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Epson emerged from nature’s magnificence along the shores of Lake Suwa.

Our connection to this ecosystem drives our business. Technologies that propel the development of innovative new products must contribute to a thriving environment. Epson’s unique, efficient, compact, and precision technologies represent this philosophy. It’s in our DNA. Our history of creativity and challenges originated from assembling watch components, leading to the development of technologies responsible for many world-first products.

From printers and projectors to robots and wearables, our technologies improve life worldwide. In 2022, we at Epson celebrate our 80th anniversary. We promise to continue to serve society and our planet, creating a sustainable future that enriches people’s lives everywhere.


Yasunori Ogawa

President of Seiko Epson Corporation


Seiko Epson Corporation celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2022. We would like to express sincere gratitude to our many customers and stakeholders for their support.

Located near the shore of Lake Suwa, Epson embarked on its journey as a watch parts manufacturer. The company’s founder pledged never to pollute Lake Suwa, and we continue to honour his pledge to this day.

We at Epson have always exercised creativity and challenged ourselves to deliver products and services that exceed the expectations of our customers around the world by drawing on the efficient, compact, and precision technologies we have developed and refined since the company was founded in 1942.

In March 2021, we updated our corporate vision, Epson 25, and are now operating under Epson 25 Renewed, which defines “achieving sustainability and enriching communities” as our aspirational goal. In the past, we sought to use our strong technologies to create innovative products. Going forward, we will also look to wield our technologies to solve societal issues, focusing particularly on overcoming global environmental challenges.

I believe that our purpose as a company is to contribute to society and to employee happiness. I also believe that the two are inseparable. Taking care of our employees and contributing to society will generate confidence and pride internally that will drive us to further contribute to society.

We will continue to work together with our many stakeholders to solve societal issues, achieve sustainability, and improve the quality of life around the world.

The Epson Journey

Chapter 1

Suwa, where it began. Lessons from Nature. 

Everyone has their hometown. We do, too. Suwa in the heart of Japan. Our story began in an old miso warehouse from the vision of Hisao Yamazaki and his nine employees. We grew up here surrounded by Lake Suwa and the highlands of the Yatsugatake Mountains. To this day, we are inspired by this land.


Suwa has taught us much. A way to live in harmony with nature, which we’ve passed down for generations. The inhabitants have lived and thrived in this harsh environment observing the cracks of the Omiwatari pressure ridge on Lake Suwa’s icy surface. Here, the winter cold penetrates everything, a harshness our ancestors understood. But, instead of leaving, they lived on the land, celebrating the Earth, Nature, and Suwa, and living in harmony with the lake and the mountains. This way of life was natural back then, and natural for us today. This is the spirit of our craftsmanship and the inspiration for our quality.

The beginning: The shores of Lake Suwa, Nagano Prefecture. Products Made in Harmony with Nature

Eight decades ago, Epson embarked on its journey, assembling watch components.

Nagano Prefecture in Japan boasts lush flora, the majestic peaks of the Japan Alps, and diverse wildlife. Here Daiwa Kogyo — the forerunner of Epson — launched its business on May 18, 1942, from the shores of Nagano's largest lake, Lake Suwa.

The inhabitants of the area have long revered the lake's natural surroundings, living in villages and on mountains with gratitude for the bounty the land provided. Lake Suwa encapsulates nature's beauty and severity — and the sanctity of the environment. An environment that has long sustained the people of Suwa. Over 2,000 years ago in the Jomon period, residents fished Suwa's waters and quarried its ice to transport across the lake. For many years, Lake Suwa was central to daily survival.

Cold, harsh winters impeded agriculture, so Suwa's residents relied on hunting and mountain foods for sustenance, learning to live with the land. A close relationship that still exists today. The Suwa residents were pioneers who respected the environment.

Today, Epson employs around 77,000 people worldwide, and global corporate sales exceed one-trillion yen. However, it embarked on its journey from an old, converted miso warehouse, assembling watch parts.

The clean water and fresh air was a perfect place to produce precision instruments.

But the region was never wealthy, and Hisao Yamazaki, the company's founder, saw potential in the place where the raw silk industry once flourished. He envisioned a new industry that would restore vitality to the area and the lives of locals. Yamazaki returned to the area to take over the family business.
Together with Suwa's Mayor and other prominent business leaders, Yamazaki approached Shoji Hattori, the managing director of Daini Seikosha (now Seiko Instruments) with the prospect of developing more precision instruments.

