In 1970, Citizen pioneered the use of titanium as a case material for watches. To celebrate the 50 years of this milestone, Citizen launched two Titanium Technology 50th Anniversary Limited Models, powered by the Satellite Wave GPS F950 and a less complicated model with the less complicated Radio controlled H145.
Titanium is a material used for the construction of the Apollo spacecrafts in the 1960, and was particularly prized for its lightweight and rust-resistant properties. The material is also hypoallergenic, making it an easy choice for the watch case and bracelet.
Citizen Titanium Technology 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Models
In 1970, Citizen created the X-9 Chronometer, which was the world’s first titanium watch. While the material offered many advantages, it was stricken with manufacturing problems. The material tends to stick to the mold when subject to the pressure needed to form it. This pressure of hundreds of tons, or more, causes deformation and the surface structure is soft, making it easy to scratch. In 2000, Citizen overcame these challenges with their Duratec Super Titanium™*1 – its own surface treatment and titanium processing technologies that offered nearly five times the surface hardness of stainless steel, as well as a wide variety of color variations, and smooth, mirror-like finish.
2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the world’s first titanium watch, and Citizen released these three models. This is in addition to the Promaster Titanium model released earlier.
Satellite Wave GPS F950 CC4025-82E – Flagship model
Limited Edition of 550 pieces. Retail SGD 7,249.25 (with GST), approx USD 5,000. Availabile now.
This is the top of the line model for the new releases, and features the “space” design concept of the Satllite Wave GPS F100 released in 2014, the Satellite Wave GPS F900 in 2015 and the Satellite Wave GPS F990 in 2018.
The case and bracelet is made in SuperTitanium™, which is the same material that will be used in Japan’s lunar exploration project, “HAKUTO-R”.
The case and band feature pronounced three-dimensional surfaces with edgy, straight lines that create a symmetrical profile shape of angles and shadows. The case conveys a sense of refinement by combining two parts from Citizen’s unique surface hardening technology, “Duratect DLC” and “Duratect Sakura Pink”. The hue which Citizen calls Sakura Pink is a kind of copper colour and is quite pleasing.
The black dial comprises a multi-layered structure with six parts stacked on top of one another, evoking the image of the endless depths of outer space. The dial shows a remarkable amount of data, from world time, to two simultaneous timezones, alarm and light level indicator, in addition to the indications for signal quality, and satellites acquisition status.
Caliber F950 is featured in this top-of-the-line movement Eco-Drive GPS Sattelite Wave. The watch picks up the GPS signals very fast. The specifications states it locks on within 3 seconds. We were not able to test this to any level of accuracy, but anecdotally this timing seem to bear true. The hands do move remarkably fast, for example, the second hand makes one rotation of 360° in the forward or reverse direction within a single second. This is made possible through a high-speed twin-coil motor design.
Though measuring a massive 47.5 mm / 14.71 mm, the watch does fit rather nicely on the wrist, and the lack of heft due is a welcome relief, making it very comfortable. It wears smaller than the dimensions suggest, but does stand proud of the wrist prominently, and more suitable for casual wear rather than in a formal suit.
Satellite Wave GPS F950 CC4015-86L
Limited Edition of 1300 pieces. Retail SGD 4,205.10 (with GST) . Availability Jan 2021. For enquiries on availability, email to [email protected].
The second model is in a more standard black Duratec Super Titanium case and bracelet with a stunning blue fumé style dial, with gradations from a bright blue in the center to midnight blue on the peripherals. An effect which is reminiscent of the night sky. The dial markers are Roman numerals.
This model uses the same F950 movement as the flagship model, and shares the same functions and features.
The Cal.F950 features a superb accuracy ±5 seconds per month (without time signal reception). The Eco-Drive will run for 5 years on full charge in power save mode. Case is water resistant to 100m.
This model is much smaller than the flagship model, measuring 44.3mm / 15.4mm, and of course feels much slimmer on the wrist. The choice of the colour palette for the dial is spot on, with the magnificent fumé blue contrasting nicely to the white appliqué numerals, with gold accents.
Radio Controlled CB0219-50L
Limited Edition of 2200 pieces. Retail SGD 1,594.30 (with GST). Availability Jan 2021. For enquiries on availability, email to [email protected].
A simplified version with the gorgeous fumé blue dial, but with bar markers for a more classic look. This model features a Radio Controlled movement with world time function. The dial layout and design is simpler, and
The Cal.H145 has an inherent accuracy of ±15 seconds per month without time signal reception, and the Eco-Drive module will run for 2 years on full charge (in power save mode. Case is water resistant to 100m.
At an even more svelte 42.5mm / 10.1 mm, this model is much more dressy, and may be quite nice paired with a suit and tie. The simpler dial layout is more classical and helps with the formal look.
As is typical of Japanese companies, anniversaries are celebrated for every achievement. This one is a rather significant milestone. The advent of titanium as a material for watch case and bracelets. And not only was Citizen noted for being the first to the post with using of innovative use of titanium as a material, it overcame the negativities of the metal, and invented the Duratec SuperTitanium.
These achievements are often not celebrated enough by the company, or at least not well communicated. Many watch collectors may have falsely been led to believe that Swiss manufactures like IWC pioneered the use of titanium. Such is the power of publicity. The Swiss having oiled their machinery to communicate, and engineering based companies like Citizen focus on technology. Heads down. Create. And sometimes fail to beat their breasts to tell the world their acheivements.
Photographed in studio with the Hasselblad H3D-39 with HC 4/120 Macro and HC 2.8/80 with and without H28 and H52 extension tubes with Profoto strobes.