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Citizen presented us with some really impressive offerings in recent years, splendidly demonstrating the brand’s incredible mastery in the art of Japanese watchmaking, especially with the development of their latest in-house Cal. 0200 automatic movement earlier which took the watch world by storm. It was no doubt, one of Citizen’s most stunning creations yet, however, these pieces belonged to Citizen’s highest-tier segment which were associated with relatively hefty price tags. Closing the gap between Citizen’s entry-level models and their most premium offerings, Citizen unveiled their latest Series 8 collection based on their Japan-only release seen back in 2008, a truly value-packed series of sporty automatic watches boasting an especially sleek case design and a respectable mechanical performance. Today, the collection gets a modern GMT treatment unlike any others.
|Citizen Series 8 880 Mechanical GMT Black/Blue Ref. NB6031-56E
As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of movements and watches for over 100 years, Citizen is a venerable Japanese watch brand that holds a rich history of traditional watchmaking, advanced horological innovations and quality craftsmanship. In 1976, Citizen created the world’s first ever light-powered analogue quartz watch that captures light and converts it using an inbuilt solar cell. This marvellous invention known as the “Eco-Drive” established Citizen as an early pioneer in advocating for the environment, as well as being a significant stepping stone that shaped the brand’s future. Nevertheless, the prestigious Japanese watchmaking brand produces all of their components and movements entirely in-house in Japan, while offering them at a relatively modest price segment, a true feat to behold.
Citizen described the Series 8 collection as ‘redefining the power of a sports watch with infinite possibilities’, a nod to the figure 8 on its side as a symbol of infinity. The Citizen Series 8 880 Mechanical GMT Black/Blue Ref.NB6031-56E explores this expression with a beautifully sized 41mm stainless steel case crafted with sharp and defined lines, evoking a delightful sense of sophistication. Measuring with a lug to lug distance of 49mm and a thickness of merely 13.5mm, you can expect it to wear exceptionally well on the wrist while holding a strong elegant character as a result of a slim case profile.
Further emphasizing on Citizen’s impeccable watchmaking capabilities and fine attention to detail, the GMT case receives a predominantly hairline brushed finish on the case, embellished with a highly-polished finish on the bevelled lugsto complete the sporty look. Driving a luxurious touch to the overall design, the high level of fit and finish follows through to the slim H-link bracelet, which carries a gracefully brushed finish. Considering the fluid nature of the bracelet, each individual link smoothly articulates to hug the wrist extremely well as it captures the light in different angles.
For the first time, the case comes with a bi-directional 24-hour bezel in black and blue tones that brings to mind of the “Batman” colourway. The bezel has grooves that allows wearer to easily rotate in both direction on the go, allowing one to track multiple timezone.
The Citizen Series 8 GMT finds beauty in simplicity with a textured black dial with pattern, inspired by the Tokyo skyline and the windows of its skyscrapers. Each individual element of the dial is executed skilfully with a set of faceted luminous-filled hands and applied baton hour markers. Having a date complication, presented in a metal framed window, at the 3 o’clock position keeps the dial uniform throughout, resulting in a dial that is really pleasant to look at. A piece of impact and shatter resistant sapphire glass rests above the dial, keeping it crystal clear with a coat of anti-reflecting treatment.
Citizen’s proprietary luminous glow in the dark
Under the hood, the Citizen Series 8 GMT is powered by Citizen’s in-house Cal. 9054 automatic movement, a true GMT performance powerhouse from the 90-series of movements, launched in conjunction with the Series 8 line up. Astonishingly, the 24 jewel movement features a boosted magnetic resistance as a result of the movement’s hairspring and escapement components being fabricated from non-metallic alloys, allowing the movement to be capable of maintaining performance even when placed 1 centimeter away from a device emitting a magnetic field of 16,000 A/m.
Operating with a frequency of 28,800 beats per hour (BPH), the movement clads a true GMT function, where it allows the wearer to adjust the hour hand on the go. All of that while packing in a power reserve of approx. 50 hours when fully wound. Encased underneath a screw-down open case back, the watch has an effective water resistance rating of 100m, handling accidental splashes in daily use with ease. Overall, the Citizen Series 8 GMT is a very well-equipped and robust travel watch with value proposition. It shows off a clean but exceedingly refined design that's so easy to fall in love with. Citizen has impressed us once again, delivering a well-specced modern traveller’s timepiece that will easily fit right into any collection.