Japan: Clocker of the Games

Next to the athletes, the most vital ingredients in the Olympic Games are the precision timepieces needed to clock the contests, whose outcomes sometimes depend on milliseconds of difference. Last week, as the 18th Games got under way in Tokyo, the official timepieces were not European for the first time in Olympics history. They were Japanese, and they all bore one name: Seiko, the brand mark of K. Hattori & Co., Ltd., Japan's biggest watchmaker (1963 sales: $98 million).

The switch made sense. Duplicating its efforts in cameras and transistor radios, Japan...

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