Citizen Eco-Drive EYES
The new Citizen Eyes Eco Drive.
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Since the first Eco Drive went on sale in America back in 1996 the Japanese watch makers have become renowned for their solar powered watches as they continue to push back the technological boundaries in order to refine and improve the Eco Drive concept. Out of this desire comes the EYES wrist watch.
The model which was first designed as a concept piece has finally gone on sale worldwide three years later as a two variant limited edition piece. The watch gets its name from the two day/date indicators which sit at the center of the dial giving the impression of two eyes looking out at the wearer.
They are said to be symbols of clearness and sharpness designed to convey a sense of time and light to the wearer. This serves as part of the Japanese concept of light and shadow which lies at the very heart of the design.
What makes the EYES different from other Eco Drives is that it is currently the only watch of its kind to feature a 3D ceramic dial. The 13 ceramic indexes have been specially designed to extend the shadows cast upon the dials; the company says it took inspiration from both modern skyscrapers and historical monuments like Stonehenge in there design. The dial has been created and molded in such a way that it plays on how the human eye sees and interprets light and dimensions. This means the dial will look slightly different depending on the angle and light source available when it is being viewed as it could appear brighter or darker or even have an altered depth at different times of the day.
The dial is made from a high grade ceramic in order to further the emphasis on the light and shadows concept. However while ceramic has been used as a watch material for some years now it can be quite fragile, a problem that led the company to invent a brand new processing technique for the watch. The light and shadows concept doesn’t just apply to the watch face it has also been used in the design of the dome shaped sapphire crystal which protects the dial. Inspired by architecture more commonly seen in a botanical garden than a watch, the crystal has been designed and polished to ensure it absorbs the maximum amount of light from every angle possible.
The watch has a 43 mm case and features the Citizen’s Duratect coating which has been designed to have a finish similar to that of steel, which makes the EYES up to 4 times harder and virtually scratch resistant in order to preserve the watches finish.
The timepiece also features the Eco-Drive caliber 8676 movement. The strap is made from a soft liquid rubber which adheres to the wearer’s wrist and in the case of the white model has been coated with a special coating to ensure it remains resistant to dirt and marks and both models feature a butterfly clasp on the strap.
However don’t expect this watch to go into mass production any time soon as the processes required to make the ceramic parts of the EYES means it takes 80 times longer to make than a normal watch on average.
The EYES are limited to 250 pieces each worldwide and comes in black or white and should retail at a price around £3000 / 3500 Euros.