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While Citizen released the world’s most accurate solar-powered watch this year, its high-end Chronomaster is still a remarkably accurate and interesting watch that is most definitely worth knowing about. Promising an accuracy to within five seconds per year, the Chronomaster is not only strong technically but adds characteristics more associated with luxury watches than the majority of Citizen’s relatively affordable offerings. That includes a high level of finishing as well as a “craftsmanship” element with dials that use traditional Japanese paper (washi), and they are now offered in three striking new colors.
Japanese paper-making uses fibers from local plants and results in a relatively thick, tough, and highly textured product that is one of Japan’s well-known traditional crafts. Textured dials not only offer some visual interest but are good for legibility. On the Chronomaster, the paper is wedged between a layer of solar cells and a clear layer, giving elements like the printed text a subtle floating appearance. Previous Citizen Chronomasters used black and white paper dials, but new deep hues of red, green, and blue add more options.
While all feature paper dials, the brand’s “Super Titanium” as the case material, and light-powered Eco-Drive movements with perpetual calendar functionality, there are some more differences between the models than their dial color. The 40mm-wide blue dial version will be a permanent member of the lineup, but the red and green dial models are both limited editions of 200 each. The LEs are further distinguished by a smaller size at 37.5mm and design cues like a gold emblem over the Chronomaster text.