Earlier this year, on March 10th, Citizen announced that it would be releasing the Citizen Eco-Drive Riiiver watch in Fall. With more details now available, and the release date coming ever closer, we thought we’d take a look at what we can expect from this handsome hybrid that offers a customizable set of functions designed to personalize the user experience.
Firstly, the name: Riiiver is an open-source IoT platform service, through which the watch can connect to various devices and services. Exactly what you choose to use Riiiver for seems pretty expansive, but the most popular examples offered by the company in this pre-release phase are being able to summon a taxi to your current location with the simple push of a button, or to have your watch hands literally point you in the direction of the nearest coffee shop.
So how does it work? Riiiver’s aim is to “expand experiences with time, by connecting people, devices, and services.” The software enables the user to set up an “iiidea,” which is a pre-conceived action that can interact and connect with various devices and services. An iiidea is user-defined and can fall under one of three categories: trigger, service, or action. A trigger is an action commenced by pressing a button on the watch (the taxi example falls under this category); a service would encompass finding a nearby cafe or searching for music; an action is something like shuffling your playlist on your connected device or pointing the hands of a watch to a specific time.
The open-source nature of Riiiver means it will constantly develop and evolve, with the watch’s functionality expanding over time. At the very least, the Citizen Eco-Drive Riiiver watch is a handsome, playfully styled watch that is incredibly low-maintenance thanks to it not needing to be charged as many smart or hybrid watches do. The Eco-Drive technology uses an amorphous silicon photocell located behind the dial to charge the watch when exposed to (any kind of) light.
The colors used in this release have led to the watch being referred to as a “programmer’s watch” by the in-house design team — the bright primary colors (and green) are typical of computer code. The result is a watch that looks fun, futuristic, and a little bit like an Alain Silberstein homage (which is never really a bad thing). My personal favorite is the stainless steel model with green, yellow, and red hands (ref. BZ7007-61E).
One of the cleverest (and coolest) aspects of this design is the hands. Although they are very clearly distinguishable as an hour and a minute hand, they are actually exactly the same size, with their active size dictated by the brightly colored detailing. Being the same size makes their secondary functionality when interacting with Riiiver all the neater and clearer.
Citizen has poured more than a century of watchmaking experience into this piece and come up with something that is not only very cool to look at, and built with top quality materials, but also one of the most connective hybrids on the market. The stainless steel case and band are available in both bare metal and blackened finished. The case measures 43.2mm by 12.6mm and is topped by an anti-reflective sapphire crystal for absolute clarity. Its robust construction guarantees 100 meters water resistance. The watch is powered by the Eco-Drive caliber W150, which is accurate to ± 15 seconds per month. The movement is able to run for seven months on a full charge (about 1.5 years when in power-save mode). The Citizen Eco-Drive Riiiver watch is able to connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth, as well as third-party devices and services via Riiiver. Citizen is aiming to release the Citizen Eco-Drive Riiiver watch in Fall 2019, and it will carry a (projected retail) price of $450 plus tax. To keep on top of developments and register your interest in being notified of the release date, go to citizenwatch-global.com.