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Top 10 Citizen watches for men

Posted on September 14 2020

Top 10 Citizen watches for men

Innovators of tradition

 

Citizen as a brand is heard off by many but understood by a few. We know them as makers of affordable, reliable timepieces watches for the masses, making tools that we need. But what about watches that we actually want? Well, you’ll be happy to hear that Citizen’s watches certainly cut the mustard when it comes to making horologically and technologically impressive and respectable timepieces. From traditional old-school mechanical watches to ultra-slim solar powered watches (the slimmest in the world in fact) and satellite wave-powered analogue smartwatches, the brand is undoubtedly a powerhouse in its watchmaking prowess. Though it is very different from the watchmakers that we’ve become so accustomed to. With the likes of Swiss powerhouses still hand assembling plates, bridges, and gears that celebrate the ancient art of timekeeping, Citizen looks forward to seeing how it can integrate timekeeping into our modern hectic lives with technology. And at the same time, paying homage to where it has come from thanks to its mechanical offerings as well. With that said, Citizen’s catalogue is incredibly vast, and even if it is not your first time taking a peep through the looking glass, it can still be rather intimidating, choosing the right one for you. So, we’ve done the looking for you, and narrowed down ten of our favourite Citizen watches that every collection should have.

 

CITIZEN MECHANICAL NB4020-11L MEN'S WATCH

 

If you’re looking for a smart-looking timepiece to dapper up your wardrobe, the Citizen NB4020-11L might just be what you’re looking for. Cased, in a nicely polished 41mm stainless-steel case and strapped on a rich deep blue alligator textured leather strap. The watch is a timelessly elegant piece that will easily smarten up any outfit that you’ve got on. The dial is certainly the centerpiece of the watch, finished in a distinct sunburst blue that fades darker along the periphery of the dial. With polished applied indexes, sword-shaped hands and of course, and open-heart showcasing the escapement at six O’clock, there’s no hiding what this watch is all about. Offering you a kick of fine Japanese craftsmanship with an unapologetic dollop of flair and finesse. The watch is powered by a reliable Miyota caliber offering 40 hours of power reserve and a 3Hz frequency as well. Its nothing to shout about, but it’s a reliable workhorse that’ll keep this beautiful timepiece beating for a very long time. If you’re in the market for an elegant dress watch that’s timelessly modern and offers an exceptional level of fit and finish in its attention to detail, then the NB4020-11L is certainly the watch for you

 

Key Features

  • Luxurious and dressy design and build at a relatively affordable price
  • Reliable workhorse automatic caliber
  • Protected by immensely durable mineral crystal glass
  • Movement Type - Miyota automatic
  • Materials - Stainless- steel
  • Water Resistance - 10 bars
  • Case Size - 41.3mm

     

    CITIZEN PROMASTER FUGU LIMITED EDITION MEN'S DIVER AUTOMATIC NY0094-85EB MEN'S WATCH

     

    Ask anyone what’s the best Japanese diver that you can get for under $500 and I’d be willing to bet the watch that I’m now wearing (which is also a Seiko diver), that the answer you’re most likely to hear, is a Seiko. The Citizen Fugu NY0094-85EB stands tall on its own stage, and up against the best that the industry has to offer for that price, it packs one hell of a punch as well. Though it might seem to be living in the shadow of Seiko, that only means that you’re less likely to stumble upon someone else with the same watch as you, and if that’s what you want, then you’re in luck with the Citizen Promaster Fugu NY009. Dive watches are aplenty these days, and for good reason, they’re incredibly well built, are very versatile and overall, are just really great watches to have. The Fugu NY009 harks back to an era long before us, with vintage design cues from the early history of diving and an added touch of idiosyncrasy unique to the NY line of Promasters. The principal characteristics are the left-hand crown position at 8 which is meant to prevent inadvertent knocks as well as to provide more ergonomic comfort to the wearer. And the distinctive bezel as well, with alternating smooth and serrated edges allowing for better grip when being operated under water especially with gloved hands. Power comes from a Miyota Cal. 8203 a proper workhorse movement with a 45-hour power reserve that beats at a respectable 21,600VPH (3Hz). It’s not the most ground-breaking performance, but it was never meant to be in the first place. What Citizen has done with the NY009 Fugu is to bring about more interesting variety into the dive watch market and with some serious competition, performance, and pedigree to boot as well. 

