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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, 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) and the Hisonic or the Cosmotron GX. 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, the Cosmotron and Hisonic retains its analogue charm, which is demonstrated in the date quickset mechanism. One has to move between the time of 20:45 and 03:30h (back and forth) to adjust the date! The day quickset is done by simply pushing the crown.
Although made as a Citizen, the 15 jewel movement inside is a licensed Bulova Accutron. In 1971 Citizen could bring this technology to the Japanese market using the 218 and 219 Bulova versions.
It was manufactured in house, thus allowing for their own movement numbers 3701, 3711, and even better, supply parts to Bulova.
The Hisonic 3711 runs at 360Hz, or 360 steps per second. The sweep of the second hand therefore is exceptionally smooth.. The crown is signed and in normal position the date can be quickset, at one click out the watch is hacked and time can be set, at second click (fully out) the battery is fully disconnected when the watch is not in use.
American and Japanese made Bulova parts are inter-changeable. Citizen’s version of the 218 Accutron was used in the Hisonics whilst the 219 was used in a Cosmotron GX 15 jewels model. The case back of the GX is plainer than the Hisonic models, some of which carried a gold medallion, and is a simple snap on design. Also, the movement is not stamped with LIC. BULOVA and has a plastic cover plate unlike the copper in the Hisonic. Noticeable is the fact that only one coil is used instead of two like the higher end 218 movement.
These days parts and batteries of course can be used and found. The ACCUCELL-1, for instance is a power cell specifically designed for the 214 Accutron watches to replace the 387-mercury cell. It can be used however to replace the cells in the 218, 219 & 2310. It has proved itself to be the best alternative to the mercury cell over the past 21 years. It has a voltage controlling circuit that outputs the correct voltage to run these movements. It is powered by a silver oxide cell which is clean and friendly to the environment, not like that of the original mercury cell.