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... Citizen's recent purchase of Swiss movement maker La Joux Perret (Just Watching with James Dowling)
Thanks for posting that. It all adds up to exciting future developments in "Swiss" watchmaking. Aside the obvious competition in movement manufacturing it can only bode well to case and dial design which the Japanese have yet to master.

I see clear comparison in this to the success of the Japanese into the US auto industry. They literally took decades to accomplish it.

The 9015 appears to Citizen as the Corolla is to Toyota.
 

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Cool but they are heading into a heated battlefield with Seiko already well positioned.
 
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At least within the Omega sphere of things, I haven't seen any improvement with SI-14. That might be Omega not taking full advantage of them, but from the data I've seen, silicon is quite sensitive to temperature. It's a complex subject, but I don't think we can write off the benefits of conventional hairsprings yet (some companies, like Rolex and UN had access to them and stopped using them or just chose not to begin with. Rolex claimed it was because they couldn't make a Breguet overcoil, but those existed when they claimed that, although they weren't in production until another 2 years...so it seems like that couldn't be the main reason). At any rate, it's apparent from Japanese movement design that they just don't like stuff like that. Each company finds a single approach to a problem, refines it endlessly, and that's all they will use for decades at a time. I can't imagine the sort of epic battle that ensued when the Grand Seiko guys decided to switch from the magic lever on the 9S6X and 9S8X. I'm betting their are heads on pikes or something outside Morioka to this day because of that.
Thanks for the very informative response. It got me digging into Si hair springs a little deeper. Turns out Rolex is still thinking about them (see 2010 patent- http://www.minus4plus6.com/pdf/RolexPatents/pat20100027382-siliconhairspring.pdf
) Various methods have been used to eliminate the temperature dependence of Si. However, it's been reported that a free sprung balance is necessary (why wasn't discussed).

In any case you're right- The Citizen movement is not intended to be a cutting edge chronometer movement. I personally think that's a mistake because I believe that it is now technologically feasible to do so without a dramatic increase in manufacturing cost. Damasko was able to do it and while their chrono grade movements are expensive, they're only producing a few hundred per year, not the hundreds of thousands that Citizen is likely going to produce.





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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Thanks for posting that. It all adds up to exciting future developments in "Swiss" watchmaking. Aside the obvious competition in movement manufacturing it can only bode well to case and dial design which the Japanese have yet to master.

I see clear comparison in this to the success of the Japanese into the US auto industry. They literally took decades to accomplish it.

The 9015 appears to Citizen as the Corolla is to Toyota.
The success of the Japanese auto industry has lagged behind Seiko and Citizen, which dominated the world quite some time ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
For all we know it's internally chronometer grade...I've noticed that Seiko hugely underrates their watches, and the reports about this Miyota have been very positive. We'll just have to see when the data points roll in. I'm sure the 90XX movements isn't where Miyota/Citizen is going to stop...actually it's already a series of movements. At the moment, these couldn't be COSC certified even Miyota wanted them to be because the COSC banned Japanese people from qualifying at its inception. So not until manufacturing is sent over, in some degree, to one of their new subsidiaries could they get certified. That might mean they're waiting for that moment to build a chronometer grade, or maybe it just means they're not adjusting the ones they have to those specifications until they can advertise it...it's unclear right now. I think I read somewhere that these are four position adjusted, but I'm not sure if that's true.

Here are two existing variants of the movement as of today, and maybe more I don't know about. I'm not sure if the changes are just for complications or if there are any internal modification:





I'm just guessing the latter one is just a slightly more decorated version.

Really like the complicated one...reminds me a bit of the Maurice Lacroix Double Retrograde or the Longines Master Retrograde. Fewer retrograde complications, but still, that super complex dial. I wonder if that 24 hour hand is independent...I do notice that pusher up there, which might advance the hour (or maybe the date?).
 

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The success of the Japanese auto industry has lagged behind Seiko and Citizen, which dominated the world quite some time ago.
We may be speaking at odds. I see the introduction of the 9015 as a positive and I'm glad to learn about it from your post.
 

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The success of the Japanese auto industry has lagged behind Seiko and Citizen, which dominated the world quite some time ago.

Perhaps then it's better to view this as the watch equivalent of Acura or Lexus? As you pointed out, the entry-level watch field has already been taken over by Seiko/Citizen quartz and entry level automatics, and we're now seeing them try to take on the higher-margin, value-added field with the 9015.
 

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The Toyota 1ZZ-FE 1.8L straight four was no slouch. Lotus used it in the Series 2 Elise. It came straight from the Corolla.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
It could be argued that Lexus is imitating Grand Seiko, which was created in 1960 (as opposed to 1989 for the car company) but the high end is not something new to the Japanese. Seiko has long established itself as one of the top watchmakers in the world, and by 1969, it was arguably the most important high end watch company there was, introducing the first automatic chronograph, the first quartz wristwatch, and the most accurate production mechanical watch in the entire world. While Seiko was an extremely important watch company in the decades prior, I think we can look at 1969 as the year that Seiko began to take over the world and never stopped.

It's unclear to me what position Citizen itself held back then, although I get the impression it was middle of the road, pretty much the position it occupies today.

