What's not to like about this watch?
It syncs to the atomic clock every night (radio controlled), has a perpetual calendar, allows the traveler to change time zones without sacrificing accuracy, manages Daylight Savings Time by itself, and has no battery to replace (Eco-Drive). An accurate, grab-and-go watch that only needs to be touched when changing time zones.
I'm a stickler for knowing the exact time, so as much as I like inexpensive dive watches with non-hacking, automatic movements, I cannot bear the thought that my watch is 1-2 minutes off from the actual time. And pulling my iPhone out of my pocket to learn the time leaves me completely unsatisfied.
The solution? Radio control. My watch has synced with WWVB in Fort Collins, Colorado every night since purchasing the watch, even when left in the dresser drawer in my home in Maryland. In two weeks I'll get to evaluate how it handles syncing across Europe. I am a licensed ham radio operator and knowing that my watch houses a tiny receiver that picks up low-frequency AM signals from Colorado, Japan, Germany, and China appeals to me on some intrinsic level. Like a GPS watch but with glowing tubes, atmospheric skip, and static.
Taking it out of the box for the first time and watching it come to life was great fun. And waking up the next morning to find that it had synced with the NIST atomic clock ensemble all by itself was pure delight. Like watching a flowering plant come to life in Spring after sitting dormant in the ground over Winter.
A variant of the watch comes with a metal bracelet but my preference was for the silicone strap with flip-clasp with push-button release. Comfortable, secure, and easy to fit to my 6.6 inch wrist. The dull black strap doesn't distract from the beautiful and immensely readable dial markers, hands, and bezel. Speaking of this, the dial, hands, bezel, and sapphire crystal all conspire to make the watch look much nicer and more expensive than the US$323 that I paid for the watch.
Yesterday, as my flight from LAX to PHL was on final approach, I pulled the crown from position 0 to position 1 with one finger and rotated the crown to move the second hand which was indicating L. Angeles to New York on the bezel and pushed the crown back into position 0 with a satisfying click. The second hand spun back to its atomic clock appointed task with no loss in accuracy and the hour hand quickly spun to account for the three hour difference in local time.
Will this watch displace my Rolex Submariner as my daily banger? No, but after 31 years on my wrist, no watch is likely to do that. But I will wear the Citizen when flying across time zones, and for some odd reason I wore the Citizen today just so I could enjoy its good looks and my Rolex is sitting on my dresser at home. I wonder how often that will happen?