Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E - Plus a crash test between Citizen 4x4
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    Member Melissakis's Avatar
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    Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E - Plus a crash test between Citizen 4x4

    CITIZEN ROYAL MARINES COMMANDO BJ9140 52E

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    First of all, I would like to ask you to excuse me for my English, I tried the best I could!
    I used to own a Citizen 4x4 Limited (BJ9074-55H) which was one of my favorite watches. When it was broken beyond repair, I started searching for one of similar specifications. After many months, I came across the Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140 52E, which seemed to be very similar. The watch was introduced sometime in the middle of the 2012 and continues the tradition Citizen has started many years ago with its titanium, one-piece cases (“Ray Mears”, “4x4", “Mission Antarctica" and many others). They all have similar specifications and are considered to be among the tougher of the watches available. Let’s see its specifications;

    Movement Eco-drive B876
    Case width (approx.) 42mm excluding crown
    Lug width 20mm
    Case depth approx. 14mm
    Dial Color Black
    Case Material One piece (no case back), “Super Titanium” (Duratect?)
    Strap type Titanium bracelet with push buttons release and diver’s extension
    Water resistance 300 metres
    Features Date, GMT hand, World Time indicator
    I just have to mention the 5 year guarantee citizen is offering for the commando, it’s something that I don’t see often and surely provides peace of mind for a good amount of time.


    CASE
    The watch sports a one-piece (“monocoque”) titanium case. The titanium used is described as “super titanium” in the manual, I don’t know if it’s used to substitute the “Duratect” term, or if it is just a different kind of titanium. The fact is that it keeps the same beautiful matte silver tone. The whole watch is matte, except a thin rim on the case back.
    The similarities between its case and that of 4x4 are many. They look almost the same, not only in design but also in dimensions, both are 42mm wide, with 20mm lug width.

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    Commando. No Promaster insignia…

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    4x4. Very similar, if not identical case design.

    The bezel is the main difference between the case of the two watches. The Commando has a rather useful world time index. The 4x4 on the other hand has a diver’s index which is big, rough and, at the end of the day, strange to the character of the watch. It was also very flimsy right from the start, but the bezel of the Commando is firm and looks of better built and quality.
    Both watches have a similar thickness of about 14mm. The truth is that the Commando sits much better on the hand and the reason for that is probably the design of the case back.

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    Commando. Plain and simple.

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    4x4. Classic Citizen eco-drive case back.

    The case back of the commando is absolutely flat and sits perfectly on the wrist. The 4x4 had two levels and engraved signs. That was not feeling very comfortable.
    The crown is, of course, screw-down on both and they have an equally firm feeling. The Commando is water resistance to 300m, while the 4x4 is to 200m.

    BRACELET
    I preferred the bracelet variant. I always prefer a watch with bracelet, because it’s easy to buy a good aftermarket strap, but it’s not easy to find the bracelet afterwards. The bracelet is of the same, high quality titanium in matte finish and has a nice pattern. Compared to that of 4x4, is thinner and much more elegant, without looking weaker or less dynamic. No need to mention that the end links are solid in both.

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    Commando. Nice bracelet pattern.

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    4x4. Very tough-looking.

    The Commando bracelet has all the features someone would expect from a watch of this class. It has a push-button release mechanism and a protective “bar” with the citizen logo. The added bonus is the diver’s extension. Probably I will never wear this watch with a diver’s suit in my life, but the reason I like this extension is because it allows me to fine-tune the bracelet length so it can fit perfectly on my wrist and I can loosen it a little in the summer or tighten it in the winter. It’s a really handy feature.

    DIAL

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    Commando. Unexpectedly good readability

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    4x4. A mixed bag.

    The dial of the Commando is of military style with big numbers. It is colored matt black and is rather small in diameter (approx. 31mm) compared to the rest of the watch. The first thing that struck me when I unboxed it was the incredible readability of it. I have never seen such a small and busy dial and yet so easy to read. When I bought it, I was worried that the 24-hour disc would have too small numbers and it would be difficult to read, but that’s not true, it’s incredibly easy to tell the 24-hour and it’s almost as easy to read as the main hour.
    The indexes are thin and white in color with the exception of the GMT hand, which is red.
    The dial of the 4x4 on the other hand has a very beautiful, hive-patterned dial. The dial is equally small, but the 24-hour disc is very difficult to read. The indexes are very nice, but they are too wide. Too many colors, too many shapes, all these have as a result a less clear dial.
    The Commando has a 2.5mm thick flat sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the inside. The result is a perfectly clear crystal that is readable under every angle. The 4x4 has a 4mm (!) crystal, but it was domed and too thick to be clear under any viewing angle, or maybe it had not the anti-reflective treatment. You can see in the pictures how clear the Commando crystal looks, in contrast to that of the 4x4, which has some minor reflections.
    And now, about the logos and the writings on the commando dial. There are about ten words and nearly all the surface of the watch has something written on it. In a magical way, all these logos do not affect the readability of the watch to the slightest degree and if you take a quick glance at the watch, you barely notice them.
    Many people have complained about the Royal Marines logo. Generally I agree, I would prefer the watch without the logo any day of the week. The fact is that Citizen has a long tradition in presenting watches linked to groups or people, so I consider it to be yet another special edition. I do not care what is written on the watch, as long as it is a good watch!