It's also important to note that a $1000 watch is not something novel for Citizen either. Citizen has been making $5000 Campanolas for quite some time now, and the Signature collection has existed for a few years and almost all the watches are in that price range ($700-$1000ish). The only things really novel about this watch is that it's mechanical, which is unusual for higher-end Citizens, and that the movement will probably be the main movement used by Swiss brands in a number of years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
I'm really glad you brought up the 0910 because it may reveal Citizen's plans for a higher end Miyota 9015 if they decide to make multiple grades.

Just getting some nomenclature issues out of the way, "The Citizen" is a quartz watch powered by the famous A660 and is not mechanical. But it looks like Citizen is calling this NA0000 "The Citizen Automatic," so that's going to be...really confusing.

Another small issue of potential confusion. The one linked to is not older than the Signature line. It's a 2010 release and the Signature Collection is from 2009. Now, the specific Citizen Signature we're talking about, the automatic, is a very recent release, so it would predate that. I believe, however, that Citizen was selling JDM models with the 9015 for awhile too. I think the 9015 was launched as JDM in 2010.

Don't get me wrong. It's a very cool watch. There's a reason I chose not to write about it though:

First, the price is...well, quite high. It's about $4000 MSRP (looks like it's got a pretty ordinary discount...$3200 from Seiya). That's within spitting distance of the SBGR051 ($4400--3600 from Seiya). But when you compare the movements...there's really nothing left to the story. The Citizen you're talking about, the NA0000, has a -5 to +10 rating, where the similarly priced and styled 9S65 has a +5/-3, and the NA0000's 0910 (note, this isn't the Miyota movement in the thread or used in the Signature the thread is about), is rated for a rather pedestrian 42 hours compared to Seiko's 3 days. On top of all that, they simply don't have the credibility Grand Seiko does...or, put another way...unless you get a crazy discount (prices based on Citizen's official webpage, linked above), I can imagine no reason not to spend ever so slightly more for the GS. So, in my opinion, it's just a lot less noteworthy than the Signature Auto.

Second, this uses the 0910. I have no doubt that this shares some parts with the Miyota 9015, but it's not the movement I'm talking about. Actually, this Miyota 9015 (and variations) is a couple years old itself, but this is the first time it coincided with a watch I wanted to buy, and it came at a time that Citizen's plans in Switzerland were become ever more obvious, so I wanted to explore the future I think exists for the Miyota 9015.

But it's an important watch and I'm glad you brought it up because it may reveal what changes Citizen might make to the 9015 if it plans to make a "top grade."



 

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Citizen is moving into many markets. Right around Basel it was announced they purchased movement maker La Joux-Perret Prototec SA and Arnold and Son watches.

http://www.thedeal.com/content/consumer-retail/japans-citizen-makes-time-for-prothor-purchase.php

So Citizen high end Swiss watches may be in the near future?
 
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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Well, as Admira points out, they're already making one high end automatic, the one above. Granted, I think it's overpriced, but hey, that's me. Of course, Citizen has been making high end watches (quartz) for a long time so that's nothing new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
I'm not an expert on Miyota calibres, but I believe the 4166 is an evolution of an older line of movements. It's a pretty primitive movement, more or less in line with the 7S26 in terms of features. It does handwind (I believe all Miyota calibres handwind, actually), but does not hack. Additionally, and the reason I didn't buy one, is that the 24 hour subdial is fixed so it cannot read a second time zone...it is an AM/PM indicator, but the way they did it makes it look to me like a make believe dual time zone watch. Also, unlike the new generation of Miyota calibres, this is a low beat movement.

So, as far as I know, there's not much to write home about, but in fairness to Citizen, they offered it in some beautiful models (and variations of it...they have a skeletonized model too which I think uses a version of it) and at very reasonable prices. If you take price into consideration, I think it's a reasonable movement, but I believe the 6R15 is the better way to go...it's got hacking and handwinding, it's a more proven movement, it has between 10 and 20 hours more power reserve (depending on if you have rev A/B or rev C, the latter having a 60 hour power reserve).

But that doesn't mean people should ignore this line. These are far more stylish than most SARBs (barring, perhaps, the Alpinist and Cocktail Time models) and look great. Also, the movement is a little better decorated, with that really cool rotor. So I think the watch, on the whole, is pretty competitive offering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
As far as I know, the only difference between those models is that they use two different versions of the Grand Seiko hour markers. The NA0000 uses the hour markers from the Grand Seiko 9S line (for the most part) and the CTY57 uses the hour markers from the spring drive GS collection (for the most part). I haven't seen either in person, so I'm not totally sure...very similar to my eye, and the specs listed on the official Citizen webpage match.


 

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I'm impressed that you can keep all of the Seiko and Citizen model details straight. I need an Enigma machine for the model nomenclature alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Lol, I can remember almost all the modern Seiko designations (well, maybe not all the entry level diver ones) off the top of my head, but I definitely make sure I have the right one when discussing Citizen automatics.
 

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It has been assumed, in this thread, that this and other Japanese movements will step in and fill the void when ETA restricts the supply of movements. Are you so sure about it?
Why would they supply ebauches to a third party manufacturer?

It makes better sense to buy or even create new Swiss makes and install those movements. Better profit margin.
 
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