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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After hanging out in /f9 on WUS, I began to read a lot about the history of electronic watches (including the book Electrifying the Wristwatch by Trueb, et al.). This reading, and the people in /f9 and /f21, inspired me to finally buy a high accuracy/end quartz watch.

Naturally, I had some requirements. Namely, I wanted:

A high quality watch
A high accuracy, by quartz standards, movement
A versatile watch that was neither too dressy nor too technical looking
A watch that had interesting features or complications, aside from the accuracy

In the end, I chose to buy a Citizen AQ1030.

In addition to the AQ1030, I also considered the AQ1030’s stable-mates: The Chronomaster, the AQ1000, AQ1010, AQ1020 and AQ1034. I briefly thought about a Junghans but decided that the aesthetics were not for me. I also considered a Grand Seiko quartz as well as a couple of radio-synchronized Citizen Exceeds and a radio-synchronized Casio Oceanus. After thinking it over, I decided that an intrinsically accurate HAQ watch was more interesting to me, for this purchase, than a radio (or GPS) synchronized watch. I have no doubt that I will purchase an Exceed or an Oceanus in the future.

As a current owner of a Grand Seiko, I seriously considered buying a quartz GS model. In the end, though, I wanted something different and I preferred the features of the Citizen competition. Specifically, the Citizens offered slightly better rated accuracy, a longer warrantee, an independent hour hand and a perpetual calendar. Moreover, the AQ series also offered solar recharging, “hand alignment” (an anti-shock compensation), a fully (over the top?) jeweled movement and a larger case size. Nevertheless, the Citizen HAQ watches have a style very similar to the Seiko Grammar of Design – the look of which I am fond.

Choosing among the Citizens was more difficult. I decided that the Chronomaster, although the most beautiful of the HAQs, was a little too small and I didn’t like the idea of a disposable battery. I also decided that the AQ1000 was a little too small and the hands were narrow and lacked luminescence. I decided against the AQ1020 because of the cost for the titanium – a feature that doesn’t really interest me. Although the AQ1030 lacks the prettier bracelet of the AQ1010, I actually liked the crown guards and slightly larger size of the AQ1030. I also preferred the simpler, flat, dial found on the AQ1030 versus the textured dial of the AQ1010. The dark DLC bezel of the AQ1034 variant, likewise, did not interest me. The AQ1030 is not as dressy as the other models in the lineup, but for me, this is perfectly fine – I find it a handsome watch.

After consulting with several of you, I ordered an AQ1030 from Higuchi Katsuisha. He responded to my direct email quickly, the price was fair and the watch arrived seven business days after transferring the money by PayPal.

The watch fits comfortably and arrived with about a quarter of a charge. The pin/collar bracelet was easy to adjust (no fine adjustment). Furthermore, the second hand seems to hit darn-near perfectly on the markers.

I wanted to thank WUS members GlennO, Artec, Everose, Nokie, Xtratomic, Chris01, South Pender, clarencek, GregNYC, CitizenM, dicioccio, Catalin, Andrew McGregor, Orex and ljb187 for their useful posts and advice. Thanks also to /f9 moderators ronaldheld and Eeeb for keeping the /f9 forum such a great place to learn.

UPDATE: I have received a few questions, so let me add them here:

Lume: The watch is lumed with strips on the hands and laid between the ridges of the hour markers. The lume shines a green color and is quite bright. For comparison, the lume is not as bright as my Omega Seamaster, Citizen Signature Automatic or Maratec pilot but is a little brighter than my Omega Speedmaster Professional and much brighter than my Nomos Tangente Sport.

Power Reserve Meter: The PR meter is not terribly offensive. Similar to what GlennO said in his AQ1010 review, I appreciate an uncluttered dial but at least the PR meter is a "functional" clutter rather than "advertising" clutter. The quality of the PR meter is not as high as on my Grand Seiko (which has more detailed texturing and perfectly cut metal index marks on the ends of the arc) but the GS is more than twice as expensive as the AQ. Rather, the AQ's PR meter looks similar to the newer, simpler styled, Grand Seikos and uses a clear printed index with some slight textured concentric lines for depth. I am still not convinced of the value of a PR meter on an Eco-Drive, which has a very long power reserve, but if it helps me monitor the health of the rechargeable battery then I'll consider it as an advantage. Unlike the Spring Drive Seikos, the needle is at the top of the display to indicate "full".

