Citizen has unveiled the Eco-Drive movement, Cal.0100, a new milestone in time-keeping technology and innovation achieving an unprecedented accuracy of ±1 second in one year, within a 2.92 mm movement that incorporates Citizen’s proprietary light-powered technology “Eco-Drive.” It is showcased in a conceptualized pocket watch designed in tribute to Citizen’s first pocket watch released in 1924, and to commemorate the company’s 100-year anniversary in 2018.
Since its foundation in 1918, Citizen has continued its pursuit of the essence of timekeeping, always challenging new possibilities, while pushing the boundaries of watchmaking technology as a true manufacture d’horologerie. The al.0100 boasts an accuracy of ±1 second during a span of one year—making it the world’s most accurate Eco-Drive movement to date. It offers precise timekeeping, autonomously and continuously, and reliant solely on the watch’s internal mechanism to deliver precision and reliability.
The achievement mirrors past breakthroughs, including Citizen’s 1975 release of the “Citizen Crystron Mega,” which at the time was the first quartz watch with accuracy of ±3 seconds per year. In the following year, Citizen invented the world’s first analog quartz watch powered exclusively by light, known as Eco-Drive, and the company’s expertise in watchmaking has continually evolved through its advanced proprietary R&D pipeline, which has led to further advancements in accuracy and longer running time.
The Cal.0100 is hand-crafted and encased in sapphire crystal, the shape and design of this conceptual timepiece pays homage to the company’s first pocket watch introduced in 1924, which was the first to bear the “Citizen” brand name. The Citizen pocket watch was justly named, and epitomized the brand’s mission, which was to provide high-quality timepieces to citizens around the world. While the Cal.0100 will not be available for sale to the public, the accuracy and technology inside the movement will be introduced in future models, set to launch in 2019.
For the Cal.0100, Citizen designed an original AT-cut quartz oscillator for watches, which minimizes effects that hinder accuracy caused by changes in temperature and gravity. The AT-cut quartz oscillator helps to stabilize fluctuations in frequency caused by temperature, which at acceptable operating temperatures (between -20° C and 60° C), are significantly reduced when compared to a traditional tuning-fork-shaped quartz oscillator. In addition, as vibrations by the AT-cut quartz oscillator are smaller, it is less affected by the watch’s positioning and by physical movement. The Cal.0100’s AT-cut quartz oscillator continuously monitors and adjusts the frequency for shifts in temperature. The watch also includes a shock resistant feature and a function that automatically corrects the positioning of the hands for superior accuracy.
While a traditional tuning-fork-shaped quartz oscillator operates at 32,768 Hz, the AT-cut type quartz oscillator vibrates at a frequency of at 8.4 MHz (8,388,608 Hz), and requires a greater amount of electricity to operate. Citizen, as a pioneer of light powered technology, was successful in creating an Eco-Drive movement incorporating its’ AT-cut quartz oscillator by applying its own power-saving technologies, which enables the Cal.0100 to run for six months on a full charge -even without the presence of light. To this end, Citizen was able to achieve an annual accuracy of ±1 second in an Eco-Drive movement, which establishes a new benchmark in watchmaking for the future. The black-colored Cal.0100 is visible on the back of the watch through the sapphire glass case. The index hour markers and second hand incorporate a hexagonal design, corresponding to the quartz crystal, which symbolizes ultra-high precision.