132 of 139 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2008
Even though I'm not a pilot, I've always liked the Skyhawk/Navihawk titanium line of Citizen watches. My brother is a commercial pilot and has an older one. He loves it. They are just too cool. But I never liked the fact that they didn't have a backlight for the LCD displays. Well now they do! It has an amber backlight that works great. This watch is the new titanium version of the much heavier stainless steel JY0000-53E that came out last year.
Of course the weight of this watch is ridiculously light due to the Titanium construction. For such a big watch, I can hardly tell it's on. I can't stand a heavy watch bouncing on my arm. And be aware, this is definitely a big watch. But that seems to be the trend now (which I like).
The atomic time function works like a charm. I also like having world time at my fingertips. I have family members that live overseas, so it's nice to be able to check their local time at a glance.
It's great knowing I will never have to change batteries with this watch. The solar-powered "Eco-Drive" is an incredible feature that every watch company should have.
The watch has 2 alarms, world time zones (43 cities), solar power, atomic time, a countdown timer, a chronograph, a slide rule, UTC time, a 24 hour clock, ultra-light and nearly indestructable titanium construction, 200 meter waterproof, mineral glass, and it looks outstanding. What more could you want? I think it even does the dishes, bathrooms, and windows. But I haven't looked up those features yet in the 115 page manual (English portion).
One thing that's missing is a one-touch feature to bring all hands to the 12 o'clock position to clear the LCD displays during certain times of day. The hands occasionally obscure your attempts to read the LCD's. Another little gripe is you have to pull out and turn the crown to check the date. And it'll show you the date of your second time zone only. You have to do a couple more steps to get your home zone date if your second time zone is across the dateline from you. I think there's a way to set the LCD 2 to show the date all the time, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet. (Correction 4/1/08: I don't think there is any way you can get LCD 2 to show the date.)
Forget Rolex, Breitling, and Omega. They might look cool and have their high-falutin image, but they have nowhere near the functionality and practicality of this new Citizen. And they all cost about 10 times more. They are also much heavier.
Bottom line: It's virtually indestructable, ultralight, maintenance and adjustment free. I never have to set the time again nor will I ever have to change a battery or put it in a watch-winder (for automatics). I'm a big fan and proud owner of one of the coolest watches on the planet.
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2011
I bought this watch roughly a year ago. Shortly after I bought it, I traveled by train all around Western Europe. It performed perfectly. It was fun to pull up into a Swiss train station where they have clocks with big, highly visible, second hands along the track. The watch was always absolutely dead on. With this watch there's no BS when it comes to time: you know exactly, precisely what time it is. Period.
I also have a Breitling, a Tag, and a vintage Rolex, as well as a number of other fine watches. Even though I bought this watch for the trip a year ago, I simply can't seem to take it off. There's something about knowing that you've got perfect time on your wrist, and you never have to wonder. I've learned to have absolute confidence in the watch. Rather than becoming bored with it, I've found that it spoils me. It has become my comfort zone.
As you've probably already figured out, Citizen makes very good watches for the money in looks, quality, and features. To me, they're number one in overall value, and this watch is no exception.
I use the timer for steaks when I cook out and I use the dual time-zone feature periodically as well. I've used the alarm a few times with no issues.
There are just a few compromises in the design. The hands do get in the way of the displays, but there is literally no way around that. I've made some notes to remind myself of some of the menus. The daylight saving time management is somewhat unintuitive, but, if you take the time to read the manual and write down the steps, it's no big deal. I've put a set of steps at the end of this review that might help you get and keep a grip on time zones and on daylight savings.
I've never had a problem keeping it fully charged. Every two or three months, I've left it out in the sunlight for about 15 minutes just to be sure, but it probably wasn't necessary. Ten minutes in the sun is supposed to charge it for six months! If you do anything in short sleeves outdoors, like golf, you can just forget it.
Other reviewers have noted that the titanium band scratches easily. The only spot that shows wear on mine is the bottom of the clamp on the band where I tend to rest my wrist while I work at a computer. It would probably buff out, but why bother? The rest of the band looks like new from a couple of feet away. It does feel very light, but in no way does it feel cheap. The bezel and crystal still look brand new. I haven't babied the watch, but I haven't worn it while working on my car, either.