The group believed that Suwa's climate was like Switzerland's with low summer humidity, so it would be a perfect environment for a precision industry. They believed that Suwa could be the Switzerland of the East and began clock assembly operations. The company had only nine employees.


Hisao Yamazaki's vision is still alive today.

Yamazaki's passion for establishing a Japanese watch industry led him to collect parts in the late 1940s. If he didn't have certain parts, he made them. By January 21, 1946, he had the parts to assemble four timepieces, which were completed the next day after a night of assembly.

Only two of the four watches worked, but this would pave the road with an ethos of experimentation that lives on at Epson today.

Yamazaki showed strong resolve by proclaiming, "I'm going to pour my heart and soul into this. We've got to all come together to ensure this business takes root here."

This emotional greeting still inspires Epson today. Later Shoji Hattori, who since became chairperson, would describe Yamazaki as a man of integrity and effort. Yamazaki's attitude still permeates Epson's corporate culture.

Chapter 2

At Seiko Epson, we dedicate ourselves to contributing to the environment while manufacturing our products. It’s the promise we made to Suwa.

We were born from a land surrounded by nature’s magnificence, with a lake spreading out before us. Even we who knew only this place easily understood the beauty of the environment. The company founder, Hisao Yamazaki, pledged never to pollute Lake Suwa. We must preserve its beauty. Nature, despite its majesty, is delicate and vulnerable. Regardless of how masterfully we create, our value diminishes if we destroy nature. Fortunately, we were born in harmony with our community and nature. 

Lake Suwa emerged from tectonic activity as a portion of the Earth lifted and split away centuries ago. Naturally, Suwa has its past and a present. Yamazaki made his promise to Lake Suwa in exchange for the ability to manufacture in the area. As a result, his vision has survived generations and produced our values. Without nature, our business would not be possible.

When we look around, we see stately trees reaching high into the sky. Listen carefully, and life is all around. Even today, Lake Suwa is brilliant. Nature’s bounty in the right place and the right time. Our craftsmanship has reached every corner of the world, and we continue to create while tackling the toughest global issues.

Do not pollute Lake Suwa. It’s about manufacturing in harmony with nature.


Since our founding, our mission has been to contribute to our environment, manufacturing in harmony with nature.

“We must never pollute Lake Suwa.” These are the words of our founder, Hisao Yamazaki. To develop our business on these shores nestled in nature, we developed a harmonious relationship with the local community and work to preserve the environment — our mission from the beginning.

We clean our wastewater to preserve Lake Suwa, and in the 1970s, we set in-house, voluntary environmental standards that were stricter than the legal and regulatory limits to prevent pollution.

As a manufacturer, creating and delivering new products alone often negatively affects the environment. However, balancing environmental preservation with operations has always been the heart of our business at Seiko Epson. It’s a culture passed down from generations that has remained intact as our global business developed and expanded.

Technology and information have little value without humanity and creativity. 

In the 1980s, as awareness of risks to the ozone layer became an issue, Seiko Epson became the first company in the world to pledge to go CFC-free. Tsuneya Nakamura, the former CEO, said, “We cannot use something that we know is hurting the environment. Technology and information have no value in themselves but only become useful and valuable through humanity and creativity in the hands of people who use them.” In 1992, the company achieved a complete elimination of specified CFCs for cleaning in Japan, and the following year achieved it worldwide.

Nakamura said, “In the absence of effective substitutes, our CFC-free activities, which went forward without clear prospects for success, challenged the possibilities. We received the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award, which I accepted in Washington on behalf of all our employees. This was a memorable experience.”

Eighty years after our establishment, our beliefs and values remain unwavering. In 2016, we launched the Paper Lab A-8000, an office papermaking system that destroys confidential documents and recycles paper in a dry process, thus conserving a precious resource, water. Also, we have included co-creation and sustainability in our long-term vision statement. Our Environmental Vision 2050 states that we will become carbon negative and underground resource free — a lofty goal that we intend to accomplish.


What social issues can we solve through our technology?


A small company born from an area rich with nature has grown through coexisting with its local community, continuing to work toward solving social issues today, in 2022.

