First impressions of the Citizen Chronomaster AQ4020-54Y
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  1. #1
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    First impressions of the Citizen Chronomaster AQ4020-54Y

    I've been impatiently waiting for about 2 weeks now, and my Chronomaster has finally arrived from Japan. I'd like to give you my first impressions and share some images for whoever might be interested.

    Backstory:

    After selling my Speedy Pro for being too large for my baby wrists, there was a vacant spot in my box lusting to be filled. As every other enthusiast, I spend a probably unhealthy amount of time looking at watches. But never quartz. And it seems like I'm not the only one with this weird and unjustified prejudice towards quartz watches. I realized now that I've been missing out.

    The first HAQs I considered was both Grand Seikos, the SBGX259 and SBGX269. Both very beautiful and intriguing, but neither gave me that "buy-me-now" feeling. Though the 269 had me close. But I didn't have to look far to fall in love. I didn't even have to finish reading the Deployant review of the Citizen AQ4020-54Y before I knew I had to get this piece. Shortly after, I purchased it from Katsu Higuchi who I would highly recommend to anyone buying a Japan-exclusive watch.

    Dial and case:

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    Wow! I'm not sure where to start. The washi dial instantly grabs my attention. Absolutely gorgeous, even better in person.
    Love how to color changes depending on the light. It definitely looks the best in bright daylight, when the light dances on the nicely polished indices and hands.
    The GS Snowflake would be a natural comparison, but using the washi paper still makes this unique and in my opinion even more interesting than the Snowflake.

    The Zaratsu finishing is absolutely stunning. It makes it really pop and feel luxurious. Beautiful combination with it's very wearable 37.5 mm polished case.

    Bracelet:

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    Beware: Removing links on this watch is a nightmare. You need two 1-1.5mm flat head screwdrivers and preferably three or four hands. You use one screwdriver to hold a screw in place on one side while using the other driver to remove a different screw on the opposite side. Not too bad to perform alone when getting the technique down, but still more difficult than any other watch I've owned.
    It did however show how scratch-resistant the coated titanium is. I couldn't find any marks on any links even after I screwed around with the screwdrivers for a good 15 minutes.

    Otherwise, love the lightweight feel of titanium and it looks gorgeous. The polished parts perfectly matches the polished bezel, batons and hands, and it helps to make the watch just the right amount of eye-catching.
    I do however understand why some people don't like it as much as stainless steel. It feels very different to touch and move around. Almost "brittle" for a lack of better word. I get why some people confuse that with cheap.
    Compared to something like the jubilee bracelet from Rolex it feels looser between the links, about equal in comfort. It's more comfortable than the Speedmaster Pro bracelet in my opinion.


    Features:

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    Eco-drive, perpetual calender, IAHH, +/- 5 second per year. Just awesome. All I could ever need. To be honest I wasn't even aware a quartz could possess some of these features.
    Never having owned a watch with any of these features, I was very excited to check them out. Power reserve and perpetual calender was very easy to access and understand, just insert pen or other pointy object into the hole above the crown and voilŕ!
    I've heard different results on the accuracy. Several owners have reported a higher deviation than the "promised" 5 spy. Other owners claim below 5 spy. I don't really care, either way it's far better performance than a mechanical watch can offer.


    Conclusion:


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    Not objectively perfect, as with any other watch in existence, but a great match for me. Definitely on its way to becoming my favorite and will for sure be my daily for a long time. Might not be everyones cup of tea, but I'd drink it any time!

    Thank you for the read! I hope you found it somewhat interesting and maybe even helpful if you're consider getting this piece.

  2. #2
    Member drunken-gmt-master's Avatar
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    Re: First impressions of the Citizen Chronomaster AQ4020-54Y

    Nice write-up; wear in good health as they say in these parts. I have the black-dialed AQ4020-03E (+ bracelet, which I had a local watchmaker adjust for me).
    ------------------------------------

    (Almost) every watch a tool watch.

