The History of The Rhythm Clock Company

Almost all of us know about the watch-making history of the small European country Switzerland. There are many different luxury Swiss watch brands like Rolex, Tag Heuer, Breitling and Omega. But the watch-making industry stepped into the east side of the world in 1946, when a Japanese man named Tatsuo Kasama founded the Rhythm Watch Company. At first, the company was known as Noson Tokei Seisakujo, the former name of the company introduced in 1946. It was the forerunner of the Rhythm Watch Company.

This company was not only involved in making clocks and watches but is also involved in manufacturing small parts. The company had a separate division dedicated to making precision parts for different appliances. Rhythm also stepped into making camera components that were precisely engineered and fine-tuned. This helped in increasing the sales and revenue of the company by a large margin.

The connected terminal division of the company was involved in making small parts that are used in bicycle and automobile manufacturing. This had helped the Rhythm Watch Company to gain expertise not only in manufacturing quality watches but also explore new possibilities in miscellaneous manufacturing such as small displays and connectors for camera parts.

Rhythm Clock Company is considered to be one of the first watch-making companies in Asia. It soon became the Asian counterpart of the Swiss watch-making companies. It was not until 1950 when the company established its head office in Minato Ku in the Japanese capital Tokyo. The company gradually flourished, and acquired experience in manufacturing clock pieces. The progression that the company achieved was visible from the fact that it established three factories in the same year: one in Showa-machi, second in Kitakatsushika-gun, and the third one in Saitama. The company revenue gradually achieved growth, and business was booming.

The First Plastic Frame Clock of Japan:
The factories worked at full capacities, and the Rhythm Watch Company succeeded in making Japan’s first domestically produced plastic frame clock in 1951, that could be hung on the wall. This was the first successful venture for the company and helped boost its sales within its home country.

The Affiliation with Citizen Watch Company:
The ventures of Rhythm Watch Company continued. In 1953, this company became the affiliate of another major Japanese watchmaking company: the Citizen Watch Company and Citizen Trading Company, which helped the company gain momentum. The technical aspects, sales, and capital tie-ups concluded in 1953. The affiliation with Citizen gave the company much needed technical training and sales which helped Rhythm grow even more.

In 1955, after the affiliation, the company relocated its headquarters to Ueno, Taito-Ku in the Japanese capital city of Tokyo.

Mashiko Factory and the Introduction of Zero Defect (ZD) campaign:
The sales of Rhythm increased to such an extent after the affiliation that the company was listed in the second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 1963, ten years after the affiliation. Rhythm moved on to establish another factory in Mashiko, which would increase its manufacturing capacity. In 1966, the company introduces the “Zero Defect Campaign” in its production line, the way of thinking that defects in production are not acceptable while producing goods, and doing things the right way the first time.

Company Progression:
Rhythm watch company, in 1969, agreed with another Japanese watch manufacturer and its affiliate, CITIZEN, to allow the mutual use of brand names of both companies. The revenue increased, and let the Rhythm establish another watchmaking factory in Aizu, Fukushima in 1970.

1972 was particularly good for Rhythm and they became the biggest manufacturer of clocks and watches in the world. The company also released its version of the quartz clock the same year. It was this year that for the first time, the company was transferred to the first section on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

World’s First 4 MHz Class Crystal Movement:
In 1973, the rhythm clock company designed and manufactured the world’s first 4 MHz class crystal for the clock movement. This increased the accuracy of the movement, thereby increasing reliability.

Company Growth:
In the late 70s and beyond, Rhythm started to go international. It established the customer services department and won the TQC Deming Application Award in 1982, which increased customer satisfaction. After that, in the late 80s, Rhythm started stepping into the manufacturing of small parts. The high precision experience gained through watch production enabled the company to make small parts for highly precise instruments such as cameras. In 1989, the company established itself in the United States and started the sales of CCD cameras for the first time.

In the following year 1990, the company expanded even more and established a regional office in Hong Kong. The company not only established an office but also a factory in China which went online in 1992. The China factory dramatically increased the production capacity of the company and the company recorded the highest sales revenue up to that date.

In 2000, the company celebrated its golden jubilee by donating clock pieces to a children facility in Saitama. Still, the practice is followed every year up to this date and is known as the ‘Time Commemoration Day’ in the company.

In the 2000s, Rhythm increased the focus towards the environment-friendly production of its products. The company integrated all its factories in China and established a whole new subsidiary Rhythm Precision Company Limited in Vietnam, which is the current subsidiary of the company. In 2005, the company released the first clock in the world bearing an ECO mark, produced through environmentally friendly technology. Resultantly, it received the first-ever green procurement compliance certification for a clock product in 2010, owing to the increased focus of the company towards environment-friendly technology. In the early 2010s, the company expanded even more and acquired several assets of another manufacturing company KYOSHIN in Vietnam. In 2013, it acquired another company in Indonesia and settled a plant there. Today, the company which originally started manufacturing clocks has a formidable reputation in the field of manufacturing precision parts for various accessories.

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