Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

Citizen to introduce their first Tourbillon Watch for 300th Anniversary of Daimaru Department Store

| By Frank Geelen | 2 min read |
Citizen Tourbillon Y01

Citizen, that other Japanese watch brand, is about the introduce its very first tourbillon watch. Yes, you read it correctly, this is not a typo. The Citizen Tourbillon Y01 will be launched next month, and will be exclusively available (and made for) the 300th anniversary of department store chain Daimaru. An interesting detail is that the watch, and its tourbillon movement, shows a lot of resemblance to a tourbillon made by Japanese independent watchmaker Hajime Asaoka. 

Of course we’ll report more when the official news arrives, however we had to share this news with you after we read it on a local watch forum, who got the news from our colleague SJX (see here). The news was originally published by WWD Japan and they state that the new tourbillon from Citizen will be available for approx. $ 90,000 USD. This certainly isn’t a bargain, not even considering the fact that it’s a tourbillon. Montblanc sets the price for their ExoTourbillon Slim at € 35.000 EUR, and earlier this year Ulysse Nardin introduced the Marine Tourbillon Grand Feu Enamel at a retail price of approx. € 28.000 EUR. However…. and this is a big “however”, the watch does show quite a bit of resemblance to Hajime Asaoka’s Project T Tourbillon.

Hajime Asaoka x Citizen

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Of course we studied more than just the photos of the front of both watches, as the movement side is at least as important. The bridges are much different in shape, and even the position of jewels is different on both watches. However some parts of the tourbillon case, and balance spring stud, seems to show some resemblance. Also the finishing shows a great deal of similarity.

Hajime Asaoka x Citizen

Hajime Asaoka told SJX that he has no comment on a possible involvement in developing and/or manufacturing the Citizen Tourbillon Y01, however we would not be surprised if he is. No, we would be surprised if he isn’t! It is interesting to note that Asaoka’s Project T Tourbillon retails for just under $ 70,000 USD, and the Citizen Tourbillon Y01 will retail for some $20k more. That’s a significant price difference.

Of course we do not know Citizen for its high-end watches, simply because there are none. At least not what we at Monochrome would call high-end. However, over time they have acquired brands like Arnold & Son, the movement manufacture La Joux Perret, and watch brands Frederique Constant, Alpina and Atelier DeMonaco. Through these names they are already in the market of high-end watches, but not yet with the name of Citizen on the dial.

The Tourbillon Y01 will come in an 18k white gold case, measuring 42mm in diameter, and with a white enamel dial. According to the text on the dial, everything, including the tourbillon movement, is designed and manufactured in Tokyo, Japan. We’ll keep you posted!

8 responses

  1. Hi Frank,
    thanks for sharing.
    It is interesting to notice how Citizen is about to make the big step without all intermediate steps (high-end time only; high-end chronograph, etc). I am really curious to see how Citizen will behave in the short term future.

    The close similarity with Asaoka makes me a bit afraid that the approach could be to take parts from companies of the group and put the Citizen logo on the dial….
    We’ll see,


  2. There are no high end watches in Citizen’s line-up? Seriously? Have you heard of Campanola?

  3. Of course, Georgefl, however quartz watches or mechanical watches with a Sellita manufactured by their own La Joux Perret manufacture is not we I would call high-end.

  4. Hi Slide1968, I’m also very curious to see how this evolves. According to what Asaoka posted on his Facebook page today, he has nothing to do with this Citizen Tourbillon. However there’s always their own La Joux Perret manufacture in Neuchatel, and these guys have the knowledge and skills to manufacture tourbillons, dead-beat second mechanisms and do very nice finishing… like they do for Arnold & Son (in the same building, also owned by Citizen.) As said… curious!

  5. How about the Chronomaster, even?! Not sure what these guys consider high-end, but Campanola is (I think) “high-end”. It seems like the Japanese have to work so much harder to get the same level of respect that other watch brands get just by having “Swiss Made” on the dial.

  6. Hi Mason, the Campanola Chronomaster is powered by a rather standard Sellita SW330/SW360. These movement can be found in watches ranging from €1k Euro to more than €6k Euro. The watches in which Sellita is used vary from Kickstarter brands to IWC, Montblanc, Baume & Mercier, etc.
    High-end, at least for us here at Monochrome, means there has been done at least some work on the movement in terms of finishing, to set it apart from an ETA clone like these Sellita movements.

  7. The Chronomaster is not a Campanola, and it is a quartz watch accurate to 5 seconds per year, up there with Grand Seiko quartz. Plus now they have the Caliber 0100 accurate to 1 second per year.


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