Citizen Watch and Fossil Group Partner To Develop Hybrid SmartwatchesWritten by Melissa Kong
Blazing into the future.
This week, Japanese watch giant, Citizen, and American lifestyle brand, Fossil, announced a “global strategic technology licensing partnership” to allow Citizen Watch to produce hybrid smartwatch movements with Fossil Group’s tech know-how, and sell both movements and watches to the watch industry.
If you’re wondering what a hybrid smartwatch is, it’s basically an analogue watch and smartwatch combined, like the Fossil Q Goodwin (top). Unlike regular smartwatches which you can interact with by touching the screen, a hybrid smartwatch functions much like a normal analogue watch, but uses an app to track things like your heart rate or sleep cycle.
Of course, Citizen is no newcomer to the tech market, with its many innovations like the world’s first Bluetooth-enabled watch that it debuted in 2006, as well as its famous Eco-Drive model which is solar-powered, in addition to being Bluetooth-enabled.
Citizen Watch president and CEO, Toshio Tokura, said the brand would go into the smartwatch market seriously. “It is with strong determination that we trigger this partnership and enter this category,” he said. “We (Citizen and Fossil) will maximise our combined strengths to become leading companies in the smartwatch category.”
Echoing his thoughts, CEO of Fossil Group, Kosta Kartsotis said, “Our partnership with Citizen, the world’s largest watch and movement manufacturer, will enable us to broaden and accelerate the awareness and adoption of hybrid smartwatches. 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.”
No word yet on when the first movements will be released but suffice to say, we’re excited about what’s to come.
Like most people these days, Melissa tells the time with her phone. She considers serious timepieces works of art and thinks the perpetual calendar is the handiest complication to date (pun not intended). She's also a Grammar Nazi but promises not to judge if you can't tell the difference between "guilloche" and "guillotine".