     

    Key Features

    • Sporty and timeless dive watch design
    • Reliable workhorse automatic caliber
    • Protected by immensely durable mineral crystal glass
    • Movement Type - Miyota automatic
    • Materials - Stainless- steel
    • Water Resistance - 20 bars
    • Case Size - 42mm

     

    CITIZEN PROMASTER SKYHAWK A-T JY8078-52L MEN'S WATCH

     

    So far, we’ve looked back at Citizen’s history of traditionally made watches, now let’s look at where they are now with the modern and innovative ‘Blue angels’ Skyhawk JY9078-52L. The Citizen Promaster Blue Angels A-T is a dedication to the team and is equipped with radio control signalling to provide precise atomic timekeeping in 43 cities. This Promaster Blue Angels A-T appears in a stainless-steel case measuring 46mm diameter and comes with either a steel bracelet or a leather strap. We review the version with the steel bracelet. The case itself is round with a brushed finish, with massive lugs on either end. The bezel carries yellow accents over the dark blue base with white inscriptions. The dial is also in dark blue. The hour indices are large bars, with Arabic numerals for 3, 6, 9, and an arrowhead for 12. The dial is inspired by cockpit instrumentation, with the case having a resemblance to the fuselage. The dial is rather busy, with a mixture of LCD windows and printed analogue displays with hands to indicate the plethora of information it is required to show. A manually operated mechanical slide rule, makes the bezel look very complicated and alongside the other features include a chronograph, perpetual calendar, dual time, alarms, countdown timer, digital backlight and UTC display, and power reserve indicator. Secondary indicators also crowd the dial to indicate the signal information from radio transmitters. The Blue Angels logo also adorns the printed nomenclature on the dial alongside the brand name and model designations. All in all, the JY8078-52L is a worthy testament to the innovation and technology that Citizen is more well known for these days and is undoubtedly a great addition to anyone’s collection.

     

    Key Features

    • A masculine and timeless, sporty design at an affordable price
    • Protected by immensely durable sapphire crystal glass
    • Movement Type - Eco-drive
    • Materials - Stainless steel
    • Water Resistance - 10 bars
    • Case Size - 42mm

       

      CITIZEN SATELLITE WAVE CC9009-81E MEN'S WATCH

       

      Of all the watches on the list, this one’s probably my favourite in terms of design, even more so than the crazily impressive CC7005-16E, but we’ll be taking a look at that later. Back to this; the CC9009-18E, which is part of Citizen’s Satellite wave line of highly modern and technical watches. I like to call these analogue smartwatches, and yes while actual analogue/hybrid smartwatches do exist that are much more capable in terms of functions compared to these, there’s still an impeccably mechanical feel to the Satellite wave line of watches that you just don’t get in a smartwatch. The watch is styled visually after the sports watches from the 70s, with angular case design with an integrated bracelet, though this one dials the angles up to eleven with the top and lower half of the case angling off into 3 different facets. Seriously, you’d be hard-pressed to find a single flat surface on this case (minus the crystal of course). The pushers are nicely skeletonized and sleek as well adding more to the very contemporary and modern design that this watch has. Functionally, it is very impressive capable of: Time, UTC, SET, LLI (Light level indicator/power reserve), CHR, ALM. And as the name implies, is capable of setting itself based on the time zone that you’re at or have designated it to read. The CC9009-18E is a proud celebration of modernizing a traditional tool, integrating current technology with an old-school (albeit timeless) design and display that makes for an incredibly interesting and intriguing wrist experience.

       

      Key Features

      • An intricate, angular and sporty design

      • Offers an incredibly high level of fit and finish for the price

      • Protected by immensely durable sapphire crystal glass

      • Movement Type - Eco-drive

      • Materials - Titanium

      • Water Resistance - 10 bars

      • Case Size - 45mm

       

        CITIZEN SATELLITE WAVE CC7005-16E MEN'S WATCH

         

        As we mentioned before, Citizen is a powerhouse in engineering and innovation within the watchmaking industry, and with the limited edition CC7005-16E the brand is finally flexing its muscles with what it can offer with a modern watch. The Satellite wave line is Citizen’s answer to Seiko’s Astron and though the price gap between the models may be significant, you’re not short-changing yourself with anything from the Satellite wave line of watches. And that brings us to the CC7005-16E a 1500-piece limited edition that houses Citizen’s proprietary Satellite wave technology in the Caliber F990, capable of a slew of features that we won’t go too in-depth with here (we’ll be here all day if we did). But here’s the gist, of it, this 48mm wristwatch is capable of: Time, UTC, SET, LLI (a power reserve indicator), CHR, ALM. The watch, as the name suggests is capable of setting itself based on whatever time-zone that you are at or choose via GPS. The design of the watch is certainly one of the biggest factors of why this is such a likable piece too, with a box/domed sapphire crystal with printed indexes and numerals on it, giving a larger sense of depth to the already very 3-dimensional dial, a satellite antenna surrounding the periphery of the dial and a 2 piece super-titanium case as well. The case is remarkable design as well, with the main housing of the watch sitting on the case-back were a pair of lugs protrude from and curve towards the case of the watch but never actually reaching it, making it hollow and giving it a futuristic, skeletal vibe which I love. And that same skeletonization can be found on the pushers as well, adding more points to the overall cool factor that the watch already has. All in all, its an immensely impressive timepiece, and despite being an avid lover of mechanical watches (my collection of 8 with only 1 being quartz and the rest mechanical should speak for itself) I do find myself liking this one a lot. It may not be a mechanical purist’s dream watch, but its certainly the perfect modern-day alternative to a smartwatch.

