How could I . . .

Just thinking the other day how could I manage to sell on my old Citizen Navihawk and realizing afterwards what an idiot I was.  Maybe it was the fact that I was still looking for new things and it wasn’t being worn as much as I liked.  Or maybe it was the technology at that time and maybe it was me that wasn’t ready for it, or it had too busy a dial or whatever – I simply don’t know and that of course was as I now realize – regrettable in the extreme.
For it was a classic of it’s time and I should be wearing it now – but alas not to be . . .

My old "techno 3" - or what I thought were the greatest. But only one remains!

My old “techno 3” – or what I thought were the greatest. But only one remains!

Today of course fortunately there are models that are now the offspring of that great watch and fortunately they have improved them and not messed around with that amazing dial construction, which let’s face it was the attraction that so many of us felt at the time.  My old model for example didn’t have Eco-drive and didn’t have Radio Control and it was stainless steel, though in fairness it was very neat on the wrist, as most watches were smaller than today’s counterparts.

So I thought OK I messed up last time and today I’m going to make amends for passing up a classic of it’s era.  Yes I’ve decided I’m going to get myself a Citizen Navi or Sky something and it’s going to be a keeper!  And there are a few around, though some don’t have that “look”and some seem larger, not as neat, so I’m being careful here because it’s important to me – this time.

At one time I had what I called my techno 3, that is the models I thought were the latest thing.  The Navihawk, the Attesa and the Breitling – and would you believe of the trio I only have one remaining and it’s not the Citizens, but my Breitling.

But and it’s a big but – what Citizen model will I choose?
Well  there are quite a few models to pick from and they all have little differences and at the end of the day it’s about personal preference.  It’s about the one that “says” it for you and I remember so well that my old one did just that and for whatever reason.  So after a lot of looking and examining and thinking how I feel and so on I have a choice of two.

Either the Citizen Skyhawk model JY0110-55E Red Arrows Titanium AT or the JY0005-50E Skyhawk Radio Controlled, Eco-Drive AT model.

Latest classic for me. The Citizen Skyhawk JY0110-55E in Titanium

Latest classic for me. The Citizen Skyhawk JY0110-55E in Titanium

Why I picked these two versions over others is just the feeling that they have the “look” of the old one with that curved bezel look, the short round buttons as opposed to the T shaped pushers others have, and just two not four plus an added crown, which eases World Time changing over the older model.

Citizen JY0005-50E A-T RC, Eco-Drive

Citizen JY0005-50E A-T RC, Eco-Drive in IP stainless

I also like the different bezel grips, elongated in the first one and dot protrusions on the other which reflect the original bezel grip idea and I prefer that both hour hands are NOT skeletal (my only dislike on my old model).  Functionality wise they are both identical and both models are now Eco-Drive, so no battery concerns ever and being Radio Controlled there are no accuracy issues when changing time zones, each of which is an improvement.  One is Titanium and the other is IP Stainless Steel so one is lighter on the wrist, and both have short case lugs, which are wrist friendly and they’ve improved the water resistance from 100m to 200m.

The indices on both I note are heavier which aids clarity and both digital displays are slightly different in layout and smaller on the right side, but with larger digits than the older model, and with the addition of better quality anti-reflection coating inside the glass these should have better overall clarity.  All good and yet without compromising that indefinable element of what attracted me in the first place.

They both in their way look right.

Which will I finally pick is down to how I feel and at this moment I’m favoring the JY0005-50E owing to dial coloration in and on the dial and maybe the bezel grips?  I also note that the IP Stainless model is considerably cheaper by around £100, which is important especially as functionality is the same.  Though on the other hand I do like Titanium!  I also like the fact that one of them has marginally less dial text (no Red Arrows).   Yikes! this is NOT easy!

It’s also true to say, that whichever one I choose, that this is one of the classic Citizen milestone models which basically has hardly changed cosmetically from the day it first appeared.  Always a good point in any design is when they get it right from day one – and that’s a feat in itself.

It was a winner then and it’s a winner now.

But hey! whatever one I do pick –  this is definitely a keeper for me – this time! 😉

Addendum –
The model I’ve picked (yes I’ve made my selection) will be featured as a more in depth subject of a near future Post. 
One thing is so obvious when the watch is in your hand and that’s the fact it is a Citizen Classic.  The wonderful analog/digital dial layout (which some said would never work) and function combination, heralded a new age in digital watches and Citizen to my mind came of age with their introduction.  The addition of Radio Control and Eco-Drive to the range is a logical extension and will ensure the popularity of the Navihawk and Skyhawk to a new generation.

Get and forget (1)

As I indicated in the last “Get and forget” Post, I thought I’d have a look at Casio this time, regarding models that manage to offer good functionality at a reasonable price point and without overcrowded dials.   So many models today have so much data overkill on confusing dials, they may start off being a novelty, but soon are consigned to the back of a drawer!

