January 30, 2008
by Ariel Adams
The Japanese market gets so much we don’t. Good thing that there are still channels for the US to get most of the goods, even if the instructions aren’t in English. The Citizen Chronomaster is a watch that would never be marketed in the US because the consumer interest would not match the costs of distribution. The Citizen Chronomaster is a type of watch that only the wearer will be able to appreciate because its value is all hidden. Seeing the Chronomaster doesn’t evoke much. It is a classic and attractive watch with no frills. You would feel perfectly comfortable wearing it to a meeting, to a wedding, or on vacation. No one is going to ask you questions about where you got it. No, this is not a showy timepiece. Instead, the Chronomaster is about being a watch that is supremely easy to live with, and that is the whole point.
The major selling point of the Citizen Chronomaster series is the movement. An extremely accurate quartz movement that is accurate to within 5 seconds a year! For those of you who do not know, this is about 15 times more accurate than a traditional quartz, and worlds more accurate than a mechanical movement. A certified Chronometer (COSC) mechanical movement is usually accurate to about 6 seconds a day (up to about 12 seconds). So compare these; Citizen Chronomaster high-end quartz accurate to within 5 seconds a year, or certified Chronometer accurate to withing 6-10 seconds a day. By no means should you love mechanical movements any less, but you cannot argue with the accuracy of a high-end quartz movement. The next step up would be a radio controlled watch that receives signals from the nearest atomic clock. You need to be in range, and this only works in the US, Japan, and parts of Europe. The Citizen Chronomaster is more self reliant and features a more sophisticated movement.
The accuracy of the Citizen Chronomaster is not the only admirable feature. Depending on the model, you can get a very nice case and bracelet that looks like steel, but is actually white ion-plated titanium, with an 18k gold bezel as pictured above. The effect is an understand watch with gold trim that is light and very durable. No one would know this fact save for the person wearing the watch. For this reason some people love or hate the Citizen Chronomaster. From afar it might appear to be just any ordinary watch, but for the esteemed wearer of the watch, it is a solidly reliable timepiece with a sophisticated movement and high grade materials.
Citizen continues to sweeten the deal by giving the Chronomaster an unheard of (in the watch world) 10 year limited warranty on the watch and guarantees that parts for the watch will be available for the life of the watch. It is unclear how this warranty transfers to US customers, but the point is clear that Citizen is confident in its product and the Chronomaster line. A great addition to a collection or as your only watch, the Citizen Chronomaster is worth looking at for one to two thousand dollars.
See Citizen Chronomaster watches on eBay here.