The Citizen Eco-Drive Caliber 0100 could hold the tag of the most important under-hyped watch at Baselworld this year. It’s almost like Citizen had no access to the Baselworld hypemachine’s buttons as they quietly unveiled this wristwatch with an accuracy of ±1 second per year – the most accurate autonomous wristwatch in the world today.
The movement calibrates time to ±1 second per year without relying on data from radio towers or satellites and comes with a shock resistant feature that automatically corrects the position of hands. Caliber 0100 was first presented in a concept pocketwatch last year to mark the brand’s centennial celebrations. The movement’s AT-cut quartz oscillator minimizes hindrances caused by gravity and helps stabilize fluctuations in frequency due to temperature. AT cut type oscillators vibrate at a frequency of 8.4 Mhz (8,388,608 Hz), 250 times more than conventional tuning fork-shaped crystal oscillators.
AT cut type crystal oscillators require greater amounts of energy to operate. However, Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology and the presence of ultra-precise components produced through LIGA fabrication processes ensure optimal power transmission. The watch can go up to six months on a single full charge (eight months on power save mode), even without the presence of a light source. You can independent reset your time zone by moving the hour and minutes hand without interrupting the timekeeping function of the watch.
The watch is presented in three models that almost eschew any flamboyant design flourishes to keep the focus on the watch’s key function, accuracy. The first model, Ref. AQ6010-06A is presented in a white gold 37.5-mm-wide case that’s only 9.1-mm-thick. The case is fitted with a dual spherical sapphire glass with anti-reflective coating and a sapphire crystal caseback. The faceted crown is a nod to the shape of crystals.
The ivory-hued dial has baton hour indexes and the slender brass hour, minutes, and seconds hands are perfectly aligned with the markings on the dial when viewed from the front. Ordinarily, gears and springs are machine cut and pressed. With LIGA fabrication, more intricate components can be manufactured. Special components made by combining customized springs and gears processed by LIGA fabrication prevent even the smallest inconsistencies of gears to control hand movements, and enables hands to align perfectly with the indexes.
The sapphire crystal caseback window offers a glimpse of the movement, a rarity in quartz watches. The movement has a gray ruthenium-plated finish with Tokyo stripes. While the white gold version is paired with a black alligator strap and is limited to 100 pieces, two other iterations (a black dial Ref AQ6021-51E and a mother-of-pearl dial Ref. AQ6020-53X) in Super-Titanium (Citizen’s proprietary alloy) are also available, both are paired with matching metal bracelets and limited to 700 pieces each. Incidentally, it didn’t take long for the white gold limited editions to sell out.