History of Citizen
Citizen has a long and interesting history in the jewelry world, it’s no wonder they’re such a well renowned watch company that is known in households across the globe. Founded over 100 years ago, in 1918 in Japan in Tokyo, watchmaker Kamekichi Yakamazi successfully produced pocket watches until the onset of World War II, which halted the watch industry. His pocket watches were premier, yet not out of reach. The brand’s name was given by a friend of Yakamazi, Mayor of Tokyo Shinpei Goto, who felt it fit the idea of high-quality watches that everyone could afford. Across Japan, people loved Citizen watches! After the war, Eiichi Yamada took over as the company’s new president and focused on expanding overseas as the watch industry boomed yet again. The company also really focused on technology and innovation in the Japanese watch industry, and beyond.
Following this initial growth, Citizen had another major breakthrough in the 1970s. This was the electronic era of watch making, where the watches you know from the brand today were born with quartz watch technology. This competed with the mechanical watches that were previously popular in the market. This was a major threat to the Swiss watch market that was already dominating the field. Citizen’s automated watchmaking factory line really amped up the competition as well. Some of their most important models came out during this time, such as the Citizen X-8, the first titanium watch on the market, pushing the boundaries for the materials available to watch makers. They then released a new, innovative watch every year until 1981, causing them to become a world leader in the watch market, particularly with quartz watches. They then made strides in solar powered watches as well, further reinforcing their innovative market stance to this day.
Since then, Citizen has been known for both style and technology, a powerful force in the watch marketplace, for reliable, affordable, and quality technology, over a hundred years and counting.
Investment and Price Range
All Citizen watches are made in-house, even to this day, in their Japanese factories. This includes the watch cases, the dials, hands, movement mechanisms, and even the machines to make the parts! This high level of quality control is unique for any brand and is a testament to the brand’s quality. Their current factory can make one quartz watch every second, totaling 30 million a year. These capabilities are what makes the brand prestige. Their manufacturing equipment leaves little room for human intervention, making quality and ethical production possible with little mistakes. Almost all of their watches are below $1000, with some under $500. This is incredibly accessible for watches, especially ones with such style and innovative technology. Their pricing lives up to their name.
Certain watches from the brand are more expensive, like the Citizen Chronomaster, which is made by hand by a single watchmaker, a master maker with experience and skill. While you’re paying more, you also are gifted a handmade quality with the watch. These are made by makers with over 30 years, a celebrated part of the brand!
With the company’s rich and long history, there’s plenty of watches by Citizen that are great choices for your wrist, or maybe even multiple, since the price makes that possible! Some styles are particularly high performing, iconic, and reasonable. The Eco Drive line in general is an affordable favorite of many, and a staple of the brand. Most of the styles are minimalist, and the technology is available for men and women.
Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Sea Line
This is a sportier style of watch, and very utilitarian, part of the dive line, Promaster. Their whole dive line is a great choice for divers, or more athletic people, alike. Water-resistant with a rubber band, the watch is a larger size, so it’s practical to see and makes a statement outside the water as well. The Eco-Drive technology means you never need a battery, and it is powered by light. Some of the Promaster watches can go as deep as 1000 meters, which is great for scuba divers or snorkelers. With new styles released each season, Promasters never compromise style for function.
The Jolie watch is a ladies’ timepiece that has a style reminiscent of the 1950s in size, shape, and composition. The band is delicate and usually made of sterling silver or another fine metal. The silhouette compliments the abundance of styles the watch comes in, such as a pink face or encrusted with diamonds. The style is feminine and classic, as well as versatile. A Jolie watch is a great piece if you want to look professional and pulled together while not breaking the bank.
Primo is a line of citizen watches that combine sport and style together for a professional look that isn’t too stuffy. The Primo is inspired by race tracks, fast, sleek, and top tier. With eco-technology, this watch can keep up with a variety of lifestyles, with a metal face, leather band, and high performing technology. They’re water-resistant and keep accurate time, so you can wear this from the office to your weekend beach house.
Performance is a key focus of the Citizen watch brand. All of their watches consider technology and reliability, which is why the brand is so popular, especially for the price range. Their eco-driven watches use solar power to run rather than batteries. They pursue the highest grade of accuracy with each watch style and technology as well. Their high precision watches are constantly breaking the standards, such as their Caliber 0100 pocket watch that was accurate within plus/minus 1 second! This is well above the industry expectation.
They also are some of the thinnest watches on the market, leading to comfort and practicality. You may even forget you’re wearing a watch, but will be pleasantly greeted with the right time when you look down. With Citizen, accuracy, technology, and practical comfort are all expectations they make sure to meet, leading to the highest performing watch for their customers.
The first documented Citizen watch was made in 1924 for Emperor Taishō of Japan. This was a pocket watch, and a historical acclaim to the brand. He was one of the first people to own the brand’s watches, and the watch is in the Citizen museum today! It is a beautiful watch and accented the lavish style of the Imperial Family.
Other historical landmarks of the brand include the first Japanese watch with a calendar in 1952 and the first radio-controlled watch in 1993. From their beginning, royalty and the masses alike have enjoyed the artful craftsmanship of the brand.
Quartz technology is a major pinnacle of the Citizen watch brand. They were one of the first brands to make watches powered by quartz technology, rather than mechanical powered clocks that most watchmakers used previously. This type of watch is battery powered, where the quartz crystals regulate the hands. Regardless of gravity, the watch will work, so you can hike the highest mountain or go to the lowest valley with the correct time!
They also are known for making some of the first solar-powered watches, another breakthrough in the company’s history. Their Crystron Solar Cell was the world’s first solar-powered, analog quartz watch, the first watch before their Eco-Drive line, a watch that is powered in natural and artificial light. Even today, their watches push the envelope with light-driven technology, constantly innovating and updating to increase accuracy and performance.
As a premiere watch manufacturer, Citizen is devoted to sustainable manufacturing and management, assuring their quality timepieces will move forward into a world with plenty of time left. Their philosophy, “Loved by citizens, working for citizens,” speaks to this mission. Their watches are well loved, and they want to make sure everyone involved in the production process are treated well. They’re considering and taking care of all the global stakeholders in the process, including human rights, the environment, and sustainable business management. With events for education and initiatives like the sustainable Citizen L, they are on the perfect path.