Hands-On With The Citizen Super Titanium Automatic Small Seconds (2024)

This hands-on is a classic case of “save the best for last.” One week ago, we published my hands-on review of the Citizen Super Titanium Eco-Drive Day-Date and Chronograph series. The third set of models we had in for review was the Citizen Super Titanium Automatic Small Seconds. After trying the three different model series, I can confirm that Citizen has three potential hits on its hands. But this mechanical Small Seconds version is the best in my opinion. I’ve spent some time with all four variants, and I think this is the series that could appeal to “regular” people looking for one great daily affordable watch and watch fans alike. Let me explain why.

When the different new versions of the Citizen Super Titanium family came in, I first took the Eco-Drive Day-Date and Chronograph series for a spin. As you might have read, I liked both of those, but they also had things that I would have loved to see Citizen optimize. These are details that could make the watches go from good to great. Once I was done with the two models, I was curious to find out how the Citizen Super Titanium Automatic Small Seconds would compare.

The perfect affordable daily wearer

Just as a reminder, I love the white and black panda-dial chronograph a lot but would have loved to see it a bit smaller than its current 42.5mm size. Other than that, it’s an absolute winner. For the Day-Date models, the overall feel is very retro. I like it when ’70s-inspired watches balance retro charm and modern-day relevance.

The Day-Date models lean a bit too much into the vintage appeal. But that’s where the Small Seconds models come in. Visually, they hit the mark perfectly for me and even have an automatic movement.

Let’s start with some specs to compare the watches to the other two series. These four models have a 40.5mm Super Titanium tonneau-shaped case that is 11mm thick and treated with Duratect TIC to make it extra resistant to scratches. It features a predominantly brushed finish with polished chamfers and a polished bezel.

The case is 46mm long, and the bracelet starts at 23mm wide and tapers to 20mm at the clasp. Something immediately clicked when I put the watch on. As it turns out, the size and proportions are spot on for my 19cm wrist. The slim profile and low weight make the Super Titanium Automatic Small Seconds a joy to wear. But we’ll get into that in a bit.

Four dial variations for the Super Titanium Automatic Small Seconds

Citizen offers four dial colors for the Super Titanium Automatic Small Seconds. All of them have the same scratch-like texture that is more visible on the darker dials than their lighter counterparts. The dark dials are green (NJ0180-80X) and blue (NJ0180-80L) and correspond with the dials of the Chronograph and Day-Date models. They feature a black ring on the periphery that holds the minute track printed in white. On top of that, there is a white-dial version (NJ0180-80A) and a turquoise-dial variant that Citizen calls “Lightgreen” (NJ0180-80M). These two dials do not have the black outer ring, and I prefer that design because it keeps the dial more open.

My immediate favorite was the white-dial model. Because of the color (or lack thereof), the texture is present but never prominent, bringing the dial to life at just the right times. All four dials feature applied markers treated with lume. and the two sword-style hands for the hours and minutes are too. The element that makes these watches different is the small seconds sub-dial between 4 and 5 o’clock.

The sub-dial features concentric graining and has a glossy finish that nicely contrasts with the dial. Lastly, there is a date window at 3 o’clock that displays the date printed in black on a white date disc. As you would have guessed, the date is also integrated best on the white-dial version, which is another reason why I prefer it over the other three options.

A lightweight bracelet that makes it a joy to wear

Like the other models, these watches come on a Super Titanium bracelet with Duratect TIC to prevent scratches. The bracelet has a predominantly matte finish except for the central bevels of the links, which have a high-gloss finish for some extra visual contrast. The bracelet’s quality is decent, although the rattly sounds may be somewhat deceiving.

Titanium bracelets have a higher-pitched rattle than stainless steel bracelets, which gives the impression of a lower-quality execution. But that is not true; it’s simply the sound of the material that is different.

The bracelets come with a stamped folding clasp that is not of the highest quality. If you open it, you see raw sandblasted titanium that makes it look unfinished. Practically speaking, the clasp closes with a reassuring click every time, and it’s easy to open thanks to the double-push-button release. It was a very comfortable and lightweight bracelet that made the watch great to wear. I would have loved to see a slightly more dramatic taper and slimmer clasp for some extra refinement, but these things would not be dealbreakers for me.

The in-house automatic 8213-21A caliber

Citizen equips these watches with its in-house mechanical 8213-21A caliber. This automatic movement operates at 21,600vph and has a 40-hour power reserve. It is the small-seconds version of the 8210 caliber that powers the popular Tsuyosa Automatic series. It has an advertised accuracy of ±20 seconds per day.

Just a glance at the movement through the sapphire window on the back will show that this is a very basic automatic movement that will get the job done. For longtime watch fans, the display case back is probably not necessary, but for people who are just getting into watches, the opportunity to see a mechanical movement in action adds a lot to the overall experience.

Wearing the Citizen Super Titanium Automatic Small Seconds

As I already mentioned, at first glance, I preferred the white-dial version. However, the turquoise model was a great second pick. Once on the wrist, that preference became even stronger. There is a certain attraction to these two versions because they maintain the perfect balance between retro vibes and modern-day execution that works remarkably well. The green- and blue-dial versions look very nice, but they are also more visually rigid. The lighter dials feel “airier” and have more room to breathe.

Operating the push/pull crown was easy, and I was pleasantly surprised at how painless it was to pull it out to the first position to change the date. Sometimes, that first position can be hard to find with more affordable watches as it doesn’t have that defined click it needs. As a result, you often pull it out to the second position, which lets you adjust the time. If you are a watch enthusiast, you are probably well aware of the nuisance of finding the first position to change the date. But that wasn’t a problem with these watches.

Final thoughts on the Citizen Super Titanium Automatic Small Seconds

After trying out the four models, I decided to take the white-dial version for a longer spin. Over a couple of days, I was impressed by the great comfort and style this watch offers, especially considering the €429 price. For a stylish and slim modern-day sports watch executed in lightweight titanium, that is hard to beat. Sure, the execution is a little rough around the edges in some places, but in no way does that affect my judgment. What you get in terms of style, comfort, and materials is unmatched in my opinion.

The biggest competitor I see comes from within Citizen’s ranks — the aforementioned Tsuyosa Automatic series. But if you want a slightly different design and a lightweight watch, this Super Titanium Automatic Small Seconds is a fantastic pick. Without a single doubt, Citizen has become the go-to brand for watches under €500.

This new series of watches is more proof of that and why I think this could be a great hit for the Japanese brand. Hats off to Citizen for releasing one great series after another. It is now the affordable brand to beat, and in all honesty, I don’t see that happening anytime soon!

All the Citizen Super Titanium Automatic Small Seconds models are now available on the brand’s official website. Let us know what you think of these new watches in the comments below.

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Hands-On With The Citizen Super Titanium Automatic Small Seconds (2024)


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