New Release: The Citizen Caliber 0200
Today is a reason to celebrate because Citizen is finally bringing us a high-end mechanical movement. As we’ll see, it will come at a price, but it’s a step in the right direction. Let’s take a look at The Citizen Caliber 0200.
If you’re accustomed to reading Fratello, you know that we’re fans of Citizen. Vintage Citizen is my current passion and I’m doing my utmost to pile them up like cordwood. Regarding modern Citizen watches, color us intrigued. Gerard went diving with one not too long ago and I truly enjoy my Promaster Tough. The thing is, though, Citizen has put most of its eggs in the Eco-Drive basket. There’s nothing wrong with this because Eco-Drive is about as bulletproof as it gets. However, us mechanical geeks have largely been left wanting. All that changes now with The Citizen Caliber 0200.
The Citizen Caliber 0200
I suppose it’s worth repeating that Citizen owns several brands that might surprise you. Along with Miyota, the giant controls Bulova, Alpina, Frederique Constant, Arnold & Son, and movement maker La Joux-Perret. The last name has some real significance with The Citizen Caliber 0200 because Citizen is calling this movement a collaboration between itself and its subsidiary.
The result of the work between Japan and Switzerland is The Citizen Caliber 0200. Just to be clear, the watch is called “The Citizen,” which makes things a touch confusing, but we take that to mean that this is the ultimate expression from the brand. Regarding the movement, it is made in Japan, but La Joux-Perret provided know-how related to finishing.
The first new mechanical movement since 2010
The Citizen Caliber 0200 and its automatic movement boast some interesting specifications. It uses a free-sprung balance wheel to aid in shock resistance all while running at 28,800vph. Citizen provides a certificate of compliance stating that the movements achieve better than COSC performance with daily accuracy of -3 to +5 seconds per day. This certificate is only achieved after 17 days of testing at in various positions and temperatures. The movement has 60 hours of power reserve and can be seen via a display case back.
Some retro Citizen touches
When we move on to the “The Citizen” Caliber 0200 watch itself, I’d say that it looks very much like a Citizen indeed. In fact, my first thoughts were of ‘70s automatic chronographs from the brand with their slightly angular case designs. At 40mm in diameter and with a welcome thickness of 10.9mm, this 50-meter water-resistant watch should prove to be an excellent all-arounder. We don’t know much about the bracelet clasp, so that will be an important factor.
A new dial style and a small seconds sub dial
The Citizen Caliber 0200 has an interesting black dial finish. It looks a lot like the crackle coating my Dad applied to the head on his old Alfa. Citizen, on the other hand, likens it to rippling sand. Aside from the mirror-polished hands and indices, there are a couple of other standout features. Firstly, this watch employs a sub-seconds dial. That’s an interesting move and not as sporty or simplistic as, say, Grand Seiko designs. I think that’s ok, though, and differentiates things a bit.
Second, we see the Eagle logo below 12:00 and on the crown. Keen fans of the brand will recall this design from the ‘60s such as the Chrono Master model above. That logo was only used on the best of the best from the brand, so it makes sense that it returns here.
Final thoughts and pricing
The Citizen Caliber 0200 won’t arrive until Autumn during this year, but that will give potential buyers time to save up some funds. They’ll need to because this watch will retail for $6,000 (we don’t have the Euro price yet, but you now know the ballpark). That’s fairly heady, but if Grand Seiko can charge these prices, then I suppose that Citizen has every right to try. I’d probably recommend a renaming strategy though and possibly bringing back the old “Chrono Master” nomenclature. “The Citizen” just strikes me as confusing if you’re trying to explain that you just bought the Citizen The Citizen! Do I think that this watch has enough going for it visually to be successful? I definitely think that it’s attractive and I’m guessing that the finishing will be something special. Is this for everyone? Absolutely not, but I think it’s a great “re” start for Citizen when it comes to bringing back higher-end mechanical watchmaking.
For more information, visit the dedicated The Citizen Caliber 0200 site.