Adapted from Original at http://www.thetruthaboutwatches.com
I can remember the day clearly, the first time I saw a Nighthawk. I was doing a "drive-by" at the Citizen Watch Store in the local mall, just killing time. I snapped a picture of the Nighthawk in the case with the intentions of looking it up when I got home. Like most other things, I completely forgot about it by the time I got back to the house.
About a year later (last week) I was talking to MINIDriver about how disheartened I was that after all the time looking for a SUN005 Kinetic GMT, I finally received one and just didn't care for it. He suggested the Nighthawk as a replacement. I sold the SUN005, and the Nighthawk arrived two days later.
I have never been more enamored with a watch upon opening the box as I was with this one. Even after a week of wearing it around, the dial still captivates my attention, and I can't help but stare at it.
The Nighthawk has a case that falls in between the Submariner-styled Divers, and a Tool Diver watch like a Monster. It's big enough that it doesn't have that "dress watch" style that I can't stand, and it's not so large as to be a sore thumb, and can be worn with long sleeves. The case has an absolutely beautiful brushed finish, one of the best I've seen.
As you can see here, the case has two distinct parts, separated at the bezel. Although this watch has no external bezel, just a brushed metal ring that sits on top of the actual case.
Like most Eco-Drive's that I have owned, the case back is inscribed with the EcoDrive logo. Again, unfortunately, the engraving looks to be cheaply done, as it is very shallow, almost indistinguishable by running your finger over the case back.
It is, however, extremely detailed, and has the "Nighthawk" name in the middle of the logo.
The 3:00 crown has the Promaster logo signed, and I was a little surprised by this, as I was unaware that the Nighthawk is part of the Promaster family of Citizen's. It also bears the Promaster logo on the dial, as you will see below.
The Nighthawk wears well, and sits nice and flat on my wrist. It does have a tendency to ride up, but I have the bracelet set on the looser side of my normal comfort level, which may contribute to this.
The Nighthawk case also has an 8:00 crown, which is used to turn the inner slide rule bezel. For a really good explanation of how to use this, without being bored out of your mind, check the video reviews tab for a video by "Nikudes" regarding the Slide Rule Bezel on a Citizen Skyhawk.
One of my favorite parts of the Nighthawk is it's fabulous crystal. The open face crystal design with no external bezel gives the Nighthawk a very "Fortis" like look. It's truly spectacular, and has to be seen in person, as no photograph can truly show how clean and clear the crystal design is. It truly appears as though you could reach in and touch the dial of the watch.
One thing to note here, I was under the impression from online photos of the Nighthawk, that the crystal was "set into" the case of the watch. I thought that the outer ring of the case extended past the crystal, like on an Invicta Russian Diver. This is not the case, and as you can see above, the crystal actually sits above the case by a small measure.
Lets start with the particulars. The Nighthawk uses Citizen's B877 EcoDrive movement. I have recorded a timekeeping accuracy of +/-0 Seconds in the five days it has been in my possession. I will continue to update this review as time rolls on.
The dial of the Nighthawk is one of the most complex, yet simple and effective dials I've seen. For a truly interesting and fun description of the dial and it's unique styling queues, check out http://www.larrybiggs.net/scwf/index...&id=1099233931 (Thanks, MINIDriver)
The inner slide rule (stationary) has two sets of numbered indices. A logarithmic scale, and a time (in hours and minutes) scale. This allows you to view a Rate/Time/Distance calculation using a common form of time, instead of a decimal version of time. The outer ring (rotating) has a logarithmic scale and several conversion factors, including Gallons, Miles, and many more.
On the left half of the dial is the 24 hour GMT indicator. The fourth hand is a single post with two pointers, a red and a white airplane. The red hours are PM, and the white, AM. As the white hand leaves the AM hours, the red hand picks up the PM hours, and the hand that is off the dial "flies" around the right half of the face until it once again lines up with it's markers. This is an extremely cool iteration of the GMT watch, and is functional and stylish simultaneously.
You can see the Time scale, and both logarithmic bezels, and the GMT indicator in the above picture. Again, I feel like I need to say that pictures do not justice here. This dial is stunning in person, and the overall dial is remarkable on the wrist. This has one of the best wrist-presence factors of any of my watches, regardless of size or color. The red accents on the dial really make it stand out.
The time indices and the hands have a Bell&Ross-ish design cue, and have a very "mechanical" appearance. They are precisely machined, and look striking against the black dial.
Setting The Time
My only qualm with this otherwise perfect watch is the mechanism of setting the hands. The first stop sets the date, which works swimmingly. However, turning the watch counter-clockwise sets the hour hand in one hour increments. There is a large amount of play in between "jumps" of the hour hand, and though it does work, it's a little disconcerting at first.
The second stop on the crown sets the minute hand and the GMT hand, which works without issue.
I don't believe there is any problem with this, it's just a quirk of the watch, and there may be a perfectly legit mechanical explanation that I am not privy to.
Bracelet and Clasp
The Nighthawk ships on a solid, heavy, attractive bracelet. One of Citizen's better examples, in my opinion. It holds the watch well, and has a cool multi-linked style. The end links are variation of a solid link, and seem sturdy.
The end link looks awesome against the lugs and case, and completes the more tool-like aspects of the design.
The Nighthawk uses the typical Citizen "Natulight" lume compound, which has the signature blue glow. While not exactly on par with Seiko's Lumibrite, the Citizen version glows strong and lasts for 4-5 hours with 10 minutes of sunlight or a high powered flashlight.
Overall, I cannot say enough good things about the Nighthawk. It's become an instant favorite, and will probably see a lot of daylight outside the closet in the coming weeks.
You definitely cannot go wrong with the Nighthawk.