Both the Citizen watch brand and Fossil Group smartwatch makers have announced the beginnings of a new partnership. Citizen will be producing hybrid watches and smartwatch components using Fossil Group's tech. Fossil is responsible for many smartwatch designs, including models from DKNY, Marc Jacobs, Skagen, Michael Kors, Burberry, and Diesel.
“Given the size and growth of the smartwatch market, Citizen is going seriously into the smartwatch market,” said president and CEO of Citizen, Toshio Tokura, in a statement written on their website. “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, also issued a 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.”
Citizen had introduced the world's first Bluetooth-enabled watch back in 2002, cementing a legacy of technological innovation. The company announced that it would be releasing “the world’s smallest and thinnest Eco-Drive Bluetooth watch” in late 2018.