on July 17, 2008
I just got mine the other day. I own four other Citizen Eco-drive models. They've all been trouble-free and continue to function to this day. The oldest is an 8-year old titaniam diver model. I wanted this new Citizen because it's all black and it's atomic clock accurate. This is a huge watch, but seems to sit well on my smaller wrist. Resizing the band was a bit of a pain as the pins are rather hard to push out. Also, the band is not very flexible, so it doesn't fit as well on a smaller wrist. The one thing that really stood out to me was that the clasp on this watch is of much lower quality than my older citizens with metal bands. This one is made of stamped stainless steel. All my other Citizens have clasps made of thicker solid steel. The watch case itself is solid steel and appears very solid. However, the back is snap-on...eek! Citizen has really gone cheap here. I'd expect that a watch at this price level to have a screw-in back...not a snap-on like a Timex! All my previous Citizen's had screw-in backs. I know that the Japan-only titanium version of this watch has a screw-in back and a solid titanium clasp. This watch is coated black and only time will tell how durable it is. I suspect that eventually the black on the clasp will start wearing off since that's usually where most of the rubbing takes place. The crystal is made of mineral glass and is slightly domed, so at certain angles, you will get reflections. Overall, I love this watch because it looks great and is super accurate. I just wish that Citizen didn't cut down on the quality of the clasp and back to save a few bucks. One other annoying thing is that to access the various functions of the watch (calendar, countdown, chronograph etc), you have to pull out the crown and rotate it. A bit annoying if you use the functions a lot.
- very nice looking watch
- fit and finish are top-notch
- bracelet is made from solid links. Not cheap folded metal.
- 200m water resistant
- bezel rotates smoothly
- picks up atomic clock signal in Japan, Europe and North America
- LCD display is backlit, so you can see it at night at the press of a button.
- Eco-drive a proven and reliable technology
- cheap clasp
- snap-on back
- metal band not very flexible so if you have a small wrist, you might have large gaps on the sides of the wrist.
- black coating is not protected, so it will eventually wear off.
- crystal prone to reflections
on February 6, 2010
I purchased this watch back in November. When I first received it, I was surprised with its weight when compared to the Casio Pathfinder Titanium that I also own. However, I've grown accustomed to the mass, and have been impressed by the durability of the black ion coating. My titanium watch is covered with scratches, and the Skyhawk's black coating hasn't received a single mark.
Agree with others - that this should be offered with a sapphire crystal, and this costs one star in my review. A retrofit is available from Citizen, with the part costing $45, so you would think that Citizen consider the marketing impact of not offering a sapphire crystal given that we are talking about a $500 watch here.
Sending the watch to Citizen costs approximately $100 for a crystal replacement (for crystal, a couple of bezel parts that have to be exchanged, and labor), and you have to be without your watch for a few weeks. Don't get me wrong - I'm glad that Citizen offers the service. Just wondering what the incremental cost of the sapphire crystal is when compared to mineral. If it were actually only $25 more for the sapphire (say $45 for sapphire and $20 for mineral glass), then you would think that they'd want to do away with all the hits they have in reviews by installing it in production. Many have dinged the Skyhawk A-T citing the ease with which the mineral crystal is scratched. It does protrude from the front face quite a bit, and seems very vulnerable. I protected mine with invisishield, but anticipate sending mine in for a sapphire crystal.
Second negative is that I wish Citizen would incorporate the U680 movement of the japanese market watch into the US version. I removed a second star for this oversight. It's really is annoying not being able to display the date in your current time zone. Citizen has fixed this in Japan, and it seems strange that they wouldn't want to address this for US market watches as well.
Comparing the functionality of my Casio to the Skyhawk, there are a few things that I miss - which causes to me to use both watches nearly equally. First is the apparent greater sensitivity of the WWV receiver in the Casio. Many nights my Casio receives an update when the Citizen does not. This when they are sitting side by side on our counter.
I wish that the Citizen had the hourly beeper function of the Casio. This helps me keep on time for appointments, and is a feature that I miss when using the Citizen.
Overall, I would still purchase the watch because the combination of functionality (solar, atomic sync and analog display) isn't available anywhere else in the market at any price. With a few minor adjustments, Citizen could have a real classic on its hands.
Another note - watch the Amazon price. It fluctuates quite a bit. I purchased mine in November for about 30% less than the current price. Wait until the price is back down around $400 and you can get the sapphire installed with the difference!
on January 19, 2009
I bought this watch because I wanted a more stylish replacement for my Casio. It had to meet two important criteria:
1. It had to set itself atomically
2. It had to be self-powered.
This Citizen watch does both those things, and looks great doing it. It feels incredibly solid, and consequently is a very heavy watch. You might want to go to a jewelry store and try one on. It works amazingly well, sets itself just as advertised, and fits well (with a bit of adjustment at the jewelry store). I've had it for a few days now and it has only a couple of problems:
1. If you're left-handed, as I am, you'll have to take it off to reach the main stem to adjust some settings. Fortunately, you rarely have to do this.
