Citizen is exactly what the man attributed with the idea of the brand had in mind - a watch for every person. The brain-child of Shinpei Gotho, who was the Mayor of Tokyo, Japan in 1918, Gotho's idea was put to the Shoko horological research institute.
The Shoko institute took Gotho's idea and created its first watch in 1924. A little later on, in 1930, the Citizen Watch Company was formed. From its inception they made good quality, reliable watches. Nothing outstanding came out of the company for the next 25 years, but all its watches proved popular with the wristwatch buying public.
In the mid 1950s however, Citizen started to make watches that were more technically interesting, including a few firsts for Japan - a shockproof wristwatch, the 'Parashock', a waterproof 'Parawater' and a watch with an alarm function. These watches were not World's firsts, but for Japan they were new and novel for the time.
In 1966 they made its first electronic watch, and from this point on it saw electronics as the way forward. A raft of new watches saw a tuning-fork watch, similar to the Bulova tuning-fork watches. In 1976 the first LCD watch was made. They also made a version of a quartz watch that was powered by light, using a tiny photovoltaic cell to collect energy from any light source.
The Company took the development of electronic watch forward and included complications in its huge range. Specialty watches were also made, like diving watches with an electronic depth gauge. A superb complication, the 200 year perpetual calendar was made in 1989.
Citizen today supplies more watches and watch parts than any other manufacturer. Some 180 million + watches per year roll off the production line.
For the collector, check out any of the 1930 to 1950 wrist watches. These watches are cheap by any standards, excellent quality, good looking and reliable. Especially be on the lookout for nice quality complicated models.
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