Citizen Grand Touring Review – Not Your Normal Dive Watch

Citizen Grand Touring Review

A Review of the Citizen Grand Touring Sport

The Citizen Grand Touring Sport watch is something that will surprise anyone not familiar with the Japanese brand.

Currently, Citizen is most famous with its reliable and techie looking Eco-Drive solar watches. I’m sure you have at least seen their watches in ads on TV or elsewhere.

Their flagship Eco-Drive are usually watches with various functions (chronograph, atomic timekeeping, GPS, etc.) and features busy yet cool dials.

Which is why the sight of this Grand Touring Sport watch is a surprise. It’s everything that Citizen is not well-known for currently: automatic movement, dive watch and trendy analog style.

Well, actually, Citizen did started with automatic movement and analog watches back when it was founded 100 years ago in 1918.

It’s just they have found success with their Eco-Drive models in recent years. But by no means they are forgetting their roots which is automatic movement.

The signature series, of which this Grand Touring Sport is part of, is a testament of that. And they did deliver a great dive watch that does not have the usual look of one.

Without a doubt, the Grand Touring Sport is perfect for those wanting an out of ordinary dive watch.

The Grand Touring Sport features a blue dial on a cushion case with huge crown guard at the side. It’s meticulously crafted with Citizen’s own in-house Cal. 9012 automatic movement inside it.

And if you feel the square cushion case and crown guard reminds you of another watch, you are not off the mark as it actually resembles (though not accurately) the famous Panerai watches.

In fact, there’s also another version of the Grand Touring with the black dial that really looks like the Panerai Luminor. I’ve included a picture of it at near the end of this article if you want to have a look.

Now, let’s get on with the Citizen Grand Touring review shall we.

 

Citizen Grand Touring Sport Watch Specification (Model No. NB1031-53L)
Diameter 44 mm (excluding crown and guard)
Thickness 19 mm
Lug Width 23 mm
Lug To Lug Distance 51 mm
Case Stainless steel case
Strap Stainless steel bracelet
Watch Crystal Dual-coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal
Bezel Unidirectional rotating bezel
Dial Blue dial
Hands Sword over-sized hands
Markers Index markers
Style Dive / Sports
Movement Citizen Miyota 9012 Automatic self-winding movement
Movement Features 24 Jewels, 28,800 vibrations per hour / 8 beats per second
Accuracy -10/+30 seconds per day
Power Reserve 42 hours
Water Resistance 300 m
Other Features Exhibition caseback, Date display, Lume, Crown guard
Rating 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)
Quick Summary This is a stylish timepiece with gorgeous blue dial and applied markers. The cushion case and crown guard makes the watch looks interesting and unique, whilst also providing great wrist presence. It’s also equipped with dual-coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal and an in-house Citizen 9012 automatic movement. A real trendy and unique dive watch.
Where To Buy? Amazon (depending on season, can be bought for less than $1k. Click the link below to check its current price), MSRP is $1,195 on Citizen US website

 

 

Beautiful Blue Dial And Bezel

I’m a sucker for blue watch and this Citizen Grand Touring has a dial that I really really love. The blue dial is simply gorgeous with a slight sunburst effect, not too much as considering this is dive watch.

There’s minimal signatures on the dial with only “Citizen”, “Automatic” and “WR 300” (yep, the watch has a great 300 m water resistance rating) on it. Just nice and simple without any overtly complicated words on it.

 

Citizen Grand Touring Sport Dial

 

The markers are applied index markers (more on that later) while the hands are sword shaped. Both hour and minute hands are fat which make telling time is a breeze.

Truthfully, I’m not really a fan of the shape of the hands as it’s a bit too bland for me. While the orange minute hand is a nice touch, the fat shape is not really inspiring.

True enough, the shape is meant to complement the markers (with its rectangular shape) but I just don’t find it appealing enough..

Fortunately, they have made full use of the wide hands with the inclusion of double lume strips – which is very unique among all the watches nowadays.
Coupled with a great green lume, the “night-mode” of the Grand Touring Sport is truly something to be look forward to =)

All in all, the watch is one heck of a stylish timepiece.

 

Citizen Grand Touring Sport Lume


Above is how the Citizen Grand Touring Sport looks with lumes on. The double lume strips on the hands are unique and looks really good.

 

Applied Hour Markers Giving A 3-Dimensional Look

Another thing that impresses me with the watch is the use of applied hour markers on the dial. Applied (or raised) markers mean the markers are actually separate pieces that have been attached to the dial.

The markers protrudes through the dial and fixed in place. This gives the dial and markers two starkly different surface elevations and is clearly seen from the sides.

What’s more astonishing is the lumes on the markers (two strips each) are also attached to it, giving so much dimensionality to the dial. In addition, the “Citizen” sign is also applied on it.

 

Citizen Grand Touring Sport applied marker side

From the side, the applied marker on the Grand Touring Sport is very obvious to be seen

 

 

The applied marker technique is different than the embossed method where the markers are pressed unto the dial at the beginning of the dial making process. Both are then painted to the design afterwards.

This is different than the applied method as the markers are attached after the dial is finished. It makes sense as the watchmaker would not want to have any unpainted dial surface below the applied markers.

And to make empty spaces for the markers are just too troublesome so the easier way is to just paint it all over the dial surface.

In addition, the embossed method is the one used in many lower priced watches. So the usage of applied markers (and a great one at that) on the Grand Touring Sport is perfect with the price range that Citizen is contending in.

(For more info on applied vs. embossed method, read this great timezone.com )

 

Great Wrist Presence (and Manly) Due To The SS Cushion Case

One thing for sure, the Grand Touring Sport does not look and wear like other normal watch due to its unique case. It has a cushion case where the lugs are wider and not taper off abruptly like normal watches do.

Due to this, the 44 mm diameter watch looks so much bigger as it’s wider. The huge crown guard also makes it looks more massive.

Looking for a watch that can give a wrist presence? This one will definitely do it. While it looks big, it can still be worn by those with medium wrist size as the lug to lug distance is about 51 mm.

The shape of the stainless steel case reminds me of Panerai Luminor with the square shaped case. Not to mention both also have big enclosed crown guards though Citizen’s execution of it is different than Panerai.

On top of the watch there’s a dual-coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal on it. Sapphire crystal is a must for watches in this price range. It will make sure the crystal stays pristine without any ugly scratches.

The coating on the other hand will ensure the watch is perfectly legible even with bright light shining above it.

 

Citizen Grand Touring Sport Dial 2

 

The watch comes with a well constructed stainless steel bracelet that looks very nice with the polish and brush finishes. One small flaw is the absence of double lock and diver extension on the bracelet which is sort of compulsory for any dive watch

I’d bet that Citizen had done their homework and know that most guys buying these expensive dive watches don’t really bring it diving which is why they don’t include the features. Plus, this makes the clasp shorter and easier to be worn.

 

Fully Enclosed Crown Guard – For Aesthetic Or Functional Reasons?

On the crown guard, I have to admit I’m not a fan of it, both the originial Panerai’s and this Citizen’s versions. I believe the guard is an aesthetic feature without any real function.

What the guard intends to do is to protect the crown from any damage and avoid accidentally pulling it out and messing with the time. Both are very important for a dive watch.

But logically, a screw down crown such as the one in this Grand Touring is not easy to pull out. In addition, many dive watches don’t have a full crown guard such as this and have been working fine all along.

Which is why in my opinion, there’s no reason whatsoever to have that huge crown guard in place. But I do admit the guard makes the watch look unique and stands out from the others.

What do you think about the crown guard? Do you think it serves a purpose or just being there to make it look nice (and cool) ? Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

 

Citizen Grand Touring Sport back

 

Citizen Miyota 9012 Automatic Self-Winding Movement

Powering the Grand Touring Sport is the Miyota 9012 automatic movement. As you might have known, Citizen is a brand famous for its quartz Eco-Drive watches.

But they also owns Miyota, a movement maker company which was responsible for the 9012 caliber inside this watch. The movement has self-winding feature with 24 jewels inside it.

It vibrates at 28,800 vibrations per hour or 8 beats per second. This means the sweeping action of the second hand is smooth without obvious stuttering that is prevalent with lower 6 beats per second movements in lesser priced Japanese automatics.

It has a published accuracy of -10/+30 seconds per day though the watch will easily venture into chronometer accuracy based on feedbacks from owners.

One thing that I feel Citizen and Miyota should have improve is the power reserve. At 42 hours, the power reserve is not really outstanding.

Though it still is better than the 38-40 hours in similarly priced ETA movements but the fact is its juice will runs out before the two days mark…

By the way, there is an exhibition caseback on the watch that allows for a peek on the movement. From there, we can see the decorated movement in all its glory.

 


Check out this video to see the watch closely

 

There Is Also The Grand Touring (Model No. NB0070-06E) – The Panerai Look-Alike

In addition to the blue Grand Touring Sport, Citizen also released the Grand Touring NB0070-06E, a watch that closely resembles Panerai.

While the two versions have similar internal movement and build, the dials are starkly different with the NB0070-06E having a deep black dial with explorer style hour markers.

Also, it has a leather strap versus the stainless steel bracelet and a lower 200 m water resistance rating.

 

Citizen Grand Touring Signature NB0070-06E


Above is the Grand Touring NB0070-06E watch, the sibling to the Grand Touring Sport.

 

By the way, this version of Grand Touring is only similar to Panerai in terms of case shape and the big crown guard. Upon close inspection, both watches are very different with each other with the Citizen having a more rough style in terms of markers and hands design.

The crown guard mechanism is also different on the two watches. While the Panerai has the lever, the guard on this Citizen needs to be pulled manually before we can operate the crown.

 

=>Get The Citizen Grand Touring NB0070-06E (Panerai Style) Here

 

Who Is This Citizen Grand Touring Sport Watch For?

In my opinion, anyone wanting a big and manly dive or sports watch should get this. It’s size and shape will make this timepiece a center of attraction.

With those blue dial and bezel, I don’t think there’s anyone who fails to notice this beauty. It’s just too stunning and eye-catching.

Its dual-coated sapphire crystal, in-house 9012 automatic movement and a huge 300 m water resistance, this watch is not just a beauty but also equipped with the great features you’d expect for a watch at this price point.

 

Where Can I Buy It?

Citizen Grand Touring Sport can be had for $1,195 on stores based on its MSRP price. But I found that the watch can usually be had for lesser that amount if we’re buying from online stores. At the right time, it can even be had for up to 30% discount of its MSRP!

 

=>Get The Citizen Grand Touring Sport From Amazon.com

 

Who Should Not Get It?

While the watch is a beauty, not everyone can wield it especially because of its size and weight. A 44 mm full stainless steel watch is by no means light, and the extra steel due to the cushion case and crown guard just make it heavier.

For guys with smaller wrist, having a big watch such as this might not be the best fashion decision. Not to mention the weight will just kill your wrist.

If you really want to wear it, do expect to swap the bracelet with a strap to lighten the watch. By the way the lug width of the Grand Touring Sport is a non-standard 23 mm which can be a bother to find a matching strap.

Despite its great features, the high price tag can also be a deterrent for fans. In that case, I’d suggest you to check out this list of the 10 best automatic dive watch under $500.

In addition, do check out the Seiko SKX013 – an affordable automatics (usually less than $250) with a more classic 38 mm diameter size. It’s perfect for those with smaller wrists and won’t break the bank too =)

 

Citizen Grand Touring Sport Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Great wrist presence as the cushion case makes the 44 mm watch looks bigger
  • Gorgeous blue dial and bezel
  • Applied hour markers make the dial having 3 Dimensional effect
  • Well constructed stainless steel bracelet
  • Dual-coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal
  • In-house 9012 Cal. automatic movement

Cons:

  • Can be a bit too heavy due to its size especially when worn with bracelet

 

Final Thoughts

The Citizen Grand Touring Sport watch is truly an outstanding dive watch. While it’s not exactly affordable, I find the price is substantiated with the features and craftsmanship put into it.

The design is stylish, with the cushion case that makes it look like Panerai, albeit with a twist from Citizen. The case is well constructed while its blue dial and bezel are just a pleasure to look at.

The use of scratch resistant sapphire crystal on top of it makes for a peace of mind. In addition, there’s the anti-reflective coating that ensures glare to be minimized. The watch is powered by Citizen’s own Miyota Cal. 9012 automatic movement.

Without a doubt, the Grand Touring Sport is perfect for those wanting an out of ordinary dive watch.

 

 

 

What do you think about the Grand Touring review? Let me know what your thoughts for the watch in the comment section below.

I’d love to hear what you think about it =)

Cheers!
Isaac.

Citizen BM8475-26E Review – The Black-Orange Solar Military Watch

Citizen BM8475-26E Review

 

Hi All! In this post today, I’m going to write about Citizen BM8475-26E review, a black-orange themed watch that’s also solar powered.

The watch has a black matte dial with orange hands and markers that’s just pop up from it. It’s truly is stunning to look at and in my opinion, a great casual/everyday watch.

 

Citizen BM8475-26E black orange dial

 

The solar powered feature also makes it a convenient tool as its owner does not need to change the battery every 1-2 years or so. It’s the perfect combination of automatic and quartz watches.

Last but not least, the good 100 m water resistance means the watch is well protected from any accidental water ingress that might happen.

