When it comes to spring fashion launches, watches are as important as any accessory.
I had the opportunity to meet with Citizen Watch Canada to talk about their spring launch of new watches. Something I wasn’t aware of is that the Japanese brand is the parent company of Bulova, Accutron, Alpina and Frederique Constant watches. Being hands on with these new releases helped give me the idea of the weight and the feel of actually wearing them, although most were display pieces and didn’t contain their movements.
Without question, the Promaster is Citizen’s most famous watch. First launched in 1989, this spring Citizen is offering their new Promasters as usual categorized into Air, Land and Sea versions. The Air banner offers one from my personal grail list, the Promaster Skyhawk A-T. The Skyhawk is a slide rule watch that allows a user (who has studied the manual as if it’s a textbook) to use the various markings on the bezel to determine everything from airspeed and distance travelled to fuel burned and rate of ascent. Obviously its use is geared towards pilots but for those of us on land, they’re a fascinating tool. This season’s Skyhawk leans decidedly vintage with a brown leather strap and a gold toned bezel. Like most Citizen watches, it’s powered by their Eco Drive technology that uses virtually any light source to charge a power cell. The Sea versions of the Promaster are led by the Dives. Solid, heavily built timepieces, the Promaster Dives for spring 2023 include stainless steel cases strapped with colourful polyurethane in bold yellow and blue and plain green. In addition, versions like the Fugu show off a high level of detail and design on the dial.
Bulova Watches started production in New York City back in 1875. Their history contains many firsts – they invented not only the first electric clock in 1931 and created the world’s first TV spot a decade later, prior to both, Bulova broadcast the first radio ad back in 1926, announcing ‘eight o’clock at the tone’ as Bulova Watch Time. Purchased by Citizen Co. in 2008, Bulova Watches soon after began producing new models like the Precisionist. This spring shows open heart versions of the Marine Star exposing the watch’s movement, the Lunar Pilot and my new fave, the CURV, which features a contoured case that hugs the curve of one’s wrist. Higher dollar models feature Bulova’s collaboration with artist, Marc Anthony in both men’s and women’s signature watches.
Frederique Constant was founded in 1988 but entered the Citizen Watch umbrella in 2016, bringing the Alpina Watch company with it. Constant, known best for dress watches, made waves with their Worldtimer and Index Business Timer. This spring’s offerings continue to class up the line including the rose gold tinted steel and diamond encrusted Classics Quartz.
Lesser known Alpina started building some of the finest watches around back in 1883. Well established as frontrunners of horological innovation, the company created tool watches for air, sea and land. Joining Citizen with Frederique Constant in 2016, they brought coveted models like the Alpiner and Startimer along with their storied history. This season’s releases upgrade the rugged construction and good looks of the two models. With classic as well as modern styling, the new Alpiner caught my eye immediately.
Last but not least, Accutron is another watch manufacturer that stood on the forefront of watchmaking technology. Their tuning fork technology helped the high beat watch movement keep time with unparalleled accuracy. Combining accuracy through electronics, hence the brand’s name, they sold millions of watches throughout the 1960s and 70s. Inspired by the space race, this quirky brand poured innovation into their watches’ form as well as function. Their Legacy models shine with retro styled TV cases strapped with fun colours. The Spaceview proudly bares the watches movement as the centerpiece of the dial. The Astronaut GMT keeps 24 hour time in part through a gorgeous day night bezel.
Hats off to Citizen stewarding heritage brands that offer a wide variety of looks and uses. I had a great time talking watches with Zahra Hemraj, CWC’s director of marketing. From new collaborations with Disney to honouring historical timepieces, Citizen Watches are giving watch lovers more to look forward to this spring than just warm weather returning.