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.
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 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!