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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.