I’ve by no means felt like high-fiving somebody after carrying a brand new wristwatch, however that was my exact emotional sensation when first placing on the brand new Citizen Calibre 0200 automatic watch. Although I unboxed this beautiful, new high-end Japanese timepiece alone at house, it will have been nice to stroll round a room high-fiving Citizen micro-engineers and watchmakers on the achievement. This isn’t the most costly Citizen watch ever produced, nor does it symbolize the model’s newest high-tech innovation. Somewhat, that is essentially the most spectacular traditional-style mechanical watch Citizen has ever made — and merchandise prefer it occur to be actually en vogue with watch-collector hobbyists. The Calibre 0200 is admittedly well-done, and it’s a greater than competent challenger to Grand Seiko.
What I love about the Citizen Calibre 0200 is that explaining its appeal to somebody who hasn’t been all for watches over the previous few years could be an extended and frustratingly sophisticated dialog to have. If, nevertheless, you’re a “watch particular person,” then just about no rationalization is required outdoors of handing over the piece for private examination. In such an occasion, upon handing over the watch to a fellow fanatic, all I might verbally add is, “$6,000. Take a look at the motion. Isn’t the case well-made? Take a look at the textures on the dial.” The remaining would converse for itself.
As I write this evaluation, I’ve two watches in entrance of me which might be crucial to check. First is the $2,000 Citizen Collection eight 870, and second is the $6,000 Citizen Calibre 0200. Each watches have been launched in 2021 (as of this writing, each have but to really hit the market) and are a part of Citizen’s present push to advertise its in-house-made mechanical actions. Whereas the Citizen Group has been producing mechanical actions for a very long time, it has been over a decade for the reason that Citizen model launched a brand new mechanical motion in certainly one of its watches. The corporate has primarily centered on its Eco-Drive expertise of light-powered quartz watches, and a wide range of methods of increasing on that model message. Eco-Drive is, after all, nonetheless the principle focus of the Citizen model, however Citizen can be a hobbyist’s model. As such, for this group, the Calibre 0200 is at present the best specimen of conventional timekeeping that cash should purchase from the esteemed model.
Once you put the Collection eight 870 and the Calibre 0200 subsequent to one another, there are lots of clear variations, in addition to similarities. The Collection eight 870 is a superb product for the cash and a really finely made watch. And the Calibre 0200 simply bumps all that as much as one other degree of refinement. That principally means: barely higher sprucing and metal floor remedies, decrease elements tolerance, and plenty of variations on the dial. (Don’t overlook this watch has a wholly completely different in-house-made Citizen computerized motion). Citizen may be very cautious to make sure that when you get plenty of watch in your cash at $2,000, you clearly get much more in your cash at $6,000. However sure, the distinction between these two watches could be troublesome for a lot of laypeople to really respect (outdoors of the apparent case form and visible variations).
Citizen has at all times straddled the world of watches between Seiko and Casio. On the Seiko finish, you have got conventional watchmaking with a big emphasis on traditional types. On the Casio-end you have got all high-end timekeeping and expertise with a definite give attention to fixed iterative enchancment and really fashionable design. The Calibre 0200 is born from market demand and was created utilizing a wide range of abilities and capabilities that the Citizen Group has accrued over time.
Most vital for the aim of this timepiece is Citizen’s acquisition of the Switzerland-based La Joux-Perret watch motion manufacturing unit. La Joux-Perret just isn’t the one Swiss watchmaking firm the Japanese group has bought, however it was the one one devoted to the manufacture of authentic high-quality mechanical actions. La Joux-Perret even has two in-house manufacturers (regardless that it produces elements of others) that are the lauded Arnold & Son, in addition to Angelus.
La Joux-Perret was the place Citizen was in a position to rigorously research conventional Swiss types of motion ornament and the way these ornament methods have been utilized. Citizen then took that data again to Japan and developed its personal strategies for creating related ornamental methods, in addition to motion structure, for a motion of its personal design and manufacture. The ensuing creation (not less than the primary ensuing creation) is the Citizen Calibre 0200 computerized motion. And certainly, the naming terminology is complicated, as you have got the Calibre 0200 motion contained in the Calibre 0200 mannequin watch. You may additionally use the watch’s reference quantity, which is NC0200-90E. Oh, and it makes issues only a bit extra complicated, Citizen has referred to the Calibre 0200 watch as coming not from Citizen watches, however “The Citizen” watches.
The Calibre 0200 motion is a factor of magnificence that blends a collection of aesthetic options you’d generally see in a high-quality Swiss Made mechanical motion, mixed with an structure and design that’s Japanese. It is vitally a lot a hybrid between historically Swiss and historically Japanese actions, and it has a excessive degree of efficiency along with its beauty. The motion operates at 4Hz with 60 hours of energy reserve. Citizen claims a exact accuracy of -Three / +5 seconds a day. Often, these claims are worse than real-world efficiency. From what I can inform, the Calibre 0200 performs in a fashion similar to fashionable Rolex computerized actions, and positively inside COSC Chronometer efficiency ranges.