The ideas that have guided our company since its founding remain steadfast within our current management philosophy, which we express as “The Earth is Our Friend.”




Chapter 3

More accurate time. We provided the world with accurate time.

It was 1959 when our most important project began. Project 59A would redefine horology, from mechanical watches to new technologies. The goal: create the next generation of highly accurate watches to change sporting competitions and lead to the world’s first quartz watch. This also led to our compact, efficient, and precision technologies. A mindset that we still maintain today.

It all started with a dream to change the world. We competed in the international watch competition held in Switzerland, the apex of mechanical watchmaking. Our first attempt in the wristwatch division was a failure, but it drove us to go forward. Later, thanks to the tireless effort of employees, we achieved more accurate timepieces and garnered some of the world’s top awards.

For us, it’s not about awards. It’s about delivering accurate time to people around the world. So, we made our quartz technology, the fruit of our quest for compact, efficient, and precision technologies, available to the world. Now this patented technology spans the globe and gives everyone more accurate time. We believe time belongs to no one; we all have a right to it. Many years have passed since then, but our quest for compact, efficient, and precise technology continues.

Comprehensive watchmaking. The challenge to become the best demands accuracy. The answer to this challenge was efficient, compact, and precision technologies.

The thinking behind Efficient, Compact, and Precision Technologies.

The company’s mindset has always been to create and manufacture products with technology that saves energy, time, effort, and space. Watches in the mid-20th century required more power, were larger, and less accurate than the watches of today. The goal was to make them smaller, more accurate, and more efficient. As a result, Seiko watches deliver convenience and make life more colorful. Epson employees strive to master efficient, compact, and precision technologies, bringing these qualities to products and the world.

After 1945, Daiwa Kogyo and the Suwa Plant of Daini Seikosha — which merged into Suwa Seikosha in 1959 — began full-scale production of wristwatches. In 1959, thanks to some excellent engineers, the company developed Japan’s first originally designed wristwatch, the Marvel. The Japanese considered it an amazing feat for its accuracy and quality, and the Marvel dominated the first five places in Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry’s Quality Comparison Testing Board for the Assessment of Domestic Timepieces.

By 1958, the company dominated the first nine places in the Quality Comparison Testing Board for the Assessment of International Timepieces. However, never content with the status quo, Seiko Epson sought to become the top in the world.

Project 59A and the birth of the world’s first quartz wristwatch.

This event marked the beginning of efficient, compact, and precision technologies. Project 59A (its internal designation) would become the watch to change watchmaking.

The name refers to the year 1959, and “A” marks the project’s importance. It kicked off with three proposals: an electronic tuning fork watch, an area where another company already had the lead, a watch with an electric balance wheel, and a quartz timer, which was about the size of a locker at the time.

The first two proposals had critical weaknesses, so efforts went into the quartz timer, which would alter the course of horology. The first quartz timepieces we developed were still the size of table clocks, but the company began entering timepieces in the Neuchâtel Chronometer Competition in Switzerland, which determines the benchmark for timepieces. While repeatedly striving to reduce size and improve accuracy, the company began taking awards for the marine chronometer and board categories, showing the world a new level of standards. While refining technology through the Observatory Chronometer Competition, the company further reduced size and power efficiency through practical applications such as the Antarctic observation team and the Shinkansen bullet train. By 1969, ten years after the 59A project, Seiko introduced the world’s first quartz wristwatch, the Seiko Quartz Astron 35SQ.

Manufacturing automation and expansion, leading to mass-production on a global scale.

Turning attention to manufacturing for a moment, Seiko Epson streamlined design, division of labor (Belt-Line), and automated assembly in the mid-1960s, as high precision requires high coordination. The origin of our current manufacturing solutions — or robotics — is an automated technology. In 1983, the company began external sales of the precision assembly robots, and by 2009, work had expanded. Later came the Compact 6-Axis Robots, offering optimal performance for precision assembly of small parts.

As automation evolved in watchmaking, Seiko Epson became a global leader in wristwatch production.

Technology exists to serve everyone, not a select few.

The company not only continued to develop quartz watch technology but also pursued the advances in accuracy in mechanical watches, rivaling some big names in the Neuchâtel Chronometer Competition. In 1964, Seiko entered its first mechanical watch, placing poorly at 144th.

