Eco-Drive, being just a light-powered quartz movement and not mechanical is not a Purist’s cuppa unless he has been fascinated by a watch’s design concepts and overall attention to detail. And that’s exactly what the watch-world was delighted about in 2013. The EYES showcase applications of traditional Japanese aesthetics of utilizing natural light and shadow to create illusions of depth for a better accentuation; in plain words, the design creates shadows with greater depths and movements that make you see extra things with added clearness, sharpness and brilliance.

Citizen Eco-Drive Multifunction AP4010-03E Mens Watch
Citizen Eco-Drive Multifunction AP4010-03E Mens Watch

Rumors were around of Citizen’s February 2010 concept model finally making it in February 2013, although in limited numbers. CITIZEN capped production at 250 for each of the black and the white models. To them, concept models are the philosophy of fusion of innovative technology with beauty given form in special ceramic. That’s to say: All 13 ceramic blocks (index bars) and the EYES, the features that name it. The EYES are actually its day & date indicating sub-dials and they pretty much stare back at an onlooker.

To make the buyer find a little more peace, there’s anti-reflective coating (ARC, both sides) on both the inner bezel and the dome sapphire crystal, which is also a big aid for the ecodrive. It collects more light for the dial. The stainless steel surfaces got a layer of Dura-Tect (CITIZEN’s home grown metal surface protection technology; a staple for all watches going rough places) to keep scratches and minor dents off for a longer period. As for the liquid rubber straps (soft liquid rubber inside), there’s also a lacquer finish to keep stains and dust away.

Inside the case runs the Caliber 8676 but sorry to disappoint, there’s no radio wave adjustment function. It runs +/-15sec every month and once fully charged, for 6 months without any further exposure to light. Not meant for hair-split accuracies and despite pushing the Citizen envelope a bit too far, these are nevertheless interesting and a great deal of fun to look at and wear. And needless saying, these two put up a tough competition for others. What else might CITIZEN have up its sleeve now is only how well you guess and your creativity. If they do, then it must be something even more interesting, convenient, comfortable and useful. Stakes are high on the Nova (shown in Basel World 2013 but it’s a much wide and intriguing variety of new introductions to fit here.

Now, everything good comes for a price and this one’s a steep $4,700. That’s quite a bit, yes; but owning a piece of the astute vision behind using light both for running time and giving it a face is priceless.