A watch with a mood all its own.
Revel in the sensuous indigo blue.
Subtle. Luminous. Profound.
We sought to create something mysterious and irresistible.
A watch people will want to make a part of their lives.
To do that, we made a one-of-a-kind dial of Tosa washi paper,
indigo-dyed using traditional Japanese techniques.
Welcome to a world of unsurpassed beauty and precision.
Eco-Drive models with world-leading accuracy
of ±1 second* and ±5 seconds per year.
World-leading for an autonomous analogue light-powered watch, as of October 2022. Based on research by Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.
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CITIZEN has developed a wide range of light-permeable dials over the decades. For these two Eco-Drive models, we decided to try something new: hand-dyed indigo. An art practised all around the world since ancient times, indigo dyeing has particularly deep roots in Japan where indigo has traditionally been seen as a lucky colour. The unique, eye-catching hue of the dial, known as “Japan Blue,” was achieved by hand-dyeing Tosa washi paper.
We wanted to create a one-of-a-kind colour more vivid than any pre-dyed washi paper. Of all the various indigo-dyeing techniques, we were set on using the traditional, wholly chemical-free fermentation method.
The leaves of the Japanese indigo plant are dried and fermented to make the basic dye liquid, or sukumo. Highly alkaline lye is then added to activate the microbes and drive on the process of fermentation and reduction.
The dial has a uniquely deep and vivid colour precisely because the dye is made exclusively from natural raw materials. The washi paper is meticulously hand-dyed at an artisanal workshop in Tokushima, a region of Japan famous for indigo dyeing. The workshop we collaborated with is unusual in that it handles the entire process itself, from growing the indigo plants and making indigo dye to doing the actual dyeing.
Traditional Japanese indigo-dyeing techniques
The raw material for the dye comes from the Japanese indigo plant, a member of the buckwheat family. Japanese indigo is an annual, planted in early spring and harvested in autumn.
The dried indigo leaves are spread on a dirt floor. Fermentation is initiated by sprinkling them with water and aerating them for roughly four months. They are then left to ripen for a further six months to create a long-lasting and compost-like basic dye material known as sukumo.
Lye, shell ash and wheat bran are added to the sukumo dye material. Further fermentation produces a usable dye solution.
The item is repeatedly dipped into the dye solution until the desired colour has been achieved.
The biggest challenge we faced when making the hand-dyed indigo washi paper dials was the same one we face with all our Eco-Drive models: finding the perfect balance between the perfect colour and permeability to light.
This time the challenge was even harder than normal. Factors such as humidity, temperature and raw materials affect the state of the dye solution. As a result, variations in colour and light permeability occur even when the identical protocol is followed.
The solution was to decide exactly what the desired colour was and then to dip the washi paper in the dye a different number of times and for a different length of time, as conditions warranted, to achieve the desired colour intensity. Our obsessive focus on achieving the ideal indigo with the right level of light permeability means that each watch dial has its own individual character.
In the Eco-Drive Model with Annual Accuracy of ±1 Second, a top plate printed with a gradation is placed on top of the hand-dyed washi paper. The result is a wonderfully expressive dial featuring two shades of blue: the open sky in which the eagle soars and the darker expanse of the sea below.
Eco-Drive Model with Annual Accuracy of ±1 Second
The Eco-Drive Model with Annual Accuracy of ±1 Second featuring the Caliber 0100 movement tells the time with a deviation of less than one second per year. The design of the watch gives physical expression to this quite extraordinary level of accuracy. See how perfectly the second hand aligns with the indices when you look at the watch from the front. Notice how the case lugs take their design cue from the crystal oscillator, the component which controls the watch’s rigorous precision. Enjoy the sight of the black ruthenium plating and distinctive striped finish of the Caliber 0100 movement through the transparent case back.
Eco-Drive Model with Annual Accuracy of ±1 Second
A lightweight, comfortable, scratch- and corrosion-resistant case of proprietary Super Titanium™ is paired with an unusual bamboo-pattern crocodile leather strap to create an impression of casual elegance. In line with CITIZEN’s commitment to sustainable watchmaking, the strap is made in an LWG-certified* tannery.
Leather Working Group (LWG) is an international not-for-profit organisation whose members include brands, tanneries and chemical suppliers. LWG evaluates the safety and environmental performance etc. of the leather manufacturing process and awards certification only to tanneries that pass its rigorous audits.
Eco-Drive Model with Annual Accuracy of ±5 Seconds
The Eco-Drive Model with Annual Accuracy of ±5 Seconds tells the time with a deviation of less than five seconds per year. Super Titanium™, a CITIZEN proprietary material developed and fine-tuned over decades, is used for both case and bracelet. Functions include a perpetual calendar (requiring no adjustment until February 28, 2100) and a shock counteraction function that keeps the hands in position regardless of external impacts.
Hand-dyed Indigo Washi Paper Dial (Tosa washi Tengujoshi＋indigo dyeing)
Total Super Titanium™ / Crocodile leather band (LWG certified)
Hand-dyed Indigo Washi Paper Dial(Tosa washi Tengujoshi＋indigo dyeing)
Total Super Titanium™
The eagle symbolises The CITIZEN’s twin commitments to “looking ahead and pursuing the ideal” and to “becoming an integral part of users’ lives.” The mark is discreetly engraved on the dial and crown of some models.
The CITIZEN watches are made at CITIZEN's special watch workshop nestled deep in the Nagano countryside. They are hand-assembled down to the last component by our highly experienced master watchmaking Meisters.
CITIZEN WATCH CO., LTD.