The Citizen Iconic Nature Blue - Ltd Ed 250pcs Ref. AQ4100-14L
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Coming from a brand that focuses almost completely on quartz movements, Citizen has perfected their proprietary Eco-Drive technology to develop a prodigious timepiece that pushed the boundaries of watchmaking. It is a well known fact that the Japanese often keep the best of their products for themselves. Being one of Citizen’s finest offerings intended for their home market, or better known as the Japanese domestic market (JDM), this is a true hidden gem for the zealous watch collector.
To many die-hard mechanical watch enthusiasts in the watch community, quartz watches are often an afterthought, or rather a category of watches that are deemed undeserving of serious attention. However, this is no ordinary quartz watch. The Japanese have grown to be masters at producing incredibly precise quartz watches ever since the advent of this revolutionizing technology. After all, let’s not forget what brought the Swiss down to their knees during the early 70s to the late 80s.
Citizen 'The Citizen' Iconic Nature Blue - Ltd Ed 250pcs Ref. AQ4100-14L
As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of movements and watches for over 100 years, Citizen is a venerable Japanese watch brand that holds a rich history of traditional watchmaking, advanced horological innovations and quality craftsmanship. In 1976, Citizen created the world’s first ever light-powered analogue quartz watch that captures light and converts it using an inbuilt solar cell. This marvellous invention known as the “Eco-Drive” established Citizen as an early pioneer in advocating for the environment, as well as being a significant stepping stone that shaped the brand’s future.
Although Citizen is widely recognized for their well-built and affordable timepieces, Citizen’s ‘The Citizen’ collection steps into a top-tier, premium segment of the brand, offering one of the highest levels of refinement in its case finishes and performance that inevitably rivals the likes of Grand Seiko. The latest high-end Citizen model falls under a new collection called The Citizen Iconic Nature Collection. It consist of watches with lightweight titanium that feature dials made of translucent Japanese paper dyed in natural colours.
Iridescent sunburst blue
Looking at the case alone, the proprietary Super Titanium of The Citizen Iconic Nature Blue Ref. AQ4100-14L boasts a brilliant ‘Zaratsu’ polishing throughout the sides of the case to the highly-polished bezel, this technique of polishing results in a flawless mirror-like finish for a beautiful shimmer under the light. Accompanied with a gorgeously polished bevelled edge and fine satin brushing above the lugs. What’s more, is the sporty touch to the lugs being angled for a more striking aesthetic. The watch is a true work of art which displays a remarkable level of refinement. To protect the exquisite finishes, Citizen treated the case with their proprietary Duratect surface-hardening treatment to keep it looking as fresh as day one, preserving the beautiful finishing found on the case’s facets.
The elegant case finishes are complemented perfectly with its charming case dimensions, measuring with a classy diameter of 38.3mm and a case thickness of only 12.2mm. On the wrist, the Citizen ‘The Citizen’ Iconic Nature Blue Ref. AQ4100-14L looks outstandingly refined and full of glamour. Paired with this magnificent piece, the 19mm blue alligator carries an understated yet classy feel that blends harmoniously with the glistening case. Fitted with a push-button deployant clasp, the Citizen-signed buckle confidently secures the watch firmly on the wrist, completing the piece with a whole lot of lavishness.
A natural texture of "Tosa Washi" material dial
The lustrous blue dial of the Citizen The Citizen Iconic Nature Blue Ref. AQ4100-14L uncovers a journey of finer details in the art of delicate Japanese watchmaking. Reflecting the world’s nature where the calm sea, the clear summer sky, and the white clouds that feel the vitality are united. It presents a natural texture of "Tosa Washi" material, otherwise known as the traditional rice paper, and is executed in a two-piece construction.
The first top layer is a transparent disc withholding the applied logo and hour markers, and right underneath belies the traditional Washi material which Japanese tend to use it for their lanterns, allowing diffusion of lights. The gradation of the upper disc creates a world of shades of blue in which summery splendidly captures the summer vibe where the sun shines vividly on the, ocean surface. The distinct texture of Washi material has an additional function too, where the translucent paper allows light to pass through it, in order to reach the solar panels beneath that charge up the battery within.
Nifty case finishing and polish
Zooming in closer, the faceted hour indices and dauphine hands are superbly finished through a long and meticulous process, achieving a sharp and ultra-clean mirror polish on each and every edge. At the 6 o’clock position sits the distinguished Citizen eagle emblem, a proud mark of craftsmanship reserved only for Citizen’s very best timepieces.
For such a magnificent dial, one certainly deserves the absolute clearest view possible. The dual spherical scratch-resistant sapphire dial is coated with Citizen’s proprietary ‘Clarity Coating’ anti-reflective treatment, suppressing reflections by accomplishing 99% light transmission. Even in bright sunlight, it is almost like the glass simply disappears.
Screw-down caseback with emblem engraved
The date complication at the 3 o’clock position is another key highlight of the watch. The crown, signed with Citizen’s eagle emblem, enables a quick-set date functionality, advancing the date forward and backwards with ease, a neat feature especially for frequent travellers. In conjunction, the cavity above the crown allows for an automatic date correction function when depressed with a needle, snapping the date accurately in place as a functioning perpetual calendar that adjusts for monthly and leap-year deviations up to February 28 in the year 2100.
At the heart of the watch, The Citizen Iconic Nature Blue Ref. AQ4100-14L is driven by a in-house calibre A060 high accuracy quartz (HAQ) movement, a true masterpiece of architecture that realized the peak of Eco-Drive technology. The movement is rated by Citizen to have an accuracy of an astonishing +/- 5 seconds a year, satisfyingly aligned to every second marker on the dial as the second hand ticks into place. Being a movement fueled by natural and even artificial sources of light, no periodical battery replacement is required. Held in the case with a screw-in caseback signed with Citizen’s prestigious eagle crest, the watch is water resistant to 100m, handling light water splashes effortlessly.
Blue alligator carries an understated yet classy feel
Limited to 250 pieces, The Citizen “The Citizen” Iconic Nature Blue Ref. AQ4100-14L is a watchmaking marvel that not only display their dial-works, and also exuding high quality craftsmanship in every single one of its components, reflecting on over 100 years of fine watchmaking expertise from the respected Japanese watch manufacturer. It’s all in the details, the combination of precision timekeeping and a beautifully finished case, this is physical proof that quartz watches really do have a ‘soul’, standing neck to neck even with its mechanical counterparts.
± 5 seconds / year
Textured blue with applied indexes
Dual spherical sapphire glass
Blue crocodile leather
38.3mm in diameter, 45.5mm lug to lug, 12.2mm thick.