The executive floor at Seiko Holdings Corp. in Tokyo's posh Ginza district is a piece of history unto itself — the chambers have remained the same for almost a century. If these walls and museum-worthy carved moldings could speak, they would perhaps wax poetic about how Seiko evolved from a watch and jewelry shop founded by Kintaro Hattori in 1881 into one of Japan's most iconic wristwatch and clock manufacturers.

And though Seiko's headquarters is located a few blocks away, the executive floor in the Wako Building — one of Ginza's most visible landmarks and part of the property where the founder set up his business — remains an iconic part of the company.

Nearly 140 years later, Seiko Holdings is transforming itself into a global corporation under the guidance of CEO Shinji Hattori, 65, who is a great-grandson of the founder.