Citizen combines beauty with technology. Now, that applies to every renowned watchmaker on the planet; not just Citizen. The catch is: What Citizen offers at the price points is way beyond the league of the famous Swiss, French, German and English watchmakers; the Citizen watch on your wrist will speak volumes about your taste and preference. Perfection at reasonable prices and that applies to every type of mechanical watch you are looking for under the banner Citizen.
Only a few are to disagree that Citizen is all about breaking current routines and mindsets. As a brand, they are least likely to prefer being pigeonholed, which started occurring with their Eco-Drive. Blame it upon the huge popularity of the light-driven mechanism and Citizen could have highly rested on the laurels but well, the brand was never a one-trick-wonder. Earlier, it was their respectable mechanical movements that made them famous; so to shake things up again (and to let the modern generation know about their beginnings), Citizen introduced their mechanical collections, ranging from simple three-handers to those with additional complications; the Signature collection, for example; with the Miyota 9010 high-pinion caliber, a self-winding mechanical movement with a 42 hours long power storage, 24 jewels and with a frequency of 28,800 vph.
This certainly sets Citizen Watches ahead of the starter and beater mechanicals, but they are as solidly – if not better – built that rarely need any maintenance and available for prices that are both low and consistent. Most are fitted with sapphire crystals, which add the icing on the cake.
Take the Citizen Signature Grand Classic 9184 as an example. The brand new in-house movement aside, this dressy yet legible timepiece has enough character to keep it interesting and distinct enough, so much as to make it a different breed altogether. Yes, even within the Citizen stable.
The Signature collection; however, comes just after the Campanola – the equivalent of Grand Seiko – the Citizen watches with Swiss mechanical movements. Particularly noticeable are their newly introduced mechanical chronographs, with the La Joux-Perret movements that go into only the most respected Swiss brands. Officially named the Y150, it is all Swiss components assembled in Japan. These 12-hour flyback chronographs operate at 4Hz, have 42 hours of power reserve and are accurate to +10 seconds per day. The nice and chunky 44mm by 17 mm makes a wonderful view not just for your wrist but for your entire attire. The Campanola Mechanical watches are a distinct, Citizen design personality; technical and more refined than the NH8360 series, which are good only for harsh, daily usage.
So who will buy a Citizen mechanical watch? Anyone with a coherent view for substantial watches will have a thing or two for them, but as a Japanese brand, the Citizen mechanical automatics exist on another plane altogether. It’s not about breaking the rules but about conformity that’s not a mishmash of borrowed elements, resulting in similar types under the disguise of homage. They are just Japanese-made high-end watches that are worthy competitors to the Swiss, with an approach that forces you to ask some very different and interesting questions that you would ask if you were to buy a Swiss.