The best watches you can find in the market are classic, sturdy, beautiful, and inexpensive – the kind you’d want to wear daily. And Citizen is one watch brand that hit those marks.
It’s a Japanese company that has been producing watches for over 100 years. However, do Citizen watches still hold their value in 2022?
We’ll answer that in this Citizen watch review. Keep on reading until the end to know some of their most popular models, plus other top brands that hold value. Let’s get started!
Brief History of Citizen Watches
The company started when Tokyo jewelry seller Kamekichi Yakamazi dreamed of building high-quality, cheap Japanese pocket watches.
It was still around the 1920s when Japan had many Swiss and American-made watches. Yakamazi’s ambition led him to establish the Shokosha Watch Brand Institute and produce pocket watches.
In 1924, the jeweler sold the first Citizen watch using the caliber 16 movement. It’s a famous movement for being clean, accurate, and decorated with 15 jewels. In conformity with Yakamazi’s dream, Tokyo Mayor Shinpei Goto named the watch “Citizen.”
It became a symbol of a high-quality watch that every Japanese citizen could afford to buy and own. The Emperor of Japan may have been the first to own the timepiece as he got it as a present.
Moreover, the Emperor loved the quality and style of the Japan-made pocket watch. And that’s how one of the most famous watch brands was born.
The history of Citizen watches less impressive and shorter than Seiko, which is another Japanese watch company.
The Citizen focused almost entirely on quartz movements. So, there aren’t many mechanical timepieces available from the brand. They are also interested in their Eco-Drive technology, which converts any kind of light into energy to power a watch.
Meanwhile, its Japanese competitor, Seiko, has a range of automatic or mechanical movements.
Swiss watchmaker Rodolphe Schmid officially registered the Citizen brand in Switzerland. Since then, the company continued to grow until World War II halted its success.
A new era started for Citizen watches after the war when the new company president Elichi Yamada took power. He created the Citizen Trading Company and marketed the brand globally. He also helped improve the watches’ technology by manufacturing many mechanical watches.
Today, Citizen is a renowned watch brand and owns American watchmaker Bulova. Additionally, the Citizen Watch Group encompasses other unique brands, including Campanola, Arnold & Son, Alpina, and Frederique Constant.
Where Does a Citizen Watch Status Come From?
Citizen watches are considered a luxury, not in terms of expensive decoration and flashy design. Instead, they believe they are intelligently designed timepieces with respect for people and the environment.
So, Do Citizen Watches Hold Their Value?
No. Citizen watches are not generally the best at holding their value or increasing in value.
While Citizen watches are beautiful and worth owning, they may only be relied on to have any resale value after a few years. Luckily, many Citizen watches are cheaper. So, it’s not as if you’re losing a ton of money.
Therefore, these watches are not typically bought as an investment but for everyday use.
4 Reasons Why Citizen Watches Don’t Appreciate in Value
Casio’s G-Shocks and Seiko watches are more popular than Citizen’s. The popularity of these two watches kind of pushes Citizens under the radar.
You can’t either compare Citizen models to luxury timepieces like Rolex or Omega. People who know less about the brand are less willing to spend money on it.
Don’t get us wrong, though. Citizen is a famous brand. However, Rolex, Seiko, or Casio watches are more of a household brand name that pushes them to the forefront, and more people are willing to spend money on them.
Citizen, just like other watchmakers, produces different models and collections. They make these watches with different materials and sell them for different prices. Moreover, these differences decide how well a Citizen holds their value.
Generally, Citizen watches don’t appreciate value, no matter the collection or model. They’re just not the cream of the crop in the watch industry. However, this doesn’t mean that Citizen watches don’t offer an excellent balance of quality and value. They do.
Watches that increase in value are those with limited supply, or the watch model is rare. Citizen sells around 200 million individual timepieces per year. So, they only have a few rare watches.
3. Price and Supply
People are generally interested in whether a Citizen watch will hold its value because they want to sell it later.
Most Citizen watches bought as investments are usually limited editions or discontinued models. These are the ones that appreciate value yet are often in the luxury segment of the watch industry.
Meanwhile, Citizen watches that cost a few hundred bucks are readily available. People can just quickly go to a store and purchase a new one.
Consumers highly regard Citizen watches in the watch industry. These watches have top-rate quality control, materials, and built quality. Yet, don’t expect their watch materials to be at the same level as high-end luxury timepieces like Rolex and Patek Philippe.
