Citizen watches are famous for their reliability and affordable price. However, being reliable and affordable does not mean the watch can be scratch-resistant. Are Citizen watches easily scratched?
In general, Citizen watches do not scratch easily. Some Citizen watches may be scratched easier, but that is because of the materials used to make them. Some Citizen watches are made of more scratch-resistant materials, making them much harder to scratch.
In this article, we dissect the question of whether Citizen watches are easily scratched and some other common questions you might have about Citizen watches.
We have also covered Citizen watches extensively in some of our articles, so feel free to click on the titles to check them out if you fancy.
READ MORE: [Deep But Concise] Citizen Watches Review
READ MORE: Why Are Citizen Watches Affordable?
What Are Citizen Watch Crystals Made Of?
Citizen watches typically have mineral or sapphire crystals. Some digital watches may have acrylic crystals to protect the LCD display. Higher-priced Citizen watches, such as those with Eco-Drive movement, tend to have sapphire crystals, as they are more scratch-resistant than others.
There are three major types of watch crystals, acrylic, mineral, and sapphire. Each crystal has its own strengths and weaknesses and is utilized by watchmakers to fit their purpose.
READ MORE: Your Guide To Watch Crystals
Acrylic crystals are easiest to scratch as they are essentially plastic. However, they are affordable, easy to shape, and polishable to remove scratches. As a result, watchmakers love to use them on lower-priced watches to reduce production costs.
Mineral crystals are less prone to scratches, and their medium rigidity makes them less likely to shatter than sapphire. However, it is softer and scratches easier than sapphire crystals.
Sapphire crystals are the crystals most higher-priced models use, as they are the hardest and least likely to scratch compared to the other two crystals. However, its hardness made the crystal more likely to shatter than mineral crystals. It is also the most expensive.
Citizen use similar crystal selection on their watches. Lower priced models, those under $250, are likely to see acrylic or mineral crystals, with sapphire crystals more likely on models above that price.
A watch scratches not just on the crystals but on the case and bracelets, especially if they are made of metal. What metals do Citizen watches use?
What Are Citizen Watch Cases and Bracelets Made Of?
In general, Citizen watch cases and bracelets are made of stainless steel, with higher-priced models using titanium. There are models with watch cases made out of plastic or resin, but these are commonly lower-priced models.
There are many types of stainless steel, depending on the mixture of elements. Steel is an alloy, meaning it is a combination of multiple metallic elements.
The base metal for steel would be iron, with other metals such as chromium, zink, or nickel added to improve rust protection or to enhance shine and brilliance.
Citizen watches typically use 316L stainless steel, common in many watches. 316L stainless steel is considered food-grade, which means you may see it used in food containers, cooking utensils, etc.
316L steel is also softer to mold and form, making the job of producing watches easier and at a lower cost. The softness, however, causes the steel to scratch easier.
As a result, some luxury watchmakers such as Rolex or Panerai use 904L steel, and some watchmakers even moved to titanium.
Titanium is much better as a watch case and bracelet, as they are lighter and much harder, meaning they won’t scratch easily. However, titanium is much harder to work with, meaning watchmakers have higher production costs if they use titanium. Titanium is also much more expensive than steel.
As a result, you only see titanium watch cases and bracelets in higher-priced watches, including Citizen.
What Watches Are Scratch Resistant?
A scratch-resistant watch would be made of hard materials that can stand up to scratches, such as titanium and sapphire crystals. A scratch-resistant watch could also be made of soft materials that give in to impact, such as resin, silicone, or leather.
Typical watches collect scratches over time, particularly if they are made of stainless steel or acrylic/mineral crystals. This is because stainless steel is still soft. As a result, impactful force may alter its shape, causing dents. Sharp objects may also scratch the watch case or bracelet.
Acrylic and mineral crystals are also prone to scratches as they are softer materials. Some watchmakers such as Seiko and Stührling have altered the materials of their mineral crystals to harden them. However, it still cannot compete with sapphire crystals. Seiko’s unique mineral crystals are called Hardlex, while Stührling’s are called Krysterna.
As a result, some watchmakers use titanium to make their watches more scratch resistant. Titanium is a lot harder. Hence it is much more able to handle impactful force without denting and sharp objects to the point that it does not leave scratch marks.
Some Citizen’s watches are made with their own blend of Titanium, called the SuperTitanium. Essentially it is a proprietary blend of titanium with surface-hardening technology called Duratect. SuperTitanium is claimed to be five times harder than stainless steel. Citizen watches with SuperTitanium are very scratch and nick resistant.
Sapphire crystals also are hard enough to handle most sharp objects, with probably diamonds only being hard enough to scratch them. However, being so hard is more likely to shatter if struck upon.
Scratch-Resistant Citizen Watches
Best scratch-resistant Citizen watches are made of SuperTitanium and sapphire crystal for maximum protection from scratches. Here are two models for you to consider:
#1 Citizen Promaster Skyhawk JY8101-52L
Do not relate the size of the watch with the weight. The 45mm case and thick bracelet are surprisingly light, thanks to SuperTitanium. The sapphire crystal also made the watch scratch-resistant and look new even after long periods of wear.
The watch runs on EcoDrive movement, which means it only needs light to power it. With 200M (660ft) water resistance, the watch handles water activities easily.
#2 Citizen Paradigm BM7431-51E
This is a modern, everyday watch that could fit a suit or a casual day out. A truly do-it-all watch. 41.5mm case, with a modern and straightforward-looking dial, in black or blue. A date window is present at the 3 o’clock position.
The watch comes with a SuperTitanium case and bracelet. The bracelet clasp is the push-button fold-over type, with safety. It runs on EcoDrive, meaning it only needs light to run, natural or artificial.
#3 Citizen SuperTitanium Armor Chonograph CA7050-57H
This watch is part of Citizen’s Super Titanium Armor collection, featuring watches that look tough, and are toughened with titanium.
This model might not look like a chronograph, as the front bezel covers the pushes. Turn to the side, and you will notice two pushers at 1-2 o’clock and another at 4-5 o’clock. A date window completes the look.
The watch is encased in a SuperTitanium case, with the bracelet made with the same material, giving it a massive edge over scratches. Sapphire crystals complete their scratch-resistant characteristics for peace of mind when wearing.