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City Watch International and Citywatch Watches

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The City Watch International logo, sometimes shown in "reversed" black and white (pic from scontent.flhr4-2.fna.fbcdn.net):





The other day, I bought a £3 quartz watch, mainly because it has a decent steel mesh strap which I can use on another watch. Not that there is anything wrong with the original watch itself – a presentation or customer gift printed with “PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS” and a PWC logo in a line on the white dial. The caseback of the watch reveals that it was sourced from City Watch International, a company based in Johannesburg, South Africa, so, out of curiosity, I decided to take a look at City Watch International and write a short topic about this company. Noticing that another watch concern, Citywatch, was also turning up in my searches, I thought I would also include discussion of that brand in this article.



Two City Watch International quartz chronograph watches for BMW and BMW Motorsport (pic from scontent.flhr4-1.fna.fbcdn.net):





Kompass, in its latest update for City Watch International (Pty) Ltd (5 October 2018), gives the company address as, 19 Weaver Street, Fourways, Johannesburg, South Africa 2001, and the purpose of the firm is “Distributors of customized wrist watches.” According to Kompass, the export area of City Watch International is stated as just “Africa,” while the import area covers “Asia-Pacific[,] West. Europe[,] United Kingdom, Hong Kong”: I am a bit unclear as to exactly what, if anything much, this snippet of information really means. Kompass states that the firm has only 0-9 employees, with a Mr Thomas Zilk listed as Managing Director. City Watch International does not have a manufacturing facility itself and acts more as a design intermediary and provider of watches to clients for such activities as corporate gifting and presentation.



City Watch International 2013 advertisement for customised wooden watches (pic from scontent.flhr4-1.fna.fbcdn.net):



A BMW wristwatch by City Watch International (pic from scontent.flhr4-1.fna.fbcdn.net):





City Watch International (Pty) Ltd provides a useful if rather laudatory account of itself on Linkedin, which states the following:


City Watch International (CWI), customized watches, logo watches and corporate watches, is comprised of an expert team of watch designers that specialise in the intricacies of extraordinary corporate wrist fashion and which operates in the exclusive arena of designing your time. Since its inception in 1993, we have been associated with high-profiled brands such as BMW, AUDI, Anglo American, Swiss International Airlines. The Company has also embarked on a number of public awareness projects, creating timepieces for The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and Aids Awareness projects.

With a plethora of unisex watches, sports watches and chronographs, You are able to hand pick the design that best suits your brand. Clients are ensured of a product that not only stands out from the crowd but that also stands the test of time.

While the team of watch designers at CWI dapple in the whimsical world of tick-tock fancy, the fantasy element continues to set them apart from the rest. There is no more sophisticated way of bringing your client’s or your company brand to life than with your very own personalised high quality custom-designed corporate wrist watches. Each watch is a product of brand personality and endless possibility. With over 50000 strap and hand designs, 3 600 pantone colours in both matt and high gloss to choose from, City Watch International puts the “custom” back into customize… right down to the very last tick.


According to Linkedin, the firm was founded in 1993 and is privately held, currently with just four employees named on the non-subscription page – Thomas Zilk as CEO, Jonathan Houston, Oscar lai as salesman at City Watch, and Segun Ogendele, who is described as a “Business man.” Its activities are listed as “Marketing and Advertising”, and the range of employee numbers is given as 11-50.



City Watch International quartz chronograph wristwatch for Austrian Airlines (pics from njuskalo.hr):







I have been unable so far to connect with the City Watch International website, but images from it can be viewed via a Google image search, and these include pages illustrating watch customisation options for choice by the client. I am not sure why the website cannot be viewed directly but it would appear that there is nothing amiss at my end. A further description of the company, again self-penned, appears on the website, joburg.co.za, and I quote it as follows:


City Watch International creates and designs unique and exclusive customized timepieces to specific customer requirements for the corporate market. “We are not a logo-watch enterprise’, says Mr. T. Zilk, M. D. of City Watch International, “we don’t just print logos on our watches; our aim is to re-create the corporate message for our clients and to reflect (not replicate) their corporate identity in our design. There are no limitations to our designs. We can turn a watch into anything you want.

