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Authored by: djmm


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[color=blue][b]SPECIFICATIONS[/b]

[b]Model Number:[/b] ATD53-3002
[b]Retail Price: [/b]95,000 Yen
[b]Release Date: [/b]24/6/09
[b]Movement Caliber: [/b]H10A (With radio signal reception – Japan only)
[b]Accuracy:[/b] +/- 15 Seconds per month
[b]Width: [/b]42mm
[b]Thickness: [/b]10.7mm
[b]Weight:[/b] 96gms.
[b]Watch material: [/b]Titanium with DLC
[b]Glass: [/b]Sapphire Crystal with Non-Reflective Coating
[b]Calendar: [/b]Perpetual Calendar with Day/Date display


[color=blue][b]INTRODUCTION[/b]

Before I got this watch, I wasn’t really a Citizen fan. I think it’sbecause firstly, for a Japanese watch, the name doesn’t really soundJapanese (unlike Seiko). Heck it doesn’t even sound like a watch nameif you think about it. I think for a watch company name, Citizen soundsas out of place as Asylum Seeker for a brand name.
Secondly, I personally think Seiko watches in general have nicer style.But looks like with their current new release and upcoming Citizendomestic models, my opinion of Citizen watches will be changed.

Back to the watch, so, my birthday was coming, and I was thinking toget one affordable, hassle-free watch to add to my collection. Hasslefree means that the watch has to be in Quartz so I don’t need to bebothered with readjusting the watch so often and worrying about theexpensive cost during service intervals.

With Quartz technology, my options were either Seiko’s Kinetic orCitizen’s Eco-Drive. With Kinetic, the power is coming from either youwearing it (movement), charging it using a charger, or winding itmanually if it has Direct Drive technology. All those mean that thewatch still needs some sort of interaction in order to operate.

This is where I think Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology is handier. Itdraws its energy from a source that gives life to everything in thisworld. No, not God you dumbo - it’s the sun. Although I think it willbe awesome to have a watch that draws the energy from your faith inGod. But I guess the watch wouldn’t operate very well on me, haha..

Anyway, so I like Eco-Drive because as long as it is exposed to light,it will still charge itself without me having to do anything. So I canjust pop the watch in a watch-box with glass top and just leave itthere for a long time and it can still operate by itself.

Originally, my choice was Citizen Alterna VO10-6662B (that’s abeautiful watch – google it), but then when I was browsing Citizen’swebsite, I stumbled upon this picture:

[color=red][img]


That’s the picture that made me changed my mind about getting theAlterna. After reading the specs and features, I was completelyconvinced that I wanted this Attesa instead even though it is moreexpensive. It is also a new release watch, it is exciting to be able toget hold of a watch that is just released not long ago.



[color=blue][b]FEATURES[/b]

This watch hasmany features, some of them are not mentioned in the productinformation page on the website. On the page, the features arerepresented by little icons. For this Attesa, here are the features:


[color=red][img]


The features that are not included in those little icons are such as:
-Easy-adjust bracelet – It has 3 adjustable steps that allow you to micro-adjust the bracelet without using a tool.
-Bilingual day display (Japanese & English)
-Auto power save (sleep mode) and auto resume once the watch is exposed to light
- Time Zone Adjustment
-Low charge indicator


[b][color=blue]ORDERING PROCESS[/b]

So far the places that I know of (and probably most of you know) whenit comes to ordering Japanese domestic watches are either Chino, Seiya,or Higuchi. All of them have great reputation. Price-wise there is onlya bit of difference among them, so generally speaking I just go withthe one that I happen to bother the most when asking for prices. Sinceall of them are friendly, so to be fair I think you should order watchfrom each of them by turns, haha..

I got my Attesa from Higuchi (by the way, you pronounce his name as in "Hee-Guchi" not "Hay-Guchi").
The watch was sent on Saturday and it arrived in Australia onWednesday. No custom hold-ups since the watch isn’t that expensive.
It arrived well and safe, the watch was also adequately packaged with enough shock protection.