Size: After sizing the bracelet, the watch weighs 119 grams. Lug-to-lug: 47mm, 9 o'clock-to-crown: 43.5mm, 9:30 o'clock to the crown guard: 41.5mm, 10 o'clock-to-4 o'clock: 40.35mm, outer bezel edge diameter: 39mm, crystal diameter: 32.5mm and thickness: 10.5mm





















 

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Congrats Ken, an excellent review and pics. I agree, that's one extremely handsome watch! I'm sure others will appreciate your notations on some of the differences between the various models, which can be difficult to discern especially when interpreting Japanese websites.

I chose the 1010 mainly for the bracelet and domed crystal, but it was a difficult decision, I'd love to own them all. I know if they ever make a 1030 with a blue dial I won't be able to resist!
 

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Congrats on your new Eco-Drive The Citizen and thanks for your thoughts and pics. I have pondered getting this particular version since they were introduced.
Its so nice to see some 'real' pics of it.


One of the major turn-offs for me regarding Eco Drive versions was the tell-tale, semi-opaque dials, necessary to let the light pass through. From your photos it seems the dial on this particular version has much less of that characteristic which is a huge plus in my book. (The vertical lined pattern dial of GlennO's version also seems good in this respect)


Your review sure makes the AQ1030-57E seem very tempting but I think i will try to hold off and see what may crop up at Baselworld next week. (Although the forthcoming GS 9F diver is very different from your AQ1030 i find the thought of it very intriguing)

I am pleased that we seem to getting a few more 'sports/active' options within the Seiko/Citizen HAQ model lines of late.

Congrats again and enjoy!
 

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Thank you sooooooooo much for the review and the pics! It is just amazing, somewhere around the globe is a man with pretty exactly approach to watches like me. :)
You just bought my next watch and there is only one "live" picture on the internet of this model. Thanks, thanks, THANKS for the pictures. As I thought, it is an amazing piece. Perfectly sized for everyday wear and the rest is just superb. Simply a cool watch.

Congrats on your The Citizen and wear it in good health! ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Everose - I'd say that the AQ1030 dial is a very dark slate grey color, not the ink black of the Grand Seiko black-dialed quartz watches. There are also some very subtle "vertical" lines but not a clear "teak style" texture. I think that you'd never know the watch was Eco-Drive just by looking at the dial but, if you know that it is Eco-Drive then you can see that the dial is not quite solid. Does that make sense?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bombus - I'm glad that you found the pictures. I remembered that you were looking and I was planning to send you a PM but it had slipped my mind.
 

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Two weeks ago I bought a discontinued 2001 The Citizen in new condition. I needed a small, perfectly finished and cool watch with a quartz movement. Also I wanted to see how really the case and bracelet finish of The Citizen is. I did not want a GS because I am actually a Seiko Collector and there are exactly 2 GS which I want to buy and quartz is now reserved for The Citizen :)

This is my new old The Citizen

TheCit_WUS1.jpg
 

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After hanging out in /f9 on WUS, I began to read a lot about the history of electronic watches (including the book Electrifying the Wristwatch by Trueb, et al.). This reading, and the people in /f9 and /f21, inspired me to finally buy a high accuracy/end quartz watch.

Naturally, I had some requirements. Namely, I wanted:

A high quality watch
A high accuracy, by quartz standards, movement
A versatile watch that was neither too dressy nor too technical looking
A watch that had interesting features or complications, aside from the accuracy

In the end, I chose to buy a Citizen AQ1030.

In addition to the AQ1030, I also considered the AQ1030’s stable-mates: The Chronomaster, the AQ1000, AQ1010, AQ1020 and AQ1034. I briefly thought about a Junghans but decided that the aesthetics were not for me. I also considered a Grand Seiko quartz as well as a couple of radio-synchronized Citizen Exceeds and a radio-synchronized Casio Oceanus. After thinking it over, I decided that an intrinsically accurate HAQ watch was more interesting to me, for this purchase, than a radio (or GPS) synchronized watch. I have no doubt that I will purchase an Exceed or an Oceanus in the future.

