Before we begin, let’s all wish Citizen a ‘Happy Birthday!’
More specifically, a very ‘Happy 100th Birthday!’ Yeah, the Japanese watchmaking giant is celebrating its centennial anniversary in 2018. So, how exactly does Citizen throw a birthday bash for itself? Simple, it does so by introducing what is, arguably, the most accurate quartz movement ever made.
Citizen’s Calibre 0100 Eco-Drive movement is accurate to, get this, +/- one second per YEAR. For those who are familiar with the brand’s products, this should come as no surprise. Citizen is one of the most innovative watchmakers out there when it comes to quartz technology as well as solar-powered movements. In 1975, Citizen unveiled the Crystron Mega – the world’s first quartz watch accurate to +/- 3 seconds per year.
Today, Citizen is more known for its Eco-Drive solar technology. How popular, you ask? In 2011, the company claimed that a total of 80% of its wristwatches produced feature Eco-Drive.
So, this Calibre 0100… tell me more.
You know by now that it is solar-powered and is accurate AF, but what exactly grants it that ability? For starters, the movement contains a AT cut quartz crystal oscillator as opposed to a regular tuning fork-shaped oscillator. Why an AT crystal? Two mains reasons – it is barely affected by temperature variations (-40°C to +125°C) and changes in spatial orientation. Changes in what orientation?
Basically, something as simple as wildly swinging your arm can affect can affect the precision of a quartz watch. This is because a tuning fork-shaped crystal vibrates quite a fair bit inside the movement to begin with whereas an AT cut crystal makes extremely tiny oscillations in comparison.
Moving on, most regular quartz movements operate at a rate of 32,768 Hz but in the case of the Calibre 0100, it runs at a frequency of 8,388,608 Hz (a full 256 times higher). It even trumps the aforementioned Crystron Mega – said model operated at 4,190,000 Hz. Also, the Calibre 0100 can run for up to half a year in total darkness on a full charge.
Aside from that, Citizen also buffed up the movement for durability. Employing its proprietary “shock counteraction function”, the movement is capable of locking the rotor before jump-starting the hands again after a shock. Additionally, the “automatic hand correction function” regularly checks the positioning of the hands and adjusts accordingly from deviations and shocks.
Very nice! How much?
Wow, slow down there! As cool as it is to have a synthetic sapphire crystal-cased pocket watch with a diamond-like carbon (DLC)-coated movement on display, this prototype is NOT for sale. The whole pocket watch concept is a nice nod to the brand’s first pocket timepiece that debuted in 1924.
With that said, Citizen has said that the Calibre 0100 movement will feature in production Eco-Drive models that will debut in 2019. A watch with a solar-powered quartz movement that’s crazy accurate and is fully autonomous (read non-GPS connected)? I’ll be the first in line for sure. What about you? Would you spend your hard-earned cash for a movement of this calibre (pun intended)?