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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

This is kind of a 'double post' as I have asked the same questions over on the "Seiko, Citizen & Orient" Forum, but my feeling is that there may be members here you are better placed to answer the questions. I hope this is OK...

I have been looking around for a Breitling B-1, but came across a couple of quartz 'ani-digi' watches of which I was previously unaware, and... for there respective prices are hard to beat. So I thought I would grab one of these two: (1) Seiko Ana-Digital World Timer Flightmaster SNJ017, or (2) Citizen Skyhawk Atomic Time Eco-Drive JY0000-53E. However, I would like some experienced feedback or advice before I do.

Basically, I am most concerned with the level of functionality of the two watches, and less concerned about some of the more well known problems, such as: (the Seiko) lack of a backlight; and (the Citizen) the large case size, the scratch-prone mineral crystal

The functionality issues are what concern me most.
For example:
- Usability of the functions (particularly displaying and changing time zones)
- Using the slide-rule bezel
- Readability of the analogue and digital displays
- The lume on the analogue hands
- Reliability of the movement modules (by the way, the Atomic Time syncing is not important for me, and usability issues will override this feature)

Of course, there may well be other issues that I am not aware of, hence this post. :)

Here are a couple of pics of the two watches concerned:

The Seiko


The Citizen


Thanks for any help... and don't hang back... even if it means suggesting alternatives to these two watches! ;-)

By the way, I have checked out the reviews of these watches on YouTube, however, these tend not to provide the kind of experienced feedback that some people here on the forum might have.

-bergspringer
 

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I gave my father-in-law a similar Citizen model, the one below.
He need this

so he can see all the functions on this:
 

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I think the Seiko has a much cleaner look.

In terms of analog-digital watches, there is also the other way around, i.e. digital watches with excellent displays which have hands added, so it may be well worth to check out Timex and Casio.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Crusader,

I agree with you on the Seiko. I think the Citizen might just have the edge for technical features, but I think the design of the Seiko is much nicer.

I recently bought a couple of Breitlings and have been very impressed with them. I then decided to look for a B1 but then noticed the Seiko and Citizen, which compared with the Breitling both for features and price, are very interesting. I might just pick up the Seiko because at the price, I think, you can't go wrong.

I have hear the Citizen is very hard to read because of the size of the dials.

Do you know anything about the difference between the slide-rules on both the Seiko and Citizen?

Cheers,
-bergspringer

I think the Seiko has a much cleaner look.

In terms of analog-digital watches, there is also the other way around, i.e. digital watches with excellent displays which have hands added, so it may be well worth to check out Timex and Casio.
 

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I used to have a flightmaster early on in flight school. Using EB6 calcs on it was a pain in my ass because i couldnt see the hash marks in low level light situations. I was looking at Citizen nighthawks but when i was cruising by Zeno watch co site, they had this one, a rendex super pilot. it wasnt too much, but a whole lotta watch for the money. conversions, leg time, ect is a breeze with it. Im not a fan of automatic pilot watches personally, but heres the pic of the one I have.

 

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I have used many different E6B watches over the years, and none of them come even close to a B1 as far as the slide rule is concerned. Why does a B1 cost so much? Because the slide rule is like no other. It turns with great precision and produces much more accurate readings. It has an internal gearing system as opposed to most rules that simply turn like a dive timing bezel.

But not everybody wants to spend that kind of money. Orient makes some good and affordable slide rules too. Slide rules are cool even though we don't really need them in modern aircraft anymore. You can always use them while drinking at the bar to figure out the proper tip!!!
 

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Just talkin' slide rules...
I don't like the look of the Seiko, since it appears the two opposing rings are on opposite sides of the crystal glass.
The Citizen has one additional thing I like, making it more of a true E6-B...the third inner scale converting hundreds of minutes into hours/minutes...VERY helpful. You actually don't find many watches (regardless of the price) that have this third inner ring.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just talkin' slide rules...
I don't like the look of the Seiko, since it appears the two opposing rings are on opposite sides of the crystal glass.
The Citizen has one additional thing I like, making it more of a true E6-B...the third inner scale converting hundreds of minutes into hours/minutes...VERY helpful. You actually don't find many watches (regardless of the price) that have this third inner ring.
+1

I agree. I was wondering how long it would take for someone to point this out. I decided on the Skyhawk on this basis... the addition of the third 'time-distance scale' which expands the possible types of calculations (limited, of course, by the degree of accuracy of the Skyhawk bezel/s) and the fact that on the Seiko, you are correct, the two main slide rule scales are separated by the crystal. On this basis, all calculations are going to be 'approximate' (although again, due to the size and accuracy of the scale on a slide rule on a watch, calculations will always be approximate).

