May 23, 2014
by Ariel Adams
Do you remember the “new” Citizen Promaster Altichron watch that we presented last year? aBlogtoWatch went hands-on with the surprising 2013 Altichron re-release watch last year, which was a modern take on a classic multi-sensor watch that originally came out in 1989. If you thought the 2013 Altichron was interesting then the 2014 Citizen Promaster Altichron Cirrus ref. BN5048-01E is going to blow you away. If you feel that these types of high-end Japanese quartz watches are just plain weird, then at least check out what you are missing.
As far as we can tell, what makes the 2013 Citizen Promaster Altichron and the 2014 Citizen Promaster Altichron Cirrus models different is the case and dial. I posted our video from last year below which shows you how it works. The movement appears to be the same Citizen Eco-Drive caliber J290 (aka J29) quartz movement in both watches. What is it? Well, it is a light-powered all-analog movement that has the time, compass, altimeter, power reserve indicator, and date.
True, the Citizen Altichron collection does not have as many features as other multi-sensor watches, such as Casio’s famed Pro Trek collection, but the idea here is more about design and making it entirely analog. Citizen knows that when you add too many features to an analog dial things get horrendously confusing very quickly, so it wanted to keep things (relatively) simple, yet visually intriguing on the Altichron Cirrus.
The price difference between the “new” Citizen Altichron and this limited edition Citizen Altichron Cirrus is not insubstantial. Having said that, the Cirrus is a much more interesting timepiece in regard to design and materials. While the 2013 model is no slouch, the Citizen Altichron Cirrus looks like a sci-fi movie prop that you can actually buy and wear. This watch seems to have been born in an Anime future world and is just the type of timepiece you want if you enjoy the fantasy element of high-end timepieces.
First of all, the Citizen Promaster Altichron Cirrus is a large watch. The case is 51.5mm wide but it wears a bit smaller thanks to the lugless design and tapering strap. It is also rather light given that the case is in titanium–which the Altichron from last year was not. I would argue that the Citizen Promaster Altichron Cirrus case is much more attractive than the previous Citizen Promaster Altichron model, given its graceful, swoopy curves and smooth surfaces. It looks very much like what a modern high-end watch should, and it has materials to match. An interesting part of the case is the “Chroma” finishing on the titanium as well as the opalescent white parts of the lower case.