Well, that should be enough for an introduction. Let’s go through the Citizen BM8475-26E review and look at the watch closer.

 

Citizen Eco-Drive BM8475-26E Watch Specification

Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 11 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Case: Black PVD stainless steel
Strap: Brown leather strap with pin buckle
Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal

Dial: Orange Black dial
Hands: Sword hands with lume
Markers: Explorer style markers

Movement: Citizen’s Eco-Drive E011
Movement Features: Solar powered quartz movement
Accuracy: +-20 seconds per day
Power Reserve: 6 months

Water Resistance: 100 m
Other Features: Lume on markers and hands, Day date display

Citizen BM8475-26E Manual: Click Here to download the user manual

Best Place To Buy: Amazon, MSRP is $235

Stylish Black Dial With Orange Markers & Hands

The dial is one of the things that first draw attention to the Citizen BM8475-26E. It’s a black matte dial with orange hands and markers that just burst out due to their high contrast.

It’s really trendy at the current time as more strong colors are becoming the norm with men’s fashion.

Black, silver and blue have always been my favorite color in a watch but orange seems nice too, no thanks to this watch =)

The whole dial is understated and look very simple. I love the fact that Citizen chose to use explorer style dial (the 3, 6, 9 & 12 numerals) as opposed to normal full numerals or index.

In my opinion, explorer dial has a cleaner look that’s not too busy and yet still easy to read thanks to the big numeral markings.

 

Very Useful Day and Date Display

Another bit that I love about the Citizen BM8475-26E is the inclusion of day and date window displays. These 2 are just a must have for anyone wanting a watch to be used everyday.

Sure, some people complained that these (particularly the day) wrecks the watch’s symmetry and disturb it’s design which I totally agree, if that is a dress watch.

But if the watch in question is intended for everyday use, the functionality of day/date can’t be questioned.

 

Citizen BM8475-26E dial

 

It’s totally very useful as you don’t have to look around if you need to know what day/date today is.

Just a flick of your wrist will do and I can’t say how much time have I saved by doing this everyday

(sidenote: I think my ability to remember day & date worsens as I age LOL!).

Which is why I’d say these features are very useful for any watch that’s meant to be used everyday for work.

 

Full Lume On The Dial

Another interesting element about the Citizen BM8475-26E is the full lume on the dial which is totally awesome considering its fairly affordable price.

The semi-skeleton sword hands and explorer markers both have lumes on top of it which is really really beautiful to look at.

 

Citizen BM8475-26E lume

Just look at the lume shot of this Citizen BM8475-26E. Ain’t the full lume gorgeous? =)

 

I’m a huge fan of lumes and seeing a well-lumed watch just makes my heart excite with joy =)

The lume also will help with telling time in the dark such as during bedtime or even in movies (my favorite usage).

Sleek Black PVD Stainless Steel Case

Complementing the black dial of the Citizen BM8475-26E is a black PVD stainless steel case with 42 mm diameter and 11 mm thick.

Being a non-polished case, it’s definitely helps to build up the watch’s theme as an understated handsome watch that’s not going to draw attention by being very shiny and all.

The case is simply constructed with the shape of a normal watch. The only extraordinary thing about the case is the big and tall crown with patterns on it for easy to operate.

Truthfully, I’m not a fan of the big crown as it seems to stand out and jeopardize the whole sleek look of the watch.

In my opinion, a smaller and “more normal” crown is better and will fit in with the whole design of the watch.

 

Citizen BM8475-26E sides

 

100 M Water Resistance

The watch also has a 100 m water resistance that’s important for a military styled watch such as this. I mean, there is no telling what we will encounter (rain, splashes of water etc.).

Thus a good water resistance is definitely needed to protect it and I feel 100 m is about the minimum that a watch should has.

 

A Not So Scratch Resistant Mineral Crystal

On top of the Citizen BM8475-26E is a mineral crystal that’s protecting it from any damages. But I need to warn you guys the mineral crystal is NOT scratch resistant at all.

I feel I need to emphasize this since most online watch retailers seems to promote mineral crystal as scratch resistant which is far from the truth.

The only watch crystal material that’s scratch resistant is sapphire, and it’s very unlikely for a watchmaker to use those for a watch at this price range.

 

So what should we do?

 

Keep a good care of our watches of course. Try not to bang it against any hard surfaces such as concrete, stonewall, steel, etc.

Even putting your watch in a pocket full of keys or coins could cause some ugly scratches.

Thus, it’s very important to treat our watches as sensibly as possible to avoid it from getting scratches, or worse, some nick on the surface.

 

(Trust me on this. I’d wish anyone gave me this advice when I first bought my watches. For more information about types of watch crystals, read my introduction to watch crystals here) 

 

Convenient Solar Powered Watch

The most important feature of the Citizen BM8475-26E is the solar powered watch which makes it a convenient watch to own.

It’s powered by Citizen’s Eco-Drive E011 movement, one of the movement in the famous Eco-Drive solar watch family.

So how does these solar watch works?

Solar watches have a solar cell (or photo-voltaic cell) underneath their dial that can convert light (any light, not just sunlight) into electrical energy.

This electrical energy is then stored in a rechargeable battery. From there, the mechanism of a solar watch is the same as any quartz watch.

As you can conclude, the advantage of a solar watch is there is no need to replace the battery every 1-2 years like a normal conventional quartz watch.

The watch will recharge its own battery as long as you can expose it to lights long enough.

 

Citizen BM8475-26E recharging guide

Above table is a rough guideline on how long it takes to charge the Citizen BM8475-26E at different lighting condition

 

There is also an overcharge protection system – so you guys don’t have to worry about exposing it to too much light LOL!

Citizen estimates the rechargeable battery will only need to be changed every 10 years, though there are cases the battery seems to have longer life than that.

Well, it’s much better than having to change the battery every 1-2 years right?

 

(Click here to download the Citizen BM8475-26E user manual)

 

Citizen BM8475-26E Vs Seiko SSC233

 

Seiko SSC233

Seiko SSC233, another black-orange watch from a different Japanese manufacturer

 

I’ve recently reviewed the Seiko SSC233 another black-orange watch and feel compelled to see how both of these two great solar watches stack up to each other.

As you can see, even though both watches have similar black-orange style, they are both massively different.

For a start, the Seiko SSC233 is bigger at 45 mm diameter compared to 42 mm diameter of the Citizen BM8475-26E.

The Seiko also has a chronograph and 24-hour time display whereas the Citizen is a normal three-hands analog watch.

This additional feature in the Seiko warrants a higher price (around $150-$170) than the $120-$130 of the Citizen (prices on Amazon).

They are both the same in the solar powered movement and water resistance (100 m).

So which is the better watch? Honestly, I believe it depends on what kind of watch you want.

Specification wise, the Seiko is far better since it has a chronograph and 24-hour time display but this comes at an extra cost.

In the end, it depends whether you guys want a chrono or just a normal watch.

If you’re looking for a sophisticated look, the Seiko is the one for you but if you want a sleek and understated watch, the Citizen is more suitable.

 

Who Is This Watch For?

In my opinion, anyone seeking a simple and understated watch should go with the Citizen BM8475-26E.

It also very easy to read the time and looks trendy and stylish with the orange markers/hands.

The usage of Citizen’s Eco-Drive solar powered movement makes the watch a real easy to use. Just set the time once and you can wear it for a long time until the battery died.

This is very different than those conventional battery type of watches that need frequent battery replacement.

Having a day and date display make it a great everyday watch, especially for work.

Who Should Not Get It?

If you guys are looking for something extraordinary, then this Citizen BM8475-26E might not be the one for you. It’s a bit too simple and might turn off those than want a more eye-catching piece.

 


Watch the video above to see the Citizen Eco-Drive BM8475-26E closer

 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. Simple and handsome black-orange themed dial
  2. Solar powered for total convenience
  3. Day and date feature make the watch very useful
  4. 100 m water resistance
  5. Full lume on the hands and markers

 

Cons:

  1. Can be too simple for some

 

Like This Watch? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

If you like this Citizen BM8475-26E, you can buy it cheapest on Amazon. Instead of the MSRP price of $235, the watch can be had for less than $150 on Amazon! Click the link below to check out the Citizen BM8475-26E on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To See The Best Deals Of Citizen BM8475-26E On Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

The Citizen BM8475-26E is a simple watch with black-orange themed. But in it’s simplicity lies its greatest strength. It’s truly stunning and makes for a great watch than can be used everyday.

Not just content with a good look, the watch also uses solar movement that’s definitely an upgrade over the normal quartz. With an easily rechargeable battery, the watch will continue to run effortlessly.

For a simple everyday watch that’s also very convenient, this Citizen BM8475-26E is the one to have.

 

*********

 

I hope you guys like this Citizen BM8475-26E review. Let me know if you guys have any questions about it.

And don’t forget to drop your comments below =)

Cheers!
Isaac

Citizen Eco-Drive BM8180-03E Review – The Stylish Military Solar Watch

Citizen Eco-Drive BM8180-03E Review

 

Hi guys. Today I’m writing about the Citizen Eco-Drive BM8180-03E review, one of the most affordable Eco-Drive models from the Japanese brand.

Citizen’s Eco-Drive is one of the most robust and well-respected solar watch movement right now. But the cost of such cool technology is more expensive than a normal quartz watch.

Fortunately, they know there is a good market in low priced watches and this is where the Citizen BM8180-03E watch comes in the picture.

The watch is priced at the more affordable sub-$100 price (if you get it from online stores, especially on Amazon, as compared to the normal more than $200 price tag of the other Eco-Drives.

What’s surprising is the Citizen BM8180-03E watch does not feel cheap at all.

 

Citizen BM8180-03E watch

 

It’s a handsome military style watch but the highly polished and small case (at 37 mm diameter) gives it a more dressy look.

In short, it’s a gorgeous little timepiece with a highly convenient solar powered movement – just perfect as an everyday beater watch for multiple uses and events.

Now, let’s go to the Citizen Eco-Drive BM8180-03E review shall we.

 

Citizen BM8180-03E Watch Specification

Diameter: 37 mm
Thickness: 9 mm
Lug Width: 18 mm
Case: Stainless steel
Strap: Green canvas strap
Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal

Dial: Black dial with day/date display
Hands: Skeleton sword hands with lume
Markers: Numeral markers with lume

Movement: Eco-Drive E100
Movement Features: Citizen’s Eco-Drive quartz movement with Solar/light powered
Power Reserve: 6 months
Accuracy: +-15 seconds per month

Water Resistance: 100 m
Eco-Drive User Manual: Download the user manual HERE

Best Place To Buy: Amazon

Stylish Military Style Dial/Watch Face

On top of the Citizen BM8180-03E watch is a stylish military dial design that’s just looks good to look at. Citizen has done a good job here with the dial design in my opinion.

The key lies in how outstandingly well-balanced the dial is.

Just take a look at it and you’ll realize that the proportions of the elements are just “right”.

The markers, hands, signature, day/date etc are just in harmony with each other. You just can’t find any fault with the dial at all. It’s truly a well-designed watch!

The dial is black in color, with white hands and markers on top of it for a nice contrast.

The hour and minute hands are skeleton hands with the bottom half empty while the seconds hand is red in color that just pops up from the black/white dial.

The numeral markers are fully numeral without any index markers – this makes the watch very easy to read as compared to other wrist watches.

At the outer edge are the minute markers for easy to read information on the minutes.

On the right side of the dial is a day/date window display for additional functionality which I truly love.

No more tinkering with your smartphone to know what date/day today is. Just a simple check on your wrist will help you get this info easily.

All in all, the dial is the element that I love the most on this watch.

It’s so sublimely done, with simple but well-executed styling. It also looks really handsome and dressy unlike other military watch.

This makes the Citizen BM8180-03E very versatile as you can use it for casual and more formal use. Due to this, I believe this watch is just perfect for everyday use.

Full Lume On The Hands And Markers

Another outstanding feature of the Citizen BM8180-03E watch dial is the full lume on its hands and markers.

Actually, I was really surprised that Citizen would do such a thing, especially at a sub-$100 watch.

Watches about twice its price rarely gives something like this, mind you.

 

Citizen BM8180-03E watch lume shot

The Citizen BM8180-03E has a full lume on its hands and markers which is usually seen on watches more expensive than it =)

 

Rather than just the hands, the numeral markers of the watch is also filled with lume, giving a really cool blue lume in the dark.

Nothing beats a well illuminated watch for its coolness =)

 

Small And Highly Polished Case

The Citizen BM8180-03E watch has a small case with just 37 mm diameter, which is about the smallest size for a man’s watch nowadays.

This size is becoming rarer with the current trend that is shifting towards big bulky watches .

I’m not too fond of big watches, no less since my wrist is a bit small but also because I feel that smaller watches exudes a sleek and stylish look.

And this is exactly what I found with this watch too!

Having said that, I know there are some guys out there that dislike small watches and prefer big bulky watches for its manly look.

 

Citizen BM8180-03E watch side

 

Thus, I need to warn that if you guys are within that group, then this Citizen BM8180-03E is NOT the one for you (unless you like having a buyer’s remorse lol!).

The 9 mm thick stainless steel case is also highly polished which further increased its good looks. It has short lugs which is strapped to a 18 mm green canvas strap.