         

        Key Features

        • An intricate, and uniquely futuristic design
        • Offers an incredibly high level of fit and finish for the price
        • Protected by immensely durable sapphire crystal glass
        • Movement Type - Eco-drive
        • Materials - Super Titanium
        • Water Resistance - 10 bars
        • Case Size - 49mm

         

        CITIZEN SATELLITE WAVE CC7015-55E MEN'S WATCH

         

         

        Next up on our line of Satellite wave watches is the CC7015-55E Promaster Air, and it is what I imagine a ‘smart’ Breitling Navitimer on steroids would look like. It shares the same F990 caliber with the CC7005-16E, so functionally, it is identical to that with similar complications and operations too, aside from an internal rotating bezel that can be actuated with the 8 O’clock crown. So, we’ve got the brilliant functionality out of the way let’s get on to the looks, and boy does it look good. I’ve never been a big fan of the Navitimer design until recently and this CC7015-55E embraces the spirit of that functional and practical design and adds a few modern twists and even more functions into the mix. With large bold hands, distinct and contrasting markers set against a busy dial, legibility is still relatively uncompromised thanks to the contrasting colours. The dial also features 3 sub-dials for the different modes and functions, as well as an internal rotating tachymeter bezel and (appropriately enough for a Pilot’s watch) an air emergency signal code on the outer bezel too. There’s really a lot of information on display on this watch and it might seem dizzying at first glance, but once you’ve got your bearings on the functions and displays, reading and using it becomes a breeze. Though the chances of this watch is used practically to its fullest extent by a pilot or professional may be slim, it is still a great traveller’s watch and overall a brilliant accessory to have as well.

         

        Key Features

        • A timelessly modern and functional design 
        • Offers an incredibly high level of fit and finish for the price
        • Protected by immensely durable sapphire crystal glass
        • Movement Type - Eco-drive
        • Materials - Titanium
        • Water Resistance - 10 bars
        • Case Size - 47mm

         

        CITIZEN PROMASTER LAND CB5037-84E MEN'S WATCH

         

        For the last of the Satellite wave watches that we’ll be looking at today, the CB5037-84E is the most conventional and sporty looking one on the list so far. And if the CC7015-55E is a pilot’s watch on steroids, then this one is a field watch on the same enhancements. Powered by the E660, a downsized version of the F990, it shares similar functions with its bigger brothers in the Satellite wave line such as a chronograph, alarm, UTC, dual time-zone indicator, a perpetual calendar and of course, GPS tracking as well. Aesthetically, the watch looks like a conventional field watch, with large bold hands, blocky indexes with 3 sub-dials for the functions, a tachymeter scale and a city-ring on the chapter ring too. This is a field watch, and more thanks to Citizen’s innovative technology powering it and its not merely gimmicks either. The practical applications and operations of its functions are 100% applicable in the real world too. I’m writing this as my own Seiko SRPD31K1 compass field watch is on my wrist and suddenly it looks like a dinosaur compared to this. This with its radio-controlled time setting, mine with a self-winding mainspring and an internally rotating compass bezel. But then again these are very, very different watches, and I’m very happy with my old-school dinosaur of a watch, and if you find yourself fancying the Citizen, then I can safely say that you’ll be very happy with it.

         

        Key Features 

        • A sporty modern take on the traditional field watch design
        • Offers an incredibly high level of fit and finish for the price
        • Protected by immensely durable sapphire crystal glass
        • Movement Type - Eco-drive
        • Materials - Stainless steel
        • Water Resistance - 10 bars
        • Case Size - 44.6mm

         

        CITIZEN ECO-DRIVE ONE AR5044-03E MEN'S WATCH

         

        There’s no getting around the fact that the Citizen Eco-drive One is a thin watch, in fact, it’s the thinnest light-powered watch in the world. The quest of making the thinnest watch in the world is a trial that has been taken by many of the biggest names in the watchmaking industry. Whether it’s the thinnest mechanical wristwatch; With the likes of Piaget, Bvlgari, Jaeger LeCoultre competing for the throne. Or the thinnest quartz-powered watch (which are oftentimes the thinnest watches in the world full stop), which is the Concord Delirium coming in at only 0.98mm thin. The creation of the thinnest watches in the world mechanically has always been more of a test of material and technical extremism than to create a practical watch. With the Eco-drive One, however, Citizen has created an ultra-thin watch that is not only the peak of technical innovation and skill but a practical wristwatch that you can easily wear day in and day out. Powering the watch is a solar caliber that comes in at an eye-watering 1mm thick, and as is often the case with ultra-thin watches, the case is as critical as the movement in shaving millimeters of a thickness (what little there is) of the watch. The case is two-piece construction that is held in place by the 4 visible screws on the watch and it is made of Citizen’s proprietary ceramic-metal-composite (Cermet) treated with a Duratect (DLC) coating. On the wrist, at 2.98mm x 39mm wide, the Eco-drive One practically disappears, offering an incredibly unique and one of a kind wearing experience. It’s not one that is purely classical, but it is very close. Being a watch that combines the best of fine traditional watchmaking and modern technological innovation, the Citizen Eco-drive One is a must-have for the avid collector, as it ties up the divide between modern and traditional watchmaking in a beautifully thin package. 