[img]http://i720.photobucket.com/albums/ww207/albertdar33/Packaging_1.jpg

Often when you buy from eBay seller, the watch either comes with noretail box or it comes with generic box. The good thing about orderingfrom these three sellers is your watch will come in its original retailbox.



Inside the box, you will find the watch (duh!), user’s manual (inJapanese and English) and International warranty card. Mine was stampedby Katsu.





[color=blue][b]DIAL – OVERALL STYLE[/b]

[img]http://i720.photobucket.com/albums/ww207/albertdar33/Open_box.jpg


As cliché as this may sound, but in this case I really have to say thatthe watch really looks much better in real life and the small pictureon the website does not do this watch justice.

When I opened the box and looked at the watch for the very first time,I thought “damn, this watch is really beautiful”. The watch in reallife looks much larger than what you imagined from the stock picture. Ithink it’s because of the dial and also the flat profile of the watch.

Three words that describe the style of the watch are: modern, simple,casual. Due to its looks and size, I think you can wear this watch forany occasions as long as it’s not very formal one (eg. Wearing tux).You can still wear this when you go smart casual or wearing your nightout jacket. Since it’s black, it will blend easier with your darkerclothing too.

Talking about black, the case & bracelet of this watch is notexactly jet black (the dial is), but it has a slight brownish tint init, depending on the lighting. It’s like when you have a bucket ofblack paint, then you drop in a dollop of brown paint and mix it up.


DIAL – DESIGN & DETAILS




I think this is the most interesting part of the watch. The outer partof the dial is concave, same as the hour markers (twisted downwardstoo) – giving it a “sunken” look. A slightly raised black ring (withvery thin line pattern) sits next to the concave part of the dial,which is connected to the day/date marker.

The day/date marker is buried quite deep – making the differencebetween the lowest part of the dial (day/date) and the highest part(hour markers) more contrasting. The raised round black ring gives thedial a floating look.
So if you observe the watch closely right in the centre of the watch,it gives you a slight 3D look. Unfortunately I couldn’t capture thatfeel in the picture – Must have something to do with our eyes and depthperception.

[img]

Colour wise, The hour markers, hour hand and minute hand are in silver.The luminous substance in the middle of hour and minute hands is inclear white. The signature trident-style second hand is in white too.

Day/dates are in white, but the Sunday indicator is interestingly inpink, not red. It actually looks nicer than the usual red IMO. The dateshows you 3 dates with current date in the centre, which is pretty muchfor aesthetic purpose. It gives the watch a more modern and dynamiclook.

I can’t see the solar panel or whatever it is you called it. In themiddle is black with a milled-like surface. It looks more like a metalthan a panel to me. And it’s very black, so I don’t know how light canactually pass through that thing. But it looks great that’s all thatmatters.

[img]


The writings on the dial are:
-NO - This indicates No reception when you press the pusher
-RX - This indicates reception standby
-H,M,L - This indicates the reception strength (high, medium, low)
-Citizen
-Attesa Eco Drive
-Made in Japan

I am glad the designer chose to make it simple for this watch.Considering the style, I wouldn’t want this watch to be cluttered withfeatures mentioned on the face of the dial (eg. Perpetual calendar, 10Bar water resist, etc)


[color=blue][b]DIAL – LUME[/b]

Thehour markers do not have lume, I think because this watch is notpositioned as sport watch. However lume does exist on the hour andminute hand. Of course the lume is not as bright as in dive watch, butjust enough for you to tell the time in the darkness.

[img]http://i720.photobucket.com/albums/ww207/albertdar33/Citizen-lume.jpg



DIAL – GLASS


The dial is protected withflat sapphire crystal, and according to the website, it has anon-reflective coating too. But judging from the reflection, I thinkthe coating is only applied on the bottom side of the crystal, not thetop one. The good thing is this means that you don't have to worryabout scratching the coating on the crystal.

The glass still produces reflection but at least where there is noreflection, the glass is very clear and very easy for you to read thedial.
On the picture below, you can see the reflection from very bright sun light seeping through the gaps in the curtain.




