Article by contributing author Ian Eveleigh
What’s the collective noun for reissued watches? A nostalgia? A cash-in? No matter it’s, there has actually been no scarcity of them in recent times. From Timex to TAG Heuer, by way of just about each different model with a historical past worthy of observe, designs are being resurrected and rehashed to create new fashions with an outdated look, typically with extremely fascinating outcomes.
Among the many many gamers on this sport is Citizen, though you might not be conscious of the total extent of its re-edition actions as a result of it steadily reserves such fashions for its house market of Japan. There, a wide range of ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s-style items exist collectively beneath the Document Label banner, and the newest addition to that assortment revives one of many firm’s most coveted classic watches: the bullhead-cased Chronograph Problem Timer.
For its 2021 re-interpretation, it formally adopts the nickname that was bestowed upon the unique, so it’s now known as Tsuno Chrono, “tsuno” which means “horn.” Maybe confusingly, it’s not Citizen’s solely Tsuno Chrono, as there may be additionally the Promaster Tsuno Chrono Racer, which was launched in 2018 and references the identical historic mannequin. However that watch is extra of an homage than a recreation, being considerably bigger – 45mm in diameter to the unique’s 38mm – and having a a lot busier aesthetic. The Document Label Tsuno, then, is for these in search of a better facsimile of the traditional 1972 bullhead.
The primary impression upon seeing the brand new Tsuno Chrono within the metallic is that it has the classic vibe nailed. This has been achieved by intently copying its forebear’s case form and retaining its modest diameter, and in addition by echoing lots of its colorways. There are two normal fashions with a selection of panda or an all-navy dial (AN3660-81A and AN3660-81L, respectively), and these are joined by six limited-edition options — largely collaborations with Japanese retail shops — that introduce additional dial variations, gold or black case finishes, and even a contemporary, stealthy all-black choice.
Maybe the most important distinction from the unique Problem Timer is the shift from an computerized motion to quartz, which might be controversial for some however does assist hold the value down. Method down, in truth: The usual fashions retail for 26,400 yen every, which converts to round $235 USD, whereas many of the restricted editions – together with the green-dialed “On-Time Transfer” model (AN3665-70W) pictured right here – add lower than 10 p.c to that worth. For reference, even probably the most reasonably priced Promaster Tsuno prices round thrice as a lot.
Aficionados of the ’70s authentic will discover a number of element modifications. The subdials are not pushed proper out to the internal bezel, for instance, which means there’s house for 3, 6 and 9 o’clock markers right here, though this provides a extra balanced look to this author’s eyes. The date window has additionally moved, to only earlier than 4 o’clock somewhat than being in a fake subdial at 6, which, once more, could possibly be thought-about an enchancment.
These tweaks come because of the aforementioned quartz motion – Citizen’s 0510 calibre – which can be chargeable for the brand new running-seconds subdial (located on the best). The hand inside this jumps as soon as per second in conventional quartz fashion, as does the middle seconds hand for the chronograph operate when activated, thus limiting timing accuracy to entire seconds, whereas the Eco-Drive motion within the bigger Tsuno Chrono Racer can file fifths of a second.
On the wrist, the 2021 Tsuno Chrono can appear somewhat dainty at first, particularly for those who’re used to carrying greater, heftier mechanical chronographs. At simply 98 grams, it’s actually by no means going to make your arm ache. Whether or not the dimensions seems acceptable will rely in your wrist diameter and your private desire, but additionally, crucially, on which mannequin you select. You see, it’s not a lot the case that defines the Tsuno’s presence, somewhat the weather inside it. The panda model, for instance, tends to appear like the small watch it’s as a result of the diameter of the white dial is what your eye notices most. The inexperienced and black variant, nevertheless, seems bigger as a result of its chrome bezel is probably the most outstanding facet, and at 35mm in diameter, the Tsuno’s bezel is wider than the dials of many a 40mm-plus chronograph. I think the navy-dialed normal mannequin will profit equally, its darkish blue dial visually prolonged by the accompanying black bezel.
That bezel, by the way, sits extra pleased with the case than face-on pictures might lead you to imagine and notches inward earlier than assembly the case. With a barely domed mineral crystal, this takes the general thickness of the Tsuno to 12mm, round two-thirds of which is the case itself. Mentioned case options vertical brushing throughout its complete floor, however it’s so faint as to look nearly like a satin end. There are not any polished areas and no sharp edges to be discovered; as a substitute, there’s only a mushy, rounded type that places the concentrate on the bullhead structure and the dial.
The fundamental dial is decently legible and has a end that’s completely acceptable at this cash, with an utilized emblem and hour markers and recessed subdials. The On-Time Transfer model takes issues up a notch with a sunburst impact to the inexperienced space, complemented by refined embossed concentric circles inside the subdials, and it feels extra particular consequently.
The bracelet retains the ’70s ambiance going by being fairly the light-weight quantity. It’s constructed from notably skinny, folded hyperlinks which might be flat and plain, which doesn’t sound particularly interesting, however they take turns to catch the sunshine properly as your wrist turns. To regulate the dimensions, you don’t take away hyperlinks; as a substitute, one-half of the clasp could be slid alongside the bracelet and locked into your required place – nice for making fast, on-the-fly changes. It’s additionally straightforward to think about the Tsuno working effectively with a suitably sporty strap (the lug width is 18mm). Certainly, one of many limited-edition fashions, a collaboration with LA-based leather-based equipment specialist Crimson Monkey, pairs a gold and black Tsuno with a brown leather-based bund strap, aping the Problem Timer sported by Brad Pitt’s character Cliff Sales space within the film As soon as Upon a Time in Hollywood. Maybe not surprisingly, this model bought out notably rapidly.
Total, the Document Label Tsuno Chrono presents a robust argument for itself, providing interval seems with out the potential pitfalls of shopping for and proudly owning a watch that’s nearly 50 years outdated. When it comes to retro Japanese watches, it’s not probably the most reasonably priced: Casio’s Classic vary of ’80s-style digital fashions considerably undercuts it, for instance. Alternatively, the Citizen seems competitively priced alongside Seiko’s Recraft and Spirit fashions, though admittedly they typically include computerized somewhat than quartz actions. But when the Tsuno Chrono’s quartz motion isn’t a barrier for you, and also you’re taken with its styling and don’t thoughts its compact dimensions, you then’re unlikely to be upset with it at this worth level. The vary begins at 26,400 yen (roughly $235 USD). Be taught extra on the Japanese Citizen web site right here.