Citizen E510 vs. Citizen A060 or What's up with The Chronomaster
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  1. #1
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    Citizen E510 vs. Citizen A060 or What's up with The Chronomaster

    So, to whet my appetite for affordable HAQ, I bought a beat-up Citizen EBJ74-1741 with the E510 movement. This watch is nearly 20 years old at this point. The E510 appears to be an amazing movement: TC HAQ +-10 spy, solar, perpetual calendar, IAHH, and fly-by-wire (electronic crown) that makes accurately setting the time dead simple. It reminds me of a Casio Oceanus S100 (with fewer features), except without needing to rely on reaching out to the atomic clock because of its superior autonomously accurate movement. Unfortunately, the E510 movement is no longer serviced at all by Citizen; I emailed Citizen Japan and they communicated this to me. So, if anything serious happens to the movement, the watch is a paperweight.

    My new acquisition got me thinking - why did Citizen abandon fly-by-wire movements for their HAQ line-up, and why did they not use them in their top of the line "The Chronomaster" ? Surely, the electronic crown offers a superior form of control over the motion works than the mechanical connection to the crown of the A060. Yes, the A060 has superior timekeeping at +-5 spy, but couldn't they have refined the E510? Right now, it appears that, of the major watch brands, only Longines with the Conquest VHP powered by the L288 movement carries on with fly-by-wire.

    While The Chronomaster, undoubtedly, is superior to the old Citizen Exceed EBJ74 in terms of finish, could it reasonably be said that the E510 is the better movement for its place in time than the current A060? What do you all think?

    Here is the obligatory photo of my new (old) watch:
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  2. #2
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    Re: Citizen E510 vs. Citizen A060 or What's up with The Chronomaster

    I can't disagree with your assessment of the E510, as it's clearly superior in most respects to the current Citizen HAQs (ignoring the 0100). However, there's no point in wishing that Citizen had decided to develop it, or use the FBW technology elsewhere, or make it capable of regulation, because they didn't, and for private reasons of their own they very probably won't.

    One unfortunate feature of this movement, at least in the watch I owned, was that it just didn't meet its claimed spec. Furthermore, its next owner found that returning it to Japan for 'fixing' was a waste of time. So the best approach is to enjoy its super technology and not worry about the timekeeping. It's still way better than most quartz watches. It's also sad that the ability to regulate TC watches has almost completely disappeared, with the exception of GS. Even with the current PreciDrive movements (including the 2017 VHP) there have been no reported incidents of successful recalibration.

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    Re: Citizen E510 vs. Citizen A060 or What's up with The Chronomaster

    Quote Originally Posted by chris01 View Post
    I can't disagree with your assessment of the E510, as it's clearly superior in most respects to the current Citizen HAQs (ignoring the 0100). However, there's no point in wishing that Citizen had decided to develop it, or use the FBW technology elsewhere, or make it capable of regulation, because they didn't, and for private reasons of their own they very probably won't.

    One unfortunate feature of this movement, at least in the watch I owned, was that it just didn't meet its claimed spec. Furthermore, its next owner found that returning it to Japan for 'fixing' was a waste of time. So the best approach is to enjoy its super technology and not worry about the timekeeping. It's still way better than most quartz watches. It's also sad that the ability to regulate TC watches has almost completely disappeared, with the exception of GS. Even with the current PreciDrive movements (including the 2017 VHP) there have been no reported incidents of successful recalibration.
    I wonder what Citizen's private reasons for not deploying fly-by-wire in The Chronomaster were? Any speculation?

    The exclusion of a trimmer on modern HAQs seems to reflect the sad reality of the throw-away mentality of servicing these movements. When they come in for "service" the watches get a movement exchange. Sad that such an accessible method of regulation is not available for the owner of the watch.

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    Re: Citizen E510 vs. Citizen A060 or What's up with The Chronomaster

    Quote Originally Posted by OutOfSpec View Post
    I wonder what Citizen's private reasons for not deploying fly-by-wire in The Chronomaster were? Any speculation?