CASE – FRONT

Case size is around 42mm, not including the crown. On the picturebelow, I included the Tag Heuer Aquaracer as a size reference sincemost people are familiar with the size of Aquaracer watches. As you cansee, it looks noticeable bigger than the 38mm Aquaracer.


My wrist size is 6.9”, and as I mentioned in my previous Seiko review,42mm is about the max size I would want for a watch. It still looksalright on my medium sized wrist, but I personally wouldn’t go foranything bigger than this watch.

[img]http://i720.photobucket.com/albums/ww207/albertdar33/Citizen-wristshot.jpg

The unusual design on the crown side gives the watch a more casual andmodern look as you can see from the picture below. When pulling/pushingthe crown, it clicks firmly and since it is not positioned very closeto the case, it is easy to pull out, you don’t need to use yourfingernail to pull the crown. If you have very short fingernails, youwill appreciate the design. When rotating the crown, it also makes firmclicks.

Next to the crown you will find a pusher to check the reception signaland also to manual sync the watch if you press and hold it. On top ofthe crown, there is a small button that you use for time reference andcorrection. I doubt I will ever use this button, maybe that’s why theymake it so small.



I also included side profile shots of the case; it is pretty thin for a watch this size (thickness is only 10.7mm).




CASE – BACK

There is nothing special on the back of the case. Considering the priceI was actually expecting some sort of embossed engraving of the Attesasymbol or something. Instead, it is just a plain thin engraving withthe Earth Eco-Drive symbol in the middle of the watch. I don’t know,maybe it is hard to do a full DLC on high emboss? Or maybe it’s justnormal for Citizen watches?




CASE & BRACELET – MATERIAL & FINISH

The case and bracelet are made from Titanium. Come to think about it,Titanium is actually pretty amazing, it is stronger than steel, morecorrosion resistant than steel, it doesn’t rust, and at the same timealso much lighter than steel.
The whole watch is so light, if you let an uninformed person to handleit he/she might think that it’s made of plastic. On your wrist thewatch feels like nothing especially if you have been accustomed tosteel watches.

One of the reasons why I chose this black version one over the silverone because it has a full DLC surface treatment. A lot of peoplehesitate on titanium watches because they tend to look dull, but I mustsay that Citizen’s DLC technology really solve that problem here. Notonly that it is very scratch resistant, the surface is very smooth too.

People also hesitate on titanium because although stronger, titaniumsurface is easier to scratch. But this DLC technology is supposed tomake the titanium even harder to scratch than stainless steel. DLCstands for Diamond-Like Carbon, so theoretically speaking it is almostimpossible to scratch.
But I am pretty sure that if I really try, I can scratch this coating.But I wouldn’t do that on purpose – as long as this thing can handleregular desk diving, I am happy.

The bracelet is finished in two different brushed finishes, shiny andmatte. The case on the other hand, has brushed finish and also polishedfinish. The top side of the case is brushed; if you look closely youcan see its tiny fibre-like brushed finish. The only polished finish inthe watch is the middle section of the case and the top of the crown.




BRACELET


I thinkyou can get a lot of information about the bracelet from previouspictures, so I will just talk about the clasp instead. The clasp is apress-to-release type. The clasp has a modest “Citizen” engraving onit. Pretty simple.



There are no micro adjustment holes for the bracelet; instead, if youturn to the back of the clasp, it has this very handy tool-lessadjustment system. When you press the clasp and pull the bracelet atthe same time, the bracelet will extend a bit, giving you a fewmillimeters extra length for your bracelet. It consists of three stagesas illustrated below. Altogether between fully retracted and extended,it will give you an equivalent of adding/removing one link of yourbracelet.




If you want to watch the video of the clasp adjustment, just go to this link below.

Video: Pusher & Clasp Adjustment

I was wearing kitchen gloves in that video to prevent smudging the glass because I was going to take pictures later.
What I pressed in the beginning of the video was a reception indicatorsignal – it went to NO because I can’t get reception here.


OPERATIONS

I know it only receives Japanese radio signal,making my watch just a regular Quartz, but even that is enough, really.It has also synced the date/year when it was in Japan, so I don't haveto do anything anymore.

