New and reviewed: Citizen Series 8 / 890 Mechanical

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Citizen releases new models from their Series 8 / 890 mechanical collection. We got our hands to test out one of them, the NB6060-58L in stainless steel and a blue dial for two weeks and present this detailed review.

New and reviewed: Citizen Series 8 / 890 Mechanical

The Citizen Series 8 / 890 Mechanical Ref. NB 6060-58L has a retail price set at USD 1,595. Two other references are released today. They are the Ref. NB 6069-53H, in a stainless steel case with warm gold-coloured plating and brown dial retailing at USD 1,695, and the Ref. NB 6066-51W in steel case and a copper pink dial pattern als at USD 1,595. This latter model is a limited edition of 1,500 pieces.

Citizen introduced their Series 8 in 2021, and it took us almost by surprise at how good it was. Especially at this very modest price point. We wrote our first comprehensive review of the Model 830 not long after the global launch, and followed up with the 870. We have also covered the 870 Anniversary Model with the carbon dial as well as the 880 GMT released in 2023.

The case, dial and hands

The Series 8 is a well conceived and superbly built series. And the novelty follows in the same design architecture laid out since the first models we reviewed in 2021. This novelty is an evolution of the base 2021 model, and with the expansion to include the GMT of 2023, and now a diver for this novelty. The case shape is a further elaboration of the basic octagonal shape of the earlier models. If we count the sides, it numbers 12 in total, including the crown guard. The finishing schema is similar to the older designs, with a flat upper surface in a matte hairline brushed finishing, and edges which are faceted and finished in a high mirror polish. A second crown at 1 o’clock operates the bi-directional rehaut and signals the aquatic intentions of the new models. This version of the Series 8 is rated to 200m, while earlier versions had only a 100m water resistance rating.

The dial is also inspired by the Tokyo night skyline with the same Japanese check patterns similar to the one in the GMT. In our review sample, this is in blue. The sloped, high polished octagonal bezel with a circular opening sits on top of this case middle. The overall look of the dial, though retains the DNA of the Series 8 watches, is distinctly a diver watch.

The hands and indices continue the Diver theme by being very large and chunky. Legibility is thus excellent. Even in the dark when the lume glows very bright.

The movement

The movement within is the automatic with manual winding Cal. 9051. This is from the same movement family as the Series 8 / 890 watches. The key difference from the others is the open case back. And from the Cal. 9054 in that it does not have a GMT feature. The other aspects are very similar to the movement in the Series 8 GMT. Including the magnetic resistance of “second-class” antimagnetic watch, which is defined by the Japanese Industrial Standard JIS B7024 and clears the JIS guarantee level of 16,000 A/m. 

Finishing is also judged to be at a high engineering standard. In terms of decoration, it features little extraneous decoration, but is better finished than most watches in this price range, like the Tissot mentioned below. With a detailed visual inspection, the finishing is well executed and very pleasing to the eye.

Competitive landscape

We would categorise the Citizen Series 8 Ref. 6060 as an entry level luxury watersports watch (our opinion, not proposed by Citizen). It is a strong and highly capable fighter within this weight class. Most of the other diver watches are either much less expensive or much more. Or much better finished or offer much lower finishing levels.

A case in point is their own Fugu which clocks in from SGD 500 to SGD 800. Of course, the Cal. 8203 which powers the Fugu, though de rigueur for the price range, looks like a train wreck compared to the elegance and execution of the Cal. 9051 found in the Citizen Series 8.

In the much more expensive class, we find watches like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Diver. Interestingly, the RO Diver has perhaps more than a passing resemblance. This is perhaps a good thing for Citizen, as the AP retails for a whopping SGD 44,300 incl GST, more than 50X more than the asking price of SGD 2,325 for the Citizen. (today’s conversion rate from USD to SGD and add 9% GST). Though the AP is rated at 300m, instead of 200m, and their Cal. 4308 is judged to be more refined with better finishing, we should also caution that this opinion needs to be tempered with the 50X price difference.

Closer to the price range is the Tissot Seastar 2000 Professional, which is priced at SGD 1,615 (time of writing from Tissot website) or the Seastar 1000 at an even lower SGD 1,150. Tissot is the champion for value proposition amongst the Swiss manufacturers. Their PRX is a stunning example of how the Swiss is able to compete in pricing with the Japanese and even Chinese brands. But we digress. Back to the Seastar Professional 2000 which is rated to 600m (!), or the Seastar 1000 which has a 300m rating, both higher and are quite the professional diver’s watch. Whereas, the Series 8 is more a lifestyle offerings like the Series 8, intended for casual swimming and water sports rather than diving. But we think the Citizen Cal. 9051 is has finishing when compared to the Powermatic 80 in the Seastar.

Concluding thoughts

We come to a similar conclusion as we did for the other Series 8 watches. The NB6060 is very well conceived and superbly built. The attention to detail to the case, dial, bracelet is excellent. Top marks to Citizen for this achievement. The watch wears very nicely, despite the 43mm case diameter, with the 12mm thickness coming in nicely to reduce bulk and improve wear comfort.

The pricing is very fair. The asking price of USD 1.6k is excellent, and very competitive in the entry level luxury water sports watch market place.

More information is available on the Citizen site. The release of the Series 8 diver is for 3 watches as described.

Ref. NB 6060-58L (review sample), NB6069-53H and NB6066-51W (limited edition). Though the left watch seems larger than the middle and right watch in this photograph, they are exactly the same size in real life. Pic collated without resizing from Citizen press release.

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