The A-12 was the first airplane made from titanium when it took to the air in 1962. Titanium was scarce in the United States, so the CIA set up a series of bogus companies to source all the raw material from Russia, the leading expert on titanium manufacturing at the time. Working with titanium was one of the largest challenges in the development of the airplane, but it paid off. The successor to the A-12, dubbed the SR-71, is still the fastest known plane to ever grace the skies. Titanium manufacturing practices were at the heart of one of the government’s most secretive, shadowy programs at the time. The use of this metal was the largest contributing factor to producing the most advanced aircraft of the time. The feat wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the use of titanium – it has the highest strength-to-density ratio of any metal on the planet.
In 1970, just a short eight years after the A-12’s maiden flight, Citizen released the X-8 Chronometer, a watch fashioned from titanium with a purity of 99.6%.
Today, 50 years after the X-8, Citizen is introducing the Satellite Wave GPS F950 Titanium 50th Anniversary Limited Edition. The specific material used in the watch, called Super Titanium, is also being used in the HAKUTO-R lunar exploration program, an initiative by Japanese startup iSpace which has quickly emerged as one of Japan’s leading private space exploration firms. The material will be utilized in the lunar lander and lunar rover currently under development by iSpace in partnership with Citizen.
The Satellite Wave GPS F950 Titanium 50th Anniversary Limited Edition watch builds on the legacy of Satellite Wave GPS F100 from 2014 and the Satellite Wave GPS F900 from 2015. The watch is able to receive signals from satellites orbiting the earth in order to ensure accuracy through syncing. It takes a maximum of three seconds to receive and read the signal from a network of satellites anywhere in the world. The technology packed into these watches is significant even beyond the specific horological application.
The release of the Satellite Wave GPS F950 is Citizen reminding us of their extreme technical prowess. Every now and then, the company creates a watch that suggests that when it comes to cutting edge technology, Citizen is happy to give anyone else a run for their money. Remember the world’s most accurate watch?
Explorers often rely on Satellite phones to communicate when they’re in areas of the world far from cell reception. The Satellite Wave technology works in much the same way. Most devices that we use to set our watches rely on conventional forms of communication. Without cell service, even your phone, which relies on cell towers to allow users to see to the most accurate time, would have trouble displaying the exact time. Citizen’s workaround is communicating directly with satellites instead of cell towers. It’s like cutting out the middle man. That’s impressive.
Then consider the inclusion of Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology, which uses any source of light – be it indoors or outdoors – to power the watch. Not only does this eliminate the need for a battery and therefore prevent a power failure, but it can also be used in environments where typical solar-powered watches wouldn’t work. Even a flashlight could charge the watch if it’s needed.
Then there’s the focal point of the watch, the celebration of 50 years of working with one of the most challenging materials: titanium. The Satellite Wave GPS F950 is rendered in Super Titanium, which varies from regular titanium in that it’s treated to a proprietary surface-hardening technology, Duratect. Citizen also claims there are proprietary titanium-processing technologies involved as well. This means that the watch is 50% more scratch-resistant than stainless steel and 40% lighter. In this case, the material outside matches the technology inside.
Super Titanium will also be used in the mission of expanding the human ecosystem to the moon. The HAKUTO-R program, an entirely private venture by iSpace, begins with a launch of a lunar landing craft in 2021, if things go according to schedule. Then, in 2023, a lunar rover will be deployed. Both the landing craft and the rover will include elements fashioned from Super Titanium. If only it were a manned flight – the crew would have the perfect watch to match.
Model: Satellite Wave GPS F950 Titanium 50th Anniversary Limited Edition
Reference Number: CC4025-82E
Case Material: Super Titanium
Dial Color: Black
Lume: Present on hands
Water Resistance: 30m
Strap/Bracelet: Bracelet made from Super Titanium
Functions: Hours, Minutes, World Time, Chronograph, Countdown, Flyback, Power Reserve Indicator
Power Reserve: Solar Charging
Additional Details: Satellite synchronization capable
Pricing & Availability
Price: $ 5,000
Availability: December 2020 at Citizenwatch.com.
Limited Edition: Yes, serial number engraving present. Limited to 550 pieces.
For more, click here.