The Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Altichron Cirrus BN5048-01E
Long live Japan! The Citizen Promaster Altichron Cirrus
Japan is undergoing a (peaceful) revolution... A revolution of design... Admired for years (especially by those who like me are engineers...) for the insuperable quality of their products (a bit less for the emotions they convey), when the New York Auto Show opened in March 2013, I just wanted to jump out of my chair when I saw that one of the cult cars of all time, the epitome of technology and champion of numerous rallies, had skipped two generations in style going instantly from being a follower to absolutely leading the pack.
That’s the moment you understand that Japanese industry is in full revolutionary phase…a revolution of style. CITIZEN, born in Tokyo in 1924, has been marching along the road to success for a great number of years. As far as design and technology is concerned, it’s been making innovations for years. The Aqualand (HERE is our review), for example, was already very fashionable in the 80s and 90s. This was the divers’ watch (and the surfers’). The watch with a cool design. And it still is. But then they came up with Eco-Drive technology. In BaselWorld 2013, in their highly original and exciting stand, composed of fifty thousand suspended platens (must have taken an entire month to do…) the Japanese introduced their most recent concept watches, some of which were in limited edition:
One of their latest, and most successful, creations - the Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Altichron Cirrus Limited Edition BN5048-01E:
The Altichron name is not new to CITIZEN and it denotes a very specific collection of watches that became part of the Promaster family in 1989. Together with the Aqualand and Aerochron they represented the fist CITIZEN professional watches.
In fact it was the first professional watch used by mountain climbers and equipped with an electronic altimeter (from -300 to 5,000m)! In addition to a barometer and much more (in 1989…).
The Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Altichron Cirrus Limited Edition BN5048-01E of the 21st century no longer has a barometer but it does have an improved altimeter and many other functions, all modern and all analogue. It’s an altimeter from -300m to 10,000m, it’s a Compass, it has a Power Reserve, it can be used underwater to a depth of 200m and it has Eco-Drive movement. But although these are truly exceptional technical features what really sets it apart from all others is its innovative design:
It is completely analogue, with a multiple layer dial, the CITIZEN logo in anti-reflective sapphire crystal, a titanium case, measures 51.5mm in diameter and has a sensor placed at the 9 o’clock position.
If you look it in three quarters profile it gives you pleasant tri-dimensional effect and you get the impression that the hands for the hours and minutes, the altimeter and compass are floating in a vacuum.
A fantastic watch destined to become an icon: there’s nothing around to match it. The only drawback? The Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Altichron Cirrus Limited Edition BN5048-01E won’t be available until 2014. But if you just can’t wait, a normal version will be coming out this year with a more traditional design, still in titanium and with the same technical features. Congrats CITIZEN!
(Photo credit: Google; Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter - Watches & Luxury