  3. #3
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    Re: First impressions of the Citizen Chronomaster AQ4020-54Y

    Very nice! I considered the black one aswell, what a beauty. Thank you, I wish you the same!
    drunken-gmt-master likes this.

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  5. #4
    Member vmgotit's Avatar
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    Re: First impressions of the Citizen Chronomaster AQ4020-54Y

    I really like this new Watch you have. Love the dial! It is sad that many junk cheap quartz Watches have given quartz Watches a bad reputation. Citizens has made some really well made Watches, along with Seiko, and Grand Seiko, that are anything but cheap junk movements. Citizens Watches like BN7020D-17E. Eco-Drive Diver, ran for me at 17 seconds per year. That along with excellent customer service, that I received from Citizens Watches USA. when I needed service. I have owned 5 different Citizens Watches, all quartz movement, and all well made and great Watches. Vance.
    Watch the time you have, Jesus is coming soon! “Faith is seeing the light with your heart when all your eyes see is darkness.”

    "The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will. Place no faith in time. For the clock may soon be still."

  6. #5
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    Congratulations on this wonderful masterpiece!! Could you do me a great favour and please measure the lug to lug distance and thickness? And maybe the size of the ctystal, that would be awesome 😄
    Thinking about this exact model for years but was always too afraid to order it

  7. #6
    Member Nolander's Avatar
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    Re: First impressions of the Citizen Chronomaster AQ4020-54Y

    Great write up and pictures. I recently got an AQ4041, and you are spot on about the bracelet adjustment. It was tougher than I expected. Hopefully I will stay thin enough so I will never have unscrew it again! Excellent watch, enjoy it, as it is beautiful and very functional.
    aafanatic likes this.

  8. #7
    Member NC_Hager626's Avatar
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    Re: First impressions of the Citizen Chronomaster AQ4020-54Y

    Thanks for providing your initial impressions of your new Citizen Chronomaster. Interesting how cumbersome it can be to resize the bracelet and yet how scratch resistant it is. The Chronomaster looks good on your wrist. Enjoy your new Citizen.

  9. #8
    Member Budman2k's Avatar
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    Re: First impressions of the Citizen Chronomaster AQ4020-54Y

    Great write up and review. That is one gorgeous watch. I've got that on my short list (that keeps getting longer!!)

    Enjoy!
    Budman

  10. #9
    Member trott3r's Avatar
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    Re: First impressions of the Citizen Chronomaster AQ4020-54Y

    While i do like the watch a few things that i dont like myself.

    - The finish on the seconds hand is not as good as quality as it should be being a little rough or not polished at all.
    Its better on the hour and minutes hands.

    -The citizen logo looks like its on doubel sided clear sticky tape and doesnt quite float as some people describe it but looks opaque underneath and not as clear as it should be.

    On the upside i do like the cover or enclosed part of the hands over the centre point unlike every other watch i have which looks like its on a spindle.
    Also like the shiny and lumed chapter ring.

    Darn it, mine is its sister the aq 4030
    Davosa,Omega speedy reduced, Seiko(6) ,Orient (3),Citizen (3) GShocks(8), Pebble Time smartwatches (2) are my poison on a Skinny 5 and 3/4 inch wrist

  11. #10
    Member drunken-gmt-master's Avatar
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    Re: First impressions of the Citizen Chronomaster AQ4020-54Y

    Quote Originally Posted by Reyken View Post
    . . . Could you do me a great favour and please measure the lug to lug distance and thickness? And maybe the size of the ctystal, that would be awesome 😄
    Thinking about this exact model for years but was always too afraid to order it
    Lug to lug is just under 44.5mm. Thickness is close to 11mm per the web site (https://citizen.jp/product/the-citiz..._no=AQ4020-54Y. Crystal diameter is 31mm.
    ------------------------------------

    (Almost) every watch a tool watch.

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