Citizen Watches History

When Tokyo jeweller, Kamekichi Yakamazi founded the Shokosha Watch Research Institute in 1918, he began producing pocket watches. By the time the first commercial model was launched six years later, complete with the reliable Calibre 16, it was released under the name Citizen. The company soon became a huge watch producer, developing mass numbers of wristwatches up until World War II and the devastating effects of the Quartz Crisis not long after.

The company found a new president, Eiichi Yamada who created the Citizen Trading Company which grew the brand’s reputation across the globe. The beauty behind Citizen watches lies within the comprehensive manufacturing processes which all of their watches must go through before becoming true masterpieces. From crafting the individual components to the final assembling of parts, each Citizen watch is finished with the same level of care and attention to detail as the next, making their entire collection a consistent and true reflection of their artisan approach to fine watchmaking. Evoking deep respect for their on-going evolution through craft, Citizen’s pivotal technological breakthroughs have led to explosive success over the years.

The mechanical series of movements developed by Yamada was cutting edge for its time. Not just restricted to timepieces alone, Citizen also focussed on developing various electronics, devices and calculators. One of the brand’s milestone models was the Citizen X-8 watch, the first ever titanium watch. Between the years 1975 and 1981 Citizen created a watch with a first world feature in each new model. It soon became one of the globe’s greatest leaders in quartz watch technology. The 1970s marked the ultra thin era, of which Citizen contributed to by partaking in the thin watch arena alongside ETA and Seiko.

p> One of the most important breakthroughs in Citizen’s history is the development of the Crystron Solar Cell watch, the world’s first solar powered analogue quartz watch. It was the predecessor to the famous Citizen Eco Drive released in 1995. This concept rewrote the history of quartz watchmaking since it was powered by both artificial and natural light. The 90s also marked the period of atomic watch manufacture for Citizen. These watches can synchronize themselves to atomic clocks using radio frequencies, without the need to adjust daylight savings time, the date or any other manual adjustments. From the mid 90’s to the end of the century, Citizen was one of the world’s most successful and largest watch producers.

In 2008, Citizen continued in its strategy to house numerous watch brands under its umbrella, including Bulova. Citizen puts plenty of emphasis on the fact that almost all its components for its watches are built in-house, including the machines that make them. Today, some of Citizen’s most popular timepieces include the Dress Classic collection with a simple and pared down design, the Super Titanium collection which pays homage to Citizen’s technological breakthrough in creating the first titanium watch, and the Automatic timekeeping collection. For ladies, the Citizen Diamond watch collection and Silhouette Crystal watches provide something opulent and refined for wearing elegantly, while the Weekender watch collection by Citizen offers a casual style that can be worn everywhere and anywhere. Embodying power, stamina and with a bold play on colours, is the Citizen Drive watch collection, which offers models with robust steel case constructions and some with retrograde style date windows.