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Authored by: X2-Elijah

This is a review of a just-receivedwatch. I haven't had the time to wear it for days, but the firstimpressions should be sufficient for a rather in-depth review. Thepictures provided are taken by a cell-phone of the previous generation- so they are not top-notch quality, sorry. There may also be some dustparticles on the watch - that is my fault entirely. They are not faultsin the coating - I assure you. The watch was purchased at creationwatches - following an advert ofJason on the WUS sales forums. The watch was shipped and arrivedrelatively fast, no issues there.

The Promaster Sky I'm reviewing is better know as the Japanese/Europeanversion of the Citizen Nighthawk - of which there are a couple ofreviews already. This one, however, is, currently, the only one of theall-black PVD version. Right, let's get started!

Brand, Model, Nickname: Citizen Skymaster Pro BJ7019-62E, nicknamed "Nighthawk". [i]itis well known that the Japanese versions do not, officially, hold thenickname of Nighthawk anywhere on the watch itself, however, thedifferences between the US and the EU/Japan versions are so subtle thatI, and everyone else, apparently, can be fully justified to apply themoniker to this version as well[/i]

Overview:

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The watch is very sturdy and heavy - officially weighted at 150g. Onthe whole, it blends both modern and classic features seamlessly - itis neither as simple as a basic Seiko 5, nor is it as complex asCitizen's other pilot watches (such as the Black Eagle, for example).Upon the very first glance of it upon lifting it out of the box &unwrapping it, I instantly knew that this watch is a looker - and whata looker, at that!

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Movement information:

Based on the information given in the user's guide, this watch uses theB877 Caliber movement - a quartz movement run by solar power-fedbattery instead of a disposable one. The watch can keep track of twotimezones - one by it's main hands, the other by the little GMT hand -a rather unique design not seen on other watches at that, the currentdate, or the current GMT time. Of course, the movement is not really ahighlight of a quartz-based non-automatic watch, but the second handmoves in crisp, sharp increments, and the hour and minute hands seem tobe extremely precise, and move with very little lee-way when setting -after the initial jolt. The presumed accuracy of this caliber is said,by Citizen, to be "Within +/-15sec/month", which should mean a maximumdeviation of 3 minutes a year on either side - a feat not manyautomatics could dare to approach without a certificate of one or theother kind.

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Case:

The case of the watch is made entirely from Stainless Steel, coated ina thin, black ion-plating. It essentially means that several microns ofthe steel have been structurally enfused with the black paint, so thatit can not physically 'peel off' or 'flake'. Technically, it means thatthe surface colour is as thick - if not more - than the regularStainless Steel durability. However, there is a caveat. Since the layerof coating is relatively thin, bigger scratches can go deeper and reachthe white steel below the paint. Since white stripes on black showeasily, this type of watch should be kept somewhat safe from thrashingand beating. That said, to me it seems that it is sturdy and durableenough to withstand regular, every-day wear and tear. The upper half ofthe case is in fact a rotating bezel - the well known E6B AviationSlide Rule. It is rotated by the little crown in the '8' position - itcan not be moved by hand. This lends another assurance of thedurability of the case. The back is made of stainless steel, it's ascrew-on, and has a very nice engraving for such a low-priced watch. Infact, the engraving is crisp, clear (though the pictures may not relateit well), well-detailed and immensively helpful in fixing the watch inplace on wrist. The main crown, at '3' position, is a screw-down, andhas the Promaster Sky logo engraved - a nice touch, again something yousee very rarely on sub-800$ watches. The slide-rule turning crow,however, is neither engraved nor screwdown, however, it does notcompromise water-resitence, because the case is fitted together in sucha way that the additional crown does not reach the interior of thewatch at all - it does not penetrate the water-tight seals.

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[img]http://forums.watchuseek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=249398&stc=1&d=1263900748

Crystal.

