The first ever titanium watch was a Citizen watch
The 1970 Citizen X8 Chronometer
Did you know which brand made the first titanium watch ever? If we take a look at today's offering, we might readily affirm the first ever to craft a titanium watch were the Swiss, but it is not instead. The award goes to a Japanese brand, Citizen, that launched, in 1970, the Citizen X8 Titanium Chronometer. First, the Citizen X8 established a record, by being the first Japanese electronic watch ever; Citizen created then the first watch ever to adopt a solid case made entirely of titanium. The alloy patented by Citizen, the SuperTitanium ™ is, therefore, the natural evolution of the brand's pioneering spirit. It was the Apollo missions project, according to sources from Citizen, that helped the brand discover the potential of titanium for commercial use. The Japanese brand soon began applying titanium to watchmaking, given its unique properties: it is light, hypoallergenic and resistant to rust despite being hard to work and standardize (which is why the price of a titanium watch is usually higher than that of a steel's).
The Citizen X8 Titanium Chronometer was also certified as a Chronometer, according to the Japanese chronometry organization and powered by the second edition of the family of electro-mechanical calibers Citizen launched when it first introduced the X8 collection a few years before. There is no confirmation about how many pieces Citizen ever produced; the Citizen X8 Titanium Chronometer is no doubt a milestone in watchmaking. It's hard to find one today that is in good working conditions, and is highly sought-after by collectors. Japanese brands set another breaking record among titanium made watches, but the award goes to a different Japanese brand, Seiko. Seiko introduced the first-ever professional diver's watch in titanium: the Seiko Professional Diver's 600m. As I claimed years ago in one of my early posts regarding Japanese watchmakers: long live Japan!
(Photo credit: sweep-hand.org, Citizen watch)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®