From what I've said, it should be obvious that if I could only have one watch, this would be it, hands down. Nothing else has made me completely lose interest in wearing another watch. Only for the most formal occasions will I wear something different, and I'm always glad to get back to this one. If you're wondering whether you'll be glad you bought this watch, I'm betting you will.
Here are my steps for making two of the more involved settings. You'll find that all these steps won't be necessary, because some intermediate settings will already be what they need to be.
To choose a city:
The small LED window at left is your home city. This determines the time shown on the analog display. This window should represent where you are, because it determines which frequency is used for radio reception. (In Europe, it should show a European city.) To change cities, pull the crown out one stop. Set the watch to TME mode (orange mini hand at the bottom points straight down). Leave the crown out one stop. Upper and lower buttons now move the city choice up and down in the right window. Push both buttons simultaneously to swap cities between windows. When the desired combination of cities is reached, push the crown in to leave it in TME mode or rotate the crown to put in the CAL (calendar) mode, for example. Finally, push the crown in.
Setting daylight saving time:
The watch uses SMT to mean Daylight Saving Time. This can be confusing in the manual. SMT means Summer Time and is the abrieviation used in the UK. SMT can be set manually, city-by-city, or it can update automatically. I found that the automatic update is not reliable, but you may find it works fine where you live. To set SMT for a specific city, get the city to show in the right-hand window. Set mode at the bottom to RX-S. Pull out the crown two stops. Push the lower button to get mA showing, which means manual. Set the mode to WT-S at the top of the circle. If SET is not flashing, push the top button until the upper entry in the window (immediately below the city name) is flashing. Push the bottom button to switch from OFF to SET and back, and leave it at SET. Push the top button to get the bottom entry flashing -- it will flash either ON or OF. Push the bottom button to select between ON and OF (off). ON means daylight savings time is on for that city. Reset the mode as desired and push the crown back in.
61 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2009
The GOOD: If you need dual time zone watch this is it. I do deal with India all the time and that is challenge with nearly any other watch. India is 9 1/2 hours yes it is one of the few countries that is a 30 minute offset in time zone and does not change over to DST so then thats 10 1/2 hours just try keeping track of that and things fall apart. There is hardly any watch that will handle a half hour time zone except this one (even the old skyhawk didn't). This watch does that and more including alarms in different time zones so you can set the alarm in another time zone without doing a major compute for the local time. Two alarms so keep one on the local and the second on the world time if you wish. If you deal with London you get a third time zone the UTC sub dial and you can calculate most of Europe easily from that.
The watch is big and thick and in titanium weighs nothing its nearly as light as my kids Casio
The BAD: Contrast on the digital display is pretty bad.
The back light though present is not the best.
The hands cover the digital display a few times a day you can tilt and read under the hands but forget trying to set any function at 20 past the hour
The UGLY (loses one star for this): If you are going to use the second display for a world time zone there is no way to see the local calendar. Just to see the calendar you have to pull the crown 1 stop twist to change the mode and that will give you the calendar of the world zone So to have calendar functionality for local zone you have to set the world zone as your local zone (you lose an easy way to see the world zone). Simply put this watch can work as a dual zone watch or as a calendar watch not as both.
There are 2 nice press buttons one for the light (nice idea) and the other to indicate if the watch was able to sync with the atomic radio signal, it would have been much better if pressing that button would have flashed the local calendar on the display. Citizen could have easily put the atomic signal as an icon on the display. Citizen really dropped the ball on this one I nearly returned the watch due to the loss of calendar but I had got it during a price drop to $510 (Amazon not another vendor) and that sort of let me forget the day and date. Just keep in mind if you must have calendar and world time (besides UTC London) at the same time this watch does NOT do a good job. It does a great job for each (including perpetual calendar) but not both together
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2012
Edit 20140323: Two years later and still an excellent watch! The only gripe I have is that it hardly ever shows fully charged (charge indicator pointing to far right charge marking). I can't get it to indicate full charge under any form of artificial light, and it must sit outside in direct Florida sunlight for about 30 to 45 minutes to indicate a full charge. Just wearing it outside in full sunlight without putting effort in to pointing the fact at the sun results in the same annoying 3/4 charge level. It was not like this when I first started wearing it. Also, I have managed to scratch the crystal a few times. I have read that it can be changed to sapphire by Citizen for a fee, so I may do that when the scratches build up to be noticeable when you are not looking for them.
