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.
on January 14, 2016
I have had this watch for over a year now and finally decided to write a comprehensive review about it. I will admit I may be slightly biased in my review because I have been wanting a eco-drive skyhawk for many many years. Regardless, I will try my best not to be biased.
--- Construction ---
The construction. Well...it is titanium need I say more. I wear it daily and I will admit that it is surprisingly light due to the titanium construction of course, although it is by no means as light as a plastic g-shock of course. I think the weight is good. The rotating bezel on mine after a year has become a little stiff when spinning it, i think that can be fixed with a dab of lube. As for the mineral crystal that everybody keeps complaining about. Honestly, I commute to NYC everyday riding public transportation and after a year of wearing it I only managed to get two 2-3mm scratches on the crystal that are hardly noticeable. Some may ask why don't I have more scratches that is because this is not the watch you wear when you change the oil on your car, this is not the watch you go mountain climbing with, this is not the watch you wear if you feel there is a high risk of damaging it. It is meant and marketed to be a pilots watch. On another note I do agree Citizen needs to give the option to purchase this with a sapphire crystal, rather then having to mail it to them.
--- Aesthetics ---
This is one of Citizen's signature watch designs. I assume if you are considering purchasing it you are aware that the watch packs a lot of features in the face. It is a functional watch. Need I say more?
--- Functionality ---
Programming this thing is like programming a computer from the 1980s. It has a learning curve, so take the time to sit down and read the manual. You will be happy that you did. After you read the manual you find that the watch packs a lot of cool features.
In the end this is a great watch I give it a 4 out of 5, because I think Citizen needs to offer a seamless method for purchasing this watch already with a sapphire crystal or they could just phase in the sapphire crystal across its entire Skyhawk A-T model line.
on December 24, 2015
Never had a nice watch before so I did a bit of research. My usual watch for the past 35 years has been a Casio G-Shock in the $40 to $70 range and they have lasted a long time in both military and civilian service. I decided that it was time for a dressier watch. Citizen is the brand I chose because of the value. To call them the Chevy or bargain basement of fine watches would be doing them a disservice. The Tag Heuer's, Patek Phillip's and Hublot's of the world really offer nothing more than my Casio or Citizen as far as features, timekeeping, etc. The only thing a Patek can do, IMHO, is announce to the world that you have no idea that accurate time in a wrist mounted device could be obtained for less than the price of a luxury car In fact the Casio G-shock can do something that a $60,000 Patek Phillip cannot, survive a fall from 2 stories with no obvious damage. I bought the Citizen Titanium Skyhawk because it WAS very much like my Solar powered Atomic Casio G-Shock. Amazon had the best price hands down when I bought it.
- Light 118 grams before removing any links (almost 1/3 lighter than the stainless steel version)
- comfortable band
- Easy to see the hands day and night
- Lots of features stopwatch, timer, Alarms
- solar powered
- atomic clock synchronization with radio towers in either USA, Germany or Japan (automatic or on-demand)
- built in synch signal tester to let you know if your location has good synch signal
- switches from home to a 2nd time zone of your choice
- LCD displays have a back-light
- water-resistant to 200 meters/666 feet
Cons (these are really just nitpicks nothing really bad)
- weird decision to have a UTC (new term for GMT) 24 hour clock dial instead of letting you chose to make that a time zone of YOUR Choice
if they had done that, they could have freed up the larger LCD display to show Day/Date most of the time instead of making you chose
between 2nd time zone and Day/Date.
- circular slide rule dial on outer ring of watch to calculate various piloting functions. I'm a pilot...I'll use and electronic E6B and a mechanical
E6B as a backup but I won't fiddle with the tiny numbers on my watch while flying. If you want to put something, put an elapsed 60 minutes
time dial as on a dive watch...something simple and useful...or just leave it plain.
- This isn't so much a con as a caveat. I saw several posts about how people's watches wouldn't synch or they couldn't set this or that feature.
YMRTFM (You Must Read The Freaking Manual) For example, if the mode arrow isn't set on CAL, TME or RX-S the watch won't synch, Some
of the directions need to be re-written as they are a bit obtuse and some instructions that should be grouped together are not. The table of
contents could be expanded and clarified a bit as well. Setting the 2nd time zone (world time) was particularly hard to find (page 33-34).
- You need to insure that the antenna (9 o'clock) has a clear shot at the atomic synch broadcasting tower (Fort Collins CO in the USA.)
