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The History of Citizen Watches

The History of Citizen Watches

Citizen is a world-renowned brand, known for its highly technical timepieces. With almost a century’s worth of experience, Citizen has been at the forefront of the watchmaking industry many times. Due to its desire to modernize and constantly improve, the history of Citizen watches is marked by many successes. Pioneering its solar-charging technology, the brand is most well known for its Eco-Drive function. Whether you’re looking for a durable watch with many features and a long-lasting charge, or a simple and elegant timepiece, Citizen will have the watch for you.


Citizen’s early years were based on the foundation of creating affordable timepieces for the Japanese public. Officially founded in the 1930s by Japanese and Swiss investors, the brand initially got its start in 1918. The brand was registered in Switzerland by watchmaker Rodolphe Schmid for timepieces he sold in Japan. When Citizen was “founded” in the 1930s, they used the facilities of the Shokosha Watch Research Institute as well as Schmid’s assembly plant. Until WWII Citizen saw a steady increase in popularity but had little worldwide success.

The brand’s first grande success came a few years later. By choosing to focus on creating new technologies, Citizen began making a name for itself. In 1959, Citizen launched Japan’s first fully waterproof timepiece, the Parawater. The success of the Parawater inspired the brand and kickstarted Citizen’s diving watches line. After the launch of the diving watch, one triumph after another began following the brand.

Alongside being one of the brand’s to pioneer and introduce quartz movements to the market, Citizen developed another movement; the Eco-Drive. The history of Citizen watches has made its mark. These days almost everyone interested in the watch industry knows what Eco-Drive is, as it was one of the first solar-charging movements. Introduced in 1976, the brand takes pride in being environmentally conscious from early on.

Precision, accuracy and quality are highly valued within the Citizen corporate philosophy and this becomes almost immediately evident when we look to the brand’s portfolio. In 1993, Citizen also introduced the world’s first multi-band atomic timekeeping watch. The atomic watch guarantees ultimate precision through synchronizing and adjusting its time to atomic clocks around the world, which are to within two nanoseconds per day.

Even today Citizen doesn’t stop to surprise us. The brand partnered with media giant Disney in 2018 to design a co-branded watch collection based on Star Wars, Disney and Marvel.


The History of Citizen Watches

Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive | Military Sport | Black Nylon Strap | Black Dial BM8475-34E

This Citizen watch is inspired by military field watches from WWI and WWII. The 42 mm case is made of black-plated stainless steel. The black large dial is contrasted by white hour-markers and hands. This makes reading the watch much more quick and easy. The model also features a day and a date aperture positioned at 3 o’clock. Keeping the design of the timepiece sleek is the black nylon strap. In addition to highlighting the elegant design, the strap is comfortable and secure. The model is water-resistant up to 100 meters or 10 bars and features Citizen’s patented Eco-Drive solar-charging technology.

The History of Citizen Watches

Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Super Titanium Armor CA7050-57H

If you’re after a more durable timepiece, we suggest this titanium model. The material is known for being lightweight and extremely durable. The case measures 44 mm in diameter and features a brushed-finish bezel. Increasing the durability of the watch is also the sapphire crystal which incases the grey dial. The watch is subtle with its features in order to create a more seamless design. A date aperture is placed at the 3 o’clock position and the timepiece features a chronograph, as well as a tachymetric inner bezel.

tsuno racer

Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Tsuno Chrono Racer AV0070-57L

If on the other hand, you want a watch with a bit more functionality, the Tsuno Chronograph model is the one for you. The iconic bullhead construction makes this watch stand out from the rest of the brand’s portfolio. The case is 45 mm in diameter and is encased by a sapphire crystal. The dial is complicated yet it doesn’t appear cluttered. The watch benefits from luminescent hands and indices and a water resistance of up to 200 meters or 20 bars. Other features of the watch include a chronograph, a date display and a power-reserve indicator as well as an alarm.

promaster diver citizen

Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Promaster Blue Silicone BN0201-02M

For a sportier watch, we suggest the Promaster. The watch is a descendent of the brand’s first water-resistant watch the Parawater. Secured by a blue polyurethane strap and sporting a titanium case, the timepiece is durable and reliable. It is able to withstand being submerged up to 200 meters or 20 bars. In order to optimize the watch for diving, the indices and hands are large and luminescent. The watch also features a date aperture.

The History of Citizen Watches

Citizen Women’s Eco-Drive Diamond Dial EW2489-54D

Citizen doesn’t only make watches for men. The brand has a fantastic wide range of elegant ladies timepieces. This dainty model is made of stainless steel and features a rose-gold plating. Enhancing the mother-of-pearl dial are the diamonds that replace the indices. This watch doesn’t sacrifice form for function, however. It sports an Eco-Drive movement and a date aperture at 3 o’clock.

What surprised you in the history of Citizen watches? Let us know in the comments below.

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