Citizen Watches Gulf Co. has partnered with Noor Dubai Foundation, a charity organization based in Dubai that works for improving the life of blind and visually impaired people around the world. Under this partnership Citizen Watches Gulf Co. will donate 200 units of a special timepiece to Noor Dubai who will then be gifting them to visually impaired and blind people in countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Ghana and Nigeria.
This specially made timepiece allows the blind and visually impaired person to read time and enjoy wearing a watch just as much a sighted person will do.
“Traditionally, most watches for the blind or visually impaired suffered from two problems: their design was inferior to other watches, and they were immediately identifiable as watches for a very specific demographic. We wanted to create a watch for everybody, a watch designed with a philosophy of inclusive design which can be used by a wide diversity of people, whatever their needs or disabilities and this was achieved by incorporating input from excluded minority groups into the product development process” said Mr. Yasuhiro Sakuma, General Manager of Citizen Watches Gulf Co.
“We are truly humbled by this donation and are looking forward to distributing these watches to the individuals and we can’t wait to see the smile on their face. It is through organisations like Citizen we can do what we do and are able enable the people of determination to reach their potential”, said Dr. Manal Taryam, CEO of Noor Dubai Foundation
“Our goal was to design a watch that everyone, visually impaired or not, could use and enjoy equally. Fusing CITIZEN’s creativity and technology with precious input from the blind and visually impaired, we developed a model that combines high-level design and high-level usability”, added Mr. Sakuma
Adding to the design of the watch, Dr. Manal said, “Talking watches are common in the vision-impaired arena. The problem they have is that the simple action of bringing them up to your ear attracts unwanted attention. This is a great initiative by Citizen, a watch designed by keeping in mind aesthetics as well as usability. Even though it is a highly functional watch and meant for the visually impaired and blind, anyone can wear it and benefit from the ease of using this watch.”
Some features of the watch include:
Enhanced legibility. Instant time-telling: The markers at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock are raised, while the point of the hour hand is shaped like an arrow to make telling the time by touch easy. To make the dial more readable for people who are vision impaired rather than blind, the dial is high contrast, with yellow indices against a black background.
Casual, stylish, discreet. A watch for every occasion: The case has a sleek hairline finish, while a casual font is used for the indices. The glass cover and the dial—the most frequently touched parts of the watch—have a matte finish to minimise fingerprints and deemphasize the tactile elements.