2. For some inexplicable reason, the date setting is tied to the second clock. So, if you live in, say, Los Angeles, and you set the second clock to, for instance, Tokyo, the date shown will match whatever day it is in Tokyo, which is usually tomorrow. If there's a way to change it, I haven't figured it out. So, I have to have both time zones set to the same zone in order to see the correct date.
Other than that, this is an amazing watch, and unless you only value something like a Rolecks as a status symbol, this will feel great on your wrist.
- Looks fabulous
- Sets itself
- solar powered
- a lot of dials look impressive
- a slide rule bezel
- battery gauge
- atomic sync in USA, Europe and Japan
- Incredibly solid feel
- Not very lefty-friendly (but what watch is, really?)
- Date inexplicably connected to second clock
Update: At this point, I've had this watch for 2 years and 9 months. In that time, I'd say it's been about 95% reliable in setting itself. Also, I don't go outside much, but the power meter has only once dipped below 3/4, and leaving it outside one day fully charged it. No scratches on the crystal, but a little of the black has come off the wristband. I'm still extremely pleased with it.
on March 20, 2012
I am a watch collector, preferably chronographs by far. Rolex, Breitling, on the high end, and some mere mortal watches, as well. This is my 3rd Citizen, and I have been pleased with them all, especially this one. This is the 3rd generation Skyhawk, and Citizen has removed most (if not all) of the bugs and complaints. The reliablility has been better than some of the timepieces that cost 10 times the price or more.! Both of my high-end models have seen the shop, the Citizens just keep on keeping time spectacularly!
First, the look. Well sized, it looks like a large watch, but really isn't THAT big. The light weight (for it's size) makes it a lot less tiring on the arm and wrist. The construction is rock solid and you feel like you have a solid timepiece on your wrist. Hefty without being too heavy. It has a modernistic, clean, yet pilot/techno look with all the dials and gauges, a must for a chrono lover. The orange/amber coloring against the black background look superb and racy. Dials are legible, with improved lume and a backlight (albeit smallish) being upgraded from the 2nd generation. I opted for the black-ion version because my 2nd gen is titanium, and I didn't want to duplicate that (yet, anyway, but who knows??) here.
It took a few minutes to correctly go through the manual and guide and get the watch set up and programmed, but once it was, it is a pleasure knowing all I have to do from now on is to set it, no, it does that itself with the A-T feature, so all I have to do is put it on, or take it off.
There have been a few trade offs, like the lack of some cities listed in the clock array of the 2nd gen, and one less alarm, but to gain radio controlled A-T and the other features was well worth it, and most of those features have been changed, not removed.
What can Citizen do to improve this watch? I am sure every watch owner has his or her favorite feature or improvement to make to ANY watch, but it is mind blowing to imagine where Citizen goes from here. I have seen the new satellite based watches, but the designs do not speak to me as much as the Skyhawk does, they are not chronos and I don't see that they would be more accurate than this model. You could be picayune and say this watch could use a stronger backlight or more lume, but that is nearly everyone's complaint about some watch, somewhere all the time.
At inception, these watches were commanding nearly $1000.00, and today (3 years later) they can be found pretty regularly between $400-600.00 at retail, and every now and then a lot less at auction, (new and unworn), or from a site like Amazon. This watch has retired some of its' more expensive cousins, because the combination of form, function, technology and price make it a wonderful investment. Enjoy.!
on May 24, 2010
I have several other wall clocks using the NBS time signal (Atomic Time) and none do it as well as this watch. Within 200 mS or better as I measure it using both WWV and NTP. The solar charge capability is new and different (to me at least). I was worried in day 2 about it not showing a full charge yet, but all was well and full charge appeared later that day after being out in the sunshine.
I think the only thing they could have done better is use an even harder crystal. I've a few tiny scratches already, but I'm very hard on watch crystals.
on March 26, 2013
I flew helicopters for 6 years, and have always been facinated by machines, watches, electronics, and aviation. This watch is the perfect blend of all of these things. 1) Machines: Analog timekeeper with the accuracy of an atomic timekeeper. Lots of bright luminosity on both the hands and the 12 hour markers. 2) Watches: I own lots of them. I have a lot of confidence in the the Citizen brand... the Eco-drive is a known and proven entity, and the case, finish, bracelet, clasp, crystal, weight, and overall quality is nothing less than superb. This is probably my favorite watch. 3) Electronics: Radio timekeeping, digital accuracy, perpetual calander, puchbutton illumination, multiple alarms and timezones... what more could a guy want? 4) Aviation: If you are a pilot like me, the layout of the sub-gauges in the likeness of aviation gauges is sooo cool. What a nice touch for us pilots! This is a watch that has a lot of information in a small area... and it takes a little getting used to.. but once you get used to it... it will become your favorite watch! Like a helicopter or a fine bizjet, lots of detail, lots of quality, and once you olearn to fly it... nirvana. Five out of five.
