2018 is a crucial year for Citizen Watches as the Japanese manufacturer celebrates its 100th Anniversary. Operating in more than 130 countries around the world, CITIZEN have held the belief of “Better Starts Now” — that is, no matter who you are and what you do, it is always possible to make something better, and now is the time to start doing it. Sharing this belief, they’ve made watches, invented and improved technologies and explored the future of watches such as their proprietary light-powered Eco-Drive technology and state-of-the-art satellite-synchronised timekeeping. Baselworld 2018 was just as special, as Citizen introduced some remarkable innovations and avant-garde new releases. Here at Hours and Minutes, we’ve painstakingly selected our top 3 picks. Take a look…
What you’re looking at here is the world’s most accurate Cal.0100 Eco-Drive movement (a concept model) with an annual accuracy ±1 second; housed within a 2.92 mm movement that incorporates CITIZEN’s proprietary light-powered technology “Eco-Drive.” Citizen showcased this in the form of a pocket watch, a tribute to the brands’ first pocket watch released in 1924, and of course to commemorate the company’s 100-year anniversary in 2018.
While the Cal.0100 will not be available for sale to the public, the accuracy and technology inside the movement will be introduced in future models, set to launch in 2019.
For the Cal.0100, CITIZEN designed an original AT-cut quartz oscillator for watches, which minimizes effects that hinder accuracy caused by changes in temperature and gravity. The AT-cut quartz oscillator helps to stabilize fluctuations in frequency caused by temperature, which at acceptable operating temperatures (between -20° C and 60° C), are significantly reduced when compared to a traditional tuning-fork-shaped quartz oscillator. In addition, as vibrations by the AT-cut quartz oscillator are smaller, it is less affected by the watch’s positioning and by physical movement. The Cal.0100’s AT-cut quartz oscillator continuously monitors and adjusts the frequency for shifts in temperature. The watch also includes a shock resistant feature and a function that automatically corrects the positioning of the hands for superior accuracy.
While a traditional tuning-fork-shaped quartz oscillator operates at 32,768 Hz, the AT-cut type quartz oscillator vibrates at a frequency of at 8.4 MHz (8,388,608 Hz), and requires a greater amount of electricity to operate. CITIZEN, as a pioneer of light-powered technology, was successful in creating an Eco-Drive movement incorporating its AT-cut quartz oscillator by applying its own power-saving technologies, which enables the Cal.0100 to run for six months on a full charge—even without the presence of light. To this end, CITIZEN was able to achieve an annual accuracy of ±1 second in an Eco-Drive movement, which establishes a new benchmark in watchmaking for the future.
The black-colored Cal.0100 is visible on the back of the watch through the sapphire glass case. The index hour markers and second hand incorporate a hexagonal design, corresponding to the quartz crystal, which symbolizes ultra-high precision.
SATELLITE WAVE GPS F990 Limited Edition
If you’ve been following Citizen for a while, you probably know that they’re the masters of satellite timekeeping technology. This year Citizen announced two limited edition SATELLITE WAVE GPS F990 models that are capable of syncing with GPS satellites in space to set the correct times and time zones. First introduced in 2011, the original Eco-Drive SATELLITE WAVE was the world’s first light-powered watch that received time signals from satellites to always show the accurate time—anywhere on the globe.
Adding a whole different appeal is the movement. This year the two new models will house the latest GPS satellite-synchronized movement F990, an improved version of the current F900 that doubles the speed of the minute and hour hand spinning compared to the previous model. These new models also inherit the design concept of the original SATELLITE WAVE model, while improving durability by adopting a 48.5mm Super Titanium™ case.
The new Satellite Wave GPS F990 shows the time in two different world time zones simultaneously, and switches between home time and local world time easily in one step. The 1/1 second chronograph measures 24 hours while the Light Level Indicator detects and displays the intensity of light striking the dial in seven levels.
The rocket engines inspired multi-layer dial adds a great level of depth to the dial. There is an image of the earth encircled by a metal ring embedded in the glass bezel that seems to float in outer space to suggest a satellite’s orbit. The black and green dial model suggests the image of aurora (Northern Lights) shining in the ionosphere while the monotone ring suggests the image of a satellite orbiting in the Earth.
Citizen PROMASTER Eco-Drive 200m Diver Chronograph Marine Series and PROMASTER Eco-Drive Radio-Controlled SKY series
Since its debut in 1989, the PROMASTER has become an all time favourite among enthusiasts owing to its renowned durability under the most extreme conditions and outstanding functionality. This 2018, Citizen is introducing three new models in the PROMASTER MARINE series, and three new models in the PROMASTER SKY series.
If you’ve always had a penchant for divers watches you should probably be squealing with joy right now. The MARINE series has all your diving needs covered. Water resistant up to 200m, these watches feature a unidirectional bezel and screw-locking mechanism for winder and push buttons. Housed inside the 44.5mm stainless steel case is Cal. B612, a movement that is accurate to ±15 seconds, has a run time of 7 months, a second hand stop function, Quick date correction, 24-hour display, power remaining amount alarm and overcharge protection. The watch also features a Chronograph function that measures 60 minutes in 1/5 seconds. In terms of design, the High-luster case and band bring out the unique characteristics of stainless steel. There are 3 dial options to choose from: Dark Blue, Charcoal Grey and Black.
These multi-function pilot watches house a newly developed Eco-Drive radio-controlled movement Cal. E660 that can receive signals from multiple radio stations. Cal. E660 is accurate to ±15 seconds (without time signal reception), has a run time of 10 months (3 years with power save function), features a Chronograph function (1/1 second measurement for 60 minutes), alarm, insufficient charge warning function (two-second interval movement), overcharging prevention function and World Time (24 cities). Time signals are received in four major regions around the world including Japan, USA, China and Europe to correct time and date regularly. The World Time function displays the time and date for any of 24 cities instantly. There is an aviator slide rule suitable for professional use. In addition to the alarm function, the SKY Series also features a perpetual calendar which covers dates as far in the future as February 28, 2100. There are 3 dial options to choose from: Dark Blue, Black and Grey Green.