Friday, August 15, 2008

JY0000-53E CITIZEN Eco-Drive Skyhawk

CITIZEN Eco-Drive Skyhawk

Product Features
- Eco-Drive Technology - Charges in sunlight or indoors
- SkyHawk Global Atomic Timekeeping (AT) Chronograph with Radio-Controlled Accuracy
- World Time in 43 Cities, 2 Alarms and 99 Minute Countdown Timer
- Perpetual Calendar 200 meter water-resistant Watch with GMT Display
- Black Dial with Digital Display Light, and Stainless Steel Case and Bracelet

Customer Review

Skyhawk A-T: All the features I wanted

I spent a good three weeks researching various watches to replace the automatic that was failing to keep time. I was looking at the Citizen Calibre line of watches as well as the Seiko Coutura line, but I finally decided that the Citizen Skyhawk A-T was the only watch that had the three features that I really wanted:

- Battery-free operation
- Atomic clock accuracy
- Backlight

Like others, I was a bit concerned about the size and weight, and I did try on the titanium version, which costs $150 more, but I found that it was *too* light. It felt like I was wearing tinfoil. The stainless steel has a "reassuring, solid heft" to it, but it's by no means too heavy. And, the attractive dial is continually attracting comments. Not to mention that the hands and large markers are easy to read against the black dial. It's a very striking watch, and quite noticeable.

Feature-wise, this watch is jammed-pack, which is quite amazing when you consider it's a solar-powered watch: time in 43 cities, countdown timer, chronometer, perpetual calendar, two alarms, and an atomic clock radio receiver??? I was a little concerned about it not getting enough light as I work in an office and wear long-sleeved shirts, but the power gauge never goes below "full charge." Very reassuring, indeed. It was really amazing to pull it out of the box when I first got it, and all the needles starting spinning to put the watch to the correct time.

The only problem I've had was with the daylight saving time feature. As I live in Phoenix, we don't observe DST (who needs an extra hour of 120 degree heat!), and so I set the clock to Denver time and turned the DST off. But, every night, when the watch would receive the signal from the atomic clock in Colorado, I would wake up finding it an hour later than it really was, as the watch would automatically turn DST back on. After pouring through the manual, I found that you had to both turn off DST for the city the watch is set to, as well as turn it off for the atomic signal update. To do this second step, you have to set the sub-dial to RX-S and turn the "SMT" feature to "Ma." This essentially keeps the atomic clock signal from updating the DST feature.

With that figured out, I really found that I enjoy this watch immensely. It is a truly complicated watch--probably one of the most complicated I own, but the instructions are very clear. Also, I hear what other reviewers say about the backlight only showing the date, but you can easily pull out the crown and switch between date and time, so if you put it on "TIME," the backlight will display the time in the LCD. So, generally, I keep the watch on the calendar feature, so I know the date. But if I need to turn on the backlight to see the time, I pull out the crown, turn it one-quarter clockwise to the "TIME" selection, and push the light button. It sounds like a pain, but it really isn't. I find that I could do this quickly and easily, even in a darkened movie theater. The trick is to keep both LCDs on your home time, so that the analog dial and the digital LCD show the same time.

As for the links on the band, I wouldn't recommend trying to remove them yourself. I tried using a thumb tack, as another review suggested, but it seemed that I had to force them out, and it felt like I was damaging the pins. So, I stopped at a local jeweler who sized my watch for $5.

So, in conclusion I've owned many different watches over the years, including a Seiko Kinetic, which I really loved. But this is the first watch that I feel that would actually serve me for many years to come.

By Eric Nanneman


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