On top of the watch is a mineral crystal that is befitting for a watch at this price.

In my opinion, anything other than sapphire crystal will require a conscious effort in our part as watch owners to care for it to prevent heartbreaking scratches on its surface.

Mineral crystals are just really really bad in scratch resistance =(

Lastly, the case also has 100 m water resistance rating on it which is quite good for a watch.

With this high rating, we can use the watch for water activities though I’d not use it for frequent swimming or diving.

 

Citizen BM8180-03E watch side

 

Even though the Citizen BM8180-03E watch can withstand 100 m water pressure, but the gaskets are not designed for sustained and frequent water exposure (as opposed with diver’s watches).

Thus, I’d recommend to be careful when using the watch in water.

 

Eco-Friendly Eco-Drive Solar Watch

Last but not least, the biggest selling point of the Citizen BM8180-03E watch is its solar powered movement.

The Eco-Drive movement is a respected solar watch engine that’s been proven for more than 20 years.

So what does it do?

Well, it simply convert light energy (sunlight or any artificial light) into electrical energy via photo-voltaic cells (solar cells or PV cells) underneath its dial.

This electrical energy is then stored in a small rechargeable battery cell. The cell will then powers up the quartz watch movement like in a normal watch.

So what are its advantage over normal watches?

First of all, there is no need to change the battery every year or so. Citizen claimed that the Eco-Drive battery can lasts up to 10 years (or even more).

 

Citizen BM8180-03E watch caseback

 

This will save some time on your part as well as reducing the amount of disposable batteries in the world (think Eco-Friendly here).

The best part about these solar watches are how it’s very convenient and easy to use. There is no need to be worried about a sudden “dead” battery at all.

The Eco-Drive E100 movement inside it has a 6 months power reserve from a full charge and it only takes about 12-45 hours of exposure under sunlight, depending on its intensity.

Besides sunlight, it can also be charged with normal lighting in our office or home.

 

Citizen BM8180-03E Eco-Drive E100 recharging table

Above is a table detailing how long it takes to recharge the Citizen BM8180-0E under different lighting conditions

 

This means the solar watch is easily charged simply by wearing them. And you don’t have to wear them everyday like an automatic watch since the power reserve has a large capacity.

Once a week of use is even enough to charge it! Now that’s total convenience to me.

And not to mention, nobody can deny how cool it is to own a high technology timepiece that uses solar power instead of the boring normal ol’ battery =)

 

Click HERE to download the Citizen Eco-Drive E100 user manual

 

Who Is This Watch For?

The Citizen BM8180-03E watch is perfect for those that want a really good looking military watch with a more traditional smaller watch size.

Despite it’s sleek looks, it’s also quite rugged (it’s a military watch after all) and can be used as a daily beater watch.

Having a solar powered movement means the watch is really convenient to use – no need to wind or change battery every year.

 

Citizen BM8180-03E watch on hand 2

 

A once a week use is sufficient enough to recharge the watch.

Last but not least, it has a cool full dial lume on it that’s hard to find in this price range. One of the things that we should get from an analog watch is a brightly lit lumes (unless its a dress watch of course).

It looks soo cool and functional in the dark due to this great feature.

 

Who Should Not Get It?

My view is those that prefer a bigger watch should not consider the Citizen BM8180-03E watch.

It’s very small in today’s standard (at 37 mm diameter) and I can imagine those guys will be frustrated at how “un-manly” this watch is.

So if you’re looking at a big and bulky watch, you might need to look elsewhere (the Citizen Nighthawk and Citizen Promaster Altichron are good choices with 42 mm and 50 mm case diameter respectively).

 


Watch the video above to see the unboxing of the Citizen BM8180-03E watch

 

Citizen BM8180-03E Watch Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • A handsome watch with well-balanced dial design
  • Easy to read dial with full numeral markers
  • Super cool lume on all of its hands and markers
  • Sleek and stylish small 37 mm diameter case
  • Total convenience with Eco-Drive solar powered watch movement

Cons:

  • 37 mm diameter case can be too small for some people
  • Mineral crystal is not scratch resistant

 

Like This Watch? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

If you like this Citizen BM8180-03E watch, get it cheapest on Amazon! Amazon has the largest selection of watches at the best prices. Click the link below to check out the watch on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To Check Out The Citizen BM8180-03E Watch On Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

The Citizen BM8180-03E watch is one good looking watch for sure.

I really love how Citizen managed to create such a well-balanced dial where all its elements are rightly proportioned to each other.

It really looks great, and the overall craftsmanship is just fantastic.

Citizen’s Eco-Drive solar movement also make this watch a true workhorse – there is no need to tinker about anything.

Just wear it and the watch will take care of itself. The solar mechanism will recharge the watch without you even noticing it.

Now that’s a whole new level of convenience.

For a good looking daily beater watch with a cool solar powered movement, the Citizen BM8180-03E watch is definitely a great choice.

 

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I hope you guys enjoy my Citizen Eco-Drive BM8180-03E review. Let me know if you guys have any questions or comments about the watch.

Drop your comments in the section below =)

Cheers!
Isaac

Citizen Nighthawk Watch Review (BJ7000-52E) : A Feature Packed Aviator Watch

Citizen Nighthawk Watch Review

 

Hi guys. Today I’m going to write a review about Citizen Nighthawk watch, a long time favorite for watch lovers.

 

So what’s the big deal with this Nighthawk watch?

 

Well, first of all, it’s affordable at around $200-$250 online. And for that price, we’re getting a tried-and-tested Eco-Drive light powered watch (no need to change battery for years!), GMT function, rotary slide rule, a great 200 m water resistance.

And have I mentioned that the Nighthawk looks super cool too? The black dial with white markings and red accent just looks astonishing and could be the reason why it’s called Nighthawk (black dial = night? lol!) Citizen surely knows how to make a damn good looking watch.

With the $200++ price tag, it’s definitely a lot of value for that money – much more value than other watches more expensive than it. It’s quite hard to beat really. Those kind of specs are just impossible to get for that price, and Citizen managed to do so.

Well, enough about the summary of this aviator watch. Let’s get on with the Citizen Nighthawk watch review.

 

Citizen Nighthawk Watch Specification (BJ7000-52E)

Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 13 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Case: Stainless steel case
Strap: President stainless steel bracelet with safety lock
Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal

Dial: Black dial with rotary slide rule
Hands: Sword hands with lume. GMT hands have airplane shaped tips with white/red colors
Markers: Index markers

Movement: Citizen’s Eco-Drive B877
Movement Features: Quartz movement powered by light (natural and artificial light)
Accuracy: Quartz accuracy of gain/lose 15 seconds per month
Power Reserve: 180 days

Water Resistance: 200 m
Other Features: Rotary slide rule, GMT/Second time zone, Screw down crown

Citizen Nighthawk Manual: Download the manual from Citizen’s website by clicking HERE

Best Place To Buy: Amazon, MSRP is $395

 

Cool Aviator Watch Dial

The first thing that I noticed is how cool the Nighthawk watch dial looks like. The black dial is very complicated and busy, thanks to the rotary slide rule and the GMT function at the center, but Citizen managed to make it looks endearing and handsome at the same time.

Not having a bezel make the watch looks bigger as we are looking at the full dial on the 42 mm diameter watch.

 

Citizen Nighthawk watch on hand

The Nighthawk looks big but it’s actually a moderate sized 42 mm diameter watch –  It’s all because of the bezel-less design

 

The markers and hands are white colored, creating a good contrast with the black dial. With big hands and markers, it’s not hard to tell time even with on this busy dial.

I like the numeral 12 and 6 of the dial as it makes the watch easier to read compared to an all index markers dial. Citizen uses a stainless steel lining for the markers which is just truly beautiful to look at.

Due to the big lume area application, the lume on the Nighthawk glows brightly in the dark. This is a very important element to a tool watch, in my opinion.

 

Citizen Nighthawk lume shot

The lume on the Nighthawk watch is good enough to tell time in the dark, as expected from Citizen

 

The usage of red accents for the GMT hour markings and on the slide rule is just the additional oomph that the watch needs. Citizen really knows how to play with colors on their watches’ dials (such as the Blue Angels watch) and it shows here.

All in all, the dial of the Citizen Nighthawk is pretty neat. Complicated aviator watch look but still looks sharp and cool at the same time. Totally great as a casual watch, but I won’t mind wearing it to office, or just about anywhere with this handsome watch =)

Great Quality Stainless Steel Case

The Citizen Nighthawk has a 42 mm diameter and 13 mm thickness, which is just about the normal watch size nowadays. It’s not too small but not too big either, though the bezel-less design makes the watch looks much bigger than it actually is.

Its stainless steel case is brushed, a good finishing choice for a tool watch like this. The short lugs is 22 mm width, and comes with a president style stainless steel bracelet with double lock clasp.

The sides of the watch are sharply cut devoid of any curves. But one thing that you guys need to be wary of is the watch crystal on top of it is made of mineral crystal.

 

Citizen Nighthawk watch side

 

Well, this is after all, a sub-$300 watch. So it’s practically impossible to get the scratch resistant sapphire on it. Mineral is not as good when it comes to scratches.

Not to mention the raised mineral crystal make it more prone to scratches. It might look cool, but the practicality of such design is just not there.

 

Click HERE to read my article on watch crystal types and their pros/cons

 

200 M Water Resistance Case

One thing that surprises me is the 200 m water resistance rating on the Nighthawk. I mean, usually tool watches like this has 100 m water resistance, but 200 m is just phenomenal!

But I’d also want to point out that while the time adjuster crown (3 o’clock) is screw-down type, the inner bezel rotating crown (at 8 o’clock) is not screw-down type.

 

Citizen Nighthawk watch caseback

 

Non-screw down crowns should work fine and does not pose any threat of water ingress, but I’d recommend that you guys get a real diver’s watch if what you’re considering of frequently diving/swimming with the watch.

Not to say the  Nighthawk’s water resistance isn’t good, but I believe a diver’s watch that’s designed for vigorous water activities will be a better watch in this regard.

 

Click HERE to check out my list of the 10 best automatic dive watches under $500

 

A Unique GMT Hands And Markings

One of the useful function that the Citizen Nighthawk has is the GMT function to display a second time zone. On this watch, the GMT hands and markers are very unique and different than normal GMT watches.

The Nighthawk has two set of GMT hands, the small hands with the red and white airplane tips. These hands are used to show the GMT time using the 24-hour time markings at the inner left side of the dial.

The shorter white tip will show the 1 am to 12 pm time while the longer red tip will show the 1 pm (or 13) to 12 am (or 24) time. Normally GMT watches have an extra hand which will make one full rotation every 24 hours.

 

(Read my review of the Seiko SUN019 to see the how a normal GMT watch looks like )

 

With this design, Citizen is able to free the right side of the dial to place their logo, signatures and a date window. It’s very unique and looks great too. Hats off to them for being able to come up with something like this.

 

Citizen Nighthawk watch on hand

 

Showing The GMT Time Or Second Time Zone

Traditionally, GMT watches are used by military and pilots to show the GMT (or Zulu time) for their jobs. But as the watch gained popularity among normal people, not all of them need to know what the time of London is all the time (GMT time or UTC+0 is also the time at London).

As it went by, normal people will usually set the GMT hand to a second time zone. A high-flying corporate guy that always fly around the globe? The GMT hand can be set to his/her local timezone so that you can call your kids before their bedtime.

Need to keep in touch with clients on a different continent? With the GMT function, you’ll always know your client’s timezone so that you can avoid calling them during their lunch time.

In short, the GMT function is a really useful tool especially when we need to constantly deal with others in different places with different timezones.

 

Amazingly Useful Rotary Slide Rule

Another thing that makes the Citizen Nighthawk such a useful tool watch is the rotary slide rule. It’s the same type as the Blue Angels in which the slide rule is operated by rotating the crown at 8 o’clock.

There is also another version of slide rule which is printed on a rotating bezel, as made famous by Breitling watches (and the much cheaper Seiko Flightmaster SNA411).

The slide rule is basically 2 sets of logarithmic scales printed on the dial. One of it is on the inner edge of the dial while the other one is on the rotating part.

 

So what does the slide rule do? It’s invented to help pilots make flight calculations swiftly. There are 2 main usages of it namely:

– General Calculation : Multiplication, division, square root, tipping
– Navigation Calculation: Speed, flight distance, fuel consumption, length conversion

 

As you can notice, even though the purpose of the slide rule is for flight calculations, it can also be used for general calculations which is more usable to normal people.

I can imagine using it to do multiplication and division when I’m too lazy to grab my smartphone. It can also be used to tip too! Now that’s something most of us might use.

The only downside is it’s quite complicated to learn. Read my article HERE on how to use the rotary slide rule for more info.

 

Citizen Nighthawk watch Review

Light-Powered Eco-Drive Movement

Underneath the Nighthawk’s black dial is a solar panel that can absorb all light and convert it into electrical energy to run the watch.

It’s based on Citizen’s world famous Eco-Drive technology that’s been around for more than 20 years – so you guys can rest assured that the solar tech behind this watch is proven to be very reliable and robust.

It can work with all types of light – sunlight and artificial man-made light too. You can even charge your watch at the office by exposing it to the fluorescent lamp, though how much charge it’s getting depends on the light’s intensity or how much Lux the light has.