The accuracy of the H10A movement is rated as +/- 15 seconds aday. It’s almost a week since I sync the watch, and today it is showingas 1 second fast. So my guess is, at this rate, at worst every monththe watch will gain or lose around 5-6 seconds.

My watch came running at Japan time, so I guess it must have receivedthe radio signal from Japan before it arrived here. Since the datewould have been adjusted already, all I needed to do was to adjust theclock to 1 hour advance.

Adjusting the time is fun with this watch. Unlike normal Quartz, whenyou pull the crown, the watch will stop and the second hand willautomatically go to 12 o’clock position. If you rotate it to one click,the second will quickly run one full circle accompanied by the minutehand. Turning the crown the other way round will make the second andminute hand rotate to opposite direction as well. The movement ismotorised and not dependant on you turning the crown. Basically youturn the crown just to "tell" the watch to advance.

If you turn the crown rapidly and let go, it will automatically advance itself until you turn the crown again.

You can see the demonstration from the video below.

Video – Adjusting the time

Other interesting thing to look at is how the watch changes itsday/date. Instead of abrupt slap like in regular Quartz or slowchanging like automatic, it employs a motorized movement when changingthe day/date. I shot this video at midnight when the watch was changingthe day and date.

Video – Day/date change

Regarding Time Zone Adjustment feature, this watch has a feature thatlets you adjust the time according to the place your travel to (if yougo to a different timezone).

What's the difference with adjusting it manually?
The difference is, when you enter the timezone difference (eg. +2hours), it will automatically adjust itself and still remembers thetime and date setting down to the second, so you don't have to resynclike when you adjust time manually.

It will also remember that it is under different timezone, and when yougo back to local time, if you readjust it back to say, -2 hours, itwill turn itself and resync everything by itself (or I assume if it'sin Japan, it will do this automatically anyway). It's quite neatfeature and very easy to do this actually.

Video - The watch on it's way to adjusting back to local time (excuse the music - forgot to turn it off)

CONCLUSION

Overall, this watch offers you so much for your money. I don’t think Iwill ever buy Swiss branded Quartz anymore from now on. For example,you can spend more than a grand for a Quartz Tag Heuer and all you getis a boring Quartz watch, and the rest of the money went to fund theirmarketing campaign, really.

With this Attesa you get perpetual calendar, radio wave, titanium withDLC, sapphire with non reflective, etc. So I think from now on if Iwere to get Quartz again, I’d definitely go Japanese. I know in thepast (especially the international market ones), Citizen and Seikodesign was nowhere as nice as Swiss brands, but I think now they havereally improved and in person, this watch looks much better than my Tag.

And you know what’s funny? I can spend a few grand for Omega Aquaterra,Carrera, or Rolex Daytona, but in this city alone there are probablytons of people with similar watches like those.
But I can spend less than a grand for this Attesa JDM model, and I amwilling to bet that you won’t find that many people wearing this Attesacompared to Omega/Tag/Rolex owners. So it somehow makes my watch more‘limited edition’ than those Swiss brands, haha…

I like the other Attesa watches as well, but for my preference, I thinkthis particular one is the best looking Attesa in the whole lineup (Iwouldn't buy it if it wasn't right? duh... )
The newest chronograph version of the Attesa with world time indicatoris only a bit more, but I much prefer the look of this one. If like meyou prefer something with clean look, I highly recommend you this oneinstead. Other range that you might consider is the Citizen 800 series,those look beautiful, or Seiko Brightz Phoenix, those are nice as well.But they are in different price range though.

But for mid-end Quartz, you’d be hard pressed to find a watch as nicelooking with as many features as this one. This watch is great for acasual style watch, and I can just forget about adjusting anything inthis watch because everything is automatic.

I hope that you find this review is helpful and informative for you especially if you are thinking to get an Attesa model.


Now that the review is already out of the way, I can have fun withthese goofy pictures I took last weekend when we went out, haha…







[b]And these are more formal shots of the Attesa:[/b]

[img]http://i720.photobucket.com/albums/ww207/albertdar33/Citizen___ATTESA3.jpg






[img]


[color=blue][b]Thanks for reading![/b]
 
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