Actually its becuase before COSC certifications there was also the Accuracy conservatory testing,
Longines and Zenith (pre swatch and LVMH respectivly) were the biggest winners there historicly, but then come the japs and their first participation they didnt do too well, but then they came back with a vengance and took 7 out of the 10 top spots,
Then the swiss changed the rules that only swiss made can participate (not sure about that) and grand seiko developed their own certification which is stricter then COSC, they also had a economy version of the Grand Seiko watches called King Seiko, but they arent made anymore, you can get them for 500-600 bucks off ebay and they are plain awesome watches.
Many people see Seiko as cheap Asian watches... and thats a shame, They are one of the few watchmakers that make everything in house, They implement a automatic charging system that IWC developed but Seiko actually modified it for mass production, so you can get a 80 buck watch with IWC tech in it. Not to mention then while the Chronomatic group and zenith were fighting over who can get the first automatic chronograph to the market Seiko already had them in shops back in japan...
The new 4R36 movement is quite nice, it might be slower then the ETA 2824, but its usualy accurate as a 2824 standart and the lower beat means it survives longer between maintenace,
Seiko is a great brand but their strong points are in the lower end, their higher end watches sometimes feel like they are emulating stronger swiss brands like role but they have their watches,
I own a 8R28 Seiko anatna chronograph which is just amazing (but a bit oversized), and call me crazy/stupid but i rather have a MarineMaster 300M over a Rolex submariner or a Omega seamaster (and im a ex planet ocean owner).