Citizen Watch Co., Ltd. is an electronics company primarily known for its watches, and is the core company of a Japanese global corporate group based in Tokyo, Japan. In addition to Citizen brand watches, it is the parent of American watch company Bulova, and is also known for manufacturing small electronics such as calculators.
The company was founded in 1930 by Japanese and Swiss investors. It took over Shokosha Watch Research Institute (founded in 1918) and some facilities of the assembly plant opened in Yokohama in 1912 by the Swiss watchmaker Rodolphe Schmid.
The brand Citizen was first registered in Switzerland by Schmid in 1918 for watches he sold in Japan. The development of this brand was supported in the 1920s by Count Gotō Shinpei with his hope that watches could become affordable to the general public. The growth of Citizen until World War II relied on technology transfer from Switzerland.