Customer Reviews: Citizen Men's BN5035-02F "Altichron" Titanium Eco-Drive Watch
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Price:$746.25+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on March 17, 2014
I thought it was about time someone did a slightly better review than "awesome watch". I have the metric-scale Altichron (BN4026-09E) but other than metric rather than imperial (ie meters, not feet) it is identical.

First up, build is lovely, and although it is a big watch the titanium case helps make it not as heavy as it looks. The insides have a bit of weight to them so it isn't featherlight either. The rubber strap is extremely supple and it wears as comfortably as something this size could be expected to. Easy to strap on the outside of your windbreaker. The crystal is not sapphire. I haven't scratched mine yet but I have only had it a fortnight.

Now to the functions. The electronic compass works well. Press the orange button and the small orange dial will swing around and point north. It will keep pointing north for 30 seconds or so, and will move to point north as you change the watch's orientation. After a bit it shuts down, or you can press the orange button again to shut it down. The instructions, and the citizen website dedicated to the altichron, gives the procedure for adjusting the compass to take into account magnetic declination. The outer bezel, operated by the screw down crown at top right, gives the N, S, E and W bearings so you can use the compass in a rudimentary way. So far I have used it just for a quick orientation. The crown at bottom right adjusts the time.

The altimeter, which is the coolest feature, is also the most finicky. It operates based on air pressure, which it senses through the little hole at 9 o'clock. Air pressure is always changing and so to get any real, accurate use out of the altimeter feature you need to make yourself familiar with the calibration procedure, which the instruction book explains very clearly. It has an error margin, described in the instructions, but the error will be a lot greater if you don't regularly calibrate it against a known height. Simple example would be when you reach a point that you're sure of the altitude - somewhere on a topographic map, for example. Take a moment to set the watch to read that precise height. Then, the instructions tell you the average error that you can factor in as you gain or lose height from the calibration elevation, and you also need to allow for error caused by changing air pressure (eg if a storm is coming in).

All that means you cannot simply hit the yellow button and believe what you see on the dial, as the error can build up (or back down). To get accurate data out of it you need to calibrate it regularly at known heights, and more frequently during changing weather conditions.

Reading the data off the dial is easy enough once you work out what the various scales relate to.

Overall, I like this watch (which was a gift from my wife, purchased at a store in Hong Kong) and I have taken it out in the hills on a few occasions now to get the hang of it. Despite the complex dial, reading the actual time is easy and the white hands make it perfectly legible.

If you know what you are doing and are prepared to put in a little effort learning the calibration techniques and the limitations of the design then I think you will be well satisfied with the Altichron. If you're impatient or too lazy to study the procedures and get to know it, then you'll probably be disappointed in the accuracy of the readings. It won't be the watch's fault.

I would have given it 5 if it had a sapphire crystal.
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on July 17, 2014
I have had the watch now for about a week and have no real complaints. I will probably change the band out at some point, but the liquid rubber band is very comfortable. The watch is lighter than I originally thought it would be, but probably due to the titanium construction. It is also thicker than my other watches and have bumped it several times, but no indication of any marks yet on the case.

I did have to calibrate the compass (very simple), but afterwards it aligned perfectly with my Silva. It will work well as a quick reference. The altimeter obviously requires some knowledge of how it works, to understand how your altitude is determined. It is interesting to see the pressure change as weather rolls through. Calibration to known elevations is required if you want accurate readings. I do wish the compass and altitude hands glowed in the dark, but more as a novelty.

Amazon is an authorized Citizen dealer, so warranties are still good. It also came with a 10% discount (don't know why) and included free overnight shipping! Thanks Amazon! Although it would be cooler if you flew it to me with a drone...
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on July 11, 2014
Great watch, no issues. Altimeter is fairly accurate. Took it through the Andes and compared to my GPS many times. I have had a lot of strangers walk up to me and ask about the watch. I have had it for about 3 months and so far it has survived me which is pretty impressive considering I am not kind to watches. The only improvement I would like is replacing the face cover with Crystal instead of Mineral and maybe some Tritium tubes for night time.
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on August 17, 2016
Compliments! Complements!! Nice Manly watch :)
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on March 3, 2016
Awesome looking watch with a comfortable band. Has a lot of functions (I am still learning how to use).
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on November 25, 2013
Great watch!! Works great, easy to use, great looks... Altitude, compass works fine with all analog readings. Battery reserve indicator.
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on January 26, 2016
If you're a man who loves the outdoors this will make you very happy.
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on February 4, 2014
This is a weekend watch. It has a compass and altimeter. Works well and have not had to set it yet. The craftsmanship is toprate.
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on March 4, 2015
Purchased this watch less than 90 days ago and Amazon will not allow a return for the major defect I have discovered. The compass is completely inaccurate even after calibrating per the owner's manual both ways it suggests. This compass is downright dangerous it is so inaccurate. East is West and North is South and anything in between - not even remotely accurate. DO NOT USE THIS WATCH IF YOU ARE RELYING ON THE INSTRUMENTS IT HAS!!!!! A watch that costs this amount of money should be reliably accurate and it is not, especially 90 days after purchase. I own several Citizen watches and will never order another. Very disappointed in the lack of quality control with this watch.
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on July 8, 2015
the rubber band collected dust very quickly, I think because the rubber is too soft. the picture taken 3 hours after i wore the watch.
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