Ad

Initial Impressions: Citizen Nighthawk

Articles | 04.06.2012

Photo credit:

Citizen is a brand that needs little introduction. They have been around for almost a century, they are one of the largest watch brands currently in business, they are available at almost every major department store and certainly most mainstream watch stores and they are considered to be very well made. Yet, despite their reach and popularity, we haven’t reviewed or featured a single citizen watch on worn&wound yet. Well…that’s sort of a lie, because every time we discuss a watch that is powered by a Miyota movement, whether it is a Maratac pilot or a Lüm-Tec Combat B16, we are in fact indirectly talking about Citizen as they own Miyota, but we have not directly discussed a Citizen branded watch.  This is for a simple albeit subjective reason, most of them just don’t interest us. Style isn’t exactly Citizen’s strong suit (I hope I don’t make too many enemies by saying that) and for the price there are generally sexier options out there. Of course, there is an exception to every rule and in the case of Citizen the exception is the Nighthawk.

The Nighthawk is a feature-packed pilot’s watch with striking looks at an affordable price. For under $250 you get an internal slide rule bezel, a GMT hand, date, standard 3-hand time keeping and a steel bracelet. As a site that focuses on affordability and good design, this feature set along with the unique aesthetic of a pilot’s slide rule made the watch call out to us. Having had the opportunity to see one in person and live with the watch for a time, I must say it is genuinely a fantastic timepiece. The build quality of the watch is without reproach, everything is sturdy, the dial is immaculate and the internal bezel glides smoothly. The quality of the steel bracelet the watch comes on was a pleasant surprise as well. I find it both very comfortable and well styled for the watch. The watch itself is quite light, but it’s not lacking in substance. Like every Citizen watch currently in production (except their high-end Campagnola line) it is powered by their signature “Eco-Drive” movement, which is a solar-powered quartz movement. The lack of a mechanical movement accounts for the relatively lightweight.

The real star of this watch, however, is the edge-to-edge dial, which contains enough information for several watches. I’ll save the detailed breakdown for the full review to follow, but to some up my general feelings on it, the dial is chaotic, mesmerizing and kind of brilliant. Though the watch isn’t flashy, the sheer intensity of the dial alone has drawn many a complement from both watch enthusiasts and the uninitiated. Simply put, it’s very cool looking and quite unique.

Keep an eye out for the full review where I’ll get into the various functions of the watch, including that cryptic slide rule bezel.

Thank you to Watchco.com for supplying the Nighthawk review unit

By Zach Weiss