In Person: The New Citizen CA039

Shades of a Breitling Navitimer at a fraction the cost.

Citizen Eco Drive CA039 Chronograph – $243.75

Available with either a brown or black leather strap.  Also available with a black ion case for $262.50.  Currently sold by a third party but at least Amazon is fulfilling the purchase… so they handle any returns.

Even those who prefer automatic watches to quartz give Citizen Eco-Drives a pass.  Or half of a pass.  A passette?  Sure they’re quartz, but the quality of a Citizen watch and their solar-powered drive train puts them a step above whatever fashion watch is falling off the clearance rack at Macy’s.  But stylistically Citizen was in a bit of a drought there for awhile.  Many of their watches started to look like over-sized golf polos.  Functional for sure, but… why?

They turned it around back in the summer, and along with a new (*cough*) thousand dollar automatic, they recently released a trio of eco-drive Chronos that look a little like Breitling’s Navitimer.

Citizen CA039Unlike Johnny Depp, this thing will not accept spray tanner as a substitute for light.

Way too busy for plenty, and not something you’d ever wear with a tux* or to an interview, but it’s balanced enough in the case and shape that you could easily wear it with a tieless suit.  Same goes for a t-shirt and jeans and everything in between.  The numerals and plain-jane hands make it much more casual than it’s fancier cousin, the Orient Explorer, but the Orient is also double the cost.

Case is listed at 45 mm but it wears a bit smaller, much like the Orient Explorer.  The white, rotating slide slide rule ring is operated by the crown at 10 o’clock, with the chrono keeping time by the long red-tipped second hand and minute sub-dial at noon.  24-hour time is shown at 9 o’clock, and the final sub-dial is a ticking second hand.  Crystal is a standard Mineral, water resistance is a solid 100m.

$250 is far from couch cushion money, but it’s one of those watches that can pull a lot of duty.  Might even look terrific as a busy piece dressed down on the weekends with a splurge NATO or one of the FFF button stud bands.

Citizen 2013 Chronograph

*Yes black-tie purists, we know you’re not really”supposed” to wear any kind of watch with a tux.  Don’t get your cummerbund in a twist.