As a current owner of a Grand Seiko, I seriously considered buying a quartz GS model. In the end, though, I wanted something different and I preferred the features of the Citizen competition. Specifically, the Citizens offered slightly better rated accuracy, a longer warrantee, an independent hour hand and a perpetual calendar. Moreover, the AQ series also offered solar recharging, “hand alignment” (an anti-shock compensation), a fully (over the top?) jeweled movement and a larger case size. Nevertheless, the Citizen HAQ watches have a style very similar to the Seiko Grammar of Design – the look of which I am fond.

Choosing among the Citizens was more difficult. I decided that the Chronomaster, although the most beautiful of the HAQs, was a little too small and I didn’t like the idea of a disposable battery. I also decided that the AQ1000 was a little too small and the hands were narrow and lacked luminescence. I decided against the AQ1020 because of the cost for the titanium – a feature that doesn’t really interest me. Although the AQ1030 lacks the prettier bracelet of the AQ1010, I actually liked the crown guards and slightly larger size of the AQ1030. I also preferred the simpler, flat, dial found on the AQ1030 versus the textured dial of the AQ1010. The dark DLC bezel of the AQ1034 variant, likewise, did not interest me. The AQ1030 is not as dressy as the other models in the lineup, but for me, this is perfectly fine – I find it a handsome watch.

After consulting with several of you, I ordered an AQ1030 from Higuchi Katsuisha. He responded to my direct email quickly, the price was fair and the watch arrived seven business days after transferring the money by PayPal.

The watch fits comfortably and arrived with about a quarter of a charge. The pin/collar bracelet was easy to adjust (no fine adjustment). Furthermore, the second hand seems to hit darn-near perfectly on the markers.

I wanted to thank WUS members GlennO, Artec, Everose, Nokie, Xtratomic, Chris01, South Pender, clarencek, GregNYC, CitizenM, dicioccio, Catalin, Andrew McGregor, Orex and ljb187 for their useful posts and advice. Thanks also to /f9 moderators ronaldheld and Eeeb for keeping the /f9 forum such a great place to learn.




















Congratulations Ken! What a handsome photo The Citizen and GS Snowflake! !!

Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk
 

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Hi all, I'm a HAQ fan and currently going trough selection phase on The Citizen model for myself. This and other The Citizen reviews and news should be gathered together in one sticky thread so that finding information would be easier. And please make videos of your watches on YouTube there is way too few of them. Currently I am toward the new AQ1020-54E or AQ1010-51E because of the teak dial, but the lack of lume is what bothers me. And I'm in a shock how rarely I come across any of the used Citizen HAQ models for sale.
 

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Hi Ken,
thank you for this interesting story! I am just trying to get as much information about these citizens watches as possible and it is difficult. Please can you tell me, if it is possible to screw the crown in.
How is the watch rated? 10 or 20 atm?
Thank you in advance, Rainer
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It does have a screw-down crown. From memory, I think it has 10 ATM water resistance. I am away on business and, regrettably, won't see the watch for at least a couple of weeks.
 

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[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, Calibri, Geneva, sans-serif]Thanks for the excellent review and pictures. It answered most of my questions, and was instrumental in my decision to order one. Rakuten seller Tokeikan shipped promptly, and EMS delivery took seven days. [/FONT]I know fit is a matter of wrist shape and personal preference, but[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, Calibri, Geneva, sans-serif] for anyone with small wrists, be aware that the bracelet might be a problem. While the two “half” links allow good adjustability, the bracelet could use at least one more removable link [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, Calibri, Geneva, sans-serif]on the 6 o'clock side for proper clasp positioning to prevent the watch head rolling outward on the wrist. My wrist is 7”, and the best clasp position is acceptable, but not perfect. YMMV.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, Calibri, Geneva, sans-serif]
[/FONT]
 

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Two weeks ago I bought a discontinued 2001 The Citizen in new condition. I needed a small, perfectly finished and cool watch with a quartz movement. Also I wanted to see how really the case and bracelet finish of The Citizen is. I did not want a GS because I am actually a Seiko Collector and there are exactly 2 GS which I want to buy and quartz is now reserved for The Citizen :) This is my new old The Citizen <img src="https://www.watchuseek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1425504"/>
Iv never seen that piece before how big is the face? I say that in delight too
 

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Ken,
Just saw this review. Your assessment is very thorough and informative, Thank you. I look for watches that are unique; Movements; Dials Style. My two favorites are Aqua Terra and Seiko Spring Drive. The Citizen EcoDrive HVF is on my radar, however, the Bulova Percisionist is more affordable.

Thanks again.

Marcus
 
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