Unfortunately, Citizen does not provide a sapphire crystal with thiswatch series - which is a shame, and actually, the only negative thewatch has. The crystal is a scratch-resistant mineral with insideanti-glare coating, instead. To be fair, this does mean that you willhave to be a bit careful with the watch, as the crystal is almost aswide as the case itself, but for all appearances, the crystal isextremely clear and non-obstructive. In actual life, you can barelynotice it at all - which is why you really should take a look at thiswatch in person, just to know what it feels like. The crystal is raisedabove the case by about a milimeter - meaning you should not leave thewatch face-down, ever. It is completely flat, so there are rare anglesthat give a reflection - but most of the time, there is none.



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Bracelet - the bracelet for this specific version is also coated withthe same black PVD coating that the case has. The bracelet is verytough, firm and angular. It is also one of the best metal braceletsI've ever worn or tried on - there is absolutely zero wobble and rattle- it feels as if it was built to serve in war-time circumstances.Whether the coating holds up, I've no idea, but as it is, I amthoroughly impressed.
The clasp is the best design out there, in my opinion - thewell-tested, basic 'Push-to-deploy' with a stylized fold-oversafeguard. It, just as the rest of the watch, feels exceptionallysolid, and there is nothing flimsy about it. There are 3 holes in theclasp for fine-tuning the bracelet length, a task more than easy, as itseems to be spring-based. Simple, and effective.

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Face.

Let's face it (pun intended) - the face, the dial and the slide rule iswhat this watch is all about. I am no pilot, so I don't know how easyor useful to use this is in an actual fighter cockpit, but as anAverage Joe, the face is easily one of the most beautiful samples oftech watches out there. When viewed close-up, all the little numbers,indices, lines and accents are surprisingly crisp and clear, and usingthe slide rule is a blast, not hampered by poor viewability in theleast (though older aged people might disagree). When viewed from adistance, however, or at a glance, all the tiny details sort of blendinto the background ,leaving amazingly unobstructed main hands and hourindices perfectly viewable. To be honest, I was astonished how easy itis to tell the basic time on this watch on a glance, given the relativecomplexity of the dial.
The hour indices are raised above the dial a bit, ad have a chrome-likefinish on the edges, with a lumed square on the outer side. The numbers(12 and 6) are not raised, unfortunately - something that is differentfrom the US version. Nevertheless, the lume on the numbers is theCitizen signature blue lume, very sharp and clear - and veryfast-charging too. It is enough for the watch to be placed at thewindow on a cloudy winter's day to charge the lume sufficiently!
The main hands are lumed, with steel-finish outline, classicsword-shaped. The second hand is entirely metallic, and exceptionallythin. The special hand - which tells the GMT time (or an alternatetime), has two little airplanes - red and white - at the opposite ends,that help to distinguish which semi-circle of the GMT time we should belooking at. The tiny airplane figures are well-made and sharp, givingthe whole watch a tiny bit of that 'vintage' and 'luxury' look. Thereis little promotive writing on the dial, thankfully - only the brandname (Citizen), "Eco-Drive" and "WR-200", near the Skymaster Prologotype - as seen on the crown.

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Closing Remarks

The watch is, in my opinion, one of the best offerings Citizen has maderecently. It is astonishingly cheap - you can get one at around 200-250USD (I got mine at 250$ + shipped) new, and it looks and feels to bebuilt well enough for a 1000$ pricetag. The only, and I really mean -the only - drawback is the lack of a sapphire glass. Everything elsecan be varied - there are leather straps, and plain stainless steelcases and bracelets, black and brown and blue dials, black and whiteslide rules. Then again - if you are buying a watch that is known as aNighthawk, why don't you take the all-black version? Black is, afterall, the colour of the night.. And another thing - this watch, thank'sto its design and styling, has the potential to become a classic intwo, three years' time. If you treat it well, it may even be somethingto pass on to your children - as the eco-drive system will ensure thatit remains running for that long!

So if you are meaning to buy a Citizen eco-drive, if you want a pilot'swatch that looks good with both bracelet and strap, if you want acool-looking watch, or all of the above, you will do yourself good ifyou choose this. For myself, this is now at the top of my collection,and shall remain a firm favourite for a long time. This one is not forflipping - this one is for keeping!
 
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