Citizen was founded in 1918 and to celebrate its 100th anniversary the Japanese manufacturer unveils 3 limited edition watches named after its new Caliber 0100. Based on Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology, this new movement delivers an impressive precision of +/- 1 second per year, making it the most accurate autonomous light-powered wristwatch. And while we don’t usually cover quartz watches on MONOCHROME, this new development is clearly pushing quartz into new territories.
The Citizen Eco-Drive concept uses light as a source of power. Converting light into electricity, your watch is permanently charged by exposure to light – plus, your 0100 watch can run for about six months on a full charge without the presence of a light source! In this way, it addresses the main shortcoming of quartz watches: short battery life, with the inconvenience of having to replace these on a regular basis and the environmental issue of battery disposal.
The new Caliber 0100 is regulated by an AT-cut type crystal oscillator rather than a traditional tuning fork crystal oscillator. AT-cut crystal oscillators vibrate at the impressive frequency of 8,388,608 Hz compared to the traditional 32,768 Hz resonators used for standard quartz movements – thus, 256 times faster than a classic quartz movement and a few millions time faster than a mechanical watch. These AT-cut crystal oscillators also offer greater stability, greater resistance to temperature changes and are less affected by gravity.
If AT-cut crystals require more energy to operate, this has been compensated by an optimized movement design and carefully selected materials. In addition, the Caliber 0100 continuously monitors and adjusts for frequency and temperature shifts once every minute. A new circuit design provides anti-magnetic protection and enhanced shock resistance as it automatically corrects the position of the watch hands. Last but not least, the use of LIGA technology to manufacture high-precision springs and gears enables the hands to align perfectly with the indices.
The impressive resulting precision is set at +/- 1 second per year, which is 100 times more precise than a standard quartz movement (which is about 15 seconds per month) and, of course, far more precise than any mechanical watch.
To launch this new movement, Citizen unveils three limited edition watches displaying remarkable attention to detail and characterized by the understated elegance of its design. Measuring 37.5mm in diameter, the round case has a thin sloping bezel and dynamic lugs. The facetted crown features the ‘crystal’ motif.
Limited to 100 watches, the first of these watches is made from white gold. Its ivory-coloured dial features stick hour markers paired with elegant facetted hands. The dial’s arched contour and the slightly bent tip of the second hand are nice details. The vast majority of quartz watches have a closed caseback, simply because they use a cheap, standard movement. In this instance, the exhibition caseback reveals the Caliber 0100 featuring a dark, ruthenium-plated, striped finish. The watch’s elegant style is completed with a black crocodile leather strap.
Based on similar case design, the two other limited edition watches come in tough, lightweight super-titanium (titanium with a hardening surface treatment). The first one (limited to 500 watches) features a metallic black dial. The second one (limited to 200 watches) features a mother-of-pearl dial. These are worn on a super flexible seven-row steel bracelet.
The Citizen Eco-Drive Caliber 0100 watches are expected to launch this fall. Price is set at USD 16,800 for the white gold version and USD 7,400 for the super-titanium versions. For more information, please visit www.citizenwatch-global.com.