I was looking for a white face watch that would wear a bit better with a suit than my current watches. Initially I wanted a traditional sized (33mm-35mm) watch; however, most of the traditional sized selections I saw were rather feminine.
I eventually decided to take my, rather stylish, assistant shopping with me. We visited several ADs’ and it eventually became a decision between the Citizen and the Longines offerings. Quite frankly, the Citizen was much less expensive than the Longines that I was also drawn to.
One significant change in my purchase was that my assistant convinced me to purchase a much larger watch than I was initially considering. As I mentioned, the traditional sized watches are currently styled to attract to women. As such, I gave in to the current “Big Watch” trend and will see how I like wearing this one.
This watch is to be worn to work; as such, quartz was acceptable. However, most of the less expensive quartz watches turned me off. It might sound like a minor issue; but, the ticking did not line up with the marks on the dial. If something is going to tick once per second it seems that the second hand can fall on, or dead center, of the second marker. At the very least, the error should be consistent. The second hand on my Eco-drive (not the subject of this review) is dead on and has been for five years.
One should be aware that I am in Central China (Henan). As such, the selection is different hat one sees in many other places; however, there are still many watch kiosks’. Further, the prices do not significantly differ from other cities; so, there is no reason not to shop where I live.
This is my third Citizen watch; I do not consider myself to be a brand loyalist, I just seem to keep going back to them.
Of the other two, one is also an automatic (it is currently in America and I do not have a photo of it for this review). The other is the Eco-drive pictured in this review. I do not know the model of the Eco-drive; is anyone reading this does know, I would appreciate the information.
. . . with all its packaging
- Model number
This is a Chinese market model. I do not see it on the US market website. It might be there, I just don’t see it.
- Official or unofficial Nickname (if any exists)
The specifications, as translated by Google, are as follows:
- Watchband Stainless steel
- Case Stainless steel
- Clasp Double
- Table mirror Sapphire Glass
- Waterproof 3 atm
- Movement type Mechanical
- Applicable to the crowd Male
- Case dimensions φ42mm
- Thickness 12mm
- Weight 157g
- movement information/review
It is described as having a Caliber Number of 82xx Other documents mention both the 8200 and the 8210. However, the watch only has a date complication, as such this “8200 机芯手表具备日期和星期功能；8210 机芯手表仅有日期功能” leads me to believe that the movement is the 8210 (of course, it also says 8210 all over the dial, movement, and case). The 8210 is date only while the 8200 is a day-date movement.
The 8210 movement is indicated to be a 6 beat (21,600 oscillations / hour) automatic movement that allows for hand winding; however, it does not have a “hacking” function. It also has a quick-setting date mechanism.
Citizen 8210 movement
- Case review
The case is an appealing blend of lightly brushed and polished Stainless Steel. It was important to me that the watch have no visible gold whatsoever. One thing I did notice was that the tool lugs on the back line up with the crown. In all it is very nondescript. That is what I was looking for. I do not want my watch to draw attention from me while I am making presentations.
The “jewel” on the end of the crown is not nearly as large as it looks in the formal product pictures. The jewel also has almost a plastic feel. It feels like it has friction as a draw my finger over it lightly. That being said, I have not put flame to it to test its melting point.
The size of the watch, shown in the sales material, (φ42mm) seems to include the crown. Other sales material, and my own examination, shows it to be closer to 39mm.
The Lugs curve nicely, allowing the watch to fit well on my 6.67” wrist.
Case and crown
- crystal review
The Crystal is a flat Sapphire that does not extend appreciably past the edge of the bezel.
- bracelet/strap review (including clasp)
The bracelet fits a 21mm lug width. This can be a sight problem as replacement straps in this size are often harder to find. The clasp is a standard, two button, deployment. It latches easily and opens enough to easily remove the watch.
It appears to be similar in function (but not in appearance) to the one on my Eco-drive, if that is the case it may suffer from a similar weakness. Once when hit by a car (I was hit, not the watch) my eco-drives clasp managed to open; at least I assume that is what happened, my assistant found my watch on the ground at the accident. Further, after about four years, of exclusive use, it started to open on its own at times.
The Bracelet is a similar blend of lightly brushed and polished Stainless. It is quite nice looking ad matches the watch well; all the same, I will probably obtain a brown leather strap for it soon. It does not need a different strap; I just think it might look better with one. A leather strap is not a purchase option with this dial type.
Bracelet and clasp
- bezel review (if it has a rotating bezel)
It does not have a rotating bezel. The bezel is polished Stainless.
- review of any special features or additional complications (such as power reserve indicators, chronograph functions, moon phase, etc.)
The only complication is a date window. This watch also has a display back; I am not too much of a fan of display backs, I feel that they just make the watch thicker. However, this seems to be a common feature of Citizen automatics. I suspect that they prefer them in China because it makes it easier to verify that the watch is genuine.
- closing opinions and recommendations
This watch has a dial with Roman indices; that is something I was particularly looking for. The indices are dark gray and the rest of the dial is a light gray. This color combination is attractive with the suits I generally wear. The same watch is offered with blue indices; however, I just was not as drawn to that option.
It is a surprisingly heavy watch. It is definitely heavier than the Squale 1515 (36mm [shown]) that I generally wear. It is even heavier than my chronograph eco-drive (shown).
This is not a watch that stands out; however, it is easy to read and attractive. The hands are not lumed; so, this is a day time watch.
The total price was 2340 RMB (370 USD). This is a bit steep; however, imported brands are taxed very heavily in China. In all, it is well in line with watch prices at ADs’ in China.
Other watches mentioned in this review
I feel that I would recommend it:
Respected, in House (as far as I understand), Automatic movement
Easy to read, Roman, Indices
Comfortable bracelet (even if I am thinking of replacing it)
Wears smaller than its size would indicate
Looks good with a suit
They got the Roman Number IV wrong!
Large (I still feel 34mm-36mm is ideal)
21mm lug width makes replacement straps harder to find
A bit heavy
Some might be put off by the understated appearance
This watch can be found on the Chinese Citizen website here http://www.citizen.com.cn/products/NJ2166-55A.aspx