    The exclusion of a trimmer on modern HAQs seems to reflect the sad reality of the throw-away mentality of servicing these movements. When they come in for "service" the watches get a movement exchange. Sad that such an accessible method of regulation is not available for the owner of the watch.
    How do you define fly by wire? An all electric crown or just separate motors for each complication of the watch? What is it that you think is the advantage of your defenition of "fly by wire"? The Chronomaster line is not about the "high tech" image, it´s more of a conservative friend for life kind of watch. Citizen have other lines for that
    Do you need a trimmer, and if there is one, do you have the tools and skill use it? Very few watch buyers are. The A060 can be adjusted by Citizen, that does not mean the toss the movement and swap it for a new one.
    I remember when I was younger, listening to "dads" how they used to reject fuel injection over carburettors with arguments just like these. "You can´t do anything yourself any more, everytime there is an issue you have to leave the car to a branded garage". But when looking more closely, they could´t do anything useful before eather, none of them were mechanics

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    Re: Citizen E510 vs. Citizen A060 or What's up with The Chronomaster

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbababa View Post
    How do you define fly by wire? An all electric crown or just separate motors for each complication of the watch? What is it that you think is the advantage of your defenition of "fly by wire"? The Chronomaster line is not about the "high tech" image, it´s more of a conservative friend for life kind of watch. Citizen have other lines for that
    Do you need a trimmer, and if there is one, do you have the tools and skill use it? Very few watch buyers are. The A060 can be adjusted by Citizen, that does not mean the toss the movement and swap it for a new one.
    I remember when I was younger, listening to "dads" how they used to reject fuel injection over carburettors with arguments just like these. "You can´t do anything yourself any more, everytime there is an issue you have to leave the car to a branded garage". But when looking more closely, they could´t do anything useful before eather, none of them were mechanics
    Thanks for your message. I created a thread about electronic crows/fly-by-wire a few weeks ago on this forum. In it I inquire with members about a standard definition and questions the advantages of such. I'd be very interested to get your take on it over there at that thread! I'll reproduce the post here and then comment further.

    "
    Is the Lognines VHP the only HAQ watch in current production that uses an electronic crown to control the movement of the hour and minute hands instead of a mechanical connection from the crown to the gear train, and is this setup desirable on the whole?

    My thought is that having this smart crown on the VHP, which, among other things, moves the minute hand in set increments, would help to eliminate user error when setting the time. What good is a HAQ if a tiny push from your fingers can minutely move the minute hand when you set the time? Also, does an electronic crown sending impulses to motors to control the hands of a watch help to reduce inherent slack in the motion works on the dial side of an analog watch that could make the watch ever so inaccurate until that slack was uptaken?

    Further, does the Lognines VHP qualify as a "fly-by-wire" or "drive-by-wire" watch? I understand that there are a few definitions for this, one being a watch that has each hand (and the perpetual calendar) driven by a separate motor, the second definition being a watch that does not have a mechanical connection from the crown to the gear train. I tried to look this point up on the forum search, but got conflicting answers. In the abstract, is the "fly-by-wire" system desirable? Is the electronic crown desirable? If so, why don't more HAQ watches implement these features?

    Thanks!
    "

    I understand what you're saying about the image of The Chronomaster line, although it does employ some high tech including, of course, the +-5 spy movement, eco-drive, IAHH and perpetual calendar.

    Regarding the trimmer, I do think it would be a good value add. I, myself, don't currently have the tools or skills to adjust it at present. However, I know that at least one other forum member, and likely others can use this feature themselves. Further, and more importantly, I would want the trimmer so that I could take the watch to a local watchmaker who has experience in rate adjustment after the watch is finally rejected from service by the manufacturer if it is no longer economically feasible for the manufacturer to offer service on a particular piece. Since we know that Quartz inevitably needs adjustment after it ages, it would be good to have this on a premium product.