Citizen Watches vs. Other Luxury Watches
Citizen is a luxury watch brand. Still, the prices of most watches are relatively low. This price difference is due to their proprietary in-house movement that reduces manufacturing costs.
In terms of production rate, Citizen watches have one of the fastest production rates in the watch market. In contrast with other luxury watches, they make Citizen using robotic assembly and human labor.
The company’s goal is to produce as many watches as possible. However, this goal does not go better with the purpose of luxury watches. In the economic principle of supply and demand, prices and demand fall when supply exceeds demand.
Unlike luxury brands like Jaeger-LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and A.Lange & Söhne, Citizen does not use the same materials.
Yet, Citizen uses expensive materials that set up the foundation of their products. However, it’s only not to the level of oyster steel, platinum, or pure gold that we usually see in the cream-of-the-crop brands in the watch industry.
Meanwhile, the Grand Seiko watch, rivaled by high-end Swiss watches, combines the finest watchmaking in finishing, design, and technology. Citizen lends towards the quartz movement, while Seiko specializes more in mechanical and automatic movement.
Related: Seiko Vs. Citizen
5 Top Watch Brands That Hold Value
If one watch brand holds value and is known to many, it’s Rolex. The name itself has become a byword for exclusivity and luxury.
Rolex is likewise culturally savvy. Most of its watches appeared in the James Bond film Dr. No and have accompanied climbers to Mt. Everest.
Nowadays, you can find a Rolex mechanical watch, which may use either automatic or manual wind movement. For all these reasons, Rolex holds its value better than a few watch brands, which we will list here.
Related: TAG Heuer Vs. Rolex
2. Patek Philippe
Another sought-after luxury brand for watch enthusiasts is Patek Philippe. Initially launched in 1893, this brand stands tall as a luxury watchmaker with more than 180 years of experience.
Patek Philippe also has many incredible milestones, even seen on the wrists of Royals and celebrities. The brand’s unparalleled approach to watchmaking and design has made it one of the best watch companies globally.
Furthermore, it is proud of its heritage yet future-facing and innovative. It merged its skills acquired with years of existence with high-tech machinery and equipment. The company likewise collaborates with artisans to develop models that will become covered in the watch market.
3. Jaeger LeCoultre
This brand may have different fame than Rolex and Patek Philippe. Still, they carry the same ingredient that the two brands have: a tradition when it comes to the art of producing mechanical movements.
They take their craft seriously, so they commissioned movements for other brands, like Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin. Their achievements even extend to their popular collections, like the Atmos, the Master, and the Reverso collections.
Jaeger LeCoultre’s dress watches likewise offer the best in luxury and style. With timeless designs, elegance, and sophistication, Jaeger LeCoultre timepieces hold their value.
4. TAG Heuer
The next watchmaker on our list is Tag Heuer, whose watches hold value because of their bold design and high quality.
The brand unleashed its aptitude to produce precision timepieces when the demand for innovative watches rose in sports, medicine, and other industries. They make slightly more quartz watches than mechanical ones.
Related: Longines Vs. Tag Heuer
The last on our list is Omega. Watches from this brand don’t come in the same price range as all the brands we mentioned, yet they hold their value well.
The Omega brand has numerous achievements. For instance, its Speedmaster Professional Chronograph watch was the first timepiece that went to the moon. American astronaut Buzz Aldrin also wore this in 1969.
In addition, Omega makes its movements in-house rather than modifying ETA movements. The trend created a positive effect on Omega watches’ resale value. Some recommended models from this brand include the Constellation, Speedmaster, and Seamaster.
The Bottom line
Citizen watches are well-loved and can last for years. They provide great features for the price you pay – or even more if you pick suitable models.
However, you may be disappointed if you plan to buy one to resell it at a premium later.
Simply put, Citizen timepieces will depreciate. This brand considers very few models from this brand as “investments.” So, in the end, we suggest you buy a Citizen watch because you want to use it and you like it – not as an investment.
If you like this review, please read our other reviews at EvesWatch.com.
My name is Eve Acosta and I’m the person behind this site. Watches are what get me ticking ;).
No, but seriously, I just love watches, I have over 30 myself. It’s an obsession of mine, which is why my husband recommended me to put my hobby into some good use and build this site – so I did.
My passion for timepieces came from the fact that my parents own a small chain of shops selling timepieces. I’ve worked at the shop since I was 11 and fell in love with the merchandise.