japan.
This probably means that clean rooms are not unique only to Seiko Japan! I suspect clean rooms are set up in regions where Grand Seikos (leaving out Credor and Galante as these are not officially released internationally yet) are selling well.
2) Each month, there are around 20 watches being sent from Seiko Thailand to Japan, which are normally watches that Seiko Thailand are not trained to service and hence do not carry parts for, such as the 4S, 6S, Spring Drive chronographs, etc.
3) Seiko Thailand cannot service 8L, 6S nor 4S movements (non-exhaustive). This is because the watch technicians in Seiko Thailand are not trained in Japan for these calibers yet. Each calibre is a separate training session. Also it appears to me that all training take place only in Japan. However I’m speculating that from time to time (this is not from my conversation with X), watch trainers from Japan do travel to the regions to conduct training, inspections etc
Seiko Japan will ship the parts to do servicing in Thailand once there are qualified watch technicians. Also for the 4S calibers, some parts are already discontinued, hence not all 4S can be serviced even in Japan.
4) The market for Seiko in Thailand is larger than the Singapore and Malaysia markets.
5) X himself used to service the Seiko chronographs 6138, 6139 and 7016, amongst others, when he first started. 7016 being the rarest of the 3 calibers been serviced. This is probably due to the scarcity of the 7016 caliber compared to the rest.
6) The 2 famous Seiko bullheads, have a different name in Thailand. Translated, they mean “red ant” and “black ant”!
7) In X’s opinion, the 9S movement is superior to the 4S, although it is vastly more expensive.
8) Only certain 8L parts are interchangeable with 9S parts. Surprisingly this means the 8L is not just an undecorated and unadjusted 9S movement.
Hence, although Seiko Thailand can service 9S movements, this does not automatically mean they can service 8L movements.
On a personal note, I had the gaskets on 3 of my watches changed even though there was no need to. X advised against it, because all gaskets will be changed whenever watches are opened for servicing (apparently this is a policy of Seiko). Hence he proposed to delay it until the watch itself requires servicing.
However given the age of my watches and the fact that they are still running within specs, I thought it would be safer to change them now.
1 year servicing warranty is also provided for the specific service provided (i.e. water resistance in my case).
I also arranged to send my Credor to Seiko Japan for servicing due to the low amplitude. Definitely time for an overhaul. I shall write a separate entry for this once my watch returns from its complete servicing.
Overall, I had a very positive experience given the professionalism and hospitality of the Seiko Thailand staff. Special thanks to X for his kind patience and also for sharing his passion for Seiko watches with me.
Please note that all the above are my personal observations and notes. They do not in any way constitute the position nor stand of Seiko Thailand or Seiko Japan.