 

Citizen Eco-Drive charging time

Above is a table on how long it took to charge the Citizen Nighthawk based on different types of lights

 

The electrical charge will then be stored inside the watch’s battery. With a single full charge, the battery can power the watch for 180 days. And with a battery life of more than 10 years, there is no hassle to change the battery every few years or so. That’s the convenience of solar watches for you!

 

Who Is This Watch For?

Anyone that loves a busy, complicated but cool looking aviator watch should get this Citizen Nighthawk. Citizen use of the black, white and red colors on the dial is just perfect.

They have made a very technical watch to look functional and stylish at the same time. For a cheaper watch that looks like the Breitling Navitimer, this easily fits the bill.

For those that want more than a normal traditional watch, this is the perfect watch for them. In addition to the normal time keeping, the Citizen Nighthawk also has the second time zone, rotary slide rule and it’s also solar powered. Not to mention the great 200 m water resistance!

All of these are very great functions that make the Nighthawk has so much more value than any other watches out there. If you’re looking for a great value for money watch, this is the one you should seriously look into.

 

Who Should Not Get It?

I’d say those who not prefer a busy dial watch to avoid the Citizen Nighthawk and instead look for simpler dress watches such as the Seiko SARB033, Tissot Visodate and Hamilton Jazzmaster.

In addition, even though this watch looks cool, it’s not well suited for black tie events, so those looking for a watch for that occasion might need to look at the dress watches I’ve listed above.

 


Watch the video above to see the Citizen Nighthawk closely

 

Citizen Nighthawk Watch Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Good looking and stylish aviator watch design
  • Light powered Eco-Drive movement for total convenience of use
  • GMT function to keep track of second time zone
  • Rotary slide rule can be used to make quick calculations
  • A good 200 m water resistance case

Cons:

  • Mineral crystal is raised above the case and easily scratched

 

Like This Citizen Nighthawk? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

If you like and want to buy the Citizen Nighthawk watch, get it cheapest on Amazon! It’s MSRP is around $395 but can be had for less than $250 on Amazon. Click the link below to check out the watch on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To Check Out The Citizen Nighthawk On Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

To sum it up, this Citizen Nighthawk watch is a one great value for money watch. Feature packed with rotary slide rule, GMT, 200 m water resistance, solar powered – and all of this in a stylish and cool design – no wonder it’s a fan favorite.

For something out of the ordinary watch, this is the one that you should seriously consider.

 

**************

 

I hope you guys enjoy my Citizen Nighthawk watch review. Let me know what you guys think about the watch.

I’ll be happy to read your feedback on this watch =)

Till then. Cheers!
Isaac

Citizen Promaster Diver Review (BN0151-09L) : A Good Value For Money Solar Powered Diver’s Watch

Citizen Promaster Diver Review BN0151-09L

Good Value For Money Watch – A Citizen Promaster Diver Review (BN0151-09L)

Looking for a good value for money diver’s watch? Then this Citizen Promaster Diver (model no. BN0151-09L) might just be the one for you.

A full fledged analog diver’s watch with ISO 6425 standard compliance, real good looking blue dial, solidly built casse – all for less than $250!

With this watch (and the Ecozilla for some extent), Citizen seems to be challenging Seiko and Orient on the affordable diver’s watch segment.

 

(Read my list of the 10 best automatic diver’s watches under $500 and you guys will see what I mean)

 

Let’s go to the Citizen Promaster Diver review and find out what makes this watch a great watch for your next diving trip.

Citizen Promaster Diver Specification (BN0151-09L)

Diameter: 44 mm
Thickness: 12 mm
Lug Width: 20 mm
Lug To Lug Distance: 49 mm
Case: Stainless steel case
Strap: Dark blue polyurethane strap with No-Decompression table
Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal

Dial: Dark blue dial (with solar panel underneath it)
Hands: Oversized arrow shaped hands with lume
Markers: Index markers with lume

Movement: Eco-Drive E168
Movement Features: Citizen’s Eco-Drive quartz movement with Solar/light powered
Power Reserve: 180 days

Water Resistance: 200 m
Other Features: Date display, Unidirectional rotating bezel, Screw down crown, ISO 6425 diver’s watch standard compliant, Signed crown

Best Place To Buy: Amazon (click below to see the cheapest price), MSRP is $295

 

Sublime And Handsome Dark Blue Dial

The first thing to notice on the Citizen Promaster Diver is the dark blue theme which is on top of the dial, bezel and the strap. It reminds me of my Seiko Sumo which also has the same dark blue matte dial.

And I can say they both look extraordinarily handsome! This type of matte dial is the best when it comes to diver’s watches as it’s not very showy such as the sunburst dials.

The dark matte dial gives the vibe of strictly business and that’s what the Promaster Diver is – a real diver’s watch.

 

Citizen Promaster Diver on hand

 

At the 4 o’clock, a date display is located which adds to the functionality of the watch. This placement seems to coincide with the crown which is also located at the 4 o’clock. Nice touch there Citizen!

The hands and markers are oversized, true to diver’s watch fashion. The markers are index markers with stainless steel linings around them.

The top 12 o’clock marker has a different shape so that it will be very visible in dark when the lume is glowing.

It’s hands are arrow shaped hands with different design and colors. The hour hand has a silver lining while the minute hand has an orange outline. This makes the minute hand pop out to be very visible.

Well, Citizen has been known to play with colors on their watch dials (such as their Altichron watch) so this is not so weird for me.

For a watch that looks perfect for casual and sports use, this Promaster Diver is the one watch to get.

 

Great Diver’s Watch Lume

One of the things that a diver’s watch need to has is great lume. Lume is the unique point about diver’s watches that no other watches has. Besides, a brightly glowing watch lume looks super cool =)

On this BN0151-09L is has just that – a super cool lume thanks to the oversized hands and markers. The luxuriously applied lume paint make for a very glowing watch in the dark.

 

Citizen Promaster Diver lume

 

Citizen opted to use a blue colored lume for the hands and markers which is a nice complement to the blue dial. At the top of the rotating bezel is a lume pip with green colored lume so that divers can still use the bezel in the dark.

 

Solidly Built Stainless Steel Case

This watch also has a solid stainless steel case, befitting of its 200 m water resistance rating. The watch is 44 mm in diameter with 12 mm thickness which is quite an average size nowadays.

The lug to lug distance is 49 mm and I’m quite sure most guys can pull this off (unless you have a very small wrist). It’s nice and sturdily built, something that you will be confident to bring underwater.

 

Citizen Promaster Diver side

 

On top of the dial is a unidirectional rotating bezel that is used to time dives. It has a minute markings at every minute which make the bezel a bit busy. At the sides of the bezel are threads to help users grip the bezel when using it.

 

(Read my article on how to use rotating bezel for more info)

 

The bezel is connected to the mineral crystal at the top which protects the watch from impact and water ingress. The usage of mineral crystal is not something that I like since it scratches easily. I prefer sapphire since that thing will be kept pristine for years to come.

But then we need to remember that this is a watch that’s prices below $250. So it’s quite understandable that Citizen can’t afford to spend the top dollars on the watch specification.

 

(For info on watch crystal types, read it more in my article HERE)

 

The 20 mm lug width of the watch comes with a blue polyurethane strap that seems to match the dark blue dial. On the is a No Decompression (or N.D) table that basically shows how long a human diver can stop at any given depth without having to make decompression stops when ascending.

 

Citizen Promaster Diver on hand

 

It’s quite a long subject to go into so for those that is interested in it, I’d suggest to read this Wikipedia page on the matter for more info.

 

 

ISO 6425 Diver’s Watch Compliant

One of the great features of this watch is the compliance to ISO 6425 diver’s watch standard. As I’ve written in my past article HERE, this ISO standard is used to make sure diver’s watches are fully competent to be used underwater.

The Citizen Promaster Diver complied with this standard which means it’s a great choice for real divers to use. For non-divers or the so-called desk divers, the ISO compliance means this is a tough watch that can withstand any kind of activities you throw at it.

If it is good enough to be used underwater, it’s surely sufficient to be used for that gym/ jogging/ hiking/ camping activities.

 

Eco-Drive E168 Movement

At the heart of this watch is the Eco-Drive E168 movement, Citizen’s own in-house solar powered watch. Well, solar powered is not quite right since the watch can also be recharged by any kind of light.

Underneath the dial is a solar panel that will absorb any light and turn it into electrical charge to be stored in its battery. But of course not all light is the same.

Sunlight has highest intensity (illuminence, as measured by the Lux unit) at 100,000 lux and the watch needs to be exposed to this for only 3 minutes for it to function normally one day. 35 hours of exposure is needed for full charge of 180 days.

On the other hand, normal fluorescent light bulb or lighting in the office/home has only 500 lux and will require up to 4 hours to charge the watch just for one day of use.

As you can see, solar powered watches are quite hard to be charged to full unlike automatic watches that only need a few round of manual winding.

But as long as we are exposing the watch to lights long enough, I don’t think there is any issue in this. I’d think only those that work night shifts will be affected as they won’t get as much night time as other people.

Accuracy wise, the Eco-Drive movement uses quartz as its time keeping mechanism. Being a quartz watch, it’s accuracy is among the best at only +-10 seconds per month. That’s much better than the usual +-15 seconds per day of automatic watches at this price range.

 


Watch the above video to see the Citizen Promaster Diver closely

 

Who Is This Watch For?

I’m sure that professional divers will take a liking to this handsome diver’s watch. The Citizen Promaster Diver is truly befitting its name. The ISO 6425 compliance with solidly built case makes it a good watch for diving.

Not to mention its more affordable price compared to other diver’s watches. I don’t think those that have Rolex Submariner will use their watches for diving and will use a cheaper watch (like this Promaster Diver!) instead lol!

 

Citizen Promaster Diver front2

 

And with a handsome design, it’s also something that non-divers could wear casually and for any sports/outdoor activities. Being a diver’s watch, it’s versatility is its strong point and will look good in almost all settings.

Having an Eco-Drive solar powered movement makes it easy to use without having to change any batter every few years.

For a watch that’s look great, with good specification and easy to use, the Citizen Promaster Diver is the one to get.

If you like the watch, get it cheapest from Amazon (click the link below). The watch MSRP is $295 but usually it can be had for less than $250 on Amazon which is a really good deal to me =)

 

=>Get The Citizen Promaster Diver Here

 

Who Should Not Get It?

Those wanting a more refined and dressy look might not want to get this watch. It’s dial is very simple and sporty with the oversized hands and markers. I’d limit this watch to casual and sports, with occasional office use with the right strap such as leather or bracelet.

For black tie events, it’s better to go with a more simple and elegant watch such as the Seiko SARB033 or Citizen’s Eco-Drive Titanium.

 

Citizen Promaster Diver Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Beautiful dark blue dial
  • Solar/light powered with Eco-Drive technology – no need for battery change for a long time
  • Very long power reserve up to 6 months
  • Solidly built case
  • Great lume effect
  • High visibility due to the oversized hands and markers
  • ISO 6425 diver’s watch compliance
  • Date display is a plus for funtionality

Cons:

  • Mineral crystal is not scratch resistant, but understandable at this price range

 

Final Thoughts

The Citizen Promaster Diver is a good looking watch with its brilliant dark matte blue dial and overall solid craftsmanship. Not just a handsome toy, it’s also a full fledged diver’s watch with an ISO 6425 diver’s watch compliance.

The Eco-Drive movement ensures that the watch is fully charged using solar/light and has a great 6 months power reserve.

And all of that in a watch that costs less than $250. Now that’s what a good value for money is. If you guys are looking for a watch that looks good, has high specification and affordable, this is the watch to get.

 

 

I hope you guys love this Citizen Promaster Diver review. Let me know if you have any comments or questions on the watch.

I’d love to hear from you guys =)

Till next time.
Cheers!

Citizen Altichron Review (BN5030-06E) – A True Sports And Outdoor Watch

Citizen Promaster Altichron Review BN5030-06E front

 

In this article, I’m going to write about the Citizen Altichron review, specifically the BN5030-06E model. It’s a true sports/outdoor watch with compass and altimeter functions by the Japanese under their Promaster line up.

And just like any other Citizen’s watches, the Altichron is also solar powered using their Eco-Drive technology.

 

A True Sports/Outdoor Watch With Compass And Altimeter

The main attraction of the Altichron (aside from its very busy and colorful dial, more on that later on) is in its great technical capability.

It has fully functioning compass and altimeter, as well as a robust case that can withstand extreme temperatures from -20 degrees Celcius to +60 degrees Celcius.

Citizen Altichron Review BN5030-06E

Add to that a good 200 m water resistance, superb light-weight titanium case and the famed Eco-Drive solar powered movement – you have a true sports watch that can even be used in the treacherous terrains of Everest (or in my case, my own backyard lol!)

It’s truly an interesting watch, both in the looks and the functionality. Let’s check out the Citizen Altichron review shall we.

