Founded in 1918, Citizen is now one of the largest watch and movement groups in the world. The Japanese brand is known for its highly accurate and reliable Eco-Drive solar-powered watches. The Citizen group owns Bulova, Alpina, Frederique Constant, and Arnold & Son, as well as movement manufacturers Miyota and La Joux-Perret.
Named Citizen with the intention that it would be “loved by the citizens for a long time,” the brand has certainly lived up to its promise and has likely exceeded it. Founded in 1918, it wasn’t until the 1970s that the brand launched its biggest release with the Eco-Drive movement. An early pioneer of solar-powered watches, Citizen is still synonymous with the technology that has retained popularity for decades and continues to do so to this day. Another of Citizen’s lasting impacts on the watch industry actually came decades earlier with the founding of Miyota, the movement manufacture that produces hundreds of millions of both quartz and mechanical movements. Citizen was the first brand to produce a titanium watch back in 1971 and its “Super Titanium” is still used in both watchmaking and for aeronautical purposes.
In addition to the more affordable Eco-Drive, Promaster, and Satellite Wave GPS watches, Citizen also produces serious mechanical watches. The most serious movement came in 2021 with the Caliber 0200. Made in conjunction with its other movement manufacturer La Joux-Perret, the Caliber 0200 was a much higher-end release than the brand’s typical offerings.
Citizen has acquired several watch brands and groups over the years, making it one of the largest players in the watch industry. In 2008, it purchased the iconic American brand Bulova for $250 million, followed by the acquisition of the Frederique Constant group in 2016. This group includes Frederique Constant, as well as Alpina and high-end limited-production brand Ateliers DeMonaco.