CITIZEN

Tell the time by touch

A fun, convenient watch
for everyone

We wanted to create an inclusive watch for everybody, starting with the blind and visually impaired.

This watch, designed with the philosophy of inclusive-design*, was developed with the help of the students and staff of the School for the Blind and the Blind with Multiple Handicaps Lopburi in Thailand. It tells time by touch.

*Inclusive-design is about creating products that can be used by a wide diversity of people, whatever their needs or disabilities. This is achieved by incorporating input from excluded minority groups into the product development process.

MOVIE

MOVIE

To celebrate the launch of this product, Citizen Watch will donate one hundred of the watches to the School for the Blind and the Blind with Multiple Handicaps Lopburi in 2020, and continue to support the school even after 2020.

PRODUCT

Traditionally, most watches for the blind or visually impaired suffered from the same two problems: their design was inferior to other watches, and they were immediately identifiable as watches for a very specific demographic.

  • A watch that works for everyone

    Our goal was to design a watch that everyone, visually impaired or not, could use and enjoy equally. Fusing CITIZEN’s creativity and technology with precious input from the blind and visually impaired, we developed a model that combines high-level design and high-level usability.

  • Enhanced legibility. Instant time-telling

    The markers at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock are raised, while the point of the hour hand is shaped like an arrow to make telling the time by touch easy. To make the dial more readable for people who are vision impaired rather than blind, the dial is high contrast, with yellow indices against a black background.

  • Casual, stylish, discreet. A watch for every occasion

    The case has a sleek hairline finish, while a casual font is used for the indices. The glass cover and the dial—the most frequently touched parts of the watch—have a matte finish to minimise fingerprints and deemphasize the tactile elements.

  • The result is a design that looks good regardless of your gender, outfit, or of the occasion.

  • A watch of durability and functionality

    Over the lifetime of the watch, the glass cover will be repeatedly opened and closed. That is why we put it through rigorous testing.

  • The length of the band and the position of the buckle are easy to modify, guaranteeing that the watch stays snug on the wrist and does not fall off.

AC2200-55E

AC2200-55E

Projected release date
March 2020
Suggested retail price
$140 + applicable taxes
Case/Band
Stainless steel
Glass
Crystal glass
Dial colour
Black
Case diameter
34.9㎜ / 7.5㎜
Key functions
Cal. 6029 / ±20 seconds per month / Non-water resistant
VIEW MORE Global Network

There are some markets where the product is not available.

STORY

Designing a watch for everyone, visually impaired or not

  • Because the mission of the Citizen Watch Company is to make watches that people everywhere will love, we always do our best to make our products from the customer perspective. When we started work on the development of a new watch for blind and visually impaired people, the first question for us was “What kind of watch do people really need?” It was our commitment to answering this question that eventually led to the partnership with the School for the Blind and the Blind with Multiple Handicaps Lopburi in Thailand.

  • What greeted our team on their visits to the school was the same sight you would see in any school: students busy enjoying school life. The team members made repeated visits to the school to gather the opinions of students and staff.

  • The blind want a dial that is highly ‘readable’ to the touch; the vision impaired want strong and highly visible colours. So far, so obvious. The students and teachers had a clear message beyond that. “We want a watch that doesn’t look different from a normal watch,” they told us. “We want you to make us a watch that we can enjoy as a fashion item.”

  • Talking watches are common in the vision-impaired arena. The problem they have is that the simple action of bringing them up to your ear attracts unwanted attention. The lack of variety in designs and the fact that watches for the blind or visually impaired are instantly identifiable as such were also areas of concern.

  • As we talked to the students and staff at the school, the direction we needed to take gradually started to become clear. What the blind and visually impaired really want is a watch that works for, and looks good, on everyone. That is the thinking behind this watch. Our goal was to stick to the principles of inclusive design and create a product that would provide the same fun and convenience of wearing a watch to all, with absolutely no exceptions.

ABOUT CITIZEN

Founded in 1918, CITIZEN has spent more than a century making watches that address the needs of its customers. The company released Japan’s first-ever watch for the blind and visually impaired in 1960 and has continued to produce new models in response to changing times and consumer needs. Underpinning all CITIZEN’s efforts is a commitment to provide as many people as possible around the world with better timepieces.

Making watches that will be loved by people everywhere is CITIZEN’s mission and making inclusive timepieces is part of that.

Introduction of CITIZEN watch models for the visually impaired

1960

1967

1986

2014

VIEW MORE

Back to Top