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Citizen's analog watch ticks into the future

Citizen's Proximity Bluetooth watch could end up being the techiest analog ticker yet.

Analog collides with digital once again. Citizen

As timepieces become more of a fashion accessory than a necessity, established watchmakers such as Citizen find themselves in a bit of an evolutionary pickle: "How do we remain relevant?"

Perhaps the answer to that question falls upon the company's new line of watches called Proximity. The watches offer low-power Bluetooth 4.0 functionality and a partner app (inconspicuously named Citizen Eco-Drive Proximity) that only works with the iPhone 4S or iPhone 5. Sorry about that Android and Windows Phone.

How does the $495 Proximity differ from the majority of analog watches out there? Mainly because you can synchronize time and date information with an iPhone, as well as receive call, e-mail, and calendar alerts -- all in wonderful old-timey analog. The watch owner knows these aforementioned events happen when the watch vibrates slightly and an arrow moves to the relevant area on the lower dial.

Thankfully, the analog and digital union does produce one useful feature: iPhone search, which allows you to remotely activate a series of beeps and vibrations on the iPhone if you can't locate the smartphone, just as long as you're in a 30-foot range of the device.

Proximity comes in two colors: one with cerulean-blue accents and a silver housing, the other with green accents and a black housing. Both feature 328-foot water resistance, solar power charging, a black dial, and holed leather straps. Early reviews find it puzzling that there's no notification on the watch for text messages, but other than that, this is just another Citizen with a healthy dash of tech behind the glass.

A glimpse of some of the iPhone features awaiting Proximity owners. Citizen