Loads has been written about Seiko on MONOCHROME. Typically acknowledged because the Japanese benchmark or perhaps a counterpart to Swiss watchmaking, Grand Seiko reaches a luxurious tier that few manufacturers exterior of Europe can aspire to. Citizen is the opposite Japanese model and celebrates its 90th birthday this 12 months. Though not considered “high-end” by most, the corporate has main improvements and several other surprises underneath its belt – it as soon as even made a USD 90,000 tourbillon mannequin. The model’s bread and butter are cheap watches, after all, and the NH8350-83L Automated is an in-house all-rounder firing pictures throughout the Seiko 5’s bow – and that of microbrands all over the place.
CASE AND DESIGN
The Citizen Basic Automated NH8350-83L has a basic, barely dressy stainless-steel case, which could possibly be certified as an all-rounder – good all day, day-after-day. , At 40mm in diameter and 11.1mm in top, proportions are equally basic, at the very least to fashionable requirements. It leans a bit on the big aspect to seen as a costume watch but additionally falls into that modern candy spot for a lot of contemplating this piece. As such, it could possibly be used both with enterprise apparel or on weekends.
The case of the NH8350-83L is totally polished excluding the stable case again, exuding a no-nonsense vibe. It’s not attempting to moonlight as a sports activities watch or anything. The deeply knurled crown is massive and simple to tug to set the time, and may manually wind the watch, in contrast to a detailed (pre-2019) Seiko 5 rival. The brand new, 2019 Seiko 5 models are actually a lot sportier and could be manually wound, however are additionally double the worth.
Taking a look at this basic and contemplating its entry-level value, this Citizen Basic Automated isn’t good – properly, at the very least in comparison with our typical suspects right here at MONOCHROME. There are clearly some delicate cost-cutting measures to hit such a low value, similar to non-bevelled case edges, an unsigned crown and a reasonably pedestrian case design, however the general match and end is excellent for the worth and brought as a complete, it’s a sexy piece. The crystal is mineral glass, however that’s higher than acrylic in my e-book. The icing on the cake? It’s water resistant to 50 metres, beating the extra widespread 30-metre restrict on a lot pricier watches.
DIAL AND HANDS
What actually makes this Citizen Basic Automated NH8350-83L stand out is the dial, with a deep sunburst blue end. Add to that raised, tapering steel stick indices (double index at midday) and “low-cost” simply isn’t a part of the dialog anymore.
Like its rival, the Seiko 5 watches, it includes a day/date window at three o’clock. A easy minute/seconds observe spans the outer perimeter. The polished sword-style hour and minutes fingers are very legible and the baton seconds hand clearly sweeps the whole lot of the outer observe. The dial can be restrained with solely the corporate title and AUTOMATIC printed.
The beating coronary heart is an in-house Miyota 8200 automated, that includes 21 jewels, 21,600vph (3Hz) and a 40-hour energy reserve. For extra data on Miyota, see our alternatives to off-the-shelf Swiss movements. Accuracy is rated at -20/+40 seconds per day, however that is an outdated, confirmed workhorse developed within the 1970s and is dependable, serviceable, cheap and serves its supposed function properly. Features embody central hours, minutes, seconds and a day/date complication, and it may be manually wound.
The Citizen NH8350-83L Automated comes with a 20mm stainless-steel bracelet with an oyster fashion, however leather-based strap choices can be found. The bracelet is a pleasant perk and provides to the looks-more-expensive-than-it-is vibe, but additionally raises the official value to roughly USD 189. Inexpensive choices can be found at third-party retailers at round USD 119 (if yow will discover them, it’s a reasonably uncommon piece).
Whereas all of us like luxurious watches right here at MONOCHROME (the head of Swiss and German manufactures), generally it’s important to take a step again and recognize an unimaginable worth proposition. An in-house automated all-rounder with a metal bracelet for underneath USD 200 is eye-opening, to say the least. A well-executed sunburst dial, utilized indices and day/date complication simply add to the bundle.