         

        Key Features

        • It's the thinnest solar powered timepiece in the world
        • Highly precise, reliable and technically advanced eco-drive caliber
        • Protected by immensely durable sapphire crystal glass
        • Movement Type - Eco-drive
        • Materials - Ceramic-titanium (cermet) 
        • Water Resistance - 3 bars
        • Case Size - 37mm x 2.98mm

           

          CITIZEN PROMASTER MARINE NY0088-11EB MEN'S WATCH

           

          With the return of the Fugu name with the NY009 as mentioned above, it is only appropriate for us to take a look at its counterpart, the NY008 to find out more about what this name means. The watch is based on the NY004, a legendary tool watch that was adopted by the Italian NAVY SEALS as their official watch. So, with such historical significance and pedigree fit enough to be adopted by some of the toughest men in the world means that the follow up should be equally brilliant right? Well, first off, the signature left-hand crown at 8 o’clock is still there to ensure protection against knocks as well as comfort for the wearer without the crown digging into the wrist. The watch comes in at 42mm in diameter and is powered by a Miyota 8203 caliber with 40 hours of power reserve and a 3 Hz frequency as well. The case is an almost Tonneau shape with lugs extending to form a slightly elongated shape. This perhaps accounts for the seemingly smaller wearing impression. The bezel has alternating smooth and serrated edges provide a positive grip in wet conditions, and is inspired by the pufferfish, or “Fugu” in Japanese. The bezel gives the watch its signature look, as is the machine knurled crown at 8. Overall, if you’re looking to get into the history of Citizen and its divers the NY008 is a great piece of history that you can be proud to wear on your wrist every day.

           

          Key Features

          • Sporty and timeless dive watch design
          • Reliable workhorse automatic caliber
          • Protected by immensely durable mineral crystal glass
          • Movement Type - Miyota automatic
          • Materials - Stainless- steel
          • Water Resistance - 20 bars
          • Case Size - 42mm

           

          CITIZEN AUTOMATIC SUB-SECOND SILVER STAINLESS STEEL NJ0090-81E MEN'S WATCH

           

          The Citizen Titanium Automatic NJ0090-81E Men’s Watch is a Classically designed piece and wears very well as a dress watch. Thanks to its incredibly lightweight titanium case and classically simple design, it fares incredibly well as everyday wear. The classic appearance makes it incredibly timeless and legible too, and the reliable workhorse Miyota caliber ensures that the watch is as reliable as it is good looking. The minimalist design makes it suitable for business and other formal occasions too. The watch is sleek and very attractive thanks to its Titanium Case fastened onto a matching Titanium Bracelet. Decorous and elegant, the NJ0090-81E certainly set a standard of luxury over its competition. The Citizen Titanium Automatic successfully combines utility with style. The watch is powered by a Miyota 8213 automatic caliber and is protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal as well. If you’re looking for a lightweight, easy to wear every-day watch, the Citizen NJ0090-81E with its elegantly simple and minimalist design paired with its highly technical titanium case makes for a perfect everyday watch.

           

          Key Features

          • Modern and dressy design with great build quality at an affordable price
          • Reliable workhorse automatic caliber
          • Protected by immensely durable mineral crystal glass
          • Movement Type - Miyota automatic
          • Materials - Stainless- steel
          • Water Resistance - 3 bars
          • Case Size - 42.5mm

           

          More than what you think

           

          If this list has taught us anything, its that Citizen definitely delivers world-class timepieces. From old-school traditional automatics to cutting-edge radio-controlled Satellite wave behemoths. The list goes on and on, If you think they’re all about looking forward and advancing technology in watchmaking, you’re absolutely right. Though they did try their hand at making a tourbillon with the Y01, and that is one of the most beautiful watches to ever come out of Japan, since the Credor Eichi II rolled out of Seiko’s micro-artist studio. Whether it’s looking to the future of watchmaking, or back at what watchmaking once was, Citizen is certainly a pioneer in developing great timepieces that reflect both views. And that, in my opinion really makes them one of the most respectable watchmakers that more people should be paying attention to these days.