Fossil Group, Citizen inks licensing deal for hybrid smartwatches

Fossil Group has partnered with Japanese watchmaker Citizen to launch a line of hybrid smartwatches.

These watches that will look analog will actually include a number of digital functionalities. According to the licensing deal, Citizen will manufacture and sell hybrid smartwatches featuring Fossil Group’s technology.

As per the transaction, the two companies will also work together to “bring future innovation” to the smartwatch category.

“Our partnership with Citizen, the world’s largest smartwatch and movement manufacturer, will enable us to broaden and accelerate the awareness and adoption of hybrid smartwatches”, said Kosta Kartsotis, CEO of Fossil Group, in a statement. “We, Citizen, and Fossil Group will maximize our combined strengths to become leading companies in the smartwatch category”, Toshio Tokura, President and CEO of Citizen was quoted as saying.

Since 2016, the growing hybrid smartwatch category has been defined by Fossil Group and its portfolio of watch brands as timepieces that retain the classic aesthetic of analog watches, but also offer discreet notification and tracking capabilities without the need for charging. Hybrid smartwatches are projected to make up a significant percentage of smartwatch shipments by 2022, according to Juniper Research.

Recently, Fossil Group had also announced a global licensing agreement with Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft (BMW) for a collection of BMW-branded watches and smartwatches. The watches will be designing, developing and distributing through 2023.

Founded 100 years ago, Citizen sells its watches in more than 130 countries.

Fossil Group is a global design, marketing, distribution, and innovation company specializing in lifestyle accessories. Under a diverse portfolio of owned and licensed brands, the products include fashion watches, jewelry, handbags, small leather goods, and wearables. It holds licenses to brands such as Emporio Armani, Kate Spade New York, and Michael Kors among others.

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