History

History

The trajectory of The CITIZEN.
Crafting the next ideal

Since 1924, when CITIZEN released its first pocket watch,
a single ideal has been handed down within the company: We make watches that are an integral part of our customers’ lives. Established in 1995, The CITIZEN was conceived as a brand that would embody that ideal.

By incorporating and refining technologies that delight the wearer,
The CITIZEN has gone on to take a leading role in our unending pursuit of the essence of the watch. The challenge of crafting the next ideal continues.

Explore the trajectory of The CITIZEN with us.

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1924

The origins of The CITIZEN

In the Japan of the 1920s, most of the watches sold were pocket watches imported from overseas. Determined to create a Japan-made rival product, the Shokosha Watch Research Institute, the precursor of CITIZEN, launched its own pocket watch in 1924. As a first product, it was magnificent—but it lacked a name. Tokyo Mayor Count Shinpei Goto was asked to suggest one. The name he came up with was “CITIZEN,” an expression of the hope that as many people as possible—citizens—would use and cherish the watch for a long time.

With the birth of the Citizen Watch Company in 1930, the name of that first pocket watch became the name of the company. A watch that is an integral part of people’s lives. This, the brand concept of The CITIZEN, has been something we have aspired to since the early days of the company and that first pocket watch.

1995

“A watch that is truly part of your life.”
The CITIZEN is born

“We want to make watches that many people will use and cherish for a long time.” That philosophy, unchanged since the release of our first pocket watch in 1924, has inspired us to develop and refine a host of technologies and functions in the century since then. In 1995, sixty-five years after the founding of the Citizen Watch Company, we decided it was time to reconnect with our original “loved by citizens, working for citizens” ideal. With The CITIZEN, we brought together all our most advanced technologies to create timepieces that truly express the essence of the watch. Developed on the concept of “being an integral part of your life,” the first-generation models already possessed the distinctive character and features that distinguish the brand today​​: superior levels of accuracy and simple, practical designs.

CTZ57-0523

CTA57-0521

Left: CTZ57-0523 Limited to 1,000 units per year
Right: CTA57-0521 Limited to 1,000 units per year

Models are no longer available.

1998

Incorporating a range of features and functions
for a watch that’s a better fit with your life.

Improving the basic specifications of the next generation of a product is a natural progression. Inspired by responses to customer surveys, The CITIZEN second-generation models focused intensely on usability. This was when functions like the perpetual calendar valid until 2100 and World Time Function (invaluable on trips abroad) came in, along with hypoallergenic metal bands that are gentle on the skin and push-button clasps that can be opened without any snagging of fingernails. Making watches that put comfort and ease of use front and centre is a tradition The CITIZEN proudly maintains to this day.

CTN57-0602

CTN57-0601

Left: CTN57-0602
Right: CTN57-0601

Models are no longer available.

2005

Introducing Super Titanium™
for greater lightness and comfort

Eager to make a watch that embodied the concept of “being an integral part of your life” even more deeply, we turned to Super Titanium™, an original material developed and refined by CITIZEN over five decades. As if scratch and corrosion resistance, lightness and suitability for sensitive skin were not enough, treating watches with Duratect PTIC (now Duratect Platinum) resulted in beautiful platinum and stainless steel tones. The public reaction was powerful and positive.

CTQ57-0955

CTQ57-0955

Model is no longer available.

2010

Developing a mechanical movement

The 80th anniversary of the founding of Citizen Watch in 2010 was an important milestone. We chose to commemorate it by developing the Caliber 0910, a new automatic mechanical movement to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Eco-Drive as a second sustainable solution in an age of environmental concern. Handling every process from making the individual components to final assembly in-house, we created a mechanical model with extremely high accuracy. This model embodied the uncompromising insistence on accuracy and aesthetics that distinguishes all CITIZEN’s mechanical watches, from its first ever product, the CITIZEN pocket watch, through to the very latest Caliber 0200 models.

CTV57-1281

CTV57-1271

Left: CTV57-1281 Limited edition of 80
Right: CTV57-1271

Models are no longer available.

2011

Embarking on a new quest:
Eco-Drive with Annual Accuracy of ±5 Seconds

Most quartz watches are accurate to ±15 seconds per month, so The CITIZEN really broke new ground when it achieved accuracy of ±5 seconds per year—and in a model powered by Eco-Drive, CITIZEN’s proprietary light-powered technology. Because this model keeps on running without the need for regular battery replacement and is a good match for all sorts of occasions, it is a favourite with a wide audience, particularly in the business community, to this day.

AQ1000-58A

AQ1000-58A

2017

The challenge of fusing technology and tradition:
Eco-Drive meets the washi paper dial

Because Eco-Drive uses light as its power source, all Eco-Drive models are equipped with a solar cell beneath the dial. CITIZEN has spent years researching a wide range of translucent materials for dials. This eventually led us to a new material that is actually rather ancient: ​​washi, traditional Japanese paper that is used as a light diffuser in paper sliding doors and old-fashioned lanterns. While absorbing light via gaps between the fibres, the textured surface of the washi paper also catches the light, displaying a unique richness of expression that varies depending on the viewing angle. This model immediately established as emblematic of The CITIZEN spirit of never standing still and of challenging the unknown in pursuit of the next ideal.

AQ4030-51A

AQ4030-51A

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2019

Challenging for the crown:
Annual accuracy of ±1 second

We set ourselves the challenge of making the most accurate watch in the world*—and we succeeded. To do this, we opted to use an AT cut crystal oscillator rather than the tuning fork-shaped oscillator found in the majority of quartz watches. We brought together many of CITIZEN’s most advanced technologies—from the LIGA process to manufacture gears of exceptional precision to a temperature correction function that takes measurements once per minute—to create an ultra-precise Eco-Drive with annual accuracy of ±1 second. The magic number of ±1 second was epoch-making and caused a considerable stir in the watchmaking world.

As of May 2021, for an autonomous analogue light-powered quartz watch, according to research by Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.

AQ6010-06A

AQ6021-51E

Left: AQ6010-06A
Right: AQ6021-51E

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2021

Accuracy and aesthetics taken one step further.
Another mechanical model as the quest goes on

In pursuit of sustained accuracy and a striking aesthetic, we developed our first mechanical movement since 2010. CITIZEN’s design philosophy and mastery of component-processing fused with the decorative skills of Switzerland’s La Joux-Perret to create the Caliber 0200, which achieved an average daily accuracy of -3/+5 seconds, a level in excess of chronometer standard (ISO3159). Models with this new movement are at once a breakthrough in themselves and a promise of things to come. Look forward to the evolution of The CITIZEN mechanical models in the future!

NC0200-90E

NC0200-81L

Left: NC0200-90E
Right: NC0200-81L

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The quest to craft the next ideal continues…

Always evolving in its pursuit of the essence of the watch,
The CITIZEN aspires to be an integral part of your life.

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