Earlier this year, Citizen made news in international markets with the debut of one of its first novelties of the year, the Citizen x Nissan Z / Fairlady Z. As its name indicates, the watch is a collaboration piece designed with the Japanese automaker Nissan, with the aesthetic taking its direct cues from the iconic sportscar, the Nissan Z, aka the Fairlady Z, as it’s known in the Japanese market.
The watch, which is comprised of two colorways including yellow and blue accented options, marks the first ever collaboration between the historic Japanese watchmaker and Nissan, with its design merging auto-inspired sportiness of the Z with Citizen’s leading technology in an effort to celebrate both brands’ “shared values and a spirit of pushing the bounds of innovation.” In this regard, Citizen’s readiness to take on new challenges, its dedication to pushing technology to the limit, and its laser-focus on making every second count directly complements the Z’s history of overcoming challenges, advancing sports car technologies, and its commitment to never compromising on quality.
This week, the new Citizen x Nissan Z / Fairlady Z has made its global debut after its initial announcement in January. We had an opportunity to go hands-on with the blue edition of the collaborative edition, dubbed the AT8185-97E.
The AT8185-97E notably features accents in the striking new Seiran blue body color, which is currently used in the latest Nissan Z model. The bold azure accents contrast against the matte black used at the center of the dial— itself meant to evoke the sense of smooth new asphalt on a highway. The other colorway, the AT8185-89E, takes its inspiration from the Ikazuchi yellow body color also used in the latest Nissan Z, with its sleek look symbolizing a thunderbolt (ikazuchi) streaking across the night sky, and its yellow dot design being the same as that used on the seats in the Proto Spec Z model. While differing somewhat in color and design, both colorways feature a red second hand inspired by the redline on a tachometer, along with a “Z” mark on the crown, a Fairlady Z logo used on the dial, and a NISSAN logo on the case back.
On the wrist, the Citizen x Nissan Z / Fairlady Z measures comfortable at 42mm by 10.8mm, with it being supremely lightweight in wear thanks to its Super Titanium construction with a Duratect DLC coating. This unique material is the name for Citizen’s proprietary technology to treat solid titanium with surface hardening technology, resulting in a metal which is at least 5 times harder than stainless steel, resistant to scratches, lightweight and gentle to the skin for comfortable wearing.
While suave in its dark looks, sharp geometric faceting, and elevated finishing, the watch is at its core performance focused, that sentiment matching the ideals of the Nissan Z for which its named. In this regard, its case features tactile chronograph pushers and an easily operated crown, with the widgets assisting in the operation of the model, from its standard timekeeping, to 1/20th second accurate chronograph and accompanying sub-dials and matching inner tachymetric scale, to its ability to serve as a worldtimer—with the time and date able to be adjusted for 26 cities globally (seen via the outer bezel) with a simple twist of the crown.
Underneath the anti-reflective sapphire crystal, we catch a full view of the sports-driven dial, with its three-dimensional style as engaging as it is purpose-driven. Here, more functionality is displayed, inclusive of day/date indicators driven by a perpetual calendar, power reserve indicator, and standard timekeeping imbued with Atomic timekeeping technology which allows for superior accuracy in addition to quick time zone adjustment. Touches of luminous accents are used throughout, providing the dark style an easy legibility across lighting conditions.
Inside, the new Citizen x Nissan Z / Fairlady Z is driven by the Citizen caliber H804, with the movement powered by the watchmaker’s innovative light-powered Eco-Drive Radio-Controlled technology, allowing for both solar charging and the aforementioned quick time zone changing, with the watch receiving local time signals in in four different regions: Japan, China, the United States and Europe.
Positioned as an capable and handsome sports and travel watch, the 100m water resistant Citizen x Nissan Z / Fairlady Z is novel at a glance and captivating in a serious glance, with its dark hues and three-dimensional style adding to charm. Further, with it marking a notable first collaborative effort between two historical Japanese giants of mechanical innovation, it may well precede future efforts between the makers for even more intriguing watches in the years to come.
The new Citizen x Nissan Z / Fairlady Z is available now both through Citizen’s online shop and via the brand’s NYC flagship boutique. The watch will be limited to 1,700 total editions, with pricing marked at $2,495.
To learn more, visit Citizen, here.