March 12, 2009
by Ariel Adams
It takes the right type of person to enjoy the Citizen Astrodea watch collection. Your typical watch lover or nerd might not get it. You might need to built-in celestial appreciation or a career in astronomy to get giddy about a star map on your wrist. I am not really any of these of these types, but I still find a lot of fascination in this watch. I am also not going to explain all the functions of the watches (as there are two main versions). One is a fancy star chart, while the other is one of the most comprehensive moon phase watches out there. Lets look at the celestial version first. Basically, the entire dial spins (slowly of course, in ‘real time’). Based on this movement you can tell a lot of things. These include what you can expect to see in the sky given the time of the year, including distances of stars and planet and astronomic occasions. Oh, and while there are many versions of the steel watches out there (such as blue or cream colored dials and some with gold plating), there are also northern and southern hemisphere versions of the dial apparently available. In a nutshell here is what you will see on an Astrodea Celestial watch:
I wonder how many Astrodea owners carry around the 10x magnifying glass (included) with them, you really need it to appreciate the ridiculous level of detail in this beautiful watch face. Something tells me that looking at the watch might be a bit profound each time to glance at your wrist. Citizen was so clever in making the hands thin, but stand out well when you are trying to tell the time. As you can imagine, this niche line of watches is rare outside of Japan, though its uniqueness has made it available online. Prices are about $500 for the various Citizen Astrodea watches.
The next step up is the Citizen Campanola versions of the Astrodea which are the Cosmosign watches (which according to the chart below actually were released before the current Astrodea line). This takes everything you love about the Astrodea watches and the quality of the Campanola line and puts them together. This is really the best of both worlds for me. You can see the impressive level of detail on the dial using all the Campanola charm. The blue star map rotating dial just looks so beautiful. Two versions are available in a round or tonneau shaped case. These models again are also very rare, but findable. These watches you can get for roughly double the price of the base Astrodea watch line. The chart below makes it a bit confusing as to when the Astrodea name actually came out. “Lighthouse” was apparently the name for Citizen celestial watches until recently. The newest Astrodea watches (you can get a glimpse of them in the chart at the bottom) that have a different case and bracelet design, but with what I think is the same face.
There you have it, about as much as I can muster up about the Astrodea collection without my mind going ‘orbital.’ It is really a fascinating collection as I previously expressed, but not a watch for everyone. Though if you are one of the people who is taken by this concept, you’ll know it immediately and have probably already decided that “one of these watches will be mine!”
Some images via the Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum (SCWF).
See Citizen Astrodea & Cosmosign watches on eBay here.See Celestial watches on Amazon here. [phpbay]astrodea | cosmosign | celestial, num, “14324”, “”[/phpbay]