Citizen to Produce Smartwatches and Smartwatch Components With Fossil Group
Watch brand Citizen and smartwatch-maker Fossil Group have announced a partnership that will see Citizen produce hybrid smartwatches using technology from the Fossil Group.
Fossil Group is the company behind many of the splashy branded smartwatches that have debuted in recent years, including models from DKNY, Marc Jacobs, Skagen, Michael Kors, Burberry, and Diesel.
The smartwatch-maker’s partnership with Citizen is different because Citizen is taking part not only in the design of its branded smartwatches, but also in the creation of its components—which will then be wholesaled to other watch brands if all goes according to plan.
According to a statement from Citizen, Citizen will manufacture hybrid smartwatch movements incorporating Fossil Group’s technology. The watch brand will then sell hybrid smartwatch movements and complete watches to “the broader watch industry.”
Citizen has some impressive claims on the timeline of smartwatches: The brand introduced the world’s first Bluetooth-enabled watch in 2002 and debuted the first Bluetooth-enabled, solar-powered watch, the Eco-Drive, in 2012.
The company revealed that it will launch “the world’s smallest and thinnest Eco-Drive Bluetooth watch” later this year.
“Given the size and growth of the smartwatch market, Citizen is going seriously into the smartwatch market,” said Toshio Tokura, president and CEO of the brand, in the statement. “It is with strong determination that we trigger this partnership and enter this category. We, Citizen and Fossil Group, will maximize our combined strengths to become leading companies in the smartwatch category.”
Kosta Kartsotis, CEO of Fossil Group, said in the statement, “This transaction is the result of our technology investments and demonstrates the capabilities we’ve developed in the wearables category and the larger watch industry. Together with Citizen, we’ll leverage the technology to drive scale in the hybrid smartwatch market that will bring innovative and compelling new products to the watch market and improve our product costs.”