New Releases Watches

Citizen Launch Sporty New Series 8 880 GMT with Skyscraper and Sun Dials

Citizen Launch Sporty New Series 8 880 GMT with Skyscraper and Sun Dials

While everyone tends to look at Rolex prices like the canary in a mineshaft for monitoring the health of the watch industry, brands like Rolex only tell part of the story. To get the full picture you also need to look at more aspirational brands like Seiko and Citizen. The story there is that between high-spec Prospex models, the King Seiko and the mechanical Series 8, prices and quality are on the way up. The latest chapter of this trend comes in the form of the new Citizen Series 8 880 GMT. If we had to put some money down, this might be one of the best sellers of 2023.

There are a lot of things going for this watch. It’s well sized at 41mm and the sporty, steel, integrated bracelet design is totally in keeping with what’s popular at the moment. Notably, this is the first GMT model in the Series 8, which means it has a brand-new GMT bezel. They’ve gone for a bi-directional rotating bezel with a 24-hour scale with day/night indication that allows you to read the time in multiple time zones at once.

Citizen Series 8 880 Mechanical GMT NB6031-56E
Citizen Series 8 880 Mechanical GMT NB6031-56E

The GMT function itself is one known as a true GMT, what that means is that the hour hand can be jumped forward in intervals of an hour without changing the minute or 24-hour hand. It makes it incredibly convenient to use when flying for example, compared to an office GMT which you have to completely reset when you travel.

Focussing in on the dial, we see that it has an intricate texture based on a traditional Japanese chequered pattern. For the 880 GMT it’s been created in such a way that it evokes images of the multitudinous windows of a skyscraper. The combination of the traditional with the ultra-modern on the dial makes it a great metaphor for Japan itself. It’s worth noting that of the three versions available only two of them use this texture while the third limited edition is different.

Citizen Series 8 880 Mechanical GMT NB6030-59L
Citizen Series 8 880 Mechanical GMT Gold Limited Edition NB6032-53P

The limited edition, which has a gold-coloured case and bracelet, has an embossed dial in a pale golden colour. The intricate, seemingly random pattern represents the gentle rays of the sun on an autumn evening. Frankly, with the height of the summer sun beating down on me, I dream of the gentler seasonal weather this watch conjures.

I have so far skipped over an important part of the Series 8 880 GMT and that is the colours. The first of the non-limited steel models has a black dial with a black and blue bezel. The second steel one has a blue dial with a red and blue bezel. Lastly, the limited edition has that gold dial paired with a brown and white bezel. Of course, looking at these watches it’s impossible to compare them to the Rolex GMT Master II.

Citizen Series 8 880 Mechanical GMT Limited Edition Caseback

Beneath the surface of the watch is the calibre 0954 automatic movement with 50-hour power reserve. Citizen is known for having a large number of quartz movements, so I like to highlight when they use mechanical pieces, although I do wonder if it is actually surprising when Miyota is part of the Citizen watch group. If anything, mechanical Citizens have potential to be some of the best considering that Japanese watchmaking is on the up and up.

Citizen Series 8 880 Mechanical GMT NB6031-56E

Where that leaves us with the Series 8 880 GMT is that it ticks all the boxes from an accessible, steel, GMT. It’s practical, it’s cool and it’s on the higher end of specifications from Citizen. Admittedly that also means it’s on the higher end of prices as well at £1,195 for the non-limited ones and £1,295 for the 1,300 piece limited edition. However, as I mentioned in the introduction, if current trends are anything to go by, people are willing to spends more on some of these traditionally accessible brands if the watches are worth it. And this watch is.

Price & Specs:

  • Model: Citizen Series 8 880 Mechanical GMT
  • Ref: NB6031-56E (black and blue), NB6030-59L (blue and red), NB6032-53P (gold plated)
  • Case/dial: 41mm diameter x 13.5mm thickness, stainless steel case with or without gold coloured plating, black, blue or gold textured dial
  • Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
  • Movement: Citizen calibre 0954, automatic, 24 jewels
  • Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
  • Power reserve: 50h
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, GMT
  • Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
  • Price/availability: £1,195 (stainless steel) and £1,295, limited to 1,300 pieces (gold plated)


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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.