I get the best results on the 2nd floor with a WNW facing window. My Casio was much more sensitive and will pick up the synch signal
in any place on the 2nd floor. If you live in a metal framed building or an interior room, you may need to do an on-demand synch outside
every few days if the watch tells you the signal is too weak for automatic synch while you sleep.
Again let me reinforce that the cons are more in the nature of nitpicks and I really love the watch. The Amazon website had it listed as 15.4 oz (437.6 grams) but that is a weird typo. The steel Skyhawk is 176 grams or 6.2 oz and this watch is 118 grams or 4.16 oz. It weighs about the same as my plastic Casio G-Shock. Although it's rated for 200 m/666 ft it's NOT rated for scuba diving. I think you would be foolish to dive with this watch for several reason. Many dive computers have a time function and it would be too easy to smash it under a tank on a dive boat or scratch the face on a coral head.
on October 24, 2012
Just got this watch and can't add much to the glowing reviews - outstanding watch, very light and already a favorite.
For those who want a tougher crystal, Citizen can replace the stock mineral crystal with a sapphire crystal. Cost for the sapphire is about $47, around $35 for assembly, pressure test plus shipping and handling. The work is done at Citizen's center in Torrance, CA and you can simply go the Citizen website, click support/service and fill out the 'repair' form to ship it in.
I think it's well worth doing and wonder why they chose not make sapphire the stock crystal. I have not had good luck with mineral as far as scratching easily and on this watch where the crystal is actually higher than the crown, I can see it getting banged up.
Otherwise it's a real pleasure to use this watch and I really like the features. Looking forward to years of use!
on May 24, 2013
About a year and a half ago, I bought a Citizen Skyhawk A-T EcoDrive watch. It's the really nice one, made of titanium, solar-powered, and calibrated to the Naval Observatory's atomic clock every day. It pretty much has all the bells and whistles a watch can have.
At least, it used to. The outer bezel fell off less than a year after I purchased it. Now, when you pay for an $850 dollar watch that you sort of hope will be the last watch you'll ever buy, you don't expect bits to just...fall off. Then the inner bezel fell off.
"OK," I thought. "I'll take it to a watch shop to have it fixed." But I can't. No one is allowed to fix the Skyhawk A-T except the Citizen Service Center in Torrance, CA. "Well," I thought again, "This is becoming...inconvenient."
But I really wanted it fixed, so I submitted to the process, which first requires you to go to the Citizen web site and fill out a form to create a work order. Then I packed it all up, took it to the post office, and sent it off to Torrance, insured, via Certified Mail, in December.
Anxiously I awaited. As the dark, cold winter passed, I prepared to greet the warmth of spring with a freshly restored Chronometer. Then, in late March, I received a text message from UPS telling me my watch had been delivered.
Oh, frabjous day!
I raced home from work, ran into the house, and there was the package from Citizen. I opened it to find my watch...in exactly the same poor shape it was in when I sent it. There was an invoice as well, saying that I'd need to buy a new bezel for $60, but they were returning my watch untouched because I'd never responded to their service messages.
Um, what service messages? I hadn't heard a single thing from them since I'd sent the watch off. No phone calls. No emails. No letters. I was a bit...upset about this.
So, I lovingly re-packed it, but this time, I sent along a $60 money order, along with the repair invoice, and a little note, informing them that I did wish them to fix it, and here was the $60 the had requested.
Two days and $25 in postage later, the watch was off to Torrance again. "This, time," I thought, "I'll get my beautiful watch back again, whole!"
Weeks passed. Spring Training came and went. The baseball season started. The Astros worked assiduously to become, once again, the worst team in baseball. I checked the mail regularly, in case Citizen sent me a note about the watch, but, sadly, received nothing. Once again, it was as if I'd sent my watch into a black hole.
Then, today, May 23rd, I received another text message from UPS, telling me my watch was back from its second sojourn to Torrance. I was hopeful, but apprehensive. In what state would my watch be now?
When I got home, there was the package from Citizen. I picked it up and went into the kitchen, where The Lovely Christine was making dinner.
"I love you," I told her, pulling out my pocketknife in preparation for slitting the packing tape open. "I'm telling you this now, while I'm in a good mood." I kissed her on the back of the neck, then continued, "Because if I open this package and my watch isn't fixed, I'm going to be incandescently angry."
Thirty seconds later, I was incandescently angry.
Once again, my watch was unfixed. Once again, there was a little note saying that I hadn't responded to their inquiries, which, once again, I had never received. But, my $60 money order had been returned, so I've got that going for me.
