The Cosmotron production run was short, about 10 years in all, since the early 1970s saw the quartz revolution, and older technology was quickly rendered obsolete. However, there was significant development of the technology during its brief history, including raising the beat rate from a conventional 18,000bph at the start to 43,200bph at the end, in those using a relatively conventional balance. Movements like cal. 0802, 0820, 0884, 0840, 0880 and 4840 were even sold to about twenty foreign companies including Bulova, who manufactured complete watches under their own name. Citizen itself was faced with strong competition from the cheaper Seiko-Electronic EL 3300.
The quality of the Cosmotron movement was indicated by its achievement of chronometer standards with the X8 (not this one). This reflects the aims of the electronic technology to increase both reliability and accuracy, both of which were overtaken by the advantages of quartz modules. Still, this Cosmotron retains its analogue charm, which is demonstrated in the date quickset mechanism. One has to push the crown to adjust the date but the day quickset is done by holding the watch upside 12 0’clock down and pushing the crown once again!
This particular watch is from the late seventies, as 1972 saw the launch of new models with both date and day complications, now using the 78 movement. With jewels reduced to 8, and now powered by 1.3v silver oxide batteries, the movement design had been refined, with more functions. The rate increased to 36,000bph and movements were designated 7801A, 7802A, 7803A, 7804A (this one!) and 7806A. Also, the X8 name had been dropped, so dials are marked Cosmotron, Electronic and carry the Cosmotron applied logo.