Watchmakers Focus on High-End Products to Weather Competition

Economy

Tokyo, April 12 (Jiji Press)--Japanese watchmakers are focusing their efforts on high-end products to differentiate their goods from smartwatches.

The moves come at a time when the market for affordable watches is taking a beating from the popularity of smartwatch devices that are multifunctional and low-cost. Smartwatch prices start at several thousand yen.

Citizen Watch Co. <7762> and Seiko Watch Corp. are expanding their lineups of mechanical watches and other high-priced goods that are expected to continue seeing stable demand.

Citizen Watch is slated to release new wristwatch models priced between around 600,000 yen and 800,000 yen under its "The Citizen" luxury brand in August. The mechanical watches do not use electronic parts but employ a movement mechanism that the company developed in-house for the first time in 11 years.

They are highly accurate, with an average daily difference of minus three to plus five seconds. "These are mechanical watches that are on par with products from around the world," Citizen Watch President Toshihiko Sato said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press