It’s very rare occasion to review a watch so well designed, manufactured and with a lot of features that could be wear in all occasions.
I have the pleasure to review an “old” model from Citizen, Nighthawk, I’ve missed to review so far from who knows what reason. I regret for that and I’m going to “expiate my sins”.
Citizen Nighthawk is a pilot watch presented in 2003 that features inner slide-rule (with a pilot’s calculator) and displaying GMT time that could be used a second time-zone watch.
The case of the Citizen Nighthawk is made of stainless steel and finished with brushing, rather than polishing which was a great choice. By my opinion, the size is ideal for everyday wearing with the diameter of 43mm and thickness of 13mm. The dial is covered with mineral glass (not sapphire, unfortunately), slightly higher that the corona. Despite this fact, I’ve not scratch it so far although I have been wearing it for almost a year. The glass was applied with anti-reflective coating that sometimes I think that the watch doesn’t have it at all.
On the right side of the case, there is a screw-down crown (at position three o’clock) used for time and date settings, with embossed Eco-Drive logo. It’s very easy and pleasant to operate with, especially because it’s surface has discrete texture.. Opposite to this crown, at position eight o’clock, is located another one used to operate inner pilot’s slide rule. This second crown is not screw-down but it’s also textured. At the first moment, I thought it would be hard to use it for calculations when the watch is on my hand, but this was not true. It easy for using and although it’s not screw-down, a sleeve will not turn it around easily, nor it will happen with the slide rule.
Backcover is screw-down and made of stainless steel, too. Depending on models (USA or non-USA), it can be deep engraved (non-USA versions) and less attractive laser engraved (USA versions).
The declared water resistance is 200m which is more than many dive watches have.
There are several variations for dial colors, but the most common is in all black color and black dial with white slide-rule. Despite this, the rest of it’s look is the same.
This model has one of the easiest readable dial with large hands and marks covered with Super-Luminova coating, glowing in pleasant blue-ish color, in contrary to most used green-ish or white in many other watch models. USA version has markers complete covered with phosphorescent material, while non-USA Nighthawk version has covered only marker’s tops. The hour markers are squared with metal polished edges, except markers for 12 and 6 o’clock that are represented with numbers. USA version has these numbers raised and surrounded with polished metal, while non-USA version has them in the same level with the dial base.
As I mentioned, hour hands are white, in form of a sword, and easy to be seen. Together with white seconds hand they align perfectly to seconds/minute marks. Besides this hands, we can see two additional black hands with a white and red top made in form of little airplanes. They are used to display GMT time or time in another time-zone, whatever you wish.
Central part of the dial is reserved for unusual but very cleverly solved GMT dial. Namely, this dial doesn’ have circular, but rather semi-circular shape, with two subdials. The inner one is white and represents hours from 00-12h and the outer is red representing 13 to 23 hours. They display time in combination with mentioned additional hands. The hand with white pointer shows AM time and another with red pointer shows PM time. The hands are never can be found in the semi-circle at the same time.
The date display is located at the position “3h” surrounded with Citizen and Eco-Drive labels and logo. The US version has “Nighthawk” labels, additionally.
Another great feature of Citizen Nighthawk watch is that it doesn’t battery replacement, because it uses well proven Eco-Drive technology allowing light transformation to energy and power. A solar cell on this solar powered watch is the display itself charging a small rechargeable battery. The model can runs more than 6 months with fully charged battery and no need to be exposed to light.
The space between Nighthawk’s lugs is 22mm, the perfect width for this diameter. One digression here, a reason why I consider some “big” Seiko watches look very ugly on a hand is their stubborn using 20mm bands no matter what the diameter is. It’s simply not proportional.
The model comes with several different straps and bracelet. For example, BJ7010-09E has a rubber strap with folding clasp, BJ7000-01E has a leather strap with a buckle, while BJ7000-52E have metal bracelets.
*U.S. Nighthawk models
- BJ7000-52E: Stainless steel case – black dial – black slide rule – brecelet
- BJ7020-55E: Titanium case – black dial – black slide rule – brecelet
- BJ7005-59E: Black ion plated stainless steel case – black dial – black slide rule – brecelet
- BJ7000-01E: Stainless steel case – black dial – black slide rule – black leather strap
*Non-U.S. (Asian, Europen) Nighthawk models
- BJ7010-59E: Stainless steel case – black dial – black slide rule – brecelet
- BJ7005-54E: Black ion plated stainless steel case – black dial – black slide rule – black NATO strap
- BJ7010-24W: Stainless steel case – brown dial – brown slide rule – brown leather strap
- BJ7010-16F: Stainless steel case – black dial – white slide rule – black leather strap
- BJ7010-09E: Stainless steel case – black dial – black slide rule – black rubber strap
Differences between USA and non-USA versions
*USA version of Nighthawk:
- It has the “Nighthawk” label near the date display
- Laser engraved backcase
- Hour marks for 12 and 6 o’clock are raised and have polished-metal edges
- Hour markers are completely covered with SuperLuminova
*Non-USA version of Nighthawk (Asia, Europa…):
- Doesn’t have the “Nighthawk” label near the date display
- The backcase has embossed surface (it looks really great)
- Hour markers are not raised but in the same line with dial’ surface and without metal edges
- Only top of hour markers are covered with SuperLuminova
Price of Citizen Nighthawk is surprisingly small for the quality, it’s around $300,00. Definitely, you get a lot for spent money, so you will not regret if you decide to buy this model!
Here are some notes about “negative” side of the Nighthawk or things that could be improved:
- Some variations don’t have safety lock on folding clasp.
- Unfortunately, Citizen Nighthawk doesn’t have feature for displaying a day in the week.
- There isn’t perpetual calendar, so you’ll need to change date manually every two months.
- The Nighthawk doesn’t have sapphire glass, but mineral instead. However, my piece doesn’t show any marks of scratch or damages so far. Of course, using sapphire glass would increase price for sure.
This is the perfect watch regarding price – quality ratio for all watch lovers, not only for fans of pilot watches. It fits perfectly to any dress combination, either to suits, jeans or shorts and t-shirts. Also, shirt sleeves don’t push it down on my hand at all.
Where to buy Citizen Nighthawk
With the price around $300.00 Citizen Nighthawk watch is available to everyone. At the link below you’ll be able to see more information and technical details from a seller, together with ratings from people already have this watch.