on April 3, 2014
The watch looks fantastic and works great. The black coating is just paint and it easy scratches off. I have had this watch for a little over a month and am regretting this purchase. In time it will become annoyingly ugly with half black half silver shining through. I wish I had thought this through more. For the price you should get more than slightly over a month before it starts getting ugly.
on December 20, 2011
I've owned this watch for about five years and the only significant blemishes are to the glass. Though it has a few very tiny chips near the bezel and a half-dozen or so 0.5 cm scratches, the glass has been extremely durable considering it's seemingly vulnerable exposure. At first, I wore the watch on occasion. For the past three years, however, I've worn it daily; it's held up very well considering those past three years I worked as a mechanic for the Army. Receiving the majority of the abuse, the band is not damaged but worn. The black finish has begun to wear off (more so on the inside), but all functionality remains. Kay Jewelers, where I purchased the watch, provided me with a complete care and replacement plan for around $100. About a year ago, I considered having the glass and band replaced but decided against it as I came to admire the wear-and-tear in a nostalgic sense.
As for comments pertaining to the Citizen's lack of an hourly beeper and ability to display local time zone date, they are incorrect. I, too, missed these features... That is until I reviewed the DVD instruction manual. In this manual are instructions on how to activate both of these features, in addition to many more.
on August 11, 2010
I own several watches but find that I wear this one 90% of the time. The solar battery is brilliant. Once charged to full I have never seen the charge drop below full. The time accuracy for my needs is flawless. It updates when I travel to Europe as well in the USA. The display of two time zones in addition to perpetual calendar (never having to add or subtract a day at the end of the month, my Rolex does not do this!)is great. All you have to do is select the region/time zone and the watch does everything else with regards to time and date. I am in the ocean and pools often and have never had a problem with water resistance in 6 months of ownership. The black stainless band is very scratch resistant. The crystal, however, is typical of a mineral. The biggest knock is the lack of sapphire but as indicated in other reviews can be easily rectified for a nominal fee sending to citizen. I wear this watch at certain job sites where I am mixing concrete, painting,etc. The watch gets splashed, I brush off with water and it loooks as good as new. If you knock the crystal against block wall, stucco, etc. while reaching into tight spaces it will scratch more easily than sapphire. Of course, most people would not wear the watch in these conditions and to be fair, any watch will scratch the same way. The difference is though the band has hardly any scratches on it and cleans up nicely.
While I like a large watch, be aware that if you have smaller than average wrists, or do not like a heavy watch, then this watch might not be for you. If you go in knowing this is a 44mm face, with a stainless band and atomic receiver inside adding some weight, then you will be ok. The weight or size it what appealed to me aesthetically, while the atomic clock updates, perpetual calendar, dual time zones, and eco drive made this watch unbeatable to me.
You do have to pull the crown out to access other features which adds an extra step, but for me I do not use all the different features all the time and it makes for a less cluttered bezel with fewer buttons. Changing between two time zones is very easy (pop the crown out one click and push the two side buttons in simultaneously) so no complaints there.
The last slight problem I have uncovered is that the date does not follow the diplayed time on the mechanical hands but only the time zone shown in the lcd display on the right. If the lcd display on the right is set to the same time zone as the one in the lcd on the left then the date will be accurate. If however, your home time is LAX and the second zone you pick is in Europe (for example), the date will reflect the date in Europe. This is really only an issue if you choose to display date instead of the actual time in the larger lcd display, and if the two selected time zones are far enough apart that the date chages while you are still awake in your home time zone. A small flaw that does not bother me too much, but one should know going in.
Overall, I could not be more pleased with this watch. For my needs and uses it is nearly perfect and solves a lot of my issues with regards to never having to set the time for anywhere in the world, never changing a battery, water resistance & durability, and overall looks. I tried to describe any possible problems for others, but again, as with any review, take the info provided to help guide you with what personally works for you.
on January 25, 2010
I purchased the Citizen Skyhawk a while back from a less than reputable dealer. Over a period of months, I noticed the battery was running down. Finally, the battery died, despite my best efforts to revive it. I sent the watch off to Torrance, CA for repairs. I included a brief description and expained the problem. I also enclosed a check for return shipping.
The folks at the Citizen Watch Co. of North America restored the watch and it is now running fine. In fact, better than ever. My check was returned, uncahsed. No charge for the repairs.
My only beef with this watch is that like so many watches with metal bands, you have to take it in for adjustment to size it. Otherwise, this is a splendid piece of technology.
I highly recommend this watch.