Citizen Introduces a Different Type of Space Watch

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In what has turned out to be a big week for space, with one of the world’s richest men launching himself just past the bounds of the Kármán line, and the 52nd anniversary of Apollo 11’s successful moon landing, Citizen has introduced a pair of new watches that highlight their own next-gen space ventures. You might recall that Citizen launched a high end, GPS enabled watch in partnership with a Japanese startup called ispace last year. These new watches continue the partnership, specifically highlighting Citizen’s contribution to ispace’s Hakuto-R spacecraft, which uses the same Super Titanium technology in some of its components that Citizen uses in their premier titanium watches. The Hakuto-R program is a lunar exploration endeavor consisting of two missions, and there are two watches in this mini collection, one representing the dark side of the moon, the other the light. Both make the most of Citizen’s latest materials technology, feature modern GPS equipped or radio controlled calibers, and have some unexpected aesthetic quirks that you don’t typically see on watches in this genre. 

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The CC4016-75LE Limited Edition features prominent gold toned accents throughout the case and bracelet, and is meant to evoke the light side of the moon. The gold is Citizen’s Duratect MRK Gold coating, which according to Citizen provides a measure of surface hardening in addition to offering a modern two-tone aesthetic. The AT8185-71E Limited Edition is the literal flipside to the light side of the moon watch, and uses fully blacked out Super Titanium on the case and bracelet to represent the dark side of the moon. The gold tinged CC4016-75LE uses Citizen’s F950 Eco-Drive GPS Satellite Wave movement, which can receive a GPS signal in as little as 3 seconds to locate you and provide the correct time. Accuracy for this watch is rated to plus or minus 5 seconds per month (without the reception of a time signal) and it can run for up to an eye popping 5 years on a full solar charge. The AT8185-71E uses Cal. H800, which is controlled by a radio signal and has a power reserve of 10 months on a full charge.

Aesthetically, these are modern Citizen sports watches to the core, with brutish lines and chunky measurements (the Satellite Wave is 44.3mm wide and 15.4mm thick, and the Eco-Drive with radio control is 42mm wide and 10mm thick). But there are some surprising refinements. Notice the 6:00 sub register on each watch – that’s a mother of pearl inlay. In watchmaking, mother of pearl is most often used on watches targeted explicitly to women, so we’re pleasantly surprised to see it used in a nontraditional way in a watch like this. The caseback of the CC4016-75LE also features a detailed rendering of the Hakuto-R spacecraft that’s quite impressive, while the AT8185-71LE has a similarly detailed engraving of the mission’s logo. 

The CC4016-75LE is the more expensive and more limited of the two watches, coming in at $3,495, and being produced in a run of 1,200 pieces. It’s counterpart, the AT8185-71LE, retails for $2,295, and will be made in an edition of 1,600. More information can be found on Citizen’s website here.

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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