Global Network


March 09, 2020

New Inclusively Designed* Watch for the Blind and Visually Impaired
-100 watches to be donated to a school for the blind in Thailand-

Citizen is launching a new watch model that can be used by anyone, including blind and visually impaired people, at the beginning of March. This new product was planned and developed together with a variety of potential users, based on the principles of inclusive design. Citizen will donate 100 of these new watches to a school for the blind and visually impaired in Thailand.

* Inclusive Design is the process by which a diverse range of users is involved in determining the design and/or functions of a product or service from the initial planning and development stages. The inclusion of users outside the conventional target market allows the product to be used by as many people as possible, regardless of economic, physical, or other factors.


Citizen produced the first made-in-Japan watch for blind and visually impaired people back in 1960, the Citizen Shine, based on our corporate philosophy, “Loved by citizens, working for citizens.” Production of these watches has continued for the last 60 years. Now in 2020, Citizen is continuing its efforts to create a better society, including initiatives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We aimed to create a watch that can be used by anyone – sighted people, blind people, and visually impaired people. All of these potential users were involved in the planning and development phases for this new product as part of our inclusive design approach. This new watch is now ready for release.

“I want my watch to be fashionable, just like watches sighted people wear.”
“I want a watch that doesn’t look like it was designed for blind or visually impaired people.”

* Comments from interviews at the School for the Blind and the Blind with Multiple Handicaps Lopburi

Design elements and practical aspects of this product were refined based on interviews with staff and students at the School for the Blind and the Blind with Multiple Handicaps Lopburi in Lopburi Province, Thailand.

[Product Features]

The product is designed to be easy-to-use for everyone, including sighted, blind, and visually impaired people. Designers adopted an inclusive design approach, incorporating the views of a range of potential users from the planning and development stages.


The watch features a black dial with yellow numerals, making it easy to read for visually impaired people. The placement of the tactile features as well as the shape of the hour and minute hands were designed based on the suggestions of blind and visually impaired people to improve ease of reading.

2.Designed to Match Any Style

The simple design of the lid (glass cover) and the matte finish of the tactile watch dial minimize the appearance of fingerprints and tactile features. The matte finish, combined with the clean and contemporary font used for the numbers, allows this watch to match any style of clothing.

Brand / Product Name Inclusively Designed Watch for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Model AC2200-55E
Launch (projected) Early March 2020
Price (projected) USD 140.00 + applicable tax
Case / Band Stainless steel / Stainless steel
Crystal Crystal glass
Dial Color Black
Case Diameter / Thickness 34.9 mm / 7.5 mm
Power Source Battery
Functions Cal. 6029 / Accuracy of ±20 sec per month / Not waterproof
Manuals Braille Instruction Manual, Audio CD Instruction Manual

[Citizen’s Contributions for a Better Society]

In 1967, Citizen donated 215 Citizen Shine watches for the blind and visually impaired, driven by its belief that world peace can only be achieved through the strong cooperation of both governments and private companies. Citizen Shine watches were sent to blind and visually impaired people in 29 countries including Thailand, Mexico, and Argentina via the United Nations. In 1975, Citizen donated approximately 5,000 Citizen Shine watches to students studying at high schools for the blind and visually impaired in Japan. The company’s efforts to create a better society have continued unabated, including a donation of 3,000 watches to the National Association for the Blind in India in 1990.

Now to celebrate the launch of our latest 2020-model Inclusively Designed Watch for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Citizen will donate 100 watches to the School for the Blind and the Blind with Multiple Handicaps Lopburi, As a token of our gratitude for their cooperation in developing this new watch, every student graduating from the School for the Blind and the Blind with Multiple Handicaps Lopburi will receive this new watch as a gift.

[Previous Models]

Past models developed by Citizen for the blind and visually impaired:






CITIZEN WATCH is a true manufacture d'horlogerie with a comprehensive manufacturing process that extends from creating a watch’s individual components to its final assembly. The company operates in more than 140 countries and regions around the world. Since its founding in 1918, CITIZEN has held the belief of “Better Starts Now” — that is, no matter who you are and what you do, it is always possible to make something better, and now is the time to start doing it. Based this belief, we have created watches, invented and improved technologies and explored the future of watches such as our proprietary light-powered Eco-Drive technology and state-of-the-art satellite-synchronized timekeeping.

  • * All information contained within this News Release is accurate as of 4 February 2020. The product design, price, launch date, specifications, and other information may be subject to change.