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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
- 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
- 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.
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!