    MOVEMENT
    Both watches use the same movement, the B876 eco drive. After 4 years of using it, I have to say that is very accurate and very reliable. When adjusting the time, it is important to remember that the adjustment affects the minute and the GMT index, these are the indexes that have to be adjusted first, and then the hour index. The watch also has a date indication.
    I found out that the watch is qualified to temperatures from -10 to 60 celcius. The 60 is perfectly fine for me, but the -10 seem too little, I would expect it to be much lower.
    The only thing that I have to mention is that the indexes do not have a very firm feeling when adjusting them, they are somewhat flimsy.

    CONCLUSION
    Yes, the Royal Marines Commando logo is not perfectly tasteful. And yes, the dial is full of logos and writings. But what we have here is a truly great watch of superior built and nice looks. It is rather expensive for an non-mechanical analog watch, but that’s the price that has to be paid for the titanium, the special case design and the GMT function. It’s another unique watch from Citizen that it will be a classic in a few years, just like all its ancestors.
    Last edited by Melissakis; January 6th, 2013 at 08:05.
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    Member 100fathoms's Avatar
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    Re: Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E - Plus a crash test between Citizen 4x4

    Thanks so much for the review! I have been looking very seriously at this watch for a while, but have been unable to find a good review. The 300M water resistance upgrade is a big plus as is the GMT bezel - I already have owned the PMX56 for years, and it is a great and reliable watch as well - this appears nicer, though!
    Last edited by 100fathoms; January 6th, 2013 at 20:32.

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    Member Melissakis's Avatar
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    Re: Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E - Plus a crash test between Citizen 4x4

    Thank you for your kind words! The watch is very good indeed. Until now I haven't been able to spot a real flaw. Maybe I would like it to be a little brighter in the dark, its lume is not as strong as I'd want. It's not really bad, when I sleep in the night in a very dark room the indexes and the numbers remain easily readable the whole time without "charging" before going to bed, but I'd like it to be just a little stronger.
    The Commando has overall many similarities with the BJ9031-58E. Which one is the PMX55 you used to own?
    Last edited by Melissakis; January 6th, 2013 at 08:45.
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    Member 100fathoms's Avatar
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    Re: Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E - Plus a crash test between Citizen 4x4

    Sorry, I corrected my post - the model is the PMX56-2811. I also think the lume is a little weak, but overall it is a fantastic watch and I really like the ratcheting diver extension. In the photo below you will see the watch in the center with another Citizen Eco-Drive which I purchased for my Mother on her birthday on the left and a TAWATEC Ti diver on the right. Sorry, I apologize for the confusion!
    Attached Images Attached Images


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    Re: Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E - Plus a crash test between Citizen 4x4

    great review,i enjoyed reading,hope they come a bit down in price my work watch is a citizen BM6400-00E,i also have this one buts needs a new movement in.

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    bowie

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    Re: Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E - Plus a crash test between Citizen 4x4

    great review,i enjoyed reading,hope they come a bit down in price my work watch is a citizen BM6400-00E,i also have this one buts needs a new movement in.

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    bowie

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    Member Melissakis's Avatar
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    Re: Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E - Plus a crash test between Citizen 4x4

    As you see, they all have the same logic and I dare to say they even use the same parts to some extend. Yours, Bowie, has an almost identical case with both 4X4 and Commando. And the bezel used to Commando is almost identical to the one of BJ9030-58E. But it looks strange to me that your bracelet has not solid-end links, is the bracelet aftermarket?
    After a few weeks of owning it, the more I think of it, the more I think it's very overpriced, it shouldn't cost that much. On the other hand, the more I wear it, the happier I get. It belongs to a very small and distinctive group of watches designated "tough". You guys that own older models take good care of them, they are rare and keep their value high, especially considering they are quartz.
    Omega Speedmaster day-date 3520.50.00
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    Re: Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E - Plus a crash test between Citizen 4x4

    It looks very similar to this...


    I have a variation, the BJ9080 which I prefer as it has the useful rotating 24Hr Bezel.


    Someone above mentioned the lume on the PMX56-2811.
    I have one, and the lume last all night and always readable.

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    Member Melissakis's Avatar
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    Re: Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E - Plus a crash test between Citizen 4x4

    One last update concerning the durability of Super Titanium.
    In five words, Super Titanium is a joke. It has nothing to do with Duratect, it is way less durable. I could say that it's a little harder than Titanium used on Seiko Samurai and equally tough to steel. Of course I don't have the data or the knowledge to prove my opinion, but that's how it looks to me. Super Titanium is much worse than Duratect in terms of durability, and avoid it, if you care about toughness and can pick a Duratect one.
    After just three months I got many desk diving scratches, my 4X4 had less scratches in four years of much harder use. So, the only reasonable thing to do in order to protect the bracelet was to buy a strap. I thought about NATO or Maratac Elite, but in the end I decided to go genuine and buy the Citizen kevlar strap for €49-post included. The strap looks heavy and rough at first but once worn, it feels unexpectedly comfortable. In the photos you see it with a 22mm deployant clasp which I replaced its original Titanium buckle with. I only wish my clasp was brushed or blasted steel.





    Last edited by Melissakis; April 30th, 2013 at 11:21.
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    Re: Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E - Plus a crash test between Citizen 4x4

    I have recently bought Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium Royal Marines Commandos Watch BJ9140-52E watch online from http://www.jewellersark.co.uk. for £310 (£449 everywhere else). However, is there a difference between general sapphire crystal to the ultra thick sapphire glass 2.5mm used on thiswatch? The result of water drop test on sapphire crystal lens seems to suggests its not sapphire crystal (very different from the test result on my Tissot and Nomos). Are there anyway for me to check if my watch is genuine please?


    Many thanks!


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