CITIZEN Watch Becomes Corporate Partner of ispace’s HAKUTO-R Program

Citizen Watch Co., Ltd. (“CITIZEN”), a 100-year old Japanese watchmaker and one of the world’s largest watch manufacturers, and ispace, inc. (“ispace”), a lunar exploration company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, are pleased to jointly announce that CITIZEN has become a Corporate Partner of HAKUTO-R, the world’s first commercial lunar exploration program.

(pictured: HAKUTO-R’s lunar lander and rover)
As a key component of this partnership, CITIZEN will apply its Super Titanium™ material—pure titanium processed using CITIZEN’s proprietary surface-hardening technology—to titanium components used in the HAKUTO-R lunar lander and lunar rover.

Selected by ispace’s engineers for its light weight and strength, titanium will be used for various mechanical parts in the HAKUTO-R lander and rover. As a lightweight, scratch- and corrosion-resistant material developed by CITIZEN for its watches, CITIZEN and ispace aim to use Super Titanium™ to improve the reliability and environmental resistance of the HAKUTO-R spacecraft’s titanium parts.

Super Titanium™is developed using CITIZEN’s proprietary technology, called “Duratect”, which uses special treatment techniques—including ion plating, cold plasma, gas hardening and duplex coating—to produce a titanium material that is 6x harder than stainless steel with excellent durability and abrasion-resistance, while maintaining the lightness of titanium. Through this partnership, CITIZEN will be procuring the pure titanium material, process it using the Duratect treatment technology, and apply it to the relevant HAKUTO-R lander and rover parts.

Following CITIZEN’s release of the world’s first watch made of pure Titanium in 1970, CITIZEN set out to bring out titanium’s best qualities. It was after many years of R&D when CITIZEN developed its proprietary Duratect technology. Now, through its partnership with HAKUTO-R, Citizen Watch Co., Ltd. will utilize its manufacturing technology—only ever intended for use on Earth—for the use of lunar exploration.

Following the HAKUTO-R missions, ispace and CITIZEN will examine the results of the Super Titanium™ application on HAKUTO-R’s lunar lander and rover and proceed to develop it as a common application used in lunar exploration.

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