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Japan watchmakers set sights abroad

Seiko will open more overseas stores, like this one in New York.

TOKYO -- Japanese watchmakers are looking to expand offshore operations as they look beyond the maturing market at home to growing demand overseas.

In January, Citizen Holdings will merge purchasing and sales functions of its main U.S. unit with that of Bulova, an American watch manufacturer the Japanese company acquired in 2008. Bulova controls a sales network encompassing major department stores and jewelry shops, which Citizen will utilize after a lack of success penetrating those locations independently. Both sides will retain their own brand, marketing and product planning departments.

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