    As for the fly-by-wire, since getting my old beat-up Exceed, I find that there is actually a useful purpose for it that enjoy - that is hyper accurate time setting, due to the hands moving a precise and preditcable amount with each turn of the crown with no play in the motion works. I've never seen a watch with such precision on the motion works as this piece. It is quite satisfying. If the Longines VHP is as good as this, I may seriously consider it!

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    Re: Citizen E510 vs. Citizen A060 or What's up with The Chronomaster

    Quote Originally Posted by OutOfSpec View Post
    Regarding the trimmer, I do think it would be a good value add. I, myself, don't currently have the tools or skills to adjust it at present. However, I know that at least one other forum member, and likely others can use this feature themselves. Further, and more importantly, I would want the trimmer so that I could take the watch to a local watchmaker who has experience in rate adjustment after the watch is finally rejected from service by the manufacturer if it is no longer economically feasible for the manufacturer to offer service on a particular piece. Since we know that Quartz inevitably needs adjustment after it ages, it would be good to have this on a premium product.
    Who says a watchmaker trained to deal with mechanicals, can trim a quartz? Has the proper gear to do so? I have no idea what would be needed, so maybe it'd be more common than I suspect...but do watchmaking schools even bother?

    Couple that with your starting statements. Is there really value added? Or is it like Barbababa points out...you can't do squat with it, so what's the point?
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    Re: Citizen E510 vs. Citizen A060 or What's up with The Chronomaster

    A few of us, here, can and do trim our own watches (where the facility to do so is provided). There isn't a lot of science to it, though some are trickier than others due to the way they're made. Read Chris01's posts about trimming the old VHP. The size of the 10 year battery makes things a little awkward with that watch but otherwise it's just a series of taps as described in the manual. And with GS, you just need to turn the trimmer capacitor by notches. One notch is equal to a change in rate of approximately 6 seconds per year.

    I also have an Elektronika watch that isn't HAQ but is very cheap and allows you to adjust the rate by fixed amounts via the watch's pushers. It doesn't have to be an expensive or difficult implementation. Many G-Shocks also have trimmer capacitors, though these are more old school, I believe, and would require a gentle nudge and then waiting a couple of weeks to see what effect it has had on the rate.

    For a real challenge, go and grab an old dual oscillator HAQ and try trimming BOTH oscillators where the overall rate is determined by the confluence of the two. There are some interesting posts on here about that, too.

    Ultimately it's the brands' decision and it doesn't appear to be directly related to the difficulty or cost of implementation, the usefulness to the end user or the price point of the watch. It might, perhaps, be similar to the way some watches now need to go back to have their perpetual calendars set.

    For the avid tinkerer it defies logic, but fewer and fewer things, these days, can be fixed or adjusted by the user and I suspect when the design team asks the engineers to come up with some fancy new tech, making it user-adjustable just isn't on their list of design specs and so the engineers don't go out of their way to add such functionality. It's not something that a critical mass of customers is crying out for.
    Last edited by Tom-HK; 2 Days Ago at 17:43.
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  9. #8
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    Re: Citizen E510 vs. Citizen A060 or What's up with The Chronomaster

    Quote Originally Posted by OutOfSpec View Post
    Thanks for your message. I created a thread about electronic crows/fly-by-wire a few weeks ago on this forum. In it I inquire with members about a standard definition and questions the advantages of such. I'd be very interested to get your take on it over there at that thread! I'll reproduce the post here and then comment further.

    "
    Is the Lognines VHP the only HAQ watch in current production that uses an electronic crown to control the movement of the hour and minute hands instead of a mechanical connection from the crown to the gear train, and is this setup desirable on the whole?

    My thought is that having this smart crown on the VHP, which, among other things, moves the minute hand in set increments, would help to eliminate user error when setting the time. What good is a HAQ if a tiny push from your fingers can minutely move the minute hand when you set the time? Also, does an electronic crown sending impulses to motors to control the hands of a watch help to reduce inherent slack in the motion works on the dial side of an analog watch that could make the watch ever so inaccurate until that slack was uptaken?

