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Many of us know Citizen for their innovative and extremely precise solar-powered quartz movements prominently found across various collections. However, when it comes to traditional watchmaking, Citizen delivers mechanical counterparts that are equally as impressive, producing timepieces boasting an incredibly high level of quality craftsmanship, mechanical performance and design excellence.
This time, it looks like Citizen has crafted a watch that seemingly has it all, a splendid new release that could very well be a cult-favorite. Citizen gave birth to a real gem in the universe of Japanese domestic model (JDM) watches, in terms of specifications and overall appearance, the comparison to the legendary Seiko SARB and SARX line up is inevitable. Striking a perfect balance between being a dress watch and a sporty everyday piece, the dimensions, design and execution here is seriously impressive.
|Citizen Automatic Black Ref. NB1050-59E
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.
Housed in a 316L stainless steel case, the Citizen Automatic Black Ref. NB1050-59E presents itself with marvellous dimensions many would greatly appreciate, especially those with small to medium sized wrists. Measuring with a case diameter of 38mm, a slim case height of only 10.5mm and a lug to lug distance of 47mm, the elegant size allows for an extremely comfortable fit on the wrist. While not exactly being the most dressiest watch in the world, the 38mm size, along with the gentle curves of the case, portrays an identity of a modern dress watch that looks fantastic with a suit yet flaunting a sporty ethos when accompanied with its 19mm stainless steel bracelet. The brushed 3-link style bracelet feels substantially well-made with solid end links and a Citizen-signed push button deployant clasp.
The case finishes on the Citizen Automatic Black Ref. NB1050-59E is executed to a remarkably high level of quality with fine brushing at the top of the lugs and the side of the case, Citizen’s first-class Japanese craftsmanship is certainly displayed here. The mirror-like polishing done on the bezel and the glorious chamfered edge is where the case really shines, brilliantly gleaming under the light. Citizen took one step further to treat this amazing case with their proprietary Duratect Platinum surface-hardening technology to achieve an superior level of hardness that protects the shine of the exquisite finishes, holding its attractive shine.
Underneath the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal (treated with anti-reflective coating), the deep black dial of the Citizen Automatic Black Ref. NB1050-59E finds beauty in a simple, minimalist design that looks exceedingly refined with its tastefully applied hour indices and Citizen logo. The faceted baton hands are well-proportioned, with the minute hand reaching all the way out to the printed minute track. Overall, the dial maintains good symmetry with the date window situated at the 3 o’clock position. Despite being a piece of dressier nature, Citizen’s proprietary luminous compound is treated generously on the hands and hour indices for a strong blue glow in the dark.
Citizen’s proprietary luminous glow in the dark
The Citizen Automatic Black Ref. NB1050-59E is driven by the in-house Citizen caliber 9011 automatic movement, a performance-driven 24 jewel caliber developed by Citizen that runs at a 4 Hz rate of 28,800 beats per hour (BPH) and features a healthy 42 hours of power reserve. Revealed through the screw-in exhibition display case back, it is truly delightful to see the movement, in all its glory, beautifully decorated with a semi-skeletonized rotor and additional Côtes de Genève finishes. While the watch does not sport a screw-down crown, it is equipped with a capable 100 meters of water resistance, handling accidental splashes without a problem.
In recent years, we have seen numerous promising releases from Citizen that showcased their impeccable watchmaking proficiency with the development of new calibers and posh high-end offerings that definitely impressed the world. The introduction of the Citizen Automatic Black Ref. NB1050-59E is a game changer for the brand, filling a void between the lower and higher end of their spectrum of their catalogue as a watch that is decked out with all the right bells and whistles. Of course, value is the word that undeniably comes to mind for most audiences when Citizen is mentioned, this latest introduction offers great value as an all-rounder package with capable specifications, stunning finishing, seemingly perfect dimensions and a mighty in-house movement to top it all off.