 

Citizen Promaster Altichron Specification (BN5030-06E)

Diameter: 50 mm
Thickness: 16 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Case: Titanium case with Duratect coating
Strap: Black sillicone strap
Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal

Dial: Black and gray dial
Hands: Over-sized hands with lume
Markers: Index markers with lume

Movement: Citizen’s Eco-Drive J290, Solar powered movement
Accuracy: +-15 seconds per month
Power Reserve: 11 months

Water Resistance: 200 m

Other Features: Solar/Light powered watch, Compass, Altimeter (from -1,000 ft to 32,000 ft), Rotating compass ring, Date display, Power reserve display, Can operate in extreme weather (-20 deg. Celcius to +60 deg. Celcius)

Citizen Altichron Manual: Click HERE to download the manual from Citizen’s website

Best Place To Buy: Amazon for $580, MSRP is $640

 

A Very Busy, Colorful And Informative Dial

What sets the Citizen Altichron from other sports/mountaineer watch with altimeter and compass is how the brand chose to make the watch totally analog, that is without any electronic display (think Casio G-Shock, or even the Tissot T-Touch that I’ve reviewed a few weeks ago).

This is hard to do, since the altimeter (to know what’s the altitude mountaineers are on a mountain) need to be displayed with many numbers (think 15,200 feet – how to show it with an analog watch?).

The compass can be shown by using the watch’s hands, but Citizen chose to put an additional compass hand because they want the current time to always be visible to users no matter what function they are using.

 

Citizen Promaster Altichron Review BN5030-06E front

 

Thus, in order to achieve this analog look with those functions the watch has 3 extra hands in addition to the normal 3 hands (second, minute and hour) of normal watches – for a total of 6 different hands and scales!

This makes the watch a very unique piece – a very high tech device but has the appearance of “normal” watch.

And Citizen seems to know how to make a good design too. They played with colors, making the altimeter scales and hand in yellow while the compass hand and direction markings in red.

 

Citizen Altichron lume blue

 

This makes the watch and functions easier to be used and also colorful. The many elements on the dial make it very interesting to look at.

I mean, look at those hands on top of each other. It’s truly unique and attractive though it can be overwhelming at first.

 

Anatomy Of The Citizen Altichron BN5030-06E Watch

I think it’s better for me to break down the anatomy of the watch for you guys. I’ve grouped the watch elements by their functional groups as below:

 

citizen altichron BN5030-06E anatomy

 

1- Normal Time Keeping

3 Normal hands (second, minute and hour): The main hands are skeleton hands with in white color. Rectangular index markers in white color are used as the hour markers for the watch

The bottom right crown is used to set the time just like any normal watch.

 

2- Power Reserve Indicator

The subdial at left (9 o’clock) shows the power reserve indicator with the yellow scale. The small white hand is the hand for power reserve (which also doubles as the altimeter hand)

 

3- Altimeter

3 extra hands are used for the altimeter:

  1. Small hand at left side showing the 10,000 feet indication (also doubles as power reserve hand)
  2. Widest but shortest red hand at the center will show the 1,000 feet increments (also doubles as compass marker)
  3. The tallest yellow hand will show the 25 feet increments

The bottom left pusher with the yellow ring is used to activate the altimeter

 

4- Compass

The red hand will be used as the compass hand pointing North. The chapter ring at the edge of the dial has the North, South, East and West markings and can be rotated by using the upper right crown.

The upper left pusher with red ring is used to activate the compass

 

5- The knob at the left side of the watch is the sensor for atmospheric pressure

 

Lightweight Titanium Case With Duratect Coating

Another element of the watch that make it very suitable for sports is the titanium case. Titanium has always been a good alternative for stainless steel for watch material due to its lightweight properties.

And it’s very important to have that since the watch is a big 50 mm diameter watch. It also has a thickness of 16 mm, which make the watch not a good choice for those with small wrists.

 

citizen altichron titanium case (2)

 

The titanium case is coated with Citizen’s own Duratect, which helps make the case 5 times harder than stainless steel. This means it won’t get scratched as easily, very important to protect the watch when using it outdoor.

What I like about the physical of this watch is how much thoughts is put to make it a very functional watch, i.e for those mountaineers, hikers, etc to use it easily.

At the sides are over-sized crowns and pushers which not just make the watch looks bigger, but also make it easy to be operated wearing gloves (you’ll need to wear those if you’re going to a very cold mountain right?).

The big 50 mm diameter is also to make it easier to read the dial. It comes with a silicone strap which is very comfortable to be worn. Having a strap instead of a metal bracelet also makes it easy to wear the watch above any clothes.

The watch case can also withstand extreme temperatures from -20 degrees Celcius to +60 degrees Celcius, further showing how the watch is a great companion for any expedition.

 

Eco-Drive Movement With Solar Powered Charging

I really love solar powered watches because they are a great piece of technology. It’s hard not to love them right? Inside this Citizen Altichron lies the Eco-Drive J290 movement that do just that.

Solar watches are like a crossover of quartz with automatic watches – you basically don’t need to change the battery like any normal quartz watches but still has the much better accuracy of quartz.

Most solar watches has a very long power reserve and Citizen, being the pioneer of this technology, are able to ensure the power reserve in this Altichron is as long as 11 months (assuming you don’t play around with the cool compass/altimeter of course).

 

Citizen Altichron charging time

Chart on how long it takes to charge this Citizen Altichron watch

 

Based on Citizen, we just need to bask the watch under a clear sun for just 3 minutes to use it normally for a day. And I can say most of us will definitely has more sunlight than that every single day.

But one thing that we might need to be aware of is how long it takes to recharge the watch from dead. It seems the watch will require at least 2 hours under sunlight to charge it from zero power reserve.

That’s quite a bother, considering an automatic watch will need a few shakes or rotation on the crown to bring it up from the dead.

The lesson here? Don’t ever let the Altichron power reserve went beyond the last 30% mark (it’s very easy to know this since it has the very useful power reserve indicator on the left).

 

 

A Fully Functioning Compass With Magnetic Declination Setting

A great function that the Citizen Altichron has is full functioning compass built inside it. The watch uses a magnetic sensor for this purpose.

The compass function is activated by pressing the top left pusher (with the red ring). The red hand will then move to show the direction of North. The chapter ring at the edge of the dial can be rotated by using the top right crown for navigation purposes.

To make things better, Citizen also included magnetic declination feature with this watch. What it does is to automatically adjust the hand to show the True North instead of Magnetic North.
What are Magnetic North and True North?
If you guys can remember, all compasses are not pointing to the actual North Pole, but instead pointing to a Magnetic North. That’s the Magnetic Pole of the earth and currently it’s in Canada.

difference true and magnetic north 2

Due to this, we need to do some adjustment to the compasses to ensure we are navigating to the correct True North (as in the maps). This Citizen Altichron makes life easier by enabling users to input the magnetic declination value (in degrees) into the watch.

 

(check out Page 38 of the Citizen Altichron Manual  for step by step instruction on how to set the magnetic declination)

 

By the way, the magnetic declination value will not be the same everywhere due to latitude difference. You guys can check what’s the value from a map or you can also check out this website HERE for information about magnetic declination values everywhere in the world.

 

Altimeter (or Altitude Meter) – Perfect For Mountaineering

Another feature the Altichron has that makes it very useful is the altimeter. It’s job is to show the current altitude or elevation we are currently at and this watch can be used to show altitude up to 32,000 feet.

Simply push the bottom pusher (with yellow ring) and the 3 altimeter hands will show the altitude after a few seconds. The 3 hands are:

  1. Small white hand at left side will show the 10,000 feet indication
  2. Red hand (widest but the shortest hand) at the center will show the 1,000 feet increments
  3. The yellow hand will show the 25 feet increments

The altimeter scales are in imperial (feet) units. Citizen also produces metric units (meter) with unit no. BN4021-02E (you can check it out HERE).

 

Citizen Altichron altimeter SI

The watch also comes in SI (meter) unit version

 

The watch does this by calculating the atmospheric pressure by a barometer inside it. The basic principle is the higher we go, the less air pressure it is. This can be used to calculate the current altitude based on pressure difference with sea level.

But we need to remember that weather can also affect air pressure. Low air pressure will typically caused rains, so the altimeter might be off by a couple hundred feets.

Another thing to note is that the watch altimeter can be calibrated from time to time, if you feel the reading is off. This can simply be done by inputing the correct altitude from a reliable source to the watch when inside the altimeter mode.

 

(read page 28 of the Citizen Altichron Manual for step by step instruction on how to calibrate the altimeter)

 


Watch this video to see the Citizen Altichron up close and how to use its compass and altimeter functions

 

Who Is The Citizen Altichron For?

It’s evident than mountaineers or those that love outdoor activities will love this watch. It’s compass and altimeter function is just killer. Not to mention it’s unique analog display really sets it apart from the numerous digital outdoor type of watches out there.

Having a titanium case also makes it a true sports watch as it’s quite light despite the size.

Even if you are not a person that will go on a trip outside the city, you’ll most likely love the cool functions and styling of this watch.

 

Who Should Not Get It?

Anyone having a small wrist might not find the Citizen Altichron a good watch for him/her. Even though the watch is light, wearing a timepiece bigger than your wrist is not a good idea, style wise.

It’s better to stick with watches about or smaller than your wrist to avoid looking goofy.

 

Pros and Cons Of The Citizen Promaster Altichron

Pros:

  1. Good looking analog dial
  2. Titanium case makes the watch lighter than it looks
  3. Solar powered Eco-Drive movement for a maintenance free use
  4. Compass and Altimeter functions makes the watch a great tool to use outdoor
  5. Big crowns and pushers will ensure the watch is operable even while wearing gloves

Cons:

  1. Mineral crystal is not a good scratch resistant material

 

Like This Citizen Altichron? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

If you like the watch, you can get it cheapest on Amazon. It’s MSRP is $640 while Amazon typically lists it for around $580. Click the link below to check out the best deals on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To Check Out The Citizen Altichron BN5030-06E On Amazon<-

 

 

Final Thoughts

The Citizen Altichron is definitely a good watch. It’s lacking in many features compared to other sports or outdoor type of watches that typically having lots more functions.

But the Altichron has this handicap of having an analog display which means it won’t be able to show as much information on the dial as the other watches.

But then, it’s this analog display design which make the watch a true pleasure to see. I mean, just look at those colorful dial with lots of hands and scale. It’s very busy alright but very entertaining and captivating at the same time.

For those adventures that only need to tell time, compass and altimeter with his/her watch while also look stylish, this is the watch for you guys.

 

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I hope you guys like this Citizen Altichron review. Let me know your thoughts about this watch.

I’ll be happy to hear from you guys =)

Till next time.

Cheers!
Isaac

Citizen EcoZilla Review (BJ8050-08E) – Citizen’s Answer To Seiko Monster

Citizen Ecozilla review

 

Hi guys! Today I’m writing about Citizen EcoZilla review – specifically the Eco-Drive BJ8050-08E model, a huge and one of a kind diver’s watch which can even give the mighty aggressive Seiko Monster a run for its money.

 

But why the EcoZilla name?

 

Well, as you’ve noticed, the watch is humongous (it’s a freaking 48 mm diameter!) – so I guess the guy who coined this nickname likened it to Godzilla, the Japanese monster. Adds with the Eco-Drive model and you get EcoZilla lol!

 

citizen ecozilla on hand review

The Citizen EcoZilla on hand – just look at that huge 48 mm diameter watch and that aggressive style

 

Just like the Seiko Monster, this watch is a polarizing figure. You either love it or hate it. There is in-between or over the fence with this one.

 

Seiko Black Monster SRP313

Above is the Seiko Monster, a watch popular for its rugged look

 

I can totally see how some guys can love the big bulky case of it making it look very manly and rugged. It’s heft also symbolizes a good watch that can withstand any punishment whatsoever.

But some other guys don’t like it because their hands are too small for such a big watch. Not to mention the eye-catching design is not something they would want to wear on their wrist.

Putting that aside, this Citizen EcoZilla is definitely something else, totally different than watches I’ve reviewed before. Without any delay, let’s check out the Citizen EcoZilla review!

 

Citizen EcoZilla (BJ8050-08E) Specification

Diameter: 48 mm
Thickness: 18 mm
Lug Width: 29 mm
Lug To Lug Distance: 48 mm
Case: Stainless steel case
Strap: Black polyurethane strap

Dial: Black dial
Watch Crystal: 6 mm thick Mineral crystal with anti-reflective coating
Hands: Sword style hands with lume
Markers: Index markers with lume

Movement: Eco-Drive B873
Movement Features: Citizen’s Eco-Drive quartz movement with Solar/light powered
Power Reserve: 180 days

Water Resistance: 300 m
Other Features: Date display, Unidirectional rotating bezel, Screw down crown

Best Place To Buy: Amazon for $280, MSRP $395

 

A Huge 48 mm Diameter

The case of the Citizen EcoZilla is a huge 48 mm diameter. How big is it? For comparison, the normal classic dress watch is about 38 mm, while the current trend is 44 mm maximum.

With a 48 mm diameter, this watch definitely pushes the boundary on how big a watch can be. Not just the diameter, it’s thickness of 18 mm also is very mind-boggling!

 

Citizen Ecozilla thickness side

Just look at that 18 mm thick casing!

 

It’s totally a monstrous watch, and has a very nice heavy weight to it. The brushed stainless steel case also makes it more rugged, something that’s intended for actual diving.

