As one of just a handful of manufactures worldwide, CITIZEN makes every part of its watches in-house. Assembling The CITIZEN watches demands extraordinary skill. That task is performed by our watchmaking Meisters, master craftspeople whose finely-honed instincts breathe life into the products. In our quest for greater elegance and accuracy, we work ceaselessly to improve every individual technology and component of our watches.
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In our quest to make the ideal wristwatch, we are not willing to compromise. That is the reason we have the capacity to make everything, from the tiniest components through to hands and cases, ourselves; in fact, we even make the machines that we use to make the parts! Once all the components of The CITIZEN watches have been manufactured in CITIZEN factories around Japan, they are shipped to the company’s special watch workshop deep in the Nagano countryside, where they are painstakingly built by hand. It is a complex process with multiple stages. The skills of many craftspeople come together to give shape and form to the elegance and accuracy of The CITIZEN.
Our workshop is a clean production environment, where the dust, microbes and particles that are fatal to the making of precision devices are filtered out. It is here that The CITIZEN watches are assembled.
The dial, the hands, the glass and the case, as well as the ultra-precise movement that actually drives the watch, are carefully assembled to make each individual timepiece. The task is handled by our watchmaking Meisters, the most skilled and experienced artisans in the company. Assembling a single watch involves more than 100 distinct processes. Since the number of people capable of building an ultra-precise watch like The CITIZEN is limited, only a small number of pieces can be produced every day. At every stage of the production process, repeated measurements of accuracy are made first of the movement by itself, then of the movement after it has been inserted in the case. To make the watch this way requires the sensitive fingertips and well-honed instincts of a watchmaking Meister; it is not something that a machine can do. Even as you read this website, our watchmaking Meisters are raising their technique to new heights, inspired by a passion for craftmanship.
With the ordinary run of watches, the case is designed using 3D CAD, before a metal mould is made and then stamped. In order to maintain high quality, however, The CITIZEN requires a greater number of production processes than this. We also insist that every stage of the process—from the making of the master mould to the actual pressing—is handled by a specialised craftsperson. Not even the tiniest of tiny scratches can be allowed. The stamping, cleaning and tempering processes are reiterated before the next stage—surface machining and hole drilling—is reached. From this point on, the polisher takes over, polishing the case to elicit just the right shine. Sallaz polishing, in particular, is something that requires the experienced, sensitive hands of a veteran craftsman. A single misstep can destroy the balance of light on the case. Of all the processes, perhaps polishing the case to a beautiful shine is the one which requires the most human skill and experience.
Occasionally when the movement is placed inside the case, a tiny deviation in the frequency of the crystal oscillator can occur. For The CITIZEN, we developed a technology that makes it possible to conduct accuracy testing and adjust deviation even after the movement has been placed in the case. It is this final, additional test that enabled us to produce watches with world-beating annual accuracy of ±1 second. Multiple people, including our watchmaking Meisters, then perform a range of visual checks. Our key mission is to supply the world with long-lasting watches that keep telling the accurate time.