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giant japanese goes watch missing

Japanese Watch Giant Goes Missing
#1
2
Better response on post Japanese Watch Giant Goes Missing(With thanks to stromspeicher for his Watch Forum topic - 1970s Ricoh Strangeness)
On 28 February 2010, gsaronni posted a query on the Ricoh Forum asking whether anyone owned a Ricoh watch. His question received no really positive or interesting answers and the thread died almost instantly. This thread came shortly after a 2009 query on Watchuseek, this time asking about the history of Ricoh watches, and although there were a few interesting facts provided on this thread, it too died a death pretty soon. So, what is going on, and why does this matter?
As members of the Watch Forum, we are probably all familiar with Seiko and Citizen, together with their subsidiaries, and the same can be said for Casio. And yet, there is another Japanese giant out there, whose history has somehow been almost lost for posterity, with no firm attempt to remedy this deficit. That giant is Ricoh, a successful and important Japanese company which has a long history of manufacturing watches right up to the present time. And indeed, the number of pre-owned and vintage Ricoh watches for sale on the internet indicates that the company was an important player in the watch market. Nowadays, Ricoh is most closely associated over here with cameras and other imaging equipment, as well as office machinery.
Once I had reacquainted myself with Ricoh, thanks to the stromspeicher topic mentioned at the top of this article, I set about collecting and collating the necessary research material I needed to write a history of Ricoh watches. However, the more I looked, the more I understood why no-one has provided a decent history of Ricoh watches, and the more I regretted the lack of solid historical material. The most galling fact about this is that Ricoh themselves, on their extensive website and timeline, fail to even mention their watch history, and we are provided details only of their most recent watch innovation. For a large and successful company with a long and distinguished history, this ommission seems extraordinary, and is a real barrier preventing one from having a decent basis for writing a history. As for other sources of information, all we have really is a group of isolated facts and suppositions, including one (difficult to understand) brief account charting the development of Ricoh automatic watches. It should also be noted that the wikipedia entry for Ricoh also fails to mention watches, and a subsidiary problem about Ricoh is that, over the years of its long history, the company has become complex with different parts and branches making up the overall business. 
Given the problems associated with providing members with a decent history and timeline for Ricoh watches, I have to admit that I have failed on this one, and the missing Japanese giant will, to a large extent, have to remain missing, with just a shadow picture of facts to go on. Rather than try and make sense of this material myself, I present here below the various references so that interested members can look them up, and I do hope that some members will be interested, as Ricoh has been an important player in the watch game, manufacturing its own movements which are unique to that company and producing some interesting and very nice watches from 1962 onwards. There is even some debate over certain model types as to whether Ricoh or Seiko got there first, in cases where the Ricoh and Seiko models are nearly identical. It is not clear whether or not there was a gap in watch production at Ricoh from the late 1990s, but what can be said is that Ricoh are still making innovative watches today, pioneering rechargeable watches using an "Electro Induction Charging System", and these watches are currently on the market. One of these watches, on Amazon, is branded Ricoh, while a rugged version, that appears on the "Ricoh Imaging Company website, is branded "WG".
The most useful references for Ricoh watches are as follows:

1) Ricoh Watches
2) Ricoh Vintage Watches
3) Ricoh Branded Watches
4) Ricoh Imaging
5) Ricoh Watch Company

Finally then, I must apologise for my failure to deliver a history of Ricoh watches, and leave you with a couple of tantalising picturers of Ricoh watches. As for my own collecting, I am now definitely on the lookout for an inexpensive Ricoh mechanical watch. Surely, prices of good Ricoh watches can do nothing but go up, especially if interest in this missing giant reaches a level appropriate to the importance of the company's watchmaking heritage.
Ricoh Wide Automatic Day/Date Diver (pic from bbwatches.info):

[Image: ricohdivegreensteel_01.jpg]
Ricoh "tv screen" style 21 jewel mechanical; wrist watch. Notice the Sakura flower emblem on the face which denotes that this is an export model (pic from 70s-watches.com):

[Image: ricoh3.jpg]
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Rehaut for this post:
  • Collectionist
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#2
1
I made it into a forum (and corrected some web display issues) as I am intrigued by this brand  - also thanks to JPF!
Adminishing the #$@ out of it
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#3
0
Cool, thanks admin. I will be posting on Ricoh (after I have done more research). It is, as you say, an intriguing brand.
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#4
0
(07-25-2017, 07:04 PM)Collectionist Wrote: I made it into a forum (and corrected some web display issues) as I am intrigued by this brand  - also thanks to JPF!

Hi there is nice 

automatic Ricoh cutglass !

[attachment=5829 Wrote: Soleia pid='6110' dateline='1546192009']
(07-25-2017, 07:04 PM)Collectionist Wrote: I made it into a forum (and corrected some web display issues) as I am intrigued by this brand  - also thanks to JPF!

Hi there is nice 

automatic Ricoh cutglass !

       
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#5
0
Yep, cool brand Ricoh. But difficult to find nice examples..
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