And make no mistake, this little beast also has a great 300 m water resistance rating, which means you can actually use it to dive! Too many watches nowadays only has the diver’s watch look, but can’t really be used for any diving at all.

The EcoZilla is definitely a great choice for those that want a big manly looking watch, if you have the wrist for it (and be warned, it’s going to be heavy!).

 

Special Lug-less Case Design

Due to how big the watch is, Citizen opted to use a lug-less case design making the watch a total circular shape. Or else the watch will be very long and won’t be wearable by anyone except for the biggest wrists.

But unfortunately, this special lug-less design means the polyurethane watch strap is specially built for the watch with separate metal coupling to the case.

This means the watch strap can’t be simply changed without purchasing a separate adapter to connect it to the back case.

 


This video shows how to change the strap of the Citizen EcoZilla. It will require more work and a special adapter just to put the watch

 

Raised Unidirectional Rotating Bezel

The watch bezel is raised pronouncely which can give good protection to the mineral crystal on top of the watch. And this is definitely a good thing as mineral crystals are not that good with scratches

 

(Read my introduction to watch crystal article HERE for more info about this)

 

One thing that I dislike about the bezel design is how to rotate it, we need to grab the bezel from top. The side of the bezel is a protection ring which is not connected to it.

Citizen Ecozilla review BJ8050-08E

 

This makes the bezel rotating not natural and can be quite hard to do. It’s totally unlike the normal diver’s watch bezel which is easily rotated by grabbing the sides of the bezel.

 

Unique Crown Located At 9 o’clock

The screw down crown is sitting on the right (at 9 o’clock) and is very weird for a watch as it’s usually situated at 3 o’clock. Some people dislike this since it’s quite hard to use it if you are wearing your watch on your left hand.

But in my opinion, this is not a big issue. In fact, we should never operate our crowns while wearing the watch as it’s the weakest thing on a watch.

 

Citizen Ecozilla thickness

As with any modern diver’s watch, the crown is also a screw down type for maximum protection against water ingress

 

A bad push while doing that could snap the crown stem – a very small slender bar connected to the inside of the movement. Which is why I advised all of you guys to always take off your watch before setting it via crown.

By the way, this is a quartz watch after all. So not much time resetting is required as compared to an automatic watch. So this issue on the crown located at the right is only an issue if you choose it to be one =)

 

 

Black Dial With Lots Of Lume

The dial of this Citizen EcoZilla BJ8050-08E is black in color, and frankly speaking, too small for its big case. I mean, just look at it and you’ll notice that it does not have a good proportion of case diameter to dial diameter.

For me, it’s one of the major flaw that this watch has. It makes the watch looks like a big man with a small head.. It’s definitely not attractive at all.

I can only suggest that Citizen make the dial bigger in future update – it’ll be a great pleasure to watch this black diver style dial in full =)

Just like any diver’s watch, the hands and markers of this EcoZilla is big and over-sized, which make the lume performance as good as what you can expect.

 

Citizen ecozilla lume

The lume on the Citizen EcoZilla is great, thanks to Citizen’s lume technology and huge area of paint application on its hands and markers

 

In fact, the hands and markers are much bigger than other diver’s watches which is why it’s liken to the Seiko Monster – both have very big hands and markers.

The markers are uniquely shaped as it’s not rectangle or round but more like an elongated half circle.

At the right of the dial is a small date display window. Unfortunately the window is too small that I’m sure going to be a problem for people to see.

It’s much nicer if Citizen can make the date much bigger, or even replace the 3 o’clock marker with the date window completely.

 

Citizen ecozilla on hand

 

Overall, I’m not satisfied with the black dial as it’s too small compared to the over-sized case. The protective ring at the edge of the case just a waste of space, in my opinion.

It’s much better if this watch can has a bigger dial area as well as a bigger date window. Other than that, the luxurious application of lume on the hands and markers will surely give a long and satisfying glow-in-the-dark effect.

 

Citizen Solar Powered Eco-Drive B873 Quartz Movement

Powering the Citizen EcoZilla is none other than the Eco-Drive technology, Citizen’s famous and reliable solar/light powered movement.

The benefit of solar powered movement can’t be denied. It makes any quartz watches free from the dreaded dead battery. Just make sure you expose it to any light, and you are good to go.

Of course, the stronger the light (sunlight), the more it will recharge itself. And since the power reserve is a good 180 days (or 6 months), it’s basically maintenance free as I’m sure most of us will be able to get at least a few good hours of sunlight in that time span.

On the other hand, the Seiko Monster is powered by automatic self-winding movement. It’s the more antique type of watch, but has a huge amount of character that no quartz watch can beat.

 

(read my comparison between automatic/mechanical vs quartz watches HERE for more info)

 

Who Is The Citizen EcoZilla For?

Who is this watch for? Without a doubt, serious divers should definitely consider using this watch as it boasts a 300 m water resistance plus screw down crown.

And those big bulky case will surely mean some serious protection against any drop or impact during diving.

But even if you are not a diver, it’s a great watch for a casual use. Plus, anyone that would like a good eye-catching and unique watch on his wrist should get this. It’s huge size and weight will give a great wrist presence.

 

Citizen Ecozilla back engraving

The diver suit engraving on its caseback marks how the watch is a true diver’s watch, suitable for those extreme condition underwater

 

Who Should Not Get It?

Anyone with a small wrist should not get this. Period. It’s humongous and won’t fit well with a small wrist. Not only that, the size also means it’s quite heavy and will be a big burden to those with smaller hands.

I also think it’s not a good watch to be used to office or work. Most diver’s watches are versatile, but this watch is at the other spectrum of casualness. I can’t imagine how an office guy can wear such a big watch and still command respect from his bosses/colleagues.

 

Citizen EcoZilla Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Great wrist presence with 48 mm diameter case
  • Fuss free Eco-Drive movement without requiring any battery change in its entire life
  • A good 300 m water resistance rating
  • Date window for additional functionality

Cons:

  • The size can be too big for some people
  • Very small date window which is not easily readable
  • Mineral crystal is not very good in scratch resistant
  • Need an independent adapter to change strap

 

Like The Citizen EcoZilla BJ8050-08E? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

If you like this Citizen EcoZilla, get it cheapest on Amazon for just $280. This is a massive discount from its MSRP which is $395. Click the link below to check out the watch in Amazon.

 

->Click Here To View This Citizen EcoZilla On Amazon<-

 

 

Final Thoughts

Citizen EcoZilla BJ8050-08E is a very unique watch with extreme style. It’s very big, very thick and looks very aggressive.

But under this extreme look, it also sport a great 300 m water resistance – proving that those big case is not just for show. And as I’ve mentioned earlier, you’ll either love this watch, or hate it.

 

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I hope you guys like this Citizen Eco-Drive review.

Let me know your thoughts about it below =)

Till next time. Cheers!
Isaac

Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph Review : The Blue Yellow Aviation Watch

Citizen Blue Angels AT8020-03L review front

 

Citizen is a world famous brand founded in 1930, continuously providing high quality watches exhibiting technological breakthrough in each of its new invention.

In all its watches, Citizen has integrated creativity and excellence in its craftsmanship.

The very name of the brand carries a deep respect toward an age old craftsmanship that is considered to be one of the most technologically advanced over the world, especially with their Eco-Drive line up.

As a “Citizen” of the world, everyone bears the responsibility to help nurture a culture of positive change and evolution through this craft.

Once you start using this watch, you will realize exactly how seriously this mission to welcome what the future may bring is taken.

 

Introducing: Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph

 

Citizen Blue Angels AT8020-54L review

 

The Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph watch is a state of the art manufactured machine that is fully packed with lots of features.

Atomic timekeeping, chronograph function, auto set to 26 time zones, perpetual calendar, sapphire crystal and light-powered Eco-Drive movement – the list of the features in this watch seems to go forever.

And for just $390, it’s definitely a great value for money.

 

Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch

Citizen Eco-Drive AT4010-50E – A similar watch in terms of technical specifications but with lightweight titanium casing and cool grey black style.

 

I’ve reviewed its sibling, the Citizen Eco-Drive AT4010-50E. While both are similar in terms of their technical specifications, the main difference is this Blue Angels watch is livelier with blue and yellow design which is very funky and stylish.

The Citizen AT4010 is on the other hand made of titanium which is much lighter and gives a comfortable wear.

I don’t plan to do a full blown comparison between these two, but in my opinion as these watches have similar technical specification, it then comes down to which style you like more; the black/grey stylish with titanium of AT4010 or the blue yellow aviation Blue Angels AT8020 watch.

 

Homage To Blue Angels Flight Squadron

 

This particular beauty is named after the elite flight squadron of the U.S. Navy (Blue Angels) perfectly featuring its grace and accuracy. The usage of blue dial with yellow accents is beautifully incorporated into the design of the watch.

And the caseback is even adorned by Blue Angels emblem! Now that’s a cool feature for an aviation watch.

Citizen Blue Angels Caseback AT8020-54L

Not just the front face of the watch is styled with blue and yellow colors, there’s also a Blue Angels logo on its caseback!

 

So what are we waiting for? Without further ado, let’s check out the Citizen Blue Angels review shall we.

Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph Specification (AT8020-54L and AT8020-03L)

Diameter: 43 millimeters
Thickness: 13 millimeters
Lug Width: 23 millimeters
Case: Stainless steel
Strap: Patterned blue and yellow strap (AT8020-03L); also has a stainless steel bracelet version (AT8020-54L)

Dial: Blue dial with slide rule bezel
Subdial: 60-min Chronograph measurement and power reserve indicator (Top); 24-hour time display (left); 1/20 second chronograph measurement, day display and Radio signal status (bottom)
Watch Crystal: Anti-reflective sapphire
Hands: Bar hands with lume
Markers: Index markers with lume

Movement: Citizen Eco-Drive H800 quartz movement with analog display
Accuracy: Super accurate with atomic timekeeping which adjusts itself automatically every day. By itself, the quartz movement is accurate up to +-15 seconds per month.
Watch Features: Perpetual Calendar, 60-min Chronograph with 1/20 second measurement, Atomic timekeeping technology by Radio controlled time synchronization (in 5 time zones), Automatic time adjustment in 26 world time zones, Power reserve indicator, 24-Hour time display, Date and Day display, Slide rule bezel
Power Reserve: 6 months

Water Resistance: 200 Meter / 660 feet

Best Place To Buy: Amazon: (AT8020-03L) or (AT8020-54L), instead of MSRP $595
Citizen Eco-Drive Blue Angels Manual: Click HERE to download its user manual

 

A Very Busy Chrono-Aviation Dial, But It Looks Super Cool!

This Citizen Blue Angels has one heck of a busy dial as one would expect from an aviation-chronograph watch. The 3 sub dials on the case have very different functions that work together surprisingly well.

The extra functionality of the watch (slide rule bezel, date/day, radio controlled atomic timekeeping) adds up to the complexity of the dial. But regardless of that, Citizen has tried to make the watch as symmetrical as possible.

 

Citizen Blue Angels AT8020-03L review front

 

Blue theme with hints of white and yellow works beautifully to create a cool and stylish watch. The marker linings, sub dials and outer edge of dial has a very nice touch through the use of reflecting metals.

The solar panel on the dial of the watch is not distinguishable though we know it’s there lol. Hats off to Citizen for perfecting the technology of making an unobtrusive solar watches.

 

Stainless Steel Case with Sapphire Crystal

The Citizen Blue Angels watch is made of stainless steel metal with a nice non-reflective sapphire crystal. For those of you who follow my blog, you’ll know that I’m a fan of this type of crystal for watches.

And why would anyone won’t love sapphire?

For a start, sapphire is super scratch resistant that no ordinary material can make any unsightly scratches on it. Now that’s very important if you are buying a watch to be used for years to come.

I’ve had some mineral crystal watches and scratches do happen even if I’ve taken great care with them. Though of course this depends on the watch price. We can’t really expect a cheap watch to have sapphire on it right? (such as this Seiko SNK809 that’s selling for $60).

The Citizen Men’s Blue Angels Watch has a 43 millimeter stainless steel case with high functioning attributes. Because it is made for men, its 43 mm diameter case is actually perfect for a guy’s wrist.

Its 13 mm thickness gives it a finish appropriately as opposed to other thinner watches considering the fact that it is quite different from other quartz watches. I like how the lugs being designed to be short so as not to increase the lug to lug distance beyond normal wrist diameter.

 

Citizen Blue Angels Side

 

With a 200 m water resistance, it’s definitely enough to hold it against any occasional splashes of water. Just don’t try to swim/dive with it as the crowns and pushers are not screw down type.

The case itself is normally constructed without any extravagance – I like this better since the dial is very complicated, there is no need for an elaborate casing like what some watches have.

 

 

2 Choices of Straps: Blue Yellow Strap or Stainless Steel Bracelet

The watch comes with 2 choices of straps: blue yellow strap (AT8020-03L) or stainless steel bracelet (AT8020-54L) for people to choose. The blue patterned strap has yellow colors on the inside and looks very beautiful with the watch.

Citizen Blue Angels AT8020-03L review

The strap version (AT8020-03L). It has a blue strap with yellow inside for a totally sporty look

 

But there are some negative comments about the strap especially on its less than desired durability and how its buckle tend to dig into its wearer wrist.