Casio AE1000W-1B World Time 48 cities + 10 year battery

Casio AE1000W-1B World Time 48 cities + 10 year battery

Now I could just feature first model is the Casio AE1000W-1B which itself is a remarkably priced World Time, Alarm watch, really low priced at under $20 on US Amazon.  For that you get a rather well designed dial with the main Digital window showing the Time, Day, Date and Month clearly.  Also on there is a small seconds indicator and a Time Zone map – a tad gimmicky maybe but they don’t distract from the main view, so I can forgive that.  Functions include 48 cities World Time, Alarms, Stop Watch etc. and a 100m Water Resistance in a neat case.  The only down side for being the integrated strap/bracelet, which unfortunately is a feature of many Casio models, but that apart this model does represent serious value for money.


But I’d rather major on the classic Radio Controlled (two receivers) Casio WVA-470DE-1AVEF sold here in the UK and Europe with appropriate DCF and MSF Radio reception – that is Mainflingen in Germany and Anthorn in the UK.

Casio WVA470DJ-1ACF Radio Control at under £100

Casio WVA470DE-1AVEF
Radio Control at under £100

Being Solar Powered this watch never needs a battery.  With 2 receiver Radio Control assuming it receives a signal from the appropriate Atomic Clock each day the accuracy is guaranteed and correct within the UK and Europe.  It has good functionality with World Time, Chronograph Stopwatch to 1/100sec, 3 Alarms, battery check, signal check, hour beep, Neobrite analog hands and is Water Resistance rated to 10bar or 100m.  It also features an LED backlight.

It’s also one of the better sized models (as was the Casio Oceanus) at a neat 42mm x 12mm and even though is analog/digital it has a really neat and classic analog appearance.  It has a solid stainless steel bracelet with a double push button clasp and is adjustable by use of removable links (again as the Oceanus) using small tapered pins and sprung holding collars.

A point to bear in mind if adjusting/removing links, is to take great care and NOT lose the small link pin collars.  (When I sold on my Casio Oceanus I included a letter to the buyer explaining just how to do it, as I was concerned he might make a mess of it and then claim a refund for a faulty strap – which it wasn’t of course).

Basically the link pins slide not only into the bracelet segment, but through a very small steel collar – it is this collar that grips the pin.  Lose it and you lose the integrity of the whole bracelet as the pins will fall out.

However it is a good comfortable bracelet, just take care if resizing.

The price for this model’s functionality is under £100 which considering it’s predecessors represents great value for money.  I know of three friends who have this model and they use it as their main watch and bearing in mind they each have watch collections too, it obviously says a lot for this model.

Casio WVA470DJ-1ACF composite steel/plastic case

Casio WVA470DE-1AVEF composite steel/plastic case

For me I particularly like fact that it has not been G-Shocked with plastic panels stuck all over it and has an uncluttered dial considering the functions.   Note the luminous analog hands time and the digital time are always in synch. ie: they are not separate and both automatically adjust together on signal reception.   It also has a neatly defined center seconds hand.  The digital window is a good size without encroaching the dial yet large enough to read clearly.

The four pushers are neat and unobtrusive, though quite large enough for the whole fingertip when operating.

At under £100 this is quite an achievement when you consider that in 2009 I had the very latest in RC models – the Casio Oceanus Manta and the Citizen Attesa ATV53-2833, the latter I featured here in my Post of 2009 as the “ultimate” watch.  Both models cost over £700 at the time!   So on a cost/function basis this represents a quantum leap in terms of what was then available.

Citizen Attesa - another state of the art of the past

Citizen Attesa – another state of the art of the past

Casio Oceanus Manta RC state of the art in 2009

Casio Oceanus Manta RC
state of the art in 2009

It certainly shows how times have changed and this little gem with it’s understated and uncluttered look considering it’s functionality – is a neat buy.

I like most aspects of this model and Casio have excelled in producing a watch, which is both high tech’ and low cost.  Their expertise in the use of plastics is evident as the case is a lightweight composite of metal and plastic, which apart from reducing cost, has resulted in a smooth curved profile that fits most wrists very neatly.

They’ve just about managed to tick all the boxes, as they say.   Bar one in fact.  That is there is no quick “swap” of Home tome to a destination time, despite this being a World Time watch.  You can read a selected World Time digitally, but not analog, unless you change Home time to your destination time which is a rather fiddly.

To get a watch with this functionality and looks at such the price is presently unmatched by other manufacturers from what I’ve seen.  The competition tends to be composed of either very cluttered dial designs or much more expensive prices or both.  (check out Watchshop under RC watches and you’ll get my point about cluttered dials).

Of course my favorite Radio Controlled watch these days is still my analog Citizen Eco-Drive A-T CB0020-09E also known as the World Perpetual A-T (+£300 some years ago).  OK it is a higher specification with 5 receivers and bought because the World Time function was the easiest of any to set and it has a large clear analog dial with no digital display.  Pull out the Crown, turn to another city as indicated by the seconds hand, push the Crown it in again and the hands instantly move to the new City – it’s as easy as that!  When I travel abroad this is still my preferred companion. 

However this Casio WVA-470DE-1AVEF works for me as a good RC indication type model and for under £100 is something else – Wow!

Oops!  – Seems I forgot to Post the first “Get and forget (1)” of the series – it featured Timex – though no matter I’ll post it next time . . . . . .