Citizen Takes on the Connected Competition
As some watchmakers try frantically to design their own smartwatches in order to take on the competition from tech companies like Apple and Samsung, the president of one brand thinks his watches are smart enough already. In an interview with Epoch Times, Jeffrey Cohen, president of Citizen Watch Company of America, boasts: “We spend a tremendous amount of money on research & development. We are innovators of timepieces.”
Citizen is certainly no stranger to innovation, having introduced the first watch with the capability to sync with satellites back in 2011. That means that the watch, called the Satellite Wave, can switch to the local time instantly, making it ideal for world travelers. The Japanese watchmaker followed up last month with the World Time GPS, which Cohen calls a “game changer.”
Citizen was way ahead of the competition when the company introduced its Proximity smartwatch in 2011 but Cohen insists the brand is “not interested in gadgets.” He added, “We see lot of brands going off-brand and doing crazy things because they want to be in that game. We have been in that game too.”
Cohen has a very definite vision about where Citizen should be going as a company. “We are a timekeeper company that delivers excellence and quality in craftsmanship,” he said. “We are staying the course. We are not going right, we are not going left, we are going straight.”
That vision seems to be working since Citizen is currently the industry leader in the mid-priced watch market for the U.S. Models start at a modest $300 with prices going up to $600-$900 for the Atomic Timekeeping watches and $1,000-$2,500 for the Satellite Wave watches. Citizen also promises that their timepieces have an impressive lifespan and backs it up with a five-year warranty—six if the watch is registered online.
Cohen is also planning for the future by attracting younger customers. “We need to keep bringing new people into the brand and let them grow up in the brand.”