-bergspringer
 

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I have used many different E6B watches over the years, and none of them come even close to a B1 as far as the slide rule is concerned. Why does a B1 cost so much? Because the slide rule is like no other. It turns with great precision and produces much more accurate readings. It has an internal gearing system as opposed to most rules that simply turn like a dive timing bezel.

But not everybody wants to spend that kind of money. Orient makes some good and affordable slide rules too. Slide rules are cool even though we don't really need them in modern aircraft anymore. You can always use them while drinking at the bar to figure out the proper tip!!!
ToT is right, for todays aircraft they are almost pointless, but I had to learn to use one when passing the PPL, even if you use those electronic ones, in which its nice to have the rule if something horrible happend onboard and your caught with your pants down and your losing pounds of fuel..... ahhhhhhhhh! jk. I dont know about Military birds, but when we take small cessnas up, I try to map everything out, and go over it, and also possible situations before embarking. So, I actually still use mine, even though I dont fly anything that goes faster than a car ;-)
 

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I agree with "Time on Target" on the B-1 slide rule comment. Actually I own this watch and I think it´s by far the best ana-digi pilot watch ever made - for many, many, many reasons -
One thing to take into account, is the size of the watch - and of course, the slide rule. The B-1 case diameter is 43,5 mm, and for obvious reasons, the readability is much better.
Having said that, I have a Citizen Skyhawk AT - as a B-1 "back-up", and I can said that my vote goes to this one ;-)
Cheers !!!
 

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Just talkin' slide rules...
I don't like the look of the Seiko, since it appears the two opposing rings are on opposite sides of the crystal glass.
The Citizen has one additional thing I like, making it more of a true E6-B...the third inner scale converting hundreds of minutes into hours/minutes...VERY helpful. You actually don't find many watches (regardless of the price) that have this third inner ring.
Hi Dennis, long time no "see" you :-!
I agree with you my friend ;-)
 

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Not a whiz-wheel user, but own the SkyHawk. See my comments in another thread here. Bergspringer, wish we could have chatted before you bought, I'd have cut you a deal on an 'experienced' watch :-d
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Not a whiz-wheel user, but own the SkyHawk. See my comments in another thread here. Bergspringer, wish we could have chatted before you bought, I'd have cut you a deal on an 'experienced' watch :-d
I'm no expert either... but I do know how to use a slide rule... and I it seems to me that the slide rule on the skyhawk has some advantages over the Seiko: the additional of the 'time-distance' scale and the fact that the two main scales are directly next to each other. Having said that reading a slide rule off a watch bezel requires good eyes and practice. :)

-bergspringer
 

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I own the Seiko SNJ017 and it is not a bad watch as some are making it out to be. It is cheaper than the Skyhawk AT and it is solidly built like any other Seiko timepiece. Unfortunately, Seiko discontinued the SNJ017 and SNJ018 models from its lineup after 2008. To me, the SNJ017 was the best value hands down when it came to a watch equipped with the Seiko caliber H023 world time ana-digi movement.

While I am personally a defacto "Citizen freak", there is something about the Seiko SNJ017 that I still like over the Skyhawk A-T, in despite of its perceived superior feature set and design. One aspect of the Skyhawk A-T that I find truly annoying is the need to be frequently pulling out the crown to access all functions, including, the chronograph. I just don't understand why Citizen designed the U600 movement used in this watch with this quirk. Why should I have to pull out the crown, rotate it to the chronograph function, then push the crown in again just to be able to use the stop watch?? 3 or 4 step process to access a function that should always be available to work on demand is simply illogical.

I own the Citizen Calibre 2100 and the newly released R/C Citizen Chrono-Time AT and the chronograph in both is always ready to go by simply actuating the pusher in the case. Not so with the Skyhawk A-T. When the crown is pressed against the case, none of the pusher buttons are locked up in another function (As I understand it), so there should not be the need to pull out the crown and select the stop watch function at all!