Original Feb 2012 review below.....
I have been wearing and using this watch frequently for almost a month now and I am extremely happy with it. This is my 2nd Citizen Eco-Drive watch, the first being a Citizen Men's BL5180-57L Eco-Drive Perpetual Calendar Watch which I have had for 9 years and it still works great. There are many detailed reviews about the Skyhawk so I will simply address a few things that should contribute.
First of all, the main complaint I see about this watch is the fact that the calendar display is only for the world time. I believe this is actually logical considering the primary target audience for this watch (pilots). If you are a pilot, or frequent long distance traveler, it is very likely that you know the day and date where you are right now, so the most useful information would be the day and date of your destination time zone. If you care about the date in your current location, then change the world time zone to your current location! It is far more useful, and logical, to have the watch tell you information you don't know like the destination time/day/date instead of information you likely do know already since you certainly know your departure day/date by the calendar or other thing you used to show up at the airport. Also, if you are communicating with people internationally, it is better to have their day/date displayed since you can correctly say something like "happy Friday!" while it may be Thursday or Saturday where you are now. And yes, as someone posted, I could see them using the 2nd button for displaying the local day/date/zone instead of the last sync information, but I like how it works as-is. I personally keep the "local time" set to HOM with my time offset, and the world time set to NYC which is exactly the same offset that I configure HOM for. Then I get the local date on the digital display with the local time on the analog display. If I travel, I just change the world time to the destination.
Another common complaint is about the lack of sapphire crystal usage for the dial window. I would agree that this would be a nice feature, but really the material they did use looks great and has very low reflection. Also, I have already bumped and scraped it up against metal (in server racks) and it is still in perfect condition. Only thing I'd say, this is not exactly a cheap watch, just take it off before you do anything that may damage it. I recommend Oakley 07-234 Large Watch Soft Vault Storage Case to put it in.
Yet another complaint is about the hands covering the LCD at certain times of the day. Tilt the watch and look under the hands? No matter what, the hands will cover something on the display. I have only once had to tilt the watch to see a display, and it was actually the UTC display.
I have held the stainless steel version of this watch, and I definitely prefer this version in titanium. Unless you like to have a very heavy watch on your wrist, don't get the stainless version, buy this one instead.
Some people say they have issues with the radio sync. I am in Florida which is pretty far away from the broadcast origin in Colorado. However, from inside my apartment, sitting in a wooden watch box (this one: Diplomat 31-57614 Cherry Wood Finish with Clear Top and Cream Leather Interior 10 Watch Storage Case), it consistently receives a high signal. However, at my girlfriends place, it varies between high and low depending where I place it and the weather. But, she refers to her place as "the bunker" since all cell phones have a ruff time working inside it. To me, this says the receiver is very good. I have also checked the watch against known good sources of "atomic time" (other radio controlled clocks, internet-based sources, WWV shortwave audio) and it is spot on accurate. If you are having trouble with signal reception, check the manual for tips on how to improve it (like setting the watch down with the 9-o'clock position pointing at the signal source).
One more complaint that I've seen a few time is the fact that you need to pull out the crown to change modes. This is actually a design feature I am very happy about. Several times I would find my other Citizen on a different mode then it should have been because I somehow rubbed up against the watch and rolled the crown to a different mode. I do not find myself changing modes often, maybe 1-3 times a day to use the timer for lunch or some other function. It is still much easier to select a mode then most watches that have this many features which require you to push a button many times to get the right mode, and then maybe you may miss it and need to keep pushing it until you get back to the mode you wanted. There is also a nice tactile, and slightly audible, click as you roll through the modes; so changing it in complete darkness is possible.
