Citizen's featured mainstream new watch collection for 2010 is this Eco-Drive World Time Perpetual AT line of timepieces. Based on a newly developed movement, the collection comes in a large range of styles, in various price brackets. From sporty to sleek, there is a World Perpetual AT watch for everyone. They are based on the new H144 Eco-Drive quartz movement that has a lot more features that it might suggest at first glance.
For me, this watch is about offering the functionality and feature set excepted in Citizen and other similar Japanese watches, but in a very classic, simple looking design. A major philosophy in Japanese tech watches like this is the "set it and forget it principle." Which is actually a bit different than the European ideal of constantly attending to your watch. Actually, I think the same philosophy exists in the respective cars made by the Japanese and the Europeans. After being initially set, and given the availability of light, the World Perpetual AT watch should pretty much always have power, accurate time, and the accurate date.
The watch has a perpetual calendar. When you set the time, you also set the month and the leap year. According to Citizen, given continuous operation of the watch, the calendar doesn't need to be set again until the year 2100. So you know that at least that calendar will be accurate aside from your other watches and ones around the house. In addition to the light power generation in the Eco-Drive movement, the watch receives signals from various atomic clock radio signals around the world. It syncs with these regularly to keep the time accurate. It even does this when you are traveling. In addition to the auto syncing you can manually sync the watch time. This is another great feature to have and gives you assurance that the time is most always correct. Even if the watch isn't able to sync with an available signal, the quartz movement is still quite accurate.
And then there is the world time function. You'll notice the list of reference cities around the dial. Those are used when selecting different timezones. On the fly, you can easily switch to any of the major timezones without losing accuracy on the watch. Citizen makes it pretty simple to adjust, thus allowing for a great traveler's companion, or timepiece for people who like to easily know the time in lots of other timezones. Remember, the trick here isn't just the functionality - that has been done. But rather the relatively svelte layout and simple dial.
The little "SMT" indicator on the dial is for turning on and off day light saving time by the way. The other area is part of the manual sync functions for the atomic clock synchronization. Otherwise the dials are pretty clean, and with the large hand and applied hour numerals (both coated with luminant) this is a very legible, sensible looking high-function timepiece!
While each version of the watch is a bit different, they are each in steel cases (some in gold tone), and about 43-44mm wide. Actually, there is one model in a titanium case. The cases are relatively thin, and thankfully all have sapphire crystals. Citizen has offered certain pieces in other countries with sapphire crystals that the US only saw mineral crystal versions of, but the World Perpetual AT watches all have sapphires crystals in the US. The images above show a lot of the range of styles, but not all of them. You can see the different case shapes and styles, along with the various metal bracelets. There are also leather straps available in most collections. In addition to the standard models, there are two limited edition World Perpetual AT watches available. Both in steel (one is gold tone), they come in limited editions of 2,500 pieces each, have really nice crocodile straps with deployment clasps, and come in nicer wood boxes.
The limited editions top out the range with a retail price of $650 -$675. The World Perpetual AT range starts at $399, and goes up in increments. Most steel models are about $500, while the titanium version is $650. I believe the World Time Perpetual watches should be out now, or very soon, and will be part of Citizen permanent collection for a while.