So, now, instead of wanting to send it back for a third time, I'm wondering how easy it would be to take a hammer and pound a titanium watch perfectly flat.
I honestly don't know what they want from me. Since they sent my $60 back, it clearly isn't money. Perhaps I missed some fine print about sacrificing a small animal, or selling my soul to Satan.
I'm at a loss.
on September 22, 2014
I've always been a watch guy and have a modest collection of rare, expensive and historic timepieces.
I have to say, this watch is excellent. I have several "Aviator" watches and this has become my new favorite.
All the features are relevant and the size is perfect. I opted for the Titanium version and I have to say, it is very lightweight and comfortable.
I have shown it to several friends and they are very surprised at how light it is.
I am totally satisfied with this watch and would recommend it to anyone.
A great watch !
on July 6, 2014
Let me start by stating, that counting this watch, I own 5 Citizen Eco-Drive Atomic Watches. I've owned this one for a week. I put off buying this at the price that Amazon was listing which was $671.00 for several months. It was in my Wish List and Amazon sent me an email with a special, which I took advantage of. I purchased this from Amazon for $416.00 last week. Now for my thoughts..
I like Citizen Atomic Watch's. They are accurate, attractive, and reliable. I'm pretty familiar with the set up, as I learned the hard way : ) First rule…charge it completely. It will make your experience much better. When you first receive this watch, you'll want to synch the time. The directions state you can do this on demand, and you can…but it's going to be hit or miss. When you attempt to do it during the day, you may have to try several times to get a signal. I'm guessing it's because the signal may only be sent from Colorado, periodically (just my opinion). If you should catch a signal, it may be a weak one. If that's the case, don't worry. Let it be…You will get your best signal at night. Just leave the watch on a windowsill, away from electronic devices and you should receive your strongest signal. I doubt you'll ever get a HIGH signal when setting on demand (unless you live close to the transmitting station), but at night it's stronger. I indicated previously, make sure your watch is fully charged, as the better the charge, the better the reception. This is from an owner of 5 different Citizen Atomic Watches.
I have a couple of Stainless Steel Watches AND 2 (counting this one) Titanium models. Do yourself a HUGE favor and spend the extra dollars on the Titanium model. It's so much lighter than Stainless Steel and since this is probably going to be your "go to" watch, why not make it the best experience it can be. Trust me, you won't regret it.
Once the watch is receiving the signal and you keep it charged, you don't have to think about it anymore. I check mine daily. The first day, I received a LOWs signal, the second day, MEDIUM, and each day since then (5 days), HIGH..all of them at night while I slept. I left it in a window for a few days to get the full charge. That why I stated, "charge it completely"
I won't go over the functions, as there are plenty of reviews on this site for that. I will update this review in a few months to let you know how it's going. I like the analog and digital aspects of this watch. That's what sets it apart from my other 4 watches. This is my weekend watch. I wear an AT 4010-05E(another Titanium watch that I wear almost exclusively due to it's light weight) or AT 4004-52E (stainless steel, and it's heavy, so trust me when I say, you will notice the weight difference).
If the expense is keeping you from buying, put it on your Wish List and wait for a sale…I'm sure another will come along. But when it does…grab it : )
on June 6, 2014
I like high tech watches, especially one that's affordable and stylish, and preferably under $1,000. This one meets my criterias. I should first say that I didn't buy this watch through Amazon. I almost bought this watch at a local Macy's store for about $700, but ended up buying this watch at a local Kohl's store of all places. Kohl's is my new favorite local retailer, used to be Macy's. Kohl's had this on sale for about $537, plus they gave me a 25% off discount for their recent Friends and Family discount, so I ended up buying this watch for a grand total price of around $440 including tax out the door. Great price, I thought!
I'm not going to write anything particularly indepth about this watch, other than my general observation and experience for the past month that I've been wearing this watch. First off, the titanium model I have is NOTICEABLY lighter versus the stainless steel. No kidding! Try comparing both the titanium and stainless steel models side by side and you will see the titanium model is way lighter. It's worth the extra price. The way you will know if this watch is the titanium model is by looking for the word "TITANIUM" at approximately where the 5:00 o'clock marker is located. The word TITANIUM is imprinted in white, and is immediately below the right side LCD display. If you don't see that word titanium in exactly that spot, then it's the stainless steel model. The word titanium is also imprinted on the back of the watch as well, but it's in very tiny print. If you are looking at the back of the watch, the word titanium is imprinted at approx the 10:00 o'clock position.