In my opinion, a stainless steel bracelet is a much better choice – not just for this watch but for any other watch.

And why is that so?

Logically speaking, stainless steel won’t degrade and can last forever as long as the watch itself. This is very different than any strap material out there (leather, rubber, Nato, etc).

 

Citizen Blue Angels AT8020-54L on hand

 

Sure it can be a bit heavy but that shiny look which looks good either in a suit or casual jeans is just so good to has. And if you get bored with it, a strap replacement is just $20-$30 away on Amazon =)

So now we have covered most of the basic aesthetics of this Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph. Let’s then look at its technical functionality. I’ll try to be brief here but there’s so much going on this watch that it’s impossible to let you guys understand it without going into details.

Now, let’s check out the various functions this Blue Angels has.

 

Citizen Blue Angels dial manual

Above is a diagram showing the different functions on its dial. Try to compare these functions with a watch of similar price =)

1- Citizen’s Eco-Drive Light Powered Movement

The main feature of this Blue Angels watch is its Eco-Drive movement H800 that is powered by light. No more manual winding and changing batteries like normal automatic and quartz watches – only 1 lithium ion battery will last forever.

Not only that, the power reserve can lasts for almost 6 months though this will depends on how many times the other functions of the watch is used. Charging with these latest generation of light powered movement is relatively simple.

Just expose it to any kind of light with good intensity and you are good to go. Just remember that the intensity of the light plays a big part on how long it will charge to full. A normal office lighting will take a longer time than a very sunny afternoon.

Lastly, the top subdial hand will always show the current state of power reserve while in normal operation so that no guessing is needed. Now that’s a great thing to have.

 

2- Radio Controlled Atomic Timekeeping

A great feature that this watch has is the radio controlled atomic timekeeping.

Whoa… what does that means?

Don’t worry guys. I’ll try to explain this part as concise as possible. (Just to note here that I’ve reviewed the Citizen Eco-Drive AT4010 which has this exact same function.)

Basically this means the watch can pick up radio signals and reset the time according to the atomic time. With this, the time of the watch is always accurate as the synchronization takes place every morning.

But there’s a catch though – the radio signal covers only Japan, North America, Europe and China (see the signal map below). This means if you are located outside of these areas, the function won’t work and you’ll have to reset the watch yourselves.

But for those that do reside in these regions, this function will truly help to make your watch as accurate as an atomic watch – how cool is that!?

Citizen Blue Angels Radio Signal Map 1

Citizen Blue Angels Radio Signal Map 2

Citizen Blue Angels Radio Signal Map 3

Shown above are the 5 locations of the radio signal stations and their approximate radius. Download the Blue Angels’ user manual HERE for more info.

3- Setting to Different Time Zones

Next, this Blue Angels watch has a function to automatically set the time according to the time zone you are at. By taking out the middle crown once, the seconds hand will move to show the current time zone the watch is set.

The time zones are marked by the major 26 cities (i.e LAX, DEN, NYC, etc) at the inner dial. Simply rotate the crown to whichever time zone and the watch will adjust by itself.

This is definitely a very useful function for those that travels a lot =)

 

4- 60-minutes Chronograph with 1/20 Seconds Measurement

What would an aviation watch be without a chronograph? As a fully functioning aviation watch, this watch also has a chronograph, albeit it’s only up to 60 minutes (located at the top subdial).

But this chronograph also comes with a 1/20 seconds time measurement located at the bottom subdial.

This means the chronograph can measure 10.15 seconds, something that’s much more accurate than normal analog chronograph watches that typically can report up to the seconds only (e.g 10 seconds).

 

5- Perpetual Calendar

The watch comes with date and day display at the right window and bottom subdial respectively. But what’s more amazing is the inclusion of perpetual calendar function which will automatically change the date by taking into account months with less than 31 days and also leap years.

How nifty can this be?!

I can tell you how useful this function is. Having to reset the date of my watches after a February (for example) can be a bit annoying though I only has to do it once every month lol. Having this function can take off that few minutes of resetting the date, not to mention it’s a cool feature =)

 

6- 24-hour Time Display

At the left subdial of this Citizen Blue Angels watch is a 24-hour time display which to me is a godsend. Some people don’t really bother about having it but for me, this is a feature that analog watches need to have.

Unlike electronic watches that can show the AM/PM status, analog watch users don’t really have that luxury. Most of the time, we are left to our own awareness what time (AM or PM) is it right now. Due to that, having a 24-hour time display is a very useful thing to have =)

 

7- Slide Rule Bezel

Last but not least, the watch also has a slide rule bezel. I’ve purposely put this feature at the bottom of the list as it’s not related to the watch mechanics. Instead, the slide rule works manually by rotating the crown at bottom left (or 8 o’clock) position.

So what is that slide rule again?

It’s basically two scales on top of the watch to help with quick manual calculations of various computations such as multiplication, division, square root, etc. One of the scale is on the edge of the dial while the other one is on a rotating inner bezel.

By rotating the second scale, one can easily find an approximate answer to many mathematical calculation. Check out my review of the Seiko FlightMaster SNA411 where I’ve discussed in detail about slide rule bezel and how to use it.

 

That’s all for the watch functions. For more information, download this helpful Citizen Eco-Drive Blue Angels Manual HERE

 


Watch this video to have a closer look to this Blue Angels watch. It also shows how to set the time zone and chronograph function

Who Is This Watch For?

The Citizen Blue Angels Watch is one of the few in the market with lots of high tech features and comes with handsome design. It looks sporty and classy at the same time. The association with the cool Blue Angels flight squadron just enhances its coolness further.

It’s definitely suitable for those that want a highly functional watch and don’t want to settle for a normal analog watch. At just $390, it’s definitely a great value for money buy.

 

Who Should Not Get It?

If you’ve read this whole Citizen Blue Angels review, you’ll realize that feature wise it has no lacking. But its rich features may be deemed too sophisticated for some and too sporty for others who are looking for a more ordinary looking watch.

 

Pros and Cons

Advantages:

  • Synchronizes the watch through its Automatic Timekeeping every day, making it the most accurate watch in existence.
  • Eco-Drive light powered technology that ensures that no battery change is required throughout its life
  • Power cell lasts for 6 months
  • Beautiful design incorporating blue yellow Blue Angels signature colors
  • Slide rule bezel for instant calculation
  • Perpetual calendar that can adjust the date for leap years and months less than 31 days
  • Able to adjust the time to 26 time zones

Disadvantages:

  • The radio controlled atomic timekeeping works in only 5 time zones only
  • Chronograph can measures only up to 1 hour

 

Want To Get Your Hands On This Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph Watch? Get It Cheapest On Amazon!

Currently this watch has an MSRP of around $600 which is quite a steep price to pay. But luckily some sellers on Amazon have it for way less that that which is definitely a bargain. Click the links below to check out the watch on Amazon.

 

->Citizen Blue Angels AT8020-03L with Blue/Yellow Strap on Amazon<-

->Citizen Blue Angels AT8020-54L Stainless Steel Bracelet on Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

This Citizen Blue Angels Watch is a modern day invention that brings you the best and the edgiest of all features. It’s a very cool and sporty accessory that can be worn every day. It’s fully packed with features that I won’t write here because the list is just too long lol!

From a simple watch, Citizen upgrades it into a machine. So if you are an active person who’s looking to buy something cool to look at, all the while being effective in use, the Citizen Blue Angels Watch is the right watch for you.

 

 

Hope you guys enjoy this review. Let me know if you have any questions or comments. Just put them down below =)

Cheers!

Isaac

Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium Review (BM7170-53L) – The Gorgeous Eco-Drive Watch

Citizen BM7170-53L review

Introducing Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium Watch BM7170-53L

From the dawn of time, the concept of time itself has amazed men. Many have thrived to find the perfect way to store or perhaps keep a record of time.
The process of this development was very slow but, after painstaking effort, mankind got it better and better. And one of the improvements in watch making was the usage of titanium.

Citizen was first ever watchmaker to make a solid titanium watch with its Citizen X-8 Chronometer debuting in 1970.

Citizen X-8 Chronometer

Citizen X-8 Chronometer, the first watch with solid titanium case

From then on, the Japanese brand continues to innovate and it truly glorifies people to stand at the pinnacle of impeccability. And now, here comes the Citizen Eco Drive Titanium BM7170-53L.

The watch has a majestic deep blue dial with honey comb pattern at center is something which truly makes the watch unique. It also features the titanium casing along with the anti-reflective sapphire window ensures durability and lightweight for super comfortable wear.

This is not just a pretty watch, it is strong in its mechanics too. It has Citizen’s famed Eco-Drive movement inside, which ensure no battery change for its whole life.

Those are the quick facts about this Citizen BM7170-53L. Now let’s go in-depth into the review of this beautiful dress watch.

Citizen BM7170-53L review

 

Citizen Eco-Drive BM7170-53L Watch Specification

Diameter: 43 mm
Thickness: 12 mm
Lug Width: 26mm
Case: Titanium
Strap: Titanium bracelet

Dial: Dark blue dial with honeycomb pattern at center
Watch Crystal: Sapphire crystal
Hands: Dauphine hands with lume
Markers: Index hands with lume

Movement: Citizen Eco-Drive E111 Quartz movement
Movement Features: Solar powered watch, Gain/lose 15 seconds per month
Power Reserve: 180 day power reserve

Water Resistance: 100 m

Best Place To Buy: Amazon for $215, it’s MSRP is $375

Simple and Elegant Watch

The major beauty of a watch lies in its dial face and that is totally true with this Citizen BM7170-53L. The watch face is elegant; citizen has decided to keep it clean and simple with analog type.

The citizen emblem is situated at the regular place underneath which the eco drive is written. The watch face also has a classic calendar date part. The face and dials are very simple, and there is no difficulty for you tell time. It is, in short, an elegant dress watch.

 

Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium hands on

 

Gorgeous Deep Blue Dial Face

It has a deep blue dial with a honeycomb pattern at the center which is a very nice detail done by Citizen. One thing to be noted about the dial is it’s mostly dark in places where the light is not very bright.

This is because the dial is a solar panel that needs to absorb light to recharge itself. Thus, the dial appears to be almost black in some instances. This thing is not only special to this watch though – almost all solar powered watches have a near black dial due to this.

But in very bright condition, the dial will appear blue with some hint of sunburst effect – this is what most of the photos of this watch looks like – and it’s totally gorgeous.

Having a silver case for the watch helped to bring out the focus on the dial too. All in all, a beautiful dial with unique honeycomb pattern on it.

 

Citizen Eco-Drive BM7170-53L hands on

Under low light condition, the dial can look quite dark but still very stylish

 

Luminous Hands and Markers

One of the good things about this watch is the huge amount of lume (read more about lume/luminous in my article HERE) applied on its over-sized hands and markers. A typical watch does not have much lume on it but this Citizen BM7170-53L is different.

 

But how important is having a lume on our watches?

 

Well, a lot! It sure make the watch appear a bit less elegant but to be able to tell the time in dark is very useful. Besides, the bright blue color of the lume on this watch matches it perfectly and just so beautiful to look at.

Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium lume

The Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium has a bright blue lume, thanks to its huge lume applied area on its hands and markers

 

Titanium Case: Lightweight and Hypoallergenic for Comfort Wear

One of the best watch materials is undoubtedly titanium. The entire casing of Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium watch is, as the name suggests, made of titanium.

The case has a diameter of 43 millimeters and a thickness of 12 millimeters which is a normal sizing for men’s watch nowadays. I’m quite sure that unless your hand is girlishly small, there is no issue on having this watch to fit a man’s wrist.

Being made of titanium, the casing is very light (almost 40% lighter than normal stainless steel as claimed by Citizen) and provides a huge comfort while wearing.

Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium BM7170-53L hands on

 

Thinking back the first time I wore my watch, it sure feels very heavy as it’s a normal stainless steel. So for those just starting out to wear a watch, titanium is a great choice!

Another great characteristic of titanium is it’s hypoallergenic – meaning it won’t cause reaction to skin. Apparently, some people suffers from allergy reaction to stainless steel and titanium is a good material to be worn by these unfortunate people =)

 

Powered By Solar With Eco-Drive E111

Eco-Drive E111 is the movement that powers this Citizen BM7170-53L titanium watch. I’m sure you guys have at least heard about this Eco-Drive thing by Citizen.

Eco-Drive, as the name suggests is an environmental “eco” friendly watch movement and the fact that it works from light source is truly amazing (hence the “eco” name).

So you must be curious to know how does this work right?

The concept is simple, yet revolutionary – a lithium ion battery inside the watch is continuously charged under the presence of light. Thus, you never need to worry about your battery “dying”. The Eco-Drive E111 is environmentally friendly and truly one of the most innovative movements out there in the market.

You have no worries about winding regularly or replacing the battery with this watch which is an epitome of perfection. Excellence and creativity runs in the very ‘veins’ of this watch.

 

A Quartz Accuracy

And being a quartz, there is no issue with accuracy. The standard gain/loss time of 15 seconds per month is good and most people won’t even notice it. This is unlike automatic watches that even with the most accurate chronometer can has +-6 gain/lose every day.

But of course automatic has some other unique characteristics that quartz don’t have, but that’s not the purpose of this article lol! (read more about automatic vs quartz movements HERE for more information and which one is good for you).