However, that poor result inspired improvement, and in 1968 at the Geneva Observatory Chronometer Competition, Seiko dominated the top slots in the mechanical wristwatch category. This effort verified our precision technology. Among the winners was Kyoko Nakayama, the first woman to hold the title of Contemporary Master Craftsperson and the first woman in the competition’s long history to enter and win the regulateur’s prize.

High-precision competitions are distinct from commercial products. To make better products available to more people, the technology and skills used to develop watches came to life in the Grand Seiko brand. We didn't reserve its technology to develop compact, efficient, and accurate watches for a select few. Instead, we made the technology available so that everyone could enjoy world-quality, accurate watches. The result was quartz wristwatches, a technology developed in Japan, spread around the world, putting accurate time on the wrists of the global population.

Today, Seiko Epson remains steadfast in the belief that technology alone doesn’t solve problems; the mindset of employees does. Compact, efficient, and precision technologies reduce environmental impacts, and this corporate stance has broadened to provide confidence and hope to not only employees but also to communities around the world.

Chapter 4

Japan was in a frenzy. We had marked the time of victory.

The prestigious international sporting event of 1964 filled the country with excitement. Athletes from around the world had trained and devoted their lives to this day. Hours, minutes, and seconds determine wins and losses. We are the keepers of time. And we let the world know with the slogan, “One step further than previous timekeeping devices.” The world celebrated this new accuracy and speed, which marked a new era in timekeeping for the Games. And this success would lead to printing innovations that would change the world, including the first compact, lightweight digital printer and the quartz watch.

We developed and manufactured compact, efficient, and precision technologies required to produce quartz watch components unlike any the world had ever seen. Creating something from scratch is never easy. One from zero. Two from one. The distance is the same, but the difference is vast. Some say that Suwa and the land around the lake emerged from land reclamation in the Edo period. Humanity also made this land. We create what has yet to be created. This spirit is the driving force behind manufacturing at Epson.

If it doesn't exist, we make it. It is this atmosphere of creativity and challenge, which gives rise to many world's firsts.

From watches to printers: The little-known history of Seiko Epson.

Now in 2022, many know Seiko Epson - or just Epson - for its printers and projectors. Seiko Epson has its roots in watchmaking, but not many people know what led to Epson's current business expansion. The international sporting event in 1964 where Seiko became the official timekeeper was a watershed moment for the company.

Measuring and recording race results quickly and accurately

Science was the theme of this event, and Seiko, with the slogan, “A step ahead of conventional timekeeping,” was selected as the official timekeeper. Epson, a Seiko Group company and then named Suwa Seikosha, played a part in the Games. The company had developed a crystal chronometer based on quartz watch technology from the 59A project. In addition, the company developed, and for a time marketed, a printing timer. This quartz oscillator-type digital stop clock offered electronic timekeeping, a digital display, and a printing option.

These innovations paved the road to unprecedented speed and accuracy, and the company's timekeeping business flourished. The words, “for the first time no one complained about the timekeeping,” spoke volumes.

This success was followed by the world's-first compact, lightweight digital printer, the EP-101 (1968). The following year, the world's first quartz watch, the Seiko Quartz Astron 35SQ, was launched.

Development of the EP-101

In the years following the 1964 sports event, the company transitioned into a comprehensive manufacturer that handled its own marketing, sales, and service. In the latter 1960s, when electronic desktop calculators first emerged, the company focused on small printers that had potential applications in calculators. The results was the commercialization of the EP-101, in 1968.

The EP-101 marked a new era in digital printing. The printer was lightweight and small enough to fit in the palm of a hand. Moreover, it used 1/20th the power of conventional printers. Epson developed the printer in the spirit of if it doesn't exist, we should make it. This concept in the information equipment field became an opportunity to exercise the company's compact, efficient, and precision technologies cultivated through watch manufacturing. The EP-101 exceeded expectations, selling a cumulative total of 1.44 million units.

The development of the EP-101, a printing timer that was used to quickly and accurately time international sporting events, spawned what is now the company's core business: printing solutions.

Never satisfied with the status quo. The highest standards of craftsmanship.