Another note, the LCD backlight is very good, along with the lume on the hands and hour markers.
I wear this watch more then any other watch I own. The exception is when I know I will be doing something that may give whatever watch I'm wearing a beating, then I put on a cheaper plastic watch. I highly recommend this to anyone that would find its feature list useful, and wants a sharp looking watch which doesn't need battery changes, or watch winders, or time correction (yes, it even changes itself for Daylight Savings Time automatically!).
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2013
The watch is excellent. No questions asked. However, the cosmetic quality is questionable. I owned this for 2 yrs now and the markings on the slide rule (movable part of dial) has faded out completely. The fixed part of the slide rule has peeled off. It was stuck with some kind of glue, I suppose that did not last. I can't imagine I have to wear a $800 watch that had peeled and faded cosmetics! It looks like a 20 yr old watch already. Also, I take care of my watch, though I wear it 24/7.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2008
This is the watch to get if you want the state of the art technology in a watch and at an amazing reasonable price. You can shop aound for the best deal and if you do not mind the risk ebay has a few shops offering it at half off. I buy most of my stuff from amazon but sometimes ebay has extremely low price. I did get cheated twice on ebay and always only buy from ratings >99% with a lot of sales.
Most people buy this model first of all for the atomic clock. I live in California and it works great. At first I try to connect to the atomic clock transmission "on demand". I am not sure why it did not get the signal. Then I put it next to the window of my second floor bed room. Next morning when I check it did updated by the atomic clock. (I check against the US clock on the web and also the status shown on the watch that said it successfully received signal from the radio and set the time with it)
The second most likely reason to buy this watch is for the solar power. The watch when I receive it already is fully charged (unlike most cell phones). The manual said it will run for 6 months if fully charged. To fully charge the watch from almost completely discharged takes 20 hours under the sun or 60 hours with cloudy sky. I'll have to put it under the sun once every 3 month or put it under my desk light once a week. I wear my watch under long sleeve shorts and never expose it to light.
The third reason is for the weight (titanium). Even though the watch is "Hugh" it is light, lighter than a standard Rolex. I have not tried the other versions of the same watch, but you can save $50 to $100 for other versions that are heavier. If I have a second choice it would be the black belt one which will give the watch a cooler look in color.
There are a lot of functions this watch can do and most of which I am not going to use. The watch come with a cd that has all the info you need for adjustments to the watch. That is much better than the very small print manual which I have a hard time reading. I make a copy of the cd onto my laptop. I can assure you I cannot remember how to do most of those things without referring to the documentation. I'll give you one example. The watch has a home clock and a second "world" clock which you set to a city you travel to most often. Let's say now you fly there and you want to switch the two clocks. 1. Pull the crown to position 1 (there are 2 positions). 2. Turn the crown to adjust the mode to tme or cal (there are 8 modes). 3. Push button A and B at the same time until you hear a sound. The two clocks will have been switch. 4. Turn crown back to original mode. 5. Return crown to original position. It is easy if you follow instruction but difficult to remember.
The size of the crown is big compare to other watches like the standard Rolex. It is ok if you only need to do a few things. If you try many things like me when I got it new, you break your nail. So you may want to get a tool to help you if you are planning to use the crown for more than 10 minutes. Almost all adjustments require using the crown. The chronograph functions once set you will only use the two buttons and not the crown any more. Same for the 2 alarms once it is set.
There are many more pro's for the watch but I want to say something about the con's. The led display is too small for me and even when using the light it is hard to read. If you really want to use the digital readouts a lot you have to have very good eyes. I have yet to find out what is the use of the UTC hours and minute hands?
12/16/2008 Now I have used the alarm a few times I would like to add a few comments. There are 2 alarm settings. They are all very easy to do. The alarm setting is in the digital section. Be careful about the am and pm setting. It is not by the hr and min section and is at the bottom next to on and off. Someone else said the alarm is difficult to hear but I found it is quite acceptable and laud enough for me.
