Epson America's parent company, Seiko Epson Corporation, had its origins in Suwa Seikosha, one of several manufacturing companies in The Seiko Group. The Seiko Group evolved from K. Hattori & Company, an import/export trading company of clocks and watches that was established in 1881. Suwa Seikosha was responsible for manufacturing men's watches and conducting research and development in the core technologies of CMOS integrated circuits and liquid crystal displays. These are major components in many of today's high-performance desktop, notebook and handheld computers.
In 1964, The Seiko Group was chosen to supply the official timekeeping equipment for the Tokyo Olympics and was asked to design a special timing device for the games. Using their watch-related technologies, Suwa Seikosha developed a high-precision crystal chronometer (timepiece) combined with a printing timer. In 1968, Suwa Seikosha developed the first commercially successful printer mechanism, the EP-101, incorporating technology that would later be found in the MX-80 printer. In 1969, Suwa Seikosha perfected the world's first quartz watch.
Since its establishment, Seiko Epson Corporation has earned a reputation for pioneering original technologies which have led to a number of "firsts" in technological innovation. Seiko Epson enjoys a distinguished reputation as a manufacturer of high-quality products, placing the company in a leadership position in a variety of industries. Some of these firsts include:
Over the past decade, Seiko Epson Corporation has been recognized numerous times by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for their environmental protection activities. For example, in 1992 Seiko Epson received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award in recognition of its contribution toward global efforts to eliminate ozone depleting substances from all manufacturing processes. Seiko Epson's worldwide business activities are guided by a clear understanding of its influence on the local and global community; the company continually strives to make its products and operations more environmentally sound.