Citizen is known for many things, including its long-term focus on accuracy, its pioneering use of titanium and its proprietary innovative movements. Recently, the brand turned its hand to fine mechanical watchmaking by unveiling the Caliber 0200 and a watch with a refined execution. We’ve extensively reviewed this “The Citizen” and really appreciated the work done by the Japanese manufacturer. But the company had some more surprises hidden up its sleeve, with yet another collection of mechanical models, which coincidentally marked the comeback of the famed Series 8. And today, we take a closer look at the surprising Citizen Series 8 830 Mechanical.
Comprised of six watches, including the 870 Mechanical, the 830 Mechanical and the 831 Mechanical, the brand presents this new range as a “collection of functional and practical watches with a modern, sporty look“. Clearly, the brand is being modest here since the new Series 8 represents more than just functional watches, in my opinion. If the Citizen “The Citizen” collection has always been the higher-end take of the brand on classic watchmaking, the Series 8 is a very appreciable mid-range option that has everything to compete with Swiss counterparts. But, until recently, this Citizen Series 8 was reserved for the Japanese market since its launch 13 years ago.
With the 2021 collection, the Japanese brand inaugurates details that will please enthusiasts: new, sharper and bolder designs, new movements with several upgrades and mostly, watches that will be available worldwide. The whole idea of this new Series 8 collection – whether we look at the 870, 830 or 831 models – was to create modern watches that have “in vogue” designs and features like anti-magnetic components to make them suitable for daily wear.
All models in this new Citizen Series 8 collection are sharp and slightly luxury sports watch-oriented with shaped cases and (almost) integrated bracelets. This is even truer with the watch we have today, the 830 Mechanical, which adds to this already complete package a complex, textured dial with surprising materials and a multi-layer construction. Specifically, in this NA1015-81Z edition, the watch displays an impressive personality.
The case of the Citizen Series 8 830 Mechanical is all about sharpness with its multiple facets and combination of angular lines on the edges, with a classic round bezel. While there’s a noticeable 1970s inspiration and feel, the watch also exudes a certain “Japanese-ness” (sorry for this word, but it sums up the design) that is welcome in this market dominated by Swiss icons. It doesn’t mimic existing watches and comes with its own personality. The proportions are also appreciable, with a 40mm diameter and a height of 11.7mm. The decoration, which includes a series of brushed flat surfaces and polished facets, animates the case. Something original for this type of watch is that it features a solid, prominent crown-guard module, but it flows well into the whole design. The watch we had for this review has a dark grey coating all around, yet it also exists with a traditional stainless steel case.
The overall feeling is rather impressive, with undeniable attention to detail on the case and the matching bracelet. The latter is partially integrated into the design and comes with the same finishing and coating of the case. It is closed by a folding clasp with push buttons. Thanks to the angled lug module, the watch feels extremely compact. Designed as a daily beater, it offers a respectable 100m water-resistance and its 50h power reserve makes it weekend-proof too.
The most surprising element of this watch, which certainly has the most daring design, is the dial. It’s actually a complex, multi-layer construction with unexpected materials and colours. The base is a classic metal dial. Then comes a mother-of-pearl layer in the middle with an ever-changing blue hue (hard to really capture the reflections in photos). This colourful, shimmering layer is partially visible through the third and last layer, a metal lattice with applied index markers on the top. This intricate design is combined with gold-coloured markers and hands, resulting in a bold look.
Under the solid caseback, there is some good news too. Indeed, the Citizen Series 8 830 Mechanical NA1015-81Z comes equipped with a new movement developed specifically for this new collection. This new engine features multiple upgrades, all focusing on comfort, ease of use and resistance. Firstly, the brand has worked on the height of the calibre 0950, which is now 4.1mm thick, explaining why the Series 8 is thinner than most Citizen models. Secondly, Citizen has improved the energy storage and delivers a 50h power reserve. Also, these movements are adjusted to -5 to +10 seconds a day. Finally, to protect the watch against magnetic fields in everyday life, the movement is rated against magnetic fields up to 16,000 A/m (more than three times the industry standards of 4,800 A/m).
This Citizen Series 8 830 Mechanical NA1015-81Z is a watch with a strong, contemporary personality. It is also very detailed and well built, and above all, it has all the necessary features to make it resistant enough for our modern daily lives. The watch, like the rest of the Series 8, will be available this autumn and priced at USD 1,900.
For more details, please visit www.citizenwatch-global.com.