TECH SPOT: Citizen’s Proximity

Citizen-proximity.jpg

Citizen’s new watch can locate, call and sync with the iPhone so it not only tells you the time but also when you have a new email or call. Could the Proximity signal a new wave of watches that don’t just co-exist but correlate with mobiles?

As someone who loses their phone, a lot, the latest technological advancements at Citizen sound like a godsend.

The Proximity, the latest sporty looking chronograph from the watch brand’s Eco Drive range, seems in appearance to be pretty much in line with many other Citizen watches. As a timepiece it ticks many boxes with the aforementioned 60-minute chronograph function, a perpetual calendar, 12/24 hour indication, second time zone, power reserve indicator and water resistance to 100m; strikingly good value for a watch that costs less than £400.

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While these merits mark it out as a solid buy, the Proximity has a little something extra that other Citizen watches don’t. Wear it on your wrist for a few weeks and you’ll discover that this wrist accessory not only keeps you on time, it makes sure you’ll never be without modern life’s premier gadget.

The trauma of misplacing, or even just forgetting, a mobile phone is a modern horror that we are all familiar with. Who among us has never had a mad scramble just at the point of leaving the house or office when a phone has been put down somewhere but not picked up? The Proximity offers a timepiece that not only records time but also records the whereabouts of your mobile phone, eradicating, or at least seriously reducing, the chances of you being parted from your phone, if you have an iPhone 4s or 5 that is.

Wearers of the Proximity can download an app that will connect their iPhone to the watch through Bluetooth 4.0 low energy sync. Once synced, the Proximity sets its time by the iPhone, allowing the watch to automatically keep in step your movements and flits across time zones. This is a handy little function that means that wearers will never have to manually change time zones again, as long as the iPhone automatically updates, which it should.

While this is a handy function for globetrotters, perhaps the more vital function of this union is that while the watch uses the phone to track time it also tracks the phone itself through the Bluetooth connection, a real plus for phone owners with butterfingers.

When the iPhone is misplaced, it can be made to ring simply by pressing a button on the Proximity. This function even works if the phone has been placed on silent; overcoming a problem that calling from a landline or another mobile cannot.

And even more clever than this, when a Proximity’s owner leaves the house forgetting to take their phone – a situation in which people are always unaware until it is too late – the watch will gently remind them of their error by softly vibrating when its gets too far away from the phone, signalling that the Bluetooth connection is broken and so the phone must have been left behind.

The Proximity has other neat tricks to offer iPhone users. The synchronisation extends to incoming calls and emails, as well as calendar appointments. Should a mobile be placed on silent – during a meeting or a trip to the cinema, for example – the watch will gently vibrate to alert the wearer to activity on the phone. The seconds hand will then sweep round the dial to let the user know whether it is a call, email or scheduled appointment that is flashing up unseen.
The explosion of the mobile phone market has often been credited with giving watch sales a thumping as a new generation relies on the time on phone displays to get by. This trend has reversed in recent years with the watch re-establishing itself as an important accessory, and with new technology developing all the time there is no reason why the two can not only coexist but cooperate, just like the Proximity.

The Stats
Date: Perpetual calendar
Time: Set by the iPhone to allow for changing time zones
Movement: 60-min chronograph
Time display: 12/24 hour indication plus second time zone and power reserve indicator
Water resistance: 100m
Power: Solar energy through Citizen’s Eco Drive technology
Compatibility: Only connects with iPhone 4s or 5 through Bluetooth
Price: £399

This feature was taken from the December issue of WatchPro. 

 

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