It’s straightforward to imagine that seasoned collectors and lovers would go over such a factor, however don’t be so certain. I’m under no circumstances a rich timepiece connoisseur, however admittedly have a snobbish aspect when selecting private watches. And considered one of my favourites is the Seiko 5 SNK809 for round USD 100 – Storied model, fascinating historical past, in-house motion from a family-owned producer… What’s to not like? When manufacturers can pull off a bit just like the Citizen NH8350-83L Automated, which is uncommon and usually restricted to Asian producers, they’ve my undivided consideration.
Worth and availability
The Citizen retails for HKD 1,470 or USD 189 and comes with a three-year guarantee, though costs as little as USD 119 are widespread on the net. When you’re in search of a costume watch on this value vary that ticks all of these horological containers, you received’t discover higher than the Citizen NH8350-83L Automated. To be honest, Japanese-based Orient presents some robust competitors with unique in-house actions (they don’t share) and low costs, however I discover Citizen and Seiko fashions to be a bit extra refined on this value vary. After all, your mileage might range.
For extra data, go to Citizen’s website.
Extra particulars about Citizen Watch
Citizen is usually confused with the model that makes the favored G-Shock watches – that’s a 3rd Japanese juggernaut, Casio. And like Casio, Citizen has a number of divisions and produces client and enterprise electronics as properly. The model is greatest identified for watches, nevertheless, and is a serious pressure in Japanese horology; the corporate additionally produces the ever-present and reasonably priced Miyota actions. The Citizen title was first registered in Switzerland again in 1918 by Swiss watchmaker Rodolphe Schmid for watches aimed on the Japanese market. Shokosha Watch Analysis Institute was based in the identical 12 months by jeweller Kamekichi Yakamazi in Tokyo and the Calibre 16 pocket watch turned the primary Citizen branded mannequin bought in 1924.
Schmid had opened an meeting plant in Yokohama in 1912, and each that and the Shokosha Watch Analysis Institute have been taken over in 1930 by Japanese and Swiss buyers, and the Citizen model was formally based. The corporate grew quickly, beginning wristwatch manufacturing in 1931 and constructing a brand new manufacturing unit in 1936, however the Japanese watch trade was drastically hampered throughout World Conflict II.
Following the Conflict and a few restructuring, new firm president Eiichi Yamada created the Citizen Buying and selling Firm in 1949 to develop the model abroad. Wristwatches have been exported by 1955 and Citizen partnered with the US Bulova Watch Co. for a time for mutual import/export pursuits. In 1964, the corporate expanded to provide enterprise machines similar to digicam shutters and including machines, and in 1966, Japan’s first electrical watch was produced, the Citizen X-Eight. This was not a quartz watch as manufacturing of quartz oscillators didn’t start till 1976, however Citizen superior the tech shortly and the primary solar-powered analogue quartz watch was launched in that very same 12 months.
The recognition of light-powered watches advanced to grow to be one of many model’s signature applied sciences – Eco-Drive. By 2007, Citizen estimated that 10 million much less batteries have been discarded in North America because of this. Formally launched in 1995, some great benefits of Eco-Drive included higher effectivity and photo voltaic cells that nearly disappear underneath the dial. The primary business Eco-Drive motion was the Calibre 7878 and shortly chronographs, dive watches and extra have been powered by Eco-Drive. In 2016, the Eco-Drive One turned the world’s thinnest solar-powered watch at 2.98mm.
Simply final 12 months, Citizen launched essentially the most correct quartz watch on the earth, rated at +/- one second per 12 months. This Eco-Drive Calibre zero100 has many new developments together with nickel-phosphorous springs and wheels for exacting tolerances, ambient temperature monitoring and shock counteraction. These improvements and extra reveal that though Citizen is usually considered a model of cheap, even “division retailer” watches, the corporate’s contributions to the trade are substantial and may by no means be ignored. As well as, The Citizen Group has acquired a number of watch manufacturers together with Bulova, Frédérique Fixed and Arnold & Son (and motion producer La Joux-Perret). This makes them one of many greatest watchmakers on the earth.