It’s either art or it’s not art; there’s nothing in between. This is one place that you can traverse without worrying on the gray pitfalls. But much to surprise, the Campanola defied this set norm and that too royally, kind of like that plump chick who’s not much on looks but cooks excellent food and soothes your senses at the end of a hard day. That’s the time when taking the flashy, slim girl next door out for dinner seems a burden; that’s when you suddenly realize appeal doesn’t always need to be carnal. If you agree, then the Citizen Campanola Grand Complication is for you. You need time to admire its real beauty.

Citizen Campanola Grand Complication Chime AH4000 AH4000-01X
Citizen Campanola Grand Complication Chime AH4000 AH4000-01X

But let’s put a stop to metaphors now, for they will keep spinning out as long as we want them to. Let’s talk on its features instead and those details that need a bit of uncovering, which is okay, since not all of us are gifted with the power of a vivid imagination. And with the Grand Complication series, just no amount is sufficient.

The Campanola represents the highest level of precision the Jap giant Citizen could ever belt out with hands alone. That’s right, there’s no machine involved in its making. But how on earth does Citizen offer such handmade grand complications at perhaps one-sixteenth of the price we usually see for the Swiss breeds?

That’s because it is essentially quartz and not inherently (or entirely) mechanical. Does that make birds sing cheap, cheap inside your head? If it does, you can’t be more wrong. Citizen focused on a complication that’s affordable for almost all and not for a bunch of snobs with more cash in their bank than their body hair.

Okay, enough of clapperclawing; now, to a brief list of things that make the Campanola. First, it is obviously time indication (it’s a watch after all, right?) with a chiming mechanism, followed by a fully perpetual calendar (expert handling of leap years) with a moonphase indicator and a 12-hour chronograph. Purists might consider the ticking seconds hand against snobbism (that works kind of like a double edged sword; it’s up to you how you take it) but Citizen’s take on the issue is tasteful, if nothing else.

That’s to say, it’s placed in the sub-dial, which kind of muffles the jumps visibly and thus, even though a negative, it’s a small negative. There are also Eco-Drive Campanolas existing; you can choose this convenience if you are ready to make a fair bit of a visual sacrifice on the watch face.

However, be prepared to invest some time to complete the learning curve and master its operations, which needs a crystal clear mind for the application of logic. Else, they may turn out more complicated than what you thought them to be at the first place, more so for the chiming function in the minute repeater mode, especially for the AH4000-01X.