It all started with a gift to myself a little over 5 years ago. On the blog post that I wrote on my birthday in October 1st, 2007, I posted a few photos of the watch I bought myself, the Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Nighthawk, model BJ7010-24W.
One of the reasons I chose Citizen then was that I remember my late dad used to have a Citizen automatic watch eons ago, and he used to tell me how the watch never needs battery and that it is powered by human motion alone. My young mind (probably 8-9 year old) then found it absolutely fascinating.
the cool looking Citizen Eco-Drive Super Titanium CA0341-52E on my wrist
Fast forward to 1995, Citizen launched their Eco-Drive technology.
The technology converts Sun light, or basically any artificial light source into energy to power the watch movement. Excess energy is stored in a cell that enables the watch to operate even in total darkness for half a year.
This basically means that you never need to change a battery and hardly ever need to adjust time like automatic watches if you stopped wearing them for longer than 2-3 days. This is certainly true with my Nighthawk that runs flawlessly in the past 5+ years.
Citizen Eco-Drive Super Titanium CA0341-52A and BM6921-58E
Now think about this from another angle.
Between 2005 to 2007 alone, Citizen has sold a total of 7,200,000 Eco-Drive watches around the world. Had these watches not been Eco-Drive but those that runs on disposable batteries, there would have been over 7 million batteries that ends up being disposed.
And I think this is where the word Eco comes in, preservation of the environment.
Chun Cheong Watch, Sungai Wang Plaza
Eco-Drive is a pretty mature and familiar technology from Citizen, and the company is one that likes to always keep pushing the boundary. Citizen was also the first company to use Titanium in watch making some 40 years back, and now they introduced Super Titanium in their latest line up.
Some of you might have heard about titanium being used in golf clubs and other devices, so what is this thing?
Discovered in the 18th century, it is a metal that is roughly 40% lighter than stainless steel, has very high corrosion resistance properties, and are safe to wear (unlikely to trigger metal allergies). These properties make it an ideal choice in material that eneds to be tough and light, such as many parts of the space shuttle.
Jamie with CA0356-55A and myself with CA0341-52E
Super Titanium then, is another name for Citizen’s Ion-Plating technology that makes the surface hardness of these Titanium watches super hard , it registers 1000-1200 on the Vickers scale. (untreated Titanium registers 170-200, and stainless steel is 150-220) This ensures that the watch is not only light, but virtually scratch resistant as well.
This is archived by having the titanium material ionized and heated to 2000 Celsius in a vacuum, using an electron beam. The ionized titanium is then pressured-bonded onto the watch surface to form a coating.
Pretty neat tech if you ask me.
Takeshi looking cool in Citizen’s advertisement, Bukit Bintang
Tech aside, these are some beautiful watches as well. The flagship CA0341-52E (RM 1,620 retail) shown in the first photo is also the watch that is worn in multiple advertisements by Takeshi Kaneshiro, an ambassador for Citizen. This watch features Super Titanium dial and bracelet, it also has chronograph and 24 hour function.
Sapphire crystal glass (second only to diamond in toughness) is used to further enhance the non scratch feature of the watch, and at 45mm in diameter, it has the presence as well as not being obnoxiously big. Fits well in my wrist I must say.
The female versions of Super-Ti watches includes the beautiful CA0356-55A (RM 1,660 retail) as held by Jamie. It too has chronograph function and comes with rose gold color finishing. A thing of beauty.
Limited Edition Citizen Toyota 86 Watch – CA0386-03E
For car enthusiasts, and especially those who loves the Toyota GT86, Citizen has also launched the limited edition Citizen X Toyota 86 watch (RM 1,580 retail).
This model comes in custom mock carbon fiber box and are in limited quantity. They are available from November 2012 and utilizes the same Eco-Drive movement.
JV0020-04E Citizen Aqualand Promaster
Oh, and for divers, you should also check out some of the Citizen dive watches. The JV0020-04E is one of my favorites, with it’s analogue dials indicating dive time and depth, it’ll be a lot easier to read underwater than those all-digital dive watches too. This should serve as a very good backup to the dive computer, especially since it uses Eco-Drive movement as well.
If you want to see these watches in person, a good place to check out would be at Sungai Wang, located on the ground floor, G065.