I am adding to this review after I have used this watch for 2 years and just bought another similar watch (blue angle version) last month.
This watch is the most useful watch for everyday use even for people like me who do not fly and have a couple of Rolex watch. In order to really enjoy this watch you need to read the manual carefully and also experiment different things. I keep a copy of the manual on my laptop because I can never remember how to do things that I do not use most of the time. If you do not want to read the manual this is not the watch you want to buy because you will not be able to even do very simple things with this watch like setting up the home city or use the alarms.
I have use this watch for over 2 years now and it has keep time perfectly (I assume it is due to the atomic clock feature).
The battery still works but it does not have full charges like my new watch. I was told by a watch repair man that it will work for 7 years. That makes sense because a cell phone battery will work for about 2 years. I have not try to put the watch under the sun or any light for all 2 years and I usually covered my watch because I almost always wear long sleeve clothing and it still always shows enough charge for 30 days. Last month I try to put the watch under the sun to see what happen and it does charge to almost full but then fall back to 2/3 after a day.
The 2 alarms are good but not as versatile as my cell phone because it is set for every day. My cell phone alarm can be set for any day of the week. But the watch alarm can be set to different time zone and it will always work without worrying about no battery power.
The calendar is set to the second time zone and it should have a choice as to which time zone you want it to be set to. One way to kind of get around it is to use the UTC clock to set it for the 3rd time zone. This way you can see the third time zone time all the time and set both time zone to the same as your home time zone. Also some times the analog hands cover part of the calendar and you have a difficult time to see it. If you need to use the calendar on your watch all the time then this watch is not for you. I think you are better off use your cell phone for the calendar function.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2008
This is my 4th radio controlled watch (3 Casios & 1 Citizen).
THE GOOD: It really is beautiful. It is very-very well made. It synchronizes perfectly both here and in Europe (except for steel-framed buildings). The dials are easy to read, even at night. Even after three years of daily wearing, the watch still looks absolutely great.
THE BAD: The LCD info is way too small, I can't read it while in motion (I have 20-20 vision with my glasses on). Way too many totally unnecessary and useless features. Too heavy (titanium but huge). Alarm is impossible to hear (my hearing is less than perfect). The watch band can't be micro-adjusted.
THE UGLY: None
SUMMARY: Great watch, highly recommended.
P.S. Call up Citizen and check if your watch needs a ROM update.
P.P.S. Although it synchronizes well in my home in the US, it failed to synchronize in most hotels and European style apartment buildings I stayed at in the US and in Europe, even if I placed it outside the window (don't do this unless properly supervised by an experienced adult).
ADDENDUM on August 2, 2010. After 2+ years the crystal got slightly scratched so I took a deep breath... and... went for the replacement by the much talked about sapphire crystal. It took a little over 2 weeks and a little over 100 bucks. It was done by Citizen in Torrance, California. They did an excellent job. To be honest, I can't tell the difference between the old and the new crystals. Both looked/look great.
ADDENDUM on March 30, 2013. After 5 years, I still love it. The sapphire crystal has no scratches whatsoever.
28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2009
So I've had this watch about a week now and I love it! The build quality is awesome and you can tell the Japanese Workmanship is still going strong.
Looks - I think the watch looks great. It is quite big on the wrist but that it looks good for today's standards. It is looks like a heavy duty watch that was given to designers to make elegant. If I had to make a car analogy, I'd say it would have the same feel as if Lexus made a heavy duty truck.
Workmanship - The quality is great. The hands align perfectly on the mark. The second hand ticks where the second hand is supposed to tick which I find annoying if it doesn't. (I've seen omegas that don't even align properly.) The minute hand also moves slightly every time the second hand ticks, the quality is definitely there.
Functions - Calendar, Timer, Chronograph, Alarm 1, Alarm 2, and of course Atomic Time syncronization. There is also a dual time zone function which is very helpful (home time zone and away time zone, you just press a few buttons and it switches them vice versa). The only problem is that if you want to see the current date, it will show the date of the away time zone. This is slightly annoying as to see the current date and time, the zones would need to be set to the same city. The calendar function however would be more helpful to real pilots (which I am not) as they will probably actually land in the away time zone.
