At CITIZEN, watches containing many individual parts and requiring a high level of precision are assembled by hand. Our most skilled craftsmen, known as Watchmaking Meisters, handle this task. The Meister designation is only awarded to veteran watchmakers who have obtained both internal and external certification in recognition of their contribution to Japan's proud manufacturing culture. The number of people at CITIZEN who will ever achieve this honour is equivalent to less than one percent of the total workforce. As for the designation Super Meister, a title awarded for levels of incomparable skill, there is currently only one such person in the entire company!
The four key tools that CITIZEN Meisters use are tweezers, screwdrivers, probes and watch hand retainers. Every Meister has their own personal set. Since the Meisters are careful to polish their tools every day to keep them rust-free, they erode, becoming shorter and thinner over time. Ironically, this process of gradual deformation serves only to improve the match of tools and craftsman. That is why our most experienced Meisters have a huge number and variety of tools for assembling watches.
Normally, with a watch with a complex structure, a single Meister handles the whole task of assembly. Sometimes, however, a number of Meisters arrange themselves into a production line and divide up the work. Because each person is responsible for a single step in the assembly process, waste is minimised and efficiency maximised, while high quality is maintained as well. Quality is always our top priority. Justifiably proud of the work they do, CITIZEN Meisters are busy burnishing their skills today.