Although this watch looks impressively large at first glance, because it's titanium, it feels rather light on my wrist. I have a relatively small wrist for a guy, but it still fits pretty well. I had to take off 4 links (by a qualified watch repair shop) in order to have a nice tight snug fit. Actually, it's almost too snug. Maybe I should have taken off 3 links instead of 4. Sometimes I have to take off my watch for a few minutes in the middle of the day because of the tight imprint it leaves on my wrist, haha! I prefer a snug fitting watch versus one that's loose and moves around my wrist though.
As for all the functions of this watch, I mean seriously, who other than an airline pilot will be using this watch to figure out if you have sufficient fuel and time for an intercontinental flight?? I do like the fact that I can tell my friends for bragging rights that this is the preferred watch for pilots, hyuck yuck. The only main function I have this watch set for is the LCD mode that shows the Month and Date, plus day of the week. For example, my LCD is set to display the following info: "LAX (for Los Angeles, CA), "6.6" for June 6th, and "FR" for Friday. Plus "SMT" which I think stands for daylight savings time? I sometimes for the heck of it also change the LCD screen mode to show the time and seconds. I don't use any of the other functions, such as timer, countdown, etc. I mean seriously who would want to manipulate small dials on a watch to see tiny fonts when the same functions are way more easily used on a smartphone app? I have my giant Samsung Note 2 phone for functions such as alarm, timers, etc, and a phone is way easier to use. These other functions would have been fantastic and useful some 10 to 20 years ago, prior to smartphone existence. But nowadays, I would not even bother to use these functions on a watch. Give me a smartphone anyday instead.
The one thing I had missed a lot from my previous watches is the simple light button. Press the button on the top right and a bright orange light is emitted. Wow! I actually missed having a watch that can spit out light! It's ironic that a cheap $20 watch (ie: Timex, etc) will usually have a light button, but fancier watches usually don't. Even my last watch, a Tissot Touch (around $700) didn't have a light button. Plus I don't mind constantly pressing the light button just to see the cool orange color light come on, cuz why? Cuz it's solar powered, so I don't have to worry about running down the battery, haha! :-) My last 2 watches by Tissot literally cost $40 to replace each watch battery...unbelievable! So after having spent $80 on replacing watch batteries for my previous 2 Tissot watches, I started looking around for a watch that "doesn't need no stinkin' battery", haha! Excuse the bad grammar!
The other major thing I like about this watch, and I mean MAJOR is the automatic perpetual calendar. I dislike...no, make that hate, no, make that DESPISE having to manually set for the correct date at the end of the month. Seriously, having to set your watch for the correct date (ie: 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st) is for the birds! That's so dinasaur and unworthy of my time and effort. That remind me of my previous boss who liked to show off his $30k Rolex watch, but he would have to ask me at the end of the month "what date is it today?". You mean to tell me your $30,000 Rolex watch can't tell you the correct date at the end of the month, just because different months have different lengths of days?? Seriously?! My previous watch, a Tissot Touch (or was it another Tissot watch?) had the extremely odd "feature" of always giving a leap year EVERY single year! In other words, every February of every year had the day of February 29th added. Unbelievable! I kid you not! One time the same stupid boss with his $30k Rolex watch asked me what day it was, and I actually responded by looking at my Tissot watch and saying February 29th. He replied back, your watch is broken! I actually felt stupid at that moment, and felt like tossing that Tissot watch out the window. True story!
Going back to the watch now, I digress a lot, haha! I would say my one major (or minor) gripe is that the LCD text is a bit small and light. I wish the LCD screen showed numbers and letters larger in font and bolder too. Maybe another 20% larger font size would be good, plus in bold. Alas, maybe the next version of this watch, who knows? Also, sometimes the minute and hour hand covers the LCD screen so I might have a hard time seeing the month and date. Whenever this happens, I have to tilt my wrist to show the watch at an angle so I can see the LCD text from under the minute/hour hands. A minor inconvenience, but at least there's a workable solution.
I currently have my watch set for "LAX" on the left side LCD screen, plus also "LAX" on the right side LCD screen. LAX is the setting for Los Angeles, California time, which is the setting I use for Pacific Standard Time in the West Coast. I'm actually in the San Francisco Bay Area, but there is no setting for San Francisco as far as I know, so LAX will have to do.
