Citizen enters the smartwatch market with Fossil
Citizen Watch Company is entering the smartwatch market through a technology licensing partnership with Fossil Group.
The two watch brands have inked a deal that will enable Citizen to access Fossil’s hybrid smartwatch technology.
The multi-year agreement will allow Citizen to manufacture hybrid smart watches, fusing its watch movement expertise and Fossil Group's technology, and allow the company to sell its hybrid smartwatch movements and complete watches to the broader watch industry.
The partnership, will also see the two companies working together to bring future innovation to the smartwatch category.
While Citizen has never built a smartwatch, it did introduce the first Bluetooth-enabled watch, in 2012. It’s also currently gearing up to launch the world's smallest and thinnest Eco-Drive Bluetooth, and also has a dedicated analog watch which uses solar-powered hands.
"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,” said Toshio Tokura, president and chief executive officer of Citizen, in a news statement.
“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," added Kosta Kartsotis, chief executive officer at Fossil Group.
Most recently, Fossil signed a worldwide license deal for the design, development and distribution of Puma’s traditional and connected watches and wearable accessories.
The US watches and accessories group has 17 labels in its license portfolio including Armani Exchange, Diesel and Kate Spade, among others.
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