The motion is seen by means of the sapphire crystal caseback — one thing uncommon for Citizen mechanical watches. I like how the motion takes up many of the case and has a lovely skeletonized rotor. You may inform simply how environment friendly the automated winding system is on account of how simply the rotor strikes in each instructions. Look carefully on the motion and also you’ll see a collection of ornamental options, together with anglage sprucing, perlage sprucing, embossed textual content, and thoroughly brushed surfaces. The big, assorted artificial rubies displayed on the principle motion bridges make for an interesting aesthetic (in addition to practical) element.
There’s simply as a lot to seek out fascinating with regards to small particulars on the Calibre 0200 dial, as there’s on the Calibre 0200 motion. The dial is an apex of Citizen’s engineers attempting to create each distinction and visible excellence. Distinction is vital as a result of, with out it, you can not have dial legibility. Dressier watches reminiscent of this are sometimes accused of being laborious to learn as a result of the dial components blur collectively within the mild. To keep away from glare and lightweight blur on polished surfaces, a variety of issues have to be carried out with regards to how supplies are formed and completed. In a comparatively small area, Citizen has demonstrated mastery of a variety of materials methods on the dial of this timepiece, alone.
From a design perspective, the Calibre 0200 dial is nothing significantly new. It is a traditional sort of dial that you simply may need seen on plenty of historic, and even fashionable, Citizen watches. That is only a in style aesthetic and folks typically affiliate it with conventional Japanese watchmaking. This consists of utilized baton hour markers, in addition to sharp dauphine-style palms. The place every product units itself aside is in comparatively small particulars, reminiscent of ending and minor variations on shapes. What stands out within the Calibre 0200 are the hour and minute palms, which seem to glow white given the actual satin end over the principle floor. The perimeters are polished for good impact.
The principle dial is black and textured in what I name “volcanic grain.” The flat dial seems to be fabricated from small bits of semi-glossy grit, which contrasts very effectively with the brushed metal utilized hour markers. The subsidiary seconds dial is a special texture altogether — polished snailed sunburst in black however with high-contrast seconds observe markers printed in white. Dial components have, for essentially the most half, been completely minimalized, with the notable exception of the unusual Citizen eagle emblem underneath the utilized Citizen title plaque.
Lastly, we get to the precise Calibre 0200 watch case and bracelet. It’s fascinating to notice that the Calibre 0200 and Collection eight 870 watches are the identical dimension: 40mm-wide and 10.9mm-thick. However they appear so completely different in dimension — how is that doable? The Calibre 0200 seems to be the smaller watch as a result of narrower lugs, in addition to the much less daring bezel and dial. The Calibre 0200 has a narrower bracelet, which adjustments the visible proportions so much. Don’t overlook the Citizen Calibre 0100 watch that I needed to throw into the dialogue because it was debuted the 12 months earlier than and truly retails for greater than the Calibre 0200 (although it has a very completely different sort of motion expertise).
The Calibre 0200 case is traditional in profile and proportions however is definitely fairly modern in its visible design. Although it’s a extra elegant watch, it does have a visible power to it and doesn’t really feel wimpy, as may be the case with some conventional gown watches. The bracelet is sort of a refined model of the bracelet that comes on the Collection eight 870 watches. The Calibre 0200’s bracelet is narrower with higher fashioned and polished hyperlinks that use the identical base “H” hyperlink idea. The bracelet closes with a stable folding deployant clasp, however it has no micro-adjust characteristic (which might have been a pleasant bonus). The metal bracelet does, nevertheless, embrace half-links for precision sizing, in addition to screw-in bars to carry the hyperlinks collectively (versus rigidity rods). That stated, they’re double-sided screws, which implies you’ll want regular palms, a number of instruments, or a particular machine to securely dimension the bracelet by yourself.
The Citizen Calibre 0200 is a product the watch fanatic group will actually like, and I do not know about its bigger marketability to the mainstream. I imagine that Citizen is aware of a product like this can do effectively sufficient inside Japan to fulfill minimal portions to maintain the collection going. Firm reps made it clear that the Calibre 0200 just isn’t meant to be a high-volume product. It’s meant to be particular, and getting one might be a nice expertise. Come to consider it, I can’t wait to see what the packaging seems to be like! Accessible in Fall 2021, the Citizen Calibre 0200 reference NC0200-90E has a retail value of $6,000 USD. Learn more at the Citizen website.
>Mannequin: Calibre 0200 reference NC0200-90E
>Worth: $6,000 USD
>Measurement: 40mm-wide, 10.9mm-thick, and ~48mm lug-to-lug distance.
>When reviewer would personally put on it: Makes an ideal gown or enterprise watch and shall be an actual dialog piece.
>Buddy we’d suggest it to first: Lover of Japanese watches who additionally collects Swiss timepieces and is inquisitive about a product that tends to mix components from each worlds.
>Finest attribute of watch: Equally stunning case and motion execution. One other welcome member of the Japanese high-end watch membership. Extremely legible dial. Wonderful motion efficiency.
>Worst attribute of watch: A distinct segment product regardless of its good-looking beauty. Would have most well-liked 100 meters versus 50 meters of water resistance. No point out of magnetic resistance for the motion.