I also like the fact this watch is automatically set every day according to the atomic clock. Very cool. I mean, seriously, the ATOMIC clock in Colorado is the authority! Doesn't get more accurate than that. You know how most clocks and watches will give the disclaimer that they will run accurately within a plus or minus 15 second tolerance per year? Well, screw that! That tolerance level is for the birds. I like knowing my watch is accurate to the second every day of every year. None of this +/- 15 seconds stuff, haha!
I've only been wearing this watch as my daily driver for the past month. The bottom of the bracelet clasp does show very, very small small scratches since I'm usually resting my wrist on the desk and keyboard. I don't see any scratches anywhere else. The front dial and bezel appear fine to me, plus the bracelet too. It's only the bottom of the clasp next to the imprinted word "CITIZEN" that shows the very small scratches. I'm not going to baby this watch, so that's just how it's going to be.
By the way, just today I walked by a watch shop and took a closeup look of the Blue Angeles version of this watch. The only difference with the Blue Angeles watch was the noticeable yellow color accents, plus the dials are shaped differently. The top and bottom dials on the right side are more squarish, whereas my watch is round. I know there are other cosmetic differences with other similar watches whereby the color schemes are different. But I believe the functions are the same regardless of the minor differences in appearance and name/model numbers. I could be wrong though. I like my watch color scheme better at black and steel color. Yellow is a bit too loud for me...so no Blue Angeles version for me, haha!
Lastly, even my GF is a little jealous of my watch. She got herself a nice $1200 Citizen Ecodrive watch with its gold tone and small diamonds. But she doesn't have all the bells and whistles of my watch, heck, not even a backlight! But seriously, this watch would not fit her small hands and wrist...simply too much watch for her. Let her keep envying my watch in lust, hyuck yuck!!
on August 15, 2015
This is my second "big" citizen. I wore the Thunderbirds model for 8 years before it gave up the ghost, and I returned to the land of Timex and Casio. I started eyeing this watch back before Christmas and finally pulled the lever five months later during a Citizen watch "event."
It certainly has a lot of technical talent, with the usual chronometer functions as well as world time zones and WWV automated updating. The thing I paid extra for this time was the Titanium. I would certainly do THAT again! Make no mistake, this is no "sleek" or "stylish" watch. It is a sizable man's watch that makes its own statement. In Titanium, however, you won't be building up your biceps as much, because the weight difference is immediately obvious.
My only gripe is that I don't use the various adjustments and features often enough to stay conversant with them, so I just carry the instruction book in my briefcase.
This is not a cheap watch, but if you're ready to splurge on yourself with a quality timepiece that brings a lot more to your wrist than accurate time, this may be just the thing...
on October 24, 2014
I agree with all the five star reviews. The titanium is a must, the watch is so light even though its a large watch. Watch looks great on , even though I have a small wrist. I needed to remove two links on one side, and one link on the other. I did not purchase from amazon. I found it online from J..shop for 366 via ..bay.
I adjusted the links myself. I bought GGI International Unisex WTK-16 Analog-Digital Display Watch Set for less than $7. Its worth it. But it take time and good eyes. I needed to wear reading glass. You must reinsert the small retaining tubes which first pops out when you pull out the pins. Make sure you keep these. You cannot simply reinsert the pins without these retaining tubes because they will fall out. These retaining tubes are hard to find, and you can search online and find them for $10 a piece if you are lucky to find any. So make sure you read this again, before proceeding. After you remove the links needed to resize your watch band, insert the retaining tube in the hole in the center link. See: http://www.citizenwatch.com/en-us/files/2012/08/pin1tube.pdf You need to use tweezer and just align it with the hole, and the retaining tube will fall right in. You should use a white cloth to do your work, because its easy for the retaining tube to pop from the tweezer and bounce around and fall on the floor, and it will be difficult to find because its so small. Believe me, I learned the hard way.
Because of the retaining tubes, I did use a number of different tools. The tool with the turning knob was used to pop out the pin. Make sure you look at the underside of the watch band and make sure the pins are removed in the direction of the arrow which is shown.
Then I used the tweezer and the plastic holder device which has vertical and horizontal grooves. The grooves hold the watch band stable, so you can carefully insert the retaining tube. The I reconnect the links, use the "groove" holder to secure it, and then use the plastic side of the hammer to reinsert the pins. Then I use the turning knob tube just as a final small adjustment , just to turn it a bit so the pinheads are flushed with the link.
Finally, Amazon must have read my review and noticed the low price I was able to get the watch for. Today, October 25, the watch from amazon is basically the same price - great deal. Grab it today if you can!!!!!