    Further, does the Lognines VHP qualify as a "fly-by-wire" or "drive-by-wire" watch? I understand that there are a few definitions for this, one being a watch that has each hand (and the perpetual calendar) driven by a separate motor, the second definition being a watch that does not have a mechanical connection from the crown to the gear train. I tried to look this point up on the forum search, but got conflicting answers. In the abstract, is the "fly-by-wire" system desirable? Is the electronic crown desirable? If so, why don't more HAQ watches implement these features?

    Thanks!
    "

    I understand what you're saying about the image of The Chronomaster line, although it does employ some high tech including, of course, the +-5 spy movement, eco-drive, IAHH and perpetual calendar.

    Regarding the trimmer, I do think it would be a good value add. I, myself, don't currently have the tools or skills to adjust it at present. However, I know that at least one other forum member, and likely others can use this feature themselves. Further, and more importantly, I would want the trimmer so that I could take the watch to a local watchmaker who has experience in rate adjustment after the watch is finally rejected from service by the manufacturer if it is no longer economically feasible for the manufacturer to offer service on a particular piece. Since we know that Quartz inevitably needs adjustment after it ages, it would be good to have this on a premium product.

    As for the fly-by-wire, since getting my old beat-up Exceed, I find that there is actually a useful purpose for it that enjoy - that is hyper accurate time setting, due to the hands moving a precise and preditcable amount with each turn of the crown with no play in the motion works. I've never seen a watch with such precision on the motion works as this piece. It is quite satisfying. If the Longines VHP is as good as this, I may seriously consider it!
    I really like how the crown works on the VHP, but not because it is hard to set a watch with regular crown action It´s just very user friendly once you get the hang of it When setting the minute hand for synchronization on a regular quartz movement, it may appear to miss the marker you set by some small %, but when the crown is pushed in it will move to its place in the geartrain and it will not be off. So there is actually no risk of the minute hand being off att all.
    Regarding the trimmer adding value, I think you have to be really anal abaout yearly accuracy to need a trimmer to satisfy that need (wich off course some of us are ). But for a manufacturer to have this little crowd in mind is not realistic, there are other options like RC and GPS for most people who like high accuracy. And there is still the option of returning the watch for tuning. One of the best and smartest hand movements I think is in the Junghans Max Bill MEGA. With a seconds hand moving in two steps/sek and the minute hand only moving in full minute steps. Makes reading the time accurate like a digital watch
    Last edited by Barbababa; 3 Days Ago at 10:11.

  10. #9
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    This is NOT a HAQ but an RC, but it have the kind of crown operation you like 🙂
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Citizen E510 vs. Citizen A060 or What's up with The Chronomaster

    We 'tinkerers' may be a small class, but I think that it is a commercial mistake to make things like 'reset perpetual calendar' or 'fine tune rate' a ReturnToFactory issue.
    A significant proportion of watches are still sold in high-street shops who have to impose a high mark-up to pay for their high overheads. After-sales service is one way to foster customer loyalty.
    The flash-setting interface of Longines VHP could easily link to an 'AD only' link which would allow an AD to fine-tune the rate of a watch or check for problems (watch could include a stress memory, see recent thread on 'Strange Longines VHP glitch').

    I see a few levels of intervention
    1) User easy -- adjust the time
    2) User complicated -- reset perpetual-calendar on previous generation of VHP
    3) Watchmaker or 'love to tinker user'-- change rate on previous generation of VHP
    4) Return to factory -- change rate on new VHP

    I prefer (2) where a technically interested user can make adjustments.
    For a modern watch most adjustments can be via software, but there is a commercial motivation to limit these interventions to authorized dealers.
    I think that making all adjustment 4) is a customer-satisfaction & commercial mistake !

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