Citizen watches first came to the public's attention in 1924. Up to then watches tended to be heavy objects that were fashionable ornaments as much as they were practical items used to tell the time. Citizen watches changed all that by creating a new brand that was thin and light on the wrist as well as having the added benefit of looking good. And what a success they were. In a few years they became one of the biggest selling watches in history and continue to sell well today. The reason they have achieved such a niche in the market is due to their quality.
A quality that has never diminished, despite the ever growing competition and the temptation to appeal to a broader market. Secondly they are one of those rare companies that are not afraid to take risks. In a world where major co-operations continue to regurgitate the same old thing, Citizen is intent on reinventing the market.
They just won't sit on their laurels, taking the meaning of the word citizen to the extreme. When Citizen first got going in 1930 there aim seemed to be the first watch company to do everything. They wanted to wipe out the competitive by being inventive. It was the Citizen that first introduced shock resistance to their watches.
Up to then watches were easily broken and as a result few people paid out their hard earned cash unless they could afford to replace or fix them. An image of people in expensive suits pulling a pocket watch out of their breast pocket is what springs to mind. Citizen managed to bring watches to the poorer classes by making them more durable. Later on Citizen made the first professional diving watch.
This watch was not only waterproof but featured an electronic depth sensor. Nowadays this is seen on many brands of watches yet it was Citizen who first put them into the market place. There latest innovation is perhaps the most impressive. It is called the Eco Drive System and as the name suggest it an environmentally friendly watch, using an inbuilt solar panel instead of batteries.
Again this is now used by many watch companies, none of them with the originality of citizen. No doubt they will continue with this line while citizen thinks up something else. In fact this seems to be the pattern in the watch world, no one really moving on until Citizen do. All this has made the company one of the biggest and richest in the world. Today it employs three thousand people continuing to search for new ways to develop the wristwatch. Long may it continue.
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as quality wristwatches at http://www.watchesplusmore.com