City Watch International provides a product that is of superior quality, innovative and inspirational. Our watches come with a 24-month warranty and uses Seiko/Timetech, Citizen and SWISS ETA movements only.

With a plethora of models, clients are able to hand pick the design that best suits their brand, the occasion or quite simply their fantasy. Each watch is a product of brand personality and endless possibility. With over 100 models, 650 hand design, 3.600 pantone colours in both matt and high gloss and over 10 000 strap designs to choose from, City Watch International puts the “custom” back into customize, right down to the very last tick. And if you cannot find a suitable model out of our existing product range, we offer the possibility of designing a completely new watch case around your specific needs.

The personalization of our product does not stop at the watch; but continues on to the packaging which ranges from velvet pouches through to elegant cherry-wood boxes.


City Watch International has a Facebook presence and it seems that in addition to its main customers – companies and organisations - the company may supply some watches to individual customers – for example, watches by the brand mark “KLOK,” which were launched in 2016 on Facebook. In the interests of avoiding confusion, readers should note that watches branded “CITYWATCH” are not related to City Watch International. Citywatch is a recently formed watch brand comprising limited edition watches with each collection themed to a major city – so far, New York, London, Stockholm and Copenhagen. These are sold on a retail basis to online customers via a brand website and certain online trading sites including Amazon. Citywatch actually began as a Kickstarter project in 2017.



The Citywatch brand logo above the black colourway version in the New York series of watches (pic from ksr-ugc.imgix.net):




A New York Series Citywatch watch in a limited edition of 99, individually numbered, with a 42mm (excl. crown) polished/brushed stainless steel case, white multilayer dial with date and 24 hr registers, hardened mineral glass crystal with 5 ATM water resistance, and black leather strap. Powered by a quartz Citizen 6P23 multifunction movement and guaranteed for ten years (Pics from Citywatch at cdn.shopify.com):






The Citywatch brand is owned/operated by TGW Europe Ltd, a private limited company based in London and involved in the retail of watches and jewellery via specialised stores and retail online and through mail order houses. TGW Europe Ltd was incorporated in February 2016 and currently has a single Director. Interestingly, the Citywatch brand address is that which, until recently, was the official correspondence address for TGW Europe Ltd – TGW Europe Ltd itself now has a different London address.



One colourway from the Citywatch London Series with a 40mm polished metal case, silver sunray dial, sapphire coated crystal and leather strap. Powered by a Citizen caliber 6P20 quartz day/date and moonphase movement and produced in a limited edition of 1327, each watch individually numbered  (pics from Citywatch at cdn.shopify.com):








Citywatch prides itself on the quality of its watches; each watch is assembled by a single watchmaker and quality control is maximised for the components and the workmanship such that certain of the watches are guaranteed for ten years. The leather straps are also apparently hand-made, in the tradition of leather craftsmanship. As indicated by the names of the watch collections, the style of Citywatch pieces is urban/metropolitan, veering towards “Scandinavian-minimal”in some of the watches. Needless to say, Citywatch watches are not manufactured or assembled in Britain, nor by the company itself or its owners – they probably hail from the Far East. Instead, Citywatch is essentially a production and retail marketing operation, with some design input and control exercised over production and quality values. Having now looked at the Citywatch products, my opinion of them is mixed, and I leave it up to interested readers to decide upon these watches themselves. What I will say here is that Citywatch currently have a sale on, with considerable discounts on offer. I also noticed that in the US, Amazon are selling a New York Series watch for about $45, which does seem to be a bit of a bargain.


An all black Stockholm Series wristwatch from Citywatch inspired by the Globe Arena, with a 39mm (excl. crown) polished metal case, sapphire coated crystal, black sunray dial with date window, and black leather strap. Powered by a Citizen caliber G10 quartz movement and in a limited edition of 1,500 individually numbered (pics from Citywatch at cdn.shopify.com):






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