All in all, the movement of this Citizen Eco-Drive BM7170-53L is a good one. I don’t usually like a normal quartz but I do love solar powered watches as it’s cutting edge and very cool.

I mean how cool is it to have a watch that runs by light and does not need its battery changed or manually wind? =)

Citizen Eco-Drive BM7170-53L sides

 

Who Is This Watch For?

Now, you must be wondering is Citizen BM7170-53L for you? In my opinion, the watch falls under the category of casual/sports watch. The deep blue color scheme and the overall design and price makes this choice almost perfect for anyone who likes a durable watch that represents class and is also affordable!

The fact that it uses light source as power, mother Earth lovers would absolutely love this. Due to its Eco-Drive movement, the watch is suitable for people who expects a lot from their watch with little or no maintenance at all – as the battery requires no changing.

Having a titanium case is a huge boost for those that want to wear a watch but don’t like to put a substantial weight on their wrist. And those allergic to steels should benefit from this watch too.

 

Who Should Not Get It?

However, this watch would not be suitable for teenagers or people who are in to extreme “funk”, very extravagantly colorful watches in their type. The design of this Citizen BM7170-53L Titanium is quite restrained to keep its elegance which will not goes well with some people.

Also, if you are diver, this watch is not for you as it, although, does many things but not do diving very well.

Titanium do make for a good diver’s watch because of its lightweight but since there is no screw down crown, I’d be quite worried to wear my beautiful watch inside water.

 

Have a closer look at the watch in this video

 

Pros and Cons

I’ve listed down the pros and cons of the Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium below. Again, these are just my opinions of the watch. So if you don’t agree with any of these, let me know in the comments section and we will have a discussion on it =)

 

Pros:

  • Has a great design with deep blue dial and honeycomb pattern
  • The titanium casing is lightweight and hypoallergenic
  • Eco-drive solar technology ensures the “immortality” of the watch’s battery and therefore no replacement required.
  • A good water resistant of up to 100m.
  • Simple and elegant design
  • Great scratch resistant sapphire crystal

 

Cons:

  • The watch case and lugs is specially designed for this bracelet, so no changing of straps can be done for this watch
  • No screw down crown

 

Like The Citizen BM7170-53L? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

If you like this watch, you can always get it cheapest from Amazon. Amazon currently has a great deal for it at just $215, instead of the MSRP of $375. For a watch with titanium casing, solar powered and sapphire crystal, $215 is definitely a steal! Click the link below to check out this watch on Amazon.

 

-> Click Here To View Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium BM7170-53L on Amazon <-

Final Thoughts

Citizen is a brand which has made its mark in the watch making industry with its innovation and creativity, and sheer engineering skills. The features of this Citizen Eco-Drive titanium watch are remarkable and unrivaled for its price.

 

So what are my final thoughts?

 

Well, this is is one of those watch which is loved by all users, one of the watch which symbolizes elegance without being too “shiny” – so it’s an epitome of perfection but to some limited extent.

It’s also fully packed with features :- solar technology, titanium body and sapphire crystal, all of which make it one of the most good value for money watches out there in the market.

 

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Hope you guys enjoy my Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium review. Let me know your opinions or questions regarding this watch.

Drop your comments below and sign up for my weekly update =)

Cheers!

Isaac

Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch Review – Super Accurate Wrist Watch With Atomic Timekeeping

I have always been an automatic watch guy and don’t really like quartz watch in general. But this Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E really blows my mind. Although it’s a quartz wrist watch, it has a huge amount of functions that excite the techie spirit in me. It is solar powered, a chronograph, perpetual calendar and best of all it has radio controlled atomic timekeeping – all of these make this wrist watch a true feat of watch engineering.

Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch Review

Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E
Specification

Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 13 mm
Case: Titanium
Lug Width: 24 mm
Strap: Titanium bracelet
Bezel: Black bezel with Tachymeter scale

Dial: Black dial with textured pattern
Dial Window: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Markers: Index markers with lume
Hands: Dauphine hands with lume

Movement: Citizen Eco-Drive E650 quartz movement with analog display

Watch Functions: Solar powered light by Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology, Radio controlled atomic timekeeping (in US only), Perpetual calendar, Chronograph, Power reserve indicator, Alarm, Day & date function, 12 & 24 hour time, smooth movement of hands while operating its various functions

For detail information on the watch’s various functions, download the Citizen’s setting instructions here
Power Reserve: 270 days or 9 months

Water Resistance: 200 m / 660 feet
Accuracy: Very accurate thanks to quartz timekeeping. In addition, with its atomic clock syncing every day, it can be said to be as accurate as an atomic clock!

Best Place To Buy: Amazon

Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch Review

Nice Design With Titanium Case For A Very Light Wrist Watch

The design of the Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch is quite nice to look at. Sure there is a lot going on the 42 mm diameter watch but that’s what to be expected from a chronograph.

You can see the 3 subdials on the face that have different functions to play (more on that later). But surprisingly the dial – as congested as it may be – is very well designed.

Citizen has tried to make the watch as symmetry as they could. The use of reflecting metals such as the marker linings, subdials and outer edge of dial is a very nice touch. The inner circle of the dial is textured and contains the solar panel of the watch.

The watch is 42 mm in diameter and is not too big for most guy’s wrist. It is quite thick at 13 mm. Most quartz watch has much thinner profile but this is not your ordinary quartz watch though, so those extra milimeters are totally justified.

The lug width is 24 mm which actually make the watch looks larger. In my opinion, a 22 mm lug width is enough for watch with this size.

Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch Review

The material used for the case and bracelet of the Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch is titanium which is a premium material for watch making.

Titanium is an element that is widely used in aerospace industry. The reason? Titanium has almost the same strength of steel, but it has almost half of steel’s density or weight. This gives it a better strength to weight ratio than steel.

Using titanium as watch material will make the Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch much lighter, just about 100 g.

Not only that, titanium also is highly resistant to corrosion such as sea water and your own sweat. It’s also an inert element and it’s hypoallergenic property is a great option to those that have allergy to steel.

A big difference with stainless steel is the appearance. Titanium has a matte finish while stainless steel is more shiny or polished. The reason why titanium is pricier than steel is due to the scarcity and difficulty in molding and welding the element.

For more info on titanium, you can read more on ablogtowatch.com and Wikipedia.com.

Packed With Functions!

The watch is truly a technical achievement. Here is the list of functions that the Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch has:

1- Solar powered by Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology
2- Radio controlled atomic timekeeping
3- Perpetual calendar
4- Chronograph
5- Power reserve indicator
6- Alarm
7- Day and date display
8- 12 and 24 hour time

Take a look at the list above. Those are very commendable list. There are a few things that is not there that I would love to have such as compass and watch light but then you can’t really have everything right?

What I really like is how these functions helped to make the watch truly independent and can work on its own. There is no need for the owner to even set the time/day/date or anything.

It’s like a smartwatch from Samsung or Apple but with the gorgeous design of an actual watch. Let’s have a look at how these functions work.


 Check out this useful video on how to use the watch’s various functions. Notice how beautiful the hands moves and glides on the dial when operating it. Citizen really knows how to impress people with this smooth hands =)

Citizen Eco-Drive Technology – No Need For A Battery Anymore

The Eco-Drive is a wonderful creation by Citizen. It uses a solar panel to convert light into electrical energy and store it inside a power cell. Not just that, the panel also can convert light from any source.

Sunlight is the best but you can still charge it by placing it beneath a table lamp or normal fluorescent light. The power cell also will last a lifetime of use so there is no need for replacement.

This technology is a step up from the quartz and automatic movement watches. It uses quartz for very high accuracy (up to only a few seconds per month.

A great improvement over automatic watches that is accurate to a few seconds in a day). But instead of a battery, it uses the best kind of renewable energy: light.

By placing the solar panel sublimely underneath the dial (which is a technical feat also!) and using a long lasting power cell, the watch can run literally forever.

The best part is the power cell that has 270 days (or 9 months) power reserve. Such huge amount of power reserve is a huge difference with 40 hours power reserve of automatic watches!

But one thing to note is that the recharging can take up to 210 hours for a table lamp (normal office light at the ceiling is too far to make a difference).

Citizen also said that the best source is sunlight, but even a sunny day will need 35 hours of direct exposure for it to charge to full capacity.

Luckily there is a power reserve indicator is situated at the top right subdial. I don’t think you need to bask yourselves in the sun for 35 hours straight.

Just charge it up under a table lamp whenever the power reserve drops to half and that should do the trick. Visit these sites for more information on Citizen’s Eco-Drive and E650 Movement recharging guide.

Radio Controlled Atomic Timekeeping

Another interesting and very useful function of this Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch is the atomic timekeeping.

In Denver, there is a radio tower at Fort Collins station that sends radio signal which contain the atomic time – which is the most accurate time on earth.

Appliances (like this wrist watch here) can tap into that signal and pick up the atomic time to reset their devices time accordingly to the atomic time.

One thing that you need to know is that this is not a GPS watch which means you have to set your own timezone (indicated in the bottom subdial).

The watch supports 5 timezones – 4 major timezone in US : Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific and London timezone. So if you are from other part of the world such as Europe, Asia (or even Alaska and Hawaii in US), the radio controlled atomic timekeeping will not work.

The watch can also be set to alternate time mode (A-TM) in the bottom mode subdial where you basically set the time yourselves. But then what’s the fun in that? =)

What the watch will do after getting the atomic time from the radio signal is to change the time into your actual timezone. The reception will be done automatically at 2am everyday or can be done manually.

Since this is a radio signal, you’ve gotta expect some restriction in usage. For example the radio signal won’t work if you are in a building, tunnel, basement etc. For best signal transmission, position the watch next to a window and it will catch it and adjust the time accordingly.

With this, you are using the most accurate watch on earth, more accurate than most watches! I’m not sure whether it is Citizen that first produced a radio controlled watch to sync with atomic time, but whoever created this is a genius.

Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch Review

Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph With Tachymeter Scale

What would a high tech wrist watch be without a chronograph? The Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch also has one with a beautiful Tachymeter scale on its black bezel.

But to use this function is not as simple as other chronographs as the mode of the watch need to be changed to chronograph mode – it’s done by pulling the crown to first position and rotate the mode subdial (the bottom subdial) to “CHR” or chronograph.

The two pushers at the right 2 and 4 o’clock can then be used for the chronograph function. Top pusher will start and stop the chrono while bottom pusher will reset it.

The chrono will only measures up to 1 hour (or 59 min 59 seconds) and this is measured on the top right subdial. It’s way less than other chronographs which can go from 4 hours to even 24 hours of measurement.

It seems Citizen chose to reduce the chronograph measurement to save one subdial for other functions (which is cool with me as I don’t really think anyone would measure up to hours right?).

Tachymeter scale on the black bezel kinda gives the watch a cool look. The scale is used to measure speed of any object (works in kmh or mph) if you know the distance it traveled.

Start the chronograph when the object starts and stop it at the point you know the distance it traveled. This will gives you the speed. You can also check out my review of the Tissot Couturier Chronograph here as I’ve written about how to use the chronograph.

Alarm And Perpetual Calendar

This watch also has alarm and perpetual calendar. These two functions can also be found in automatic watches but it will cost a ton of money to own those watches.

Luckily with the latest quartz and electronic watch technology, these functions can easily be found at lower cost and affordable to average guys. The perpetual calendar is very useful as you don’t have to adjust the date at the end of each month.

The watch took into consideration the different days in a month as well as leap years, so there is no need to change the date up until 2100. Alarm function can be used by activating the alarm mode. The time for the alarm can then be set easily then. The alarm will set off for 15 seconds when time arrives.

Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch Pros and Cons

Below are the summary of the pros and cons of the watch for your easy reference.

Advantages:

1- Syncronizes the watch with atomic time everyday making it the most accurate watch on the planet
2- Smooth and subtle moving hands while operating the watch
3- Eco-Drive technology ensures that no battery is needed
4- Power cell can last for 270 days or 9 months
5- Beautiful watch design incorporating all those indicators and subdials perfectly on the dial
6- Titanium casing makes the watch lighter than a stainless steel watch

Disadvantages:

1- Radio controlled atomic timekeeping only works in 5 timezones. If you are outside of US or London, then this watch is not for you
2- Chronograph only measures up to 1 hour
3- 24 mm lug width and bracelet make the watch appear much larger than it actually is

My Final Verdict?

The Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E is not an automatic that I loves but the techie side of me just scream with excitement when I see this watch.

It has a titanium body, great design, Eco-Drive solar powered, radio controlled to sync with atomic clock, alarm, chronograph and 24 hour time. Not to mention it has a whopping 9 months power reserve, perpetual calendar and reset the time automatically everyday.

These functions make this wrist watch to be fully independent of any human intervention – you can use it everyday and don’t need to worry about whether the time or day or date of it is correct.

Put the watch under your side lamp when you sleep is enough to charge it for a few weeks of use. Whether you are having it for yourselves or as a gift for someone else, I’m sure no man will not dislike having such a useful tool in his arsenal =)


If you are looking to buy the Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E, Amazon currently has a discount on it. This drops the price from its MSRP of $725. Click the link below to check out the best deal of this gorgeous wrist watch on Amazon.

Buy Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E On Amazon