Back in January of 1973, Citizen, a pioneering Japanese watchmaking house, released a unique riff on a watch that they’d launched only a few months earlier. The watch was their very first mechanical chronograph. This version had the chronograph pushers situated at the top of the case, rather than on the side, in what’s affectionately referred to as a bullhead configuration called the Citizen Challenge Timer. Fans would soon nickname the “Tsuno Chrono” and its instantly recognizable 70s tones and panda dial layout would make this particular variant a legend.
Fast forward to August 1, 2019, when a young watch journalist, and co-founder of a particular watch enthusiast publication, would rush home from a movie theater to research a timepiece he’d seen on screen. Zach Weiss had just finished viewing Quentin Tarantino’s critically acclaimed ninth film, Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood. Here’s an excerpt from the article he penned and published immediately thereafter.
“I was very eager to identify this watch, waiting on the edge of my proverbial seat for it to properly come into frame, when finally a surprising detail came into stark focus. The watch was a ‘bullhead’ chronograph. Immediately, my eyebrow raised. What bullheads existed in 1969? Were there manual-wind bullheads I’m unaware of? Then, as more of the watch was revealed, I figured out what it was. A Citizen Challenge Timer.”
The film went on to be nominated for a total of ten Academy Awards at the 2020 Oscars and won two including Best Supporting Actor for Brad Pitt, which further cemented his role and this watch into absolute icon status. Despite a blatant continuity error, it’s clear that this was not a miscasting. It was still the right watch, on the right wrist, in the right role, at the right time.
Now, 50 years later from the introduction of the original Tsuno Chrono, Citizen has reimagined the concept, form factor, and functionality, while preserving that special something that made the original so charming. Enter, the Promaster Tsuno Chrono 50th Anniversary Model.
Measuring in at 45mm in diameter with a gold-toned, stainless steel case, the all-new Tsuno Chrono features those classic bullhead-style chronograph pushers at 11 and 1 o’clock. You’ll also find a gold-tone winding crown at 12 and an alarm-setting crown at 5 o’clock. A luminous, white sword handset and orange chronograph hands pop against the gold and black dial, providing legibility in low-light situations, while an anti-reflective sapphire crystal protects the dial.
The dial is the star of this show, bringing the most useful upgrades to functionality. First, you’ll notice a black tachymeter scale printed with gold-toned numerals. Next, there’s a running seconds display at 3 o’clock, a 12-hour totalizer at 6 o’clock, a handy power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock, and a 60-minute totalizer at 12 o’clock. Finally, you’ll even find an alarm on/off indicator between 4 and 5 o’clock.
The most modern upgrades to the watch are within. The Caliber E210, an Eco-Drive solar movement powered by ambient light, features a power reserve of eight months upon a full charge and flyback chronograph functionality. This unique hand-assembled movement—when combined with a case water resistant to 200m—makes for a robust, yet stylish tool capable of withstanding everyday use and abuse. The new Tsuno Chrono keeps the Oscar vibes going with a gold-toned Special Edition box adding to the package’s overall ‘it factor.’
Despite the on-paper dimensions, the Promaster Tsuno Chrono 50th Anniversary feels right at home on a wide variety of wrist shapes and sizes. Not only that, but it can easily be dressed up for a night out on the town, or dressed down for cruising on the weekend. No matter the destination, or the year for that matter, this conversation piece with a star power lineage will get you there fashionably… on time.