The fact his appointment signalled the coming of change could not be truer for Citizen Group’s watch division. Outside the Japanese market, many people are unaware of Citizen Group’s reach in terms of business units. From machine tools to devices and components to electronic products and much more, the company owns a significant presence. Statistically speaking, sale numbers reveal the watch division’s place within these business units prior to Tokura’s arrival as president and CEO. While watches and clocks equalled 34 per cent of Citizen Group’s revenue nearly a decade ago, that number has soared to 52 per cent just last year. To put that into perspective, it is worth noting Citizen Group’s revenue grossed the yen equivalent of 2.74 billion in fiscal 2015. All this can be attributed to Tokura’s strong belief in change. A watch man at heart, he made it known to those around him that watches were the company’s most vital product; and so began the overhaul to redefine Citizen. Company head offices across the globe have been on the receiving end of positive ripples echoed by this circumstance, including Canada’s very own, located in Markham, Ont.
Drastic measures have been taken at micro and macro levels; this is perhaps the most fitting way to acknowledge how growth has been stimulated. In many ways, to see the big picture, one must see all the little pictures within that make it whole. First, under a campaign called ‘Better Starts Now,’ Tokura has challenged the company, the brand, and its watches to be better. It is an emphasis on improvement, progression, and determination. The philosophy behind ‘Better Starts Now’ is more than just a campaign—it is in many ways a lifestyle for people to aspire to and one that should be subscribed to. The belief is contingent on the infinity of ‘better’ and ‘now,’ meaning we are constantly approaching a new ‘now’ while there is no end to the pursuit of something ‘better.’ The very meaning of this motto is important because there are some who believe that to say it, is to believe it. This cannot be truer for the watchmaking giant.