The challenge to develop a quartz wristwatch continued. The goal was to reduce a quartz clock to the size of a wristwatch, saving space and power. To achieve this goal, the company had to overcome many hurdles. Specifically, it had to produce a crystal oscillator, electronic circuits, and motor in sizes that didn't exist. Ultimately, Epson made them in-house, as procuring them from outside sources would bring a new set of problems.

In 1969, the company introduced the world's first quartz wristwatch, the Seiko Quartz Astron. This ushered in a new era of timekeeping many other achievements and accolades would follow, including a prestigious IEEE Milestone Award(2004) and Heritage of Future Technology (2018 and 2019), acknowledging the company's contributions to technological development for the world. Among the achievements was the first LCD digital quartz watch with a six-digit display, launched in 1978.

From the printing timer and the EP-101 to the commercialization of the quartz watch, all products represent innovation. If something doesn't exist, we make it ourselves. This spirit of creativity and challenge has never waved and remains today.

Chapter 5

The Spirit of Creativity and Challenge Lives On. Always, and forever, with you.

The first digital printer, the EP-101, brought new value to the world. EPSON Our name, EPSON, reflects our desire to create printers that follow in the footsteps of the EP-101. Children of the EP or EP SONs. Since then, we have delivered many of these children into the world, not only in Japan.

We planted the roots for a culture of home photo printing and created a culture of large-screen office presentations. However, beyond every summit lies more. Aspirations aren't things to be decided by others. They are ours to decide. 

Regardless of the era, we must forge forward. At home, in the office, in commerce and industry, everywhere, we must take the challenge to close resource loops and add new value to what has been used. We use what we need, when we need it, and only the amount needed.

We emerged from Suwa, Nagano. As our predecessors opened the way to a new world, we too will pioneer a path to the future, achieving sustainability and enriching communities.

Epson strives to solve societal issues around the world.


Solutions on a global scale to reach as many people as possible.

Epson's vision is to use new technologies to solve the world's problems and make dreams come true.

In 1975, we established the Epson brand with an aspiration to develop new printers and other information equipment and to enter the global market. The brand name reflects our desire to continue to create many products and services, or the “sons” of the EP in a variety of fields, just as the EP-101 digital printer, which was a huge hit, provided new value to our customers. This same year, we established our first overseas sales office, Epson America, Inc.

Today, Epson has a worldwide sales network and delivers products to people all around the globe. Printing innovation began with the EP-101 led to the Epson Stylus Color, the world's first color inkjet printer. Delivering 720 dpi resolution, this product established the home color and photo printing culture. In 1989, we launched the VPJ-700 LCD projector, and since then, we've created and fostered a large-screen presentation culture that uses projectors. Today, Epson's realm of expertise extends beyond printing and projection. Our innovations have revolutionized manufacturing. Our sensing technology enhances lives. Our research is spawning solutions for environmental issues. Epson delivers new value to the world.

Printing Innovations

Epson began developing one of its core businesses, inkjet printers, in 1978, using piezo technology for printer heads - the key technology in Epson's inkjet printers. The method doesn't use heat to eject ink, so the printheads are more durable and maintain superior performance for far longer. Advancements in piezo technology led to PrecisionCore printhead technology, which delivers stunning image quality at substantially higher speeds while consuming little power. This core technology enables a wide range of applications in home, office and industrial and commercial settings. 

Projection Innovations

By developing microdisplay technology, we gave the world an innovation that is indispensable for recreating true and vivid color images. However, this arm of our business ran into trouble, and at one point, was in jeopardy of failing. Market research helped us navigate these difficult waters. We visited customers around the world looking for problems in their fields and found new ways to solve them with innovation.

We developed projectors that deliver large images offering both high quality and high definition that are easy to see from any angle. Today, our projectors are used in offices, homes, education, and even digital art through projection mapping, providing excitement and surprises to many people.

Innovation to Reduce Environmental Impact

As a leading printing company, we looked for solutions to paper waste after printing. The fruit of our pursuit was the “PaperLab”. PaperLab is the world's first (Note1) dry process office papermaking system that can produce new paper from used paper using virtually no water (Note2). We exhibited the system at Eco-Products 2015, the International Exhibition on Environment and Energy, creating a big hit with the public.

We will continue our efforts to deliver new value to the world toward achieving sustainability and enriching communities.