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Tag / watches

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.

Citizen Eco-Drive Super Titanium CA0341-52E
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.

Do check out their Facebook page as well as citizen.com.my for more info.

Like many guys, I have a thing for time pieces. Sitting in my closet are several gateway-drug sort of watches in the form of an Orange Monster, my first mechanical watch, a Citizen ProMaster Eco-Drive Nighthawk, a Casio G-Shock Riseman, and a Suunto D6 I use for diving.

So you can imagine my excitement when I was invited to the launch of 2012 Vintage WW1 Heure Sautante Material & Complication by Bell & Ross, one of my favorite luxury watch brands ever since I first set my eyes on a BR-01.

Bell & Ross Material & Complications
Bell & Ross Material and Complications

The event took place at Estate, the Intermark KL on 26th July, with the set up of the romantic post-war era of 1950s Shanghai. The ambiance is a throw back to the time of luxurious elegance, timeless sophistication and ethereal beauty.

Bell & Ross also featured a photo exhibition by the celebrated local photographer Vincent Paul Yong who captured a series of photos with the Vintage WW1 Heure Sautante via an exclusive collaboration with Bell & Ross.

photo exhibition by Vincent Paul Yong
photo exhibition by Vincent Paul Yong

Vincent Paul Yong, better known by VPYP, has been a leading photographer in Malaysia, having photographed the likes of British fashion designer Sir Paul Smith, pop singer Mizz Nina, and Brazilian model Lucas Mascarini. The photos were presented at this event prior to them being available to any print media. They were of course, work of art.

Mr. Tong Chee Wei (GM, FJ Benjamin Luxury Timepieces) & Mr. SK Teh (GM Cortina Watch)
Mr Tong Chee Wei (GM FJ Benjamin Luxury Timepieces), Mr SK Teh (GM Cortina Watch)

The two companies, FJ Benjamin Luxury Timepieces and Cortina Watch joined forces to celebrate Bell & Ross’ quest for creating a large complication with original display in the form of Vintage WW1 Heure Sautante.

The night was kicked off by speeches from General Manager of FJ Benjamin Luxury Timepieces, Mr. Tong Chee Wai, and the GM of Cortina Watch, Mr. SK Teh, and followed by a recorded presentation and words from President of Bell & Ross, Carlos-A Rosillo.

model with Bell & Ross BR Grand Minuteur Tourbillon
model with Bell & Ross BR Grand Minuteur Tourbillon

The models then brought out the watches for guests to examine.

The complications come in two forms – “digital” complication is an unusual display of the digits for hours in a large window at 12 o’clock position, with the hour hand replaced by a rotating disc that jumps instantly when the hour changes.

the new Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 Heure Sautante Pink Gold
the new Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 Heure Sautante Pink Gold

Power reserve indicator then, is located at the 6 o’clock position. Since the mechanism triggering the “jump” in the hours requires power, it is thus important that remaining power is easily examined, to ensure a smooth function of the movement.

Bell & Ross presents Materials & Complications
Bell & Ross presents Materials & Complications

The two complications are dressed in pink gold or platinum, the ultimate high quality material that brings nobility to the timepieces. This is where the “material” in material & complications come into play.

The platinum version also features a second window for the power reserve indicator with opaline grey and silvered dial in 18k gold while the pink gold version has an opaline pearl dial. Both versions are 42 mm in diameter.

Reta & KY, Cindy, Nicholas with the models
Reta & KY, Cindy, Nicholas with the models

The watches showcase Bell & Ross’s expertise in watch-making, they are elegant and brilliantly combine the complexity of mechanical movement with simplicity of a new time reading system.

The WW1 Heure Sautante Collection will be very exclusive, Bell & Ross will produce only 50 pieces for pink gold and 25 pieces for platinum version. They are priced at RM 83,300 and RM 123,300 respectively.

Shanghai based jazz singer Jasmine Chen serenades to guests
Shanghai based jazz singer Jasmine Chen serenades to guests

We were also entertained by the Shanghai based jazz singer Jasmine Chen while being served champagne, single malt whisky, and finger foods from Estate. Making the night a memorable one.

Vintage WW1 Heure Sautance with Power Reserve
Vintage WW1 Heure Sautance with Power Reserve

Technical Specifications:

WW1 Heure Sautante Pink Gold

  • Movement: jumping hour, automatic winding movement. Blue-steel screws, circular-grained mainplate, oscilating weight and bridges decorated with “Cotes de Geneve”
  • Case: 42 mm, Satin-brushed 18k pink gold. Sapphire caseback
  • Functions: Hours indicator (windows at 12 o’clock), minutes (central hand) and power reserve (at 6 o’clock)
  • Dial: opaline pearl
  • Crystal: anti-reflective sapphire
  • Water resistance: 100 meters
  • Strap: alligator
  • Buckle: 18k pink gold

WW1 Heure Sautante Pink Gold and Platinum
WW1 Heure Sautante Pink Gold and Platinum

WW1 Heure Sautante Platinum

  • Movement: jumping hour, automatic winding movement. Blue-steel screws, circular-grained mainplate, oscilating weight and bridges decorated with “Cotes de Geneve”
  • Case: 42 mm, Satin-brushed steel. Sapphire caseback
  • Functions: Hours indicator (windows at 12 o’clock), minutes (central hand) and power reserve (at 6 o’clock)
  • Dial: opaline grey and silvered dial in 18k gold hand-applied guiloche decoration
  • Crystal: anti-reflective sapphire
  • Water resistance: 100 meters
  • Strap: alligator
  • Buckle: platinum