A new licensing partnership will bring Fossil Group technology to the CITIZEN Watch Company brand. The collaboration will focus in particular on hybrid watches.
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CITIZEN is century old outfit that is based in Japan. In addition watches, it is also known for manufacturing small electronics such as calculators. In 2006, the company introduced the world’s first Bluetooth-enabled watch. It followed this up six years later with the Ec0-Drive, the first Bluetooth-enabled, solar-powered watch. By the end of this year, CITIZEN plans to launch what it calls the world’s smallest and thinnest Eco-Drive Bluetooth watch.
Fossil Group is an American fashion designer and manufacturer of accessories, primarily watches and jewelry, but also sunglasses, wallets, handbags and belts. Founded in 1984 its brands include Fossil, Relic, Abacus, Michele Watch & Now Coach NY, Skagen, and Zodiac Watches. Fossil also makes watches for brands such as Adidas, Emporio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld, Michael Kors, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Burberry, DKNY, Diesel, Armani Exchange and others.
As part of the new agreement CITIZEN will manufacture and sell hybrid watches incorporating Fossil Group’s technology. The two companies will also collaborate on innovative technology in the smartwatch category.
Analogue or hybrid watches are classic looking timepieces that combine the look and functionality of traditional watches with abilities that are evident in today’s smartwatches. Discreetly housed in the casing of these devices is technology that keeps tabs on your daily activity and sleep metrics. Some even display smartphone notifications.
Such devices are projected to make up a significant percentage of smartwatch shipments in the next 5 years, according to Juniper Research. Fossil Group is at the forefront of this trend. The company has an incredible total of more than 300 connected devices in its range and many of these are hybrids.
The partnership is very much along the lines of deals Fossil struck up with auto-maker BMW and sportswear and equipment company PUMA. These agreements focus on collaboration in the areas of design, development and distribution.
“Given the size and growth of the smartwatch market, CITIZEN is going seriously into the smartwatch market,” said Mr. Tokura, president and chief executive officer of CITIZEN.
“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.”
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