Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph A-T Review

Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph A-T Review
Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph A T Review   wrist time watch reviews

Citizen World Time Blue Angels, dial view

You have to love Citizen. Between Seiko and themselves, the state of the art in quartz timekeeping keeps improving. Solar power, radio-set time, BluetoothGPS... they lead the way.

This is the Blue Angels World Time Chronograph, reference AT8020-03L. Eco-Drive (solar power), sapphire crystal, radio-set, 60-minute chronograph, perpetual calendar, day/date, power reserve plus quick-change support for 26 time zones.

Citizen has long been a supporter of the Blue Angels team, so this watch is the latest in a long line. Long before I was writing here, I asked my wife to buy me one as I was learning to fly, so a Blue Angels was my first pilot's watch:

Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph A T Review   wrist time watch reviews

New and old Blue Angels watches

They've advanced and changed quite a bit since then (2001). Mine was battery powered, mineral crystal (you can see the scratches), and non radio-set. The design evolved too, with the change to an inner slide rule computer bezel and the dropping of the LCD screens. Functionally, the new model lacks the alarms of the old, and is in general simpler to use. I've kept and continue to use mine, it still has the best movement I've found for air travel. More on this later.

Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph A T Review   wrist time watch reviews

Citizen packaging

Nice simple box and packaging, which includes a QR code card, mini-CD and the paper manual too. Citizen proudly says that the packaging is made from recycled materials - a good thing.

Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph A T Review   wrist time watch reviews

Watch and manual

As a former pilot I have to say that the slide rule bezels are not usable in flight. Too small and fiddly. More of a reminder of your E6B and a nice conversation piece. On the A-T, the bezel is under the crystal, and actuated via the crown at eight o'clock. On the wrist, that's very difficult. However, moving it under the glass makes the watch dressier.

One of the A-T features I like a lot is time zone changes. Pull the crown out one stop, rotate to select your new timezone, push it back in and the hands move. Done, and you can even manage it without taking the watch off. My older model has the same feature, implemented with buttons, and I still love it for jet travel days.

Functionally, the A-T has a one hour chronograph, a fixed 24-hour display at nine, perpetual calendar, Eco-Drive solar power, retrograde day display, power reserve, atomic (radio-set) timekeeping that works with six transmitters (US, UK, Germany, China, Japan). The world time support includes 30-minute-offset zones, but not the 15-minute oddballs. next page »

14 comments
GaryK30
GaryK30

I just bought the same watch. It has a similar issue with the lume on the markers. With a couple of the markers on my watch, the lume doesn't fill the entire width of the "channel" for the full length of the marker, so a very thin width of the shiny bottom of the channel shows through when viewed in certain light. At night, these markers lack a straight edge to the lume, similar to Paul's lume shot.

I've seen several images of this watch on the web that have this same rough edge to the lume on some of the markers. It seems that it's typical of this model. I love the watch, but Citizen could have done a better job with the finishing of the markers.

On the plus side, the mechanical quality and functionality of the watch is great. All six hands and the date window on mine have excellent alignment, and the fact that the hands "snap into place" as Paul mentioned is very nice, as is the ease of changing timezones. The atomic time sync on mine works very well. This is the first analog atomic watch that I've owned. It's pretty cool having a relatively complicated analog watch set itself.

One thing I found interesting is how the day and date change. At midnight, the day hand moves immediately to the new day. The upper subdial spins around five times rapidly, changing the date.

GaryK30
GaryK30

Paul Hubbard,

Thanks for your review. This is a really beautiful watch.

The shape of some of the lume areas on the hour markers looks somewhat irregular in the lume photo (e.g., ragged edges or clipped corners). Is this the case, or are these just artifacts in the photo, possibly due to the shiny applied markers?

I have an inexpensive Citizen Eco-Drive BV1085-06E, and the lume on the numerals and hands is virtually perfect (evenly applied and geometrically accurate).


watch123
watch123

How do you set the time on this watch?

cassioreis75
cassioreis75

One question, you said you could swim with this model, but what about the leather strap? Is it water proof or do you consider replacing it after a few months? If so, where can I find it? Can I get a rubber one and replace whenever I go swimming? Is it hard to remove it?

Thanks,

Cássio Reis, Brazil

dkbjr333
dkbjr333

I absolutely love the look of this watch so much that i bought one, but i had a lot of problems with it or should i say them cause i went through two of them. It would for what ever reason over night jump ten days ahead or the time would go out of wack. I even had the citizen rep do a hard reset and they still had issues, so i had to return them. I was in the store the other day getting a crystal replaced on another watch of mine, and the sale rep had said that he heard citizen was having some issues with this watch. It looked awesome though.

Fraser Petrick
Fraser Petrick

Citizen watches are quality products, beautiful to look at, and accurate in function. I have three or four in the $300-$400 range, and though I'd love to afford watches retailing in the $3000 - $4000 range, the practical protestant in me can't justify making the ten-fold leap. I can endorse Bulova along similar lines. I have two Pecisionists and they're absolutely gorgeous and accurate. I will admit that my one "status" watch, an Omega Seamaster (quartz) has some special magic and mystique, but it is not ten times better than any of my Citizens or Bulovas. Citizen and Bulova are two major companies who deserve to do well.

CG
CG

Nice practical review and watch. Always liked Citizen and their computer dive watches too. The watch handsomely stands alone w/o the Blue Angels hype, that association is never really marketed in an appealing way. Do they pay the BA for naming rights or donate to them, the support is not clear. Do like the sub dial bezels. ...neat idea to mimic screwed down look. Great price too

OmniRak
OmniRak

I really like Citizen watches and this one is very nice.  I don't know why some give the brand a bad rap sometimes.  Amongst the Japanese brands with battery watches I gravitate toward this brand and its watches more so than their equally (or better) well know cousins. They achieve (and sometimes over achieve IMO) what they set out to do with their watches.  That is make excellent quartz model that excel within the price range they sell for.  This particular model definitely appears to be one worth considering.

shinytoys
shinytoys

Love the watch. Happy Holidays...

Thierry
Thierry

I have a NavyHawk (not Blue Angel) since 1999 I think, and enjoyed it every day of my life. Great watch for everyday use, waterproof, and pretty solid. I especially love the "reset function", that allow you to reset all the watch, and set it again to correct time, calendar, and so on.

The lume, indeed, is a little bit week. In a movie theater, it's hard to see the time.

A button is currently giving me hard time, so it has to go for a repair, but definitely, if I have to buy another watch I will consider this model, even if, I admit it, I have absolutely no use of these calculation rulers.

Just my 2cents.


Pugsley
Pugsley

I was expecting the price to have another number in it, but under $600 is very reasonable. A fetching watch at a reasonable pricepoint. I only wish it had a little more lume, maybe on the smaller dial hands.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Compared to the old model, this is a big winner. The original was nice, but I'v enever really been a fan of that ani-digi look. And not just with CTZ, but Casio, Breitling, and a few other notables have thier versions, and while most are nice watches, my eye always sees a shade of cheapness in the combo look, and this latest Blue Angela iteration looks fantastic.

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