The 2017 US Open Tennis tournament is back for the next two weeks in New York. As a serious tennis fan, I can relate to the excitement that is in the air. There’s nothing more educational and inspiring than seeing world-class tennis.
When you walk onto the stadium ad towards the main stadium, Arthur Ashe stadium you are struck by the Citizen clock on the façade. Citizen has expanded its visibility at the USTA Billie Jean King Center with digital platform. Additionally they are double-sided clocks throughout.
This year marks both Citizen Watch Company 25th Anniversary as official timekeeper of tennis’s US Open and the beginning of its new partnership with one of the game’s icons 39 time Grand Slam Champion and social activist Billie Jean King. A 2009 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and named one of the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by Life Magazine, Billie Jean King represents the many values of Citizen watches in time for the brand’s 25th Anniversary as the Official Timekeeper of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships.
The Citizen PRT 25th Anniversary U.S. Open Commemorative Edition Watch, has a 42-mm stainless steel case with a rotating compass bezel. The silver-toned stainless steel bracelet fastens with a push-button fold0ver clasp. The watch’s dark Navy Blue dial features the official U.S. Open logo directly under the date window at 3 o’clock and a power reserve indicator between 6 and 7 o’clock. The J850 movement is driven by Citizen’s patented (and eco-friendly) Eco-Drive technology, which uses any natural or artificial light to generate electrical power, thereby eliminating the need to replace the battery. Limited to 1,100 pieces globally, this special-edition watch (water-resistant to 100 meters) will retail for $250.
Also powered by an Eco-Drive movement (E031), the more feminine Billie Jean King Commemorative Watch has a 36-mm stainless steel case, water-resistant to 50 meters, and an elegant mother-of-pearl dial, with a classically simple three-hand time display under a mineral crystal. The white strap is made of “vegan leather,” a leather-substituting polymer that contains no animal material and thus remains in sync with the eco-friendly theme favored by both Citizen and King. Priced at $225, proceeds from the purchase of this watch will support the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, a non-profit organization devoted to address social issues important to the tennis star, including equal rights and equal pay for women.
Billie Jean King defeated former men’s tennis player, Bobby Riggs, in the renowned “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match, marking one of the greatest moments in sports history. The match was one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, with her victory becoming a staple in public acceptance of women’s tennis and the overall women’s movement. Since then King, founder of the Women’s Tennis Association, the Women’s Sports Foundation, and co-founder of World Team Tennis, has never stopped advocating for equal rights and has successfully advanced the lives of men and women and boys and girls through sports. King’s accomplishments were acknowledged in 2006 by the United States Tennis Association when the organization renamed the home of the U.S. Open the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Citizen’s involvement with King and the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, a non-profit organization addressing critical social issues brings to fruition the brand’s partnership with the world of tennis and its efforts in engaging younger generations. The brand’s previous involvement in the S.H.E. Summit, a personal and professional platform invested in gender equality along with the brand’s National Merit Scholarship initiative achieve similar accomplishments in empowering young adults to understand the heritage of equal rights and to become advocacies for such issues.
“We are honored to mark 25 years as the Official Timekeeper of the U.S. Open and excited for our latest partnership with tennis icon and social activist, Billie Jean King,” says Ellen Seckler, Citizen’s Executive VP of Marketing. “These commemorative timepieces not only celebrate the special relationship Citizen has with both partners, but through the use of our Eco-Drive technology, showcase our continued efforts to encourage a more socially conscious population to better the environment.”
Both of the new watches will be on sale at the official USTA onsite stores on the grounds of the U.S. Open, as well as at Citizen’s onsite booth, during the tournament. They will also be available for sale at CitizenWatch.com, USOpen.com, and at Citizen’s Times Square boutique in New York City.
Citizen is also the exclusive timepiece sponsor for the upcoming feature film Battle of the Sexes, starring Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs, depicting the amazing story that highlighted King’s national victory. During the U.S. Open and throughout the film’s release, Citizen will create promotional activations around the film, Billie Jean King, the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, and a special panel discussion starring Billie Jean King, select cast members and other notable personalities. The film is set to open in theaters September 22, 2017.
About Citizen Watch
CITIZEN, a pioneer in watchmaking and innovative technology since 1918, promotes excellence and creativity with a deep-rooted respect for craftsmanship. CITIZEN advocates “Better Starts Now,” searching for and accomplishing goals that make our lives better. In this respect, CITIZEN aligns with organizations and personalities that reflect the values of the brand including the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, Naismith Awards, National Merit Scholarship, and All Hands Volunteers.
For over 40 years, CITIZEN’s Eco-Drive technology has served as the prime example of how the brand is dedicated to making the world and its environment a better place. A simple yet revolutionary concept, Eco-Drive harnesses the power of light from any natural or artificial light source and converts it into energy, eliminating the need for any battery-powered movements.