Monday, May 26, 2014

Citizen Signature Grand Touring Automatic NB0070-57E - A lot of speculation on a watch with good vibes: A Review

The Citizen Signature Grand Touring Automatic NB0070-57E, an automatic watch by Citizen under the Signature series was introduced to the market in mid 2013. The Signature Collection by Citizen is a series of high quality watches similar to the Componola Collection (Japanese Domestic Model) but sold to North American and elsewhere.

This new model uses the Miyota 9010 movement, which is made exclusive for the Signature lineup. Although that is not unexpected for Citizen to do so, what is unexpected is the design cues used for the watch itself. For a start, it comes with a stainless steel housing which has the diameter of 44 mm and the thickness of 15 mm. Despite the dial and its fixed bezel being round, the main watch case is pillow shaped. The front of the timepiece is protected with a thick sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective coating. Coupled with its large crown protector with a patented system, the watch looks like a copy of a Panerai.

How could the CITIZEN WATCH CO. JAPAN, the largest watch company in the world could have ended up producing a watch that has a lot of people accusing it of copying? I for one don't think the truth is that simple. With a huge amount of resources available to the group, it would be obvious that this issue would have been brought up prior to production. By virtue that it did go through production as designed, there must be compelling reasons to believe Citizen is confident the watch can stand on its own. As we go through a thorough review of the watch, I will try to unravel key points about the watch that are ornately unique to it alone.

I needed to source this watch from North America. Calling my agent in Japan was not successful as it is not sold in Japan. It was only through Amazon that I got to order one. Total investment was USD896.25 plus USD15.31 for handling. Approximately five days later the package was on my table.

The actual box is deep blue in colour and protected by two layers. The first is a simple sleeve devoid of any brand logo. The dimensions are 165 mm long x 125 mm wide x 125 mm tall.

The size and colour of the box represent a significant departure from other Citizen watches I've bought previously. As part of the Signature line, Citizen wants to position this as a premier line hence the effort to jazz up the overall presentation.

The colour blue represents both the sky and the sea, and is associated with open spaces, freedom, intuition, imagination, expansiveness, inspiration, and sensitivity. Blue also represents meaning of depth, trust, loyalty, sincerity, wisdom, confidence, and faith.

Considered a highly corporate color, blue is often associated with intelligence, stability, unity, and conservatism.

By choosing the dark blue tone, Citizen is subtly telling everyone that it is royalty i.e. can be seen as elegant, rich, sophisticated and superior.

This subliminal message is seldom mentioned but it works especially on people because the watch industry itself has created a class system accepted by the vast majority. Many will covert a Rolex more instead of a Grand Seiko despite the fact that both have similar standards of manufacturing, quality and history (although this is arguable, what is important to note is that brand ranking plays a major part of the 'wow' factor that consumers want to see). Citizen understands this factor and actively works to improve the brand ranking by putting effort into every little thing to ensure customers' appreciation on their products continue to grow.
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