Weight - This watch is a good weight, not too heavy, not too light. It is well balanced. This pretty much means that you should expect the non-titanium (i.e. stainless steel) version to be very heavy!
Illuminating hands - at night the illumination is pretty good. There is ample surface area of illumination making it pretty easy to read. The illumination seems to die down pretty quickly however though I haven't tested about how long it lasts. (The watch hands can illuminate briefly in the daytime when you are out in the sun and then walk into a normal lit room, I don't mind it personally.)
Sliding Rule Bezel - I like the function and I think it is really useful. If you take the time to learn this old school calculator, it is really neat and handy. It is best for multiplication and division, it doesn't do addition or subtraction.
Eco Drive - It is hard to tell how well this works, but so far so good.
Overall - I love this watch, it is rugged yet elegant. It also has an extremely impressive set of bells and whistles. The titanium looks good but also makes the watch light enough for wearing all the time without having to think about it. I give it 4.7 stars. Nearly Perfect.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2015
I didn't purchase my watch from Amazon but from a local watch store in Houston TX. I am extremely impressed with the titanium version of the skyhawk. The weight is well balanced on the wrist and feels great! Has a great wrist presence. I removed the titanium band and installed a Zulu 5 ring nylon band and in my opinion it compliments it very well. Analog and digital combo is excellent! You can have the month, day, and day of the week displayed at the same time. The backlight for the digital display is an awesome burnt orange color and with it on, looks like a real pilot station display along with the analog functions and the green luminous markers plus hands. It has world time which is great for traveling to other parts of the world. Another great feature is the solar power! Has a solar battery life gauge indicator to let you know the status of your battery. Mine has been on high ever since I bought it 3 months ago. The battery can be charged either by the sun or indoor lighting! Has two alarms and it is loud enough to hear it under normal circumstances. Next is the chronograph. I like the little running man icon when you press start. Small details like that is what makes this watch stand out in my opinion.
The timer is useful for reminders. My favorite feature is the atomic sync, radio controlled! The accuracy of receiving the radio signal is amazing! I also have the correct exact time wherever I go to the second! An added bonus which for me is important having a water resistant to 200 meters! Therefore, you can swim, surf, snorkel, shower, and still have the watch perform without a glitch is a remarkable piece of technology. Slide rule bezel is useful for your math calculations etc. Overall, it has been a great timepiece and I thank Citizen in getting this one right! GOOD JOB!
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2013
The features of this watch are really nice, and the style is excellent. However, it's a luxury watch, and one of the things you expect from such a watch is superior quality. Frankly, that's where this watch drops the ball - big time.
First, your crystal Will scratch. It's domed, so it stands higher than the bezel, which means anytime you bump something, your crystal gets hit, not the metal bezel. I have several watches with mineral glass crystals, and none of them have scratches on the crystals - even one I've owned for 22 years. A normal watch will get some wear on the bezel, but have a clear crystal. This one will have a scratched crystal in no time.
Speaking of wear on the bezel, this one is Delicate. The markings aren't part of the metal or over molded -they're painted on. Despite having the domed crystal to take bumps first, just the wear from your shirt sleeve will quickly reduce these markings to a distant memory.
Yes, Citizen will repair or upgrade your watch for you. I sent mine in for a sapphire crystal, which set me back $30 for shipping and $98 for the sapphire crystal, labor, testing and return shipping. Later, I had the bezel replaced, which was another $30 for shipping and $82 for parts, labor and return shipping. If you're keeping track, that was $240 to repair wear caused by less than 2 years of ownership! Also, these repairs are Not fast. Expect 3 weeks round trip, perhaps more at peak time. On the positive side, the customer service reps are nice, it's just that you're likely to get to know them better than you want.
Despite all this, I can't give it a one star review. This is a really nice watch, it's just delicate. I'm not hard on my watches, but I do lead an active life. If you do as well, you might want to think twice before you get this watch.