Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E review - Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum – Japanese Watch Reviews, Discussion & Trading
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E review



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 [color=windowtext]BJ9140 52E, which seemed to be very similar. The watch continues the tradition Citizen has started many years ago with its titanium, one-piece cases (“Ray Mears”, “4x4, “Mission Antarctica etc.) 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 Colour Black
CaseMaterial 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.

APPEARANCE

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 matt silver tone. The whole watch is matt, 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.


Commando. No Promaster insignia…



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.



Commando. Plain and simple.



4x4. Classic Citizen ecodrive 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 matt finish and a nice pattern. Compared to that of 4x4, is thinner and much more elegant, without being weaker or less dynamic.


Commando. Nice bracelet pattern.



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 tight it up in the winter. It’s a really handy feature.


DIAL




Commando. Just great!



4x4. A mixed bag.

The dial of the Commando has a military style with big numbers. It is colored matt black and is rather small in diameter (aprox. 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 sapphire glass 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 too thick to be clear under any viewing angle. Or maybe it had not the anti-reflective treatment.
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!

[size=1.45em]MOVEMENT
[size=1.35em]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 solid feeling when adhusting the time, they are a little flimsy, but nothing serious.


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 eco-drive 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 predecesors.
Thanks for reading!


Last edited by Melissakis; 04-24-2015 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E review

very very same to breitling seawolf....
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E review

I saw one of these in the mall at sheffield U.K last week while visiting my son and it looks to be a very good watch
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E review

Thanks indeed for this. I've been wondering about getting one of these for a while. There's no doubt (having had - and sold a Mears) that they're great watches, but the whole RM thing put me off. Not because I don't admire the Marines hugely, but simply because I ain't Marine calibre!


My ex-Mears:


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Old 01-29-2013, 11:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E review

Highly Informative and a very well written comparative review! Well Done!!
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E review

Quote:
Originally Posted by thanapa
Highly Informative and a very well written comparative review! Well Done!!
Great review, thank you very much for sharing!
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E review

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.





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Old 05-07-2013, 03:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E review

Thanks for the review, really enjoyed reading it. A handsome watch but I think I'd feel a bit of a tool wearing one in the UK as a non marine.

Interesting to hear about the Ti wear and tear. Have you tried refinishing it with a scotchbrite pad or similar? My Mears is 4 years old and has zero scratches although there 2 or 3 tiny pinprick dinks on the bezel edge.
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Old 05-07-2013, 05:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E review

Thanks for your kind words!
The problem with the durability of Super Titanium does not seem to be just my idea. The 4x4's titanium buckle had not the slightest mark in the inner side (where the clasp folds and the two sides come together), this bracelet had marks from day three, after about 10 wrist offs and ons. Citizen claims that they have both about the same hardness, so I can only report my personal experience.
I actually tried to brush it but I only managed to make things worse, I took of the brushed finish. I guess I have to sent it to an authorized service center, admit that the mess is my fault and pay the price...
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMC View Post
Thanks indeed for this. I've been wondering about getting one of these for a while. There's no doubt (having had - and sold a Mears) that they're great watches, but the whole RM thing put me off. Not because I don't admire the Marines hugely, but simply because I ain't Marine calibre!


My ex-Mears:


What model of citizen is the MEARS?
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
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That Mears looks lovely! much better than the royal commando with its shiny logo... could have lived with the caseback one only. By the way I'm on the hunt for a titanium ecodrive...would you guys have any other models to suggest?
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Old 09-15-2013, 09:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Hi guys, I am Kevin. Was wondering where can I get hold of the Royal Marines commando model.
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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kkhawone, here you are.
I bought it from this shop, everything was perfect. Unfortunately, I see that the GMT model (both on bracelet and kevlar strap) is gone.
Galwaylad, it seems that your only alternative for a current model is the PMX56. I like it very much, but I think that the commando is more beautifully crafted, if we take the logo out. Better dial, better-looking bracelet, better crown. The PMX56 has mineral glass, not sapphire. Rumor has it that the PMX uses duratect, as it's a Japan only model, but I cannot confirm that. Citizen claims that duratect=super titanium, but I'd prefer duratect every day of the week.
Overall it's a great watch, but a little dull for me and with a little less attention to detail.
Be strong and ignore the Commando's logo, after a few days you won't care about it at all and nobody will even notice it.

Last edited by Melissakis; 09-19-2013 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:59 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Double post

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Old 09-20-2013, 05:36 AM   #15 (permalink)
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thanks for answering. After my last post I stumbled upon an ebay deal and ended up buying the GMT commando on bracelet. loving it so far. Great watch for the price, it really looks bomb-proof which is what I was looking for!




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Old 09-20-2013, 04:47 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galwaylad View Post
thanks for answering. After my last post I stumbled upon an ebay deal and ended up buying the GMT commando on bracelet. loving it so far. Great watch for the price, it really looks bomb-proof which is what I was looking for!
Congrats! And what about the shiny logo? Does it really bother you?
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:45 AM   #17 (permalink)
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No problem with the logo whatsoever. The photos make it look much bigger than he is and when it comes to the logo, I love the royal navy engraving at the back!

btw, Where did you source the kevlar strap in case I want a change in looks?
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:00 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Here you are.
I bought it from here, but the current price is almost double the price I paid! I do not know what happened to the seller!..
As I see it's pretty difficult to find the strap alone.
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:36 PM   #19 (permalink)
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love the commando
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:51 PM   #20 (permalink)
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love that kevlar strap
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Old 11-25-2013, 06:37 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I saw it in real life and logo is almost non visible.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:47 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galwaylad View Post
No problem with the logo whatsoever. The photos make it look much bigger than he is and when it comes to the logo, I love the royal navy engraving at the back!

btw, Where did you source the kevlar strap in case I want a change in looks?
Couldn't agree more. I had one and only sold it as a grail came along and I had no other choice. It's a tremendous watch and despite thinking the logo would bug the hell out of me it really isn't as bad as the photos make out.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:50 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Not quite the same, but I think it's the same movement, owned this watch from new (11years) always had a good deal of light to keep the battery happy, nice watch............Bob.



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Old 02-06-2014, 08:51 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Default Citizen Royal Marines Commando BJ9140-52E review

I made the mistake of flipping one of those Bob and it didn't take long to realise my mistake! Would certainly have one again
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:20 PM   #25 (permalink)
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great review.. thanks for sharing
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