In the Seiko all you have to do is select the stop watch function and you are good to go. No crowns to pull in and out in that watch.

Having said all this, however, The Skyhawk A-T is a terrific watch for the money. It beats the Seiko with the Eco-Drive solar movement, radio control sync capability, count down timer (missing in the SNJ017), more world cities (43 vs 26 in the Seiko), backlight for the LCD displays (also missing in the SNJ017) and the better conceived slide rule bezel.

But I just find the Seiko easier to use in despite of its quirks. I just think Citizen needs to polish up the U600 movement a little more and do away with the need to pull out the crown every time one wants to make use of the stop watch.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey Frank. Good response. Its these type of comments based on experience that are really useful.

I agree with you on the Seiko... there is just something about it which is more appealing than the Skyhawk.

However, in the end, I think your list of features from the Skyhawk are spot on and they are what makes this a better watch than the Seiko:

[...] Having said all this, however, The Skyhawk A-T is a terrific watch for the money. It beats the Seiko with the Eco-Drive solar movement, radio control sync capability, count down timer (missing in the SNJ017), more world cities (43 vs 26 in the Seiko), backlight for the LCD displays (also missing in the SNJ017) and the better conceived slide rule bezel.[...]
One other factor that I find in favour of the Skyhawk is that the Seiko is now a discontinued line, while the Skyhawk is still part of the Promaster range and should be for a while yet.

-bergspringer
 

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Hey Frank. Good response. Its these type of comments based on experience that are really useful.

I agree with you on the Seiko... there is just something about it which is more appealing than the Skyhawk.

However, in the end, I think your list of features from the Skyhawk are spot on and they are what makes this a better watch than the Seiko:

One other factor that I find in favour of the Skyhawk is that the Seiko is now a discontinued line, while the Skyhawk is still part of the Promaster range and should be for a while yet.

-bergspringer
Cheers, yes absolutely:-!

I feel that Seiko dropped the ball on the H023 way too soon:think: That movement plus a few more refinements would have been a nice alternative to the Skyhawk A-T but instead they decided to pull the plug on it way too soon.

The SNJ017-18 was only produced in '07 and '08. There was a more expensive version made under the Japan market Seiko Prospex line and sold as the Professional Skymaster series using the same exact H023 movement and hands found in the SNJ017:











Notice the presence of the crown at the 3 o'clock position. The crown is used to turn the internal slide rule bezel under the crystal.

The model number was SBDR005J and sadly, it too, was discontinued by Seiko. Being under the Prospex line, this watch probably retailed between US$1,500-US$2,000 in Japan.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
MINIDriver... I share your views. I think that Seiko kind of 'dropped the ball' on their watches with the H023 movement and they could have developed a really great version. Maybe they still will. I think there is a lot of scope between the Seiko, the Skyhawk, and something like the Breitling ana-digi watches to develop a really practical, professional, usable aviator/multi-time watch.

After being on a mechanical watch kick for a while (12 watches in 12 months) I have now turned to really fun watches. I've just bought a Skyhawk, and two ABC watches... ;-)

-bergspringer
 

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MINIDriver... I share your views. I think that Seiko kind of 'dropped the ball' on their watches with the H023 movement and they could have developed a really great version. Maybe they still will. I think there is a lot of scope between the Seiko, the Skyhawk, and something like the Breitling ana-digi watches to develop a really practical, professional, usable aviator/multi-time watch.

After being on a mechanical watch kick for a while (12 watches in 12 months) I have now turned to really fun watches. I've just bought a Skyhawk, and two ABC watches... ;-)

-bergspringer
Yeah, I am also a little over that "mechanical" watch phase, but I am very happy with the ones I have and all are keepers in my book. I am returning to my quartz roots and these Citizen Eco-Drives are really fun watches to own no matter what flavor you are looking into.

I think Seiko had a good thing going with the H023 movement. But it seems to me they are abandoning digital displays in droves. That movement with radio control, a timer and a few more refinements here and there would have been a knock out. I loved the dot matrix display at the top that I have not seen in any other watch.

I'll post some pics of the Skyhawk once I get it.
 
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