Is your watch accurate to one second for the next hundred thousand years?

Citizen is a global conglomerate that is primarily known for its watches, some of which are considered to be the most accurate in the world. Accurate to one second for the next hundred thousand years.

The Japanese company is based in Tokyo. With almost three billion dollars per year in revenue, Citizen is one of the largest watch companies in the world. It employs just over eighteen thousand people and has a number of corporate divisions.

Across the Divide

Citizen has roots that go all the way back to 1912 when Japanese businessman Yokohama and Swiss watchmaker Rodolphe Schmid opened a plant to make watches. Down the line, Japanese and Swiss investors came together to expand and grow the company. The brand name Citizen came into being when it was registered by Schmid in 1918 for his Japanese made watches. 

What made Citizen stand out from its earliest incarnation was that it brought Swiss technology together with Japanese ingenuity. Prior to World War II, this exchange was the foundation of the company. World War II proved to be a challenging and controversial time for the company as Switzerland and Japan were embroiled on different sides of the conflict. However, in the peace that followed, Citizen thrived. 

Divide and Conquer

This company has done the opposite of dividing and conquering, instead bringing together a worldwide variety of acquisitions, competitors who now work together under the Citizen brand. The company is renowned for its broad swath of products, which include electronic equipment and parts, watches and watch parts, industrial equipment and machinery, and jewelry. 

The subsidiaries of Citizen include:

  • Japan CBM – sells the company’s timepieces
  • Citizen Miyota – produces LED, LCD, LCoS, and CCD/CMOS image tech, as well as wristwatches and quartz crystal oscillators
  • Citizen Fine Tech – Sells and manufactures electronic components
  • Citizen Systems Japan – sells consumer and business electronic devices
  • Citizen Seimitsu – Manufactures watch components and an extensive line of electronic components
  • Citizen Watch Company of America
  • La Joux-Perret
  • Frédérique Constant
  • Arnold & Son
  • Bulova Watch Company

Atomic Clocks

Atomic clocks are the most accurate clocks on the planet. Citizen launched the world’s first atomic timekeeping watch in 1993. What makes these watches different than anything else that came before them is that they are synchronized to atomic clocks. These atomic watches are accurate to within one second, over the course of one hundred thousand years. When the user of the watch travels, it synchronizes to radio clocks that are in Europe, North America, or Japan. 

The company has also been a pioneer in solar technology, launching the Q&Q SmileSolar. This watch is made of recycled materials and does not require a battery to charge. In addition, every watch sold supports a charitable donation by Citizen. 

Sharing Time

To get the word out about its timepieces, Citizen has sponsored a wide variety of international sporting events. This is in addition to traditional print and media advertising. 

Citizen was the official watch and the official timekeeper of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships from nineteen ninety-three to two thousand and seventeen. It’s a sponsor of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships and an official partner of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The company is also the official timekeeper of the Manchester United Football Club.

Over the course of more than a century, Citizen has proven that it’s a timekeeper that can be trusted not only for its workmanship, but also for its innovation.