Japanese watchmaker aims for luxury market

June 27, 2016

Citizen Watch Co., the Japanese watchmaker, agreed to buy Swiss rival Frederique Constant. The acquisition was announced May 26 under Citizen's mid-term business plan titled "Citizen Global Plan 2018." Citizen will also gain Frederique Constant's sister brands Alpina and DeMonaco brands in the transaction.

"We have a great opportunity to expand the sales of Frederique Constant through our current distribution channels of Citizen branded watches, particularly in Japan and the U.S." said Toshio Tokura, chief executive officer of Citizen Watch Co., Ltd. "With the acquisition of Frederique Constant, the Citizen Watch Group will be able to augment its portfolio of brands and occupy the space in the markets where some of our competitors operate and further expand the presence of the Citizen brand in the market." "Citizen will be able to achieve great synergy for sharing technologies and infrastructures in the future." he added.

This acquisition will enable Citizen Watch Co., Ltd. to strengthen its brand portfolio, offering consumers a variety of products ranging from affordable timepieces to accessible luxury watches. The main focus of Frederique Constant has always been classically styled luxury wristwatches at an accessible price.

It has been a well-known fact that a number of Japanese watch comglomerates have been trying to expand their business to get a firmer grip on the luxury market. Citizen acquired Swiss movement maker La Joux-Perret and its subsidiary brand Arnold & Son in 2012.

The written announcement from Frederique Constant Group highlights the "High-tech collaboration in development of electronic, mechanical and hybrid calibres. We look forward to combining Frederique Constant's high-end Manufacture capability with Citizen's long history in revolutionary solar, radio and ultra-thin calibre innovations".

Given that the industry as a whole has identified "Affordable Luxury" as the best bet for growth over the next few years, The resulting mix is going to be quite the power in the watch world.

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