CITIZEN CHRONO-TIME A•T Cal. H610
PURCHASED - June 2013
REVIEWED - August 2013
(bonus video review at bottom)
1. A watch you don’t need and may not necessarily want but once you see the Limited Edition Rose Gold BY0003-07E Chrono-Time AT in person you will not be able to resist adding it to your collection!
This was one of those impulse purchases that inflicted me last month. With two H610 Chrono Time watches already in my collection I did not need nor did I even want this Crocodile Strapped Limited Edition BY0003 watch. However one look at the auction pictures and realizing it was listed wrongly on auction as an Oris Diver watch I was able to snatch it up at a great deal.
2. In The Box
With these Limited Edition Citizen watches it is all about the packaging and this BY0003 is no exception. Usually Citizens run 2500 pieces for their Limited Edition sets and these watches will come with etchings on the caseback letting you know which number of the 2500 you have. These also come with a certificate card stating the number of the watch and hand signed by the Citizen President/Director.The interior of the box is leather lined with the watch pocket in the middle. There seats the watch on a leather pillow on either side are ring holders for other fine jewelry you may want to keep in this box.
The watch holder detaches from the box to reveal a hidden pocket below where the warranty papers, CD manual and Getting Started Guides are kept.
My watch did not come with a paper manual booklet it came with the CD version manual booklet. I also didn't see any space or extra compartments for keeping the chunky paper booklet so I doubt that it would have originally come with it.The hard plastic certificate card lets me know I have 0786 of 2500 and it is signed by Laurence R. Grunstein of Citizen Watch Company. The other side of the card is blank.
The BY0003-07E case back is stunning. I love how the gold plating wraps all the way around the case body to include the case back. I only wished the case back had engraving instead of etching.
3. Build Quality
I own 2 other H610 Chrono-Time watches and this BY0003-07E is the most solid of the lot. The Rose gold tone is exquisite when you see it in person.
The Rose gold finish that coats the entire case body is top quality.
My watch came used with slight scuff marks on the bezel rim and I could see right away the gold finish would not rub away or wear down easy.
The crystal is one of the best Sapphire applications I've seen to date. Normally Citizen's Sapphire sits flat and flush with their watch bezels but here the BY0003's crystal is curved and bulges out from the bezel. The effect is literally dazzling. When light hits it at angles it reflects a rainbow like prism that looks rather unique. Juxtapose the nice finish of the rose gold and this watch looks thousands of dollars above the actual price.
I have several other Citizen watches with Sapphire that barely looks different than Mineral glass but here it looks like something on another level.
The crown wheel (as well as the slide-rule-bezel crown and buttons) on this limited edition are also firmer and more taught than the other Chrono Times where the wheels are always loose and spin freely in all positions.
Sadly my praise ends at the case body. The crocodile strap by contrast is a tawdry affair. I admit I already do not have an affinity for croc or leather straps. They never seem to last long if used on a daily worn watch.Worse the underside 'pig skin' lining easily holds sweat, oils, hair, dead skin, and moisture which usually results in staining and advanced wear.
Here the crocodile strap is thin and has a slight patent-like gloss finish to the upper with a flesh toned pig skin underside. Being already used by the time I received it the underside of my watch was already dirty and stained from the previous owner. I cleaned it but still it had to go. Beside that I had other gripes.
I do not like unnecessary gaps in my watches where the band connects. Here the thin band meets the case lugs with a slight curve which faintly hugs the case circumference but there is still a gap.
Also the strap is thin and flat against the wrist which has the effect of projecting the case body outwards making it look more chunky than it needs to be.
Even before my watch arrived in the mail I had already ordered a 22mm rubber strap for the BY0005 watch on the watchbands webstore.
A special precaution for when swapping out leather straps for rubber or metallic needs to be addressed here:
We use lug width to measure out what bands can and can't be used on a certain watch. Usually a general thought is that like-models that leave the factory with the same case body but various bands can have those bands swapped between the like-models. To the contrary Citizen watches of the same like-model may have identical case bodies and lug width BUT the positioning of the spring bar holes will be vastly different depending on what 'original' band the watch came with.
Leather strapped watches come with holes drilled more proximal to case body where as metal and rubber bracelets have more distal holes.
So between like-models it is much easier to go from steel or rubber bracelets to leather than it is vice versa. In fact it can be impossible without modification to the incoming rubber/steel bracelet or drilling new holes on the watch lugs.
That said it took me a lot of effort to get the rubber strap on this BY0003.
Watch tools are a must but still offer no guarantee if not used properly. If you are unsure with the tools then take it to a jeweler. The most they charge for band adjustment is $5.00 with some charging nothing. Whatever you pay damaging your watch will cost a lot more so let the pros do it.
In the end I used a power drill and micro bits to widen out the rubber bracelet's spring bar hole so the spring bar pins could flex inwards to reach the 'proximal' lug holes on the BY0003.
The rubber meets the case wall with a full wrapping curve and sits high thus balancing out the otherwise chunky case body.
The revised package looks sporty and modern which a watch of this Calibre easily pulls off.
The matte black rubber strap is well done by citizen and is a durable piece of rubber designed with four grooved lines carved into each side running from clasp to the case body. In the grooves the exposed rubber is shiny and contrasts the matte rubber perfectly. The rubber also has a nice soft flex around my 7" wrist.
My one gripe with these rubber bracelets is they have to be cut to fit. I believe they come to fit a 9" wrist standard and once cut to fit you cannot go back up a size. The clasp does have a 2-position micro adjustment to make room for those who gain weight.
They are also expensive to replace ($65 shipped) so keep this in mind if you are considering upgrading to one of these straps.
That said, it was very much worth it. In fact, I would have not worn this watch with the original crocodile strap. The rubber makes it easier to wear as well as more robust.
One neat little trick I didn't mention before is when pulling up functions that require reading of the sub dials the main dial hands move out of the way so you can see the sub dial info until the function is read or completed. I also read online that Citizen builds in a shock detection system that protects the internals during a fall.
The review will end here since I have already wrote an extensive review detailing the Calibre H610 movement that these Chrono Time watches use so well.
See link below:
4. Bottom Line:
If you can scoop one of these limited (2500) watches up then I highly recommend doing so. Adding the rubber strap definately modernizes this watch and makes it a cool summer casual watch.
One thing I find I'd that I have gotten many compliments on this watch above all my other Citizens.
- Solar power with 240-day power reserve.
- Atomic time synchronization across four regions (US, Europe, China, Japan).
- Sapphire glass.
- Rose Gold plated with leather strap and two-part folding clasp.
- Hour, minute, second hands.
- Chronograph minute and second hands.
- Second time zone (24 hour subdial).
- Date and time zone indicator.
- Perpetual calendar.
- Circular slide rule in the bezel.
- Weight: 97g (including strap).
- Diameter: 45mm (51mm top to bottom including lugs).
- Thickness: 13mm.
- Lug Width 23mm
- Water resistant to 200m (~650 feet).
- 5 year warranty.
5. Video Review: