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Old 01-29-2011, 06:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Citizen Chronomaster

I posted the following review a few weeks ago on another forum and then thought I ought to put it here, too.... so here it is.

The Citizen Chronomaster <blockquote> This is a brief review of The Citizen Chronomaster CTQ57-0954, a blue-faced model with a titanium case and bracelet. It is a replacement for my first high accuracy watch, exactly the same model, bought in late 2006 or early 2007. The original had a fairly adventurous life, flying back to Japan twice, the first time to have its rate adjusted by Citizen and the second time to visit Citizen for a new bezel. I had somehow put a ding in the highly polished bezel just under the 6 and it irritated me just about every time I checked the time. Citizen said they couldn’t just replace the bezel, and I would either have to have a whole new case or put up with the ding. I chose the new case and they sent the old case back when they returned the watch. Its third adventure was that it was stolen when my house was burgled on December 13th last year.

When the replacement arrived, paid for only in part by the insurance company, I was struck all over again by how complete and yet economical this watch is. It has everything I want and nothing surplus and nothing by way of ornamentation. I find it uniquely satisfying. Hence this review.

The Chronomaster uses the Citizen A 660 H movement, which is specified at +/- 5 seconds per year. Of the four Chronomasters I’ve owned, one I sold before I checked its performance (I decided I didn’t like the silvery-white face), two were sent back to Citizen for adjustment, via the invaluable and indefatigable Higuchi, and the fourth has only just got here. Both those that Citizen adjusted came back in their right minds. I had come to the conclusion some time around 2007 or 2008 that it was easier to get a quick reading of the time if white or silver hands were contrasted against very dark, dial, so I bought a CTQ57-0955, which is exactly the same as the 0954 except that the dial is black. After several years with both, I decided that the blue provided plenty of contrast and that I preferred it to the rather severe black. The black one was therefore sold, just in time for the blue one to be stolen!

The photographs, I hope, will illustrate the shape and finish of the hands and indicators. These, like the word “Citizen”, are all applied. I find that their highly polished surfaces, parallel to the plane of the dial, emphasize them very effectively and contribute both to the handsome appearance and the instant legibility. I was intrigued, when using a macro lens to take the photographs, to notice that each of the 3,600 tiny, second-by-second movements of the minute hand, synchronized of course with the bigger jumps of the seconds-hand, can be clearly seen.

The case is simply shaped, with elegantly curved lugs, faring smoothly and economically out of the gently convex flanks. It looks as if it was designed rather than styled and I really like the complete lack of anything that looks as if it had been added for ornamentation. A contrast to this simplicity to my eye, at least, is the rather florid font used for the word “Chronomaster”, the same as for “Automatic” on the faces of the three mechanical models of The Citizen. The sapphire crystal on mine is optically flat and has anti-reflection coating on both sides. The automatics and some quartz models have what Citizen calls “spherical” crystals, presumably meaning that their convexity forms part of a spherical surface.

The men’s models vary between 37 mm in diameter and 39.5 mm; the women’s, only in quartz and all without a date, are 26.5 mm across. There is a gold case, a number of both stainless steel and titanium-cased models of the quartz version, some with bracelets and some with alligator straps. One of the features of the titanium models is their low weight, 81 grams. The steel ones are by no means heavy, at 120 to 130 grams, but the titanium ones seem to announce their lightness whenever one picks them up. Another characteristic of the titanium models is their resistance to scuffs and scrapes. They are “Duratect” coated, whatever that is, and between the Ti alloy chosen and the coating, they resist visible wear and tear pretty well. The steel ones have a similar coating.

My 0954 measures 38 mm, considerably smaller than the 40 mm threshold that seems to be the smallest that many buyers will consider these days. Although I have one watch that is 42 mm in diameter, it’s bigger than I really like and I find the size of the Chronomaster ideal.

The bracelet appears to have three main links across its width but in fact the outer links are joined across the underside of the middle link. Exactly how it’s made is not clear but it works very smoothly and is light and comfortable. It uses the usual three-fold clasp with two squeeze-buttons for release. It is pretty easy to adjust for length, with a straight pin retained in place by a tiny spring bushing sunk into one end of the protruding tongue of the middle link. This bushing is very small and very anxious to escape.

One amazing feature of the Chronomaster is the exceptionally generous ten year warranty. During that period it can be returned to Citizen for a new battery, an inspection, any necessary new seals or gaskets, and testing, both for water resistance and accuracy, all at no charge. In buying one, therefore, you buy ten years of free maintenance as well. The Citizen Automatic also has a ten-year warranty, with free inspections. Even the Grand Seiko quartz offers only a one-year warranty plus another year for the movement, with no mention of batteries or testing. I don’t know whether this generosity has been in effect since 1995, when The Citizen with the A 660 was introduced, or whether it was added at some intervening point, perhaps in 2005 when the word “Chronomaster” was added to the dial.

Even beyond the warranty period, Citizen undertakes to provide parts and service for “ ….. watches that are registered with Citizen for as long as you own the watch”. Presumably this means the original owner but I know of at least one instance where the warranty was transferred to a new owner.

Assuming that the watch is running to specification, either as delivered or as subsequently adjusted, the Citizen Chronomaster offers that terrific 5 seconds a year accuracy, luminous hands and markers, a date that one can count on until February 28th, 2100, and batteries that last about 5 years. In addition, the independently adjustable hour-hand allows the owner to deal with daylight saving time shifts and travel to different time zones without having to reset the watch. The inconspicuous recessed pusher in the side of the case at 2 o’clock allows the owner to check or adjust the setting of the perpetual calendar.

The only performance shortcoming is shared, to some degree, with almost all conventional quartz watches. The seconds-hand doesn’t land squarely on all the 60 of the minute markers. Some owners have reported that this behavior depends on the attitude in which the watch is held; that is, it depends to some extent at least, on gravity. Personally, I don’t find that this bothers me.

While I acknowledge that tastes vary and other people may have different priorities, this watch provides everything I want in a watch. It combines trouble-free, set it and forget it time-keeping, free long-term maintenance with understated looks that I admire enormously and ease of reading at a glance. Add to those virtues the confidence that stems from the “buy the seller” reliability of Katsu Higuchi and I can’t think of anything else to ask for.















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Old 10-19-2016, 08:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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One of those pieces you can just go ahhhhhhhhh..
really hard to fault it.
One of my grail pieces to achieve
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Old 10-24-2016, 10:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Beautiful!
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Aesthetically, there are the beveled appliques and hands, as well as the highly legible dial to admire. Technologically, 5 seconds a year speaks pretty much for itself. high horology (as far as regards quartz) is satisfied by the perpetual complication and the independently adjustable hour hand. And practicality considered, a 10-year guarantee? Can anyone else match that?

On the debit side, titanium makes for disconcertingly light weight vis-à-vis bulk. Even that shortcoming may be a disguised virtue, as titanium's chemical inertness means you have something impervious to fading or discoloration. Although that also means you have zero chance of developing a desirable patina...

Congratulations, great find. I really got to take a good second look at modern Citizens...
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"I like what a father said to his son when he gave him a watch that had been handed down through generations. He said "I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire, which will fit your individual needs no better than it did mine or my father's before me, I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you may forget it for a moment now and then and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it." - Dale from The Walking Dead

Last edited by 850champion; 10-25-2016 at 10:37 AM. Reason: typo error, changed day to year
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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This is an old thread but such a great review and such a great watch. This would be my pick over the Seiko GS Quartz simply because of the Citizen having a Perpetual calendar. Sure you need to adjust it twice a year for DS but not every short month.

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Old 01-25-2018, 09:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Citizen Chronomaster service

I purchased a brand new Citizen CTQ57-1202 Chronomaster in September 2014.
The watch has just stopped and I assume it's because of a dead battery.
When I purchased the watch it was warranted for 10 years and I was told that if I needed support or repair to contact the seller for instructions for sending the watch to them for whatever service required.
Unfortunately, I purchased the watch from a Japanese company, Datalink, through eBay and attempts to contact them have been unsuccessful.
I need to send the watch to Japan for service but I don't know how to arrange to get it there.
Does anyone have any info on how to proceed.
Thank you
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Old 03-03-2018, 07:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistermet View Post
I purchased a brand new Citizen CTQ57-1202 Chronomaster in September 2014.
The watch has just stopped and I assume it's because of a dead battery.
When I purchased the watch it was warranted for 10 years and I was told that if I needed support or repair to contact the seller for instructions for sending the watch to them for whatever service required.
Unfortunately, I purchased the watch from a Japanese company, Datalink, through eBay and attempts to contact them have been unsuccessful.
I need to send the watch to Japan for service but I don't know how to arrange to get it there.
Does anyone have any info on how to proceed.

Thank you

Find a local watchmaker rather. Perhaps a simple battery replacement is all that's called for. If that's the case, you could buy the replacement cell and fit it yourself.
Not much to be afraid of there.....
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Old 03-05-2018, 11:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't know if this would work, but another option would be to check with a Citizen Authorized Retailer. I see a lot of department stores on the list, but you may have better luck at a more dedicated watch store (or as a second best, a jewelry and watch store). You can say that you bought it in Japan and was hoping to get it serviced under warranty. They may be sympathetic and try help you out (even though you didn't purchase the watch there and it may not be an USDM model).

https://us.citizenwatch.com/us/en/stores
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