Announced to mark the 50th anniversary of the world’s first titanium wristwatch, Citizen has recently launched its new Super Titanium Armor series. Representing a further evolution in the brand’s solar-powered titanium watches, the Armor series is comprised of a 41mm time and date model and a pair of 44mm chronographs (with or without gold accents). With integrated bracelets and Teutonic lines meant to invoke the look and feel of armor plates, all three models are made of Citizen’s own “Super Titanium,” which is titanium that has been treated to the brand’s Duratect surface-hardening. The goal? A super-light sports watch that won’t scratch as easily as those made from standard titanium.
In 1970, Citizen launched the first-ever titanium wristwatch with its X-8 chronometer and, over the past 50 years, the brand has become closely tied to the idea of an accessible and tech-forward titanium watch. Sticking to that script, the Armor line’s Super Titanium is reportedly 50% more scratch-resistant than stainless steel while maintaining the material’s characteristic light wrist presence thanks to titanium being some 40% lighter than steel.
The Duratect surface treatment also enables Citizen to change the color of the metal and to more easily apply a wide range of finishing without sacrificing overall scratch resistance. Surface-level hardening will certainly improve scratch-resistance (surface hardening is not uncommon, especially from Citizen). But these sorts of hardening treatments are less effective in mitigating larger hits and knocks that can penetrate the surface layer of the hardening. And while dings and dents are possible with any sporty watch, if you’ve ever owned a titanium watch, you’ll likely agree that it doesn’t take much at all for the material to be covered in tiny hairline scratches – which is the sort of wear and tear that hardening can help alleviate.
While the Armor line is indeed a new range for Citizen, it’s not the first time we’ve seen the company use Super Titanium on a watch, and the material can be found in a handful of watches from the brand, including the burly Promaster 1000M, the Captain America, and the ani-digi classic Promaster Skyhawk. Speaking specifically about these models in the Armor line (and my love of comparative data), I do wish Citizen could provide some statement as to the weight of each model. (I have asked for these specs but have yet to hear back.)
Interestingly, both the three-hander and the chronograph feature rotating bezels, with the former offering a dive-style unidirectional elapsed timing bezel, and the latter a bezel that rotates to reveal the watch’s crown and pushers. While not shown “open” in any of the images provided by Citizen, the chronograph’s bezel appears to have an asymmetrical shape, so you can choose to have the controls either shielded or uncovered. This is definitely something I’d like to see in greater detail as it looks to be a clever design. See above for a look at the “closed” position of the bezel along with a side view showing the crown and pushers.
Admittedly, the $ 650 44mm chronograph models are likely too much for my wrist, but I think the $ 550 three-hander AW1660-51H – with its angular good looks, slightly techy vibe, and matched bracelet – looks like a strong value for a modern Eco-Drive that should stand up to whatever has been scratching all of your other watches.
Model: Super Titanium Armor
Reference Number: AW1660-51H (time and date), CA7050-57H (chronograph), CA7058-55E (chronograph with gold dial accents)
Diameter: 41mm (time and date), 44mm (chronograph)
Case Material: Duratect-treated Super Titanium
Dial Color: Grey
Lume: On hands
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Integrated Super Titanium bracelet
Caliber: J810 (time and date), B642 (chronograph)
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date (time and date); hours, minutes, sub-seconds, 1/5th of a second chronograph display, 60-minute counter, date (chronograph)
Additional Details: Quartz with Eco-Drive solar powering
Pricing & Availability
Price: $ 550 (time and date), $ 650 (chronograph)