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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Watch: Citizen Attesa GMT
Model: ATD53-2902
Origin: Made in Japan
Functions: GMT, Date
Movement: H116 - Eco-drive, Atomic Synch, Quartz
Size: 39 x 11 mm @ 89 grams
MSRP: $650 ($1=100 Yen)
Website: (Japanese)

Background: (Quite long-winded, so skip to the pic’s if you’re in a hurry!)
I live in Japan, wanted a self birthday present, a relatively nice watch, a watch that told me time back home at a glance - so I can call my mom to tell her that I love her, and call my broker to tell him that I hate him ;-). Unfortunately, all Swiss mechanicals and the Kobold Polar Surveyour are out of budget. Do you know why Swiss mech’s are so gosh darn expensive? I swear, it’s because of the styling! Every time I found a nice looking GMT (Longines Admiral) or Dual Time (Oris Artelier Worldtimer) they were out of budget. At least in the case of the last two mentioned, only slightly out of budget. I know nothing of ETA movements, but the simple, graceful styling is hard to come by anywhere else. I think all watch makers keep the best aesthetic designs for the higher end models while simply pretending to differentiate models based on immaterial features or brand name. Take for example, the Casio G-shock and Oceanus lines. Do you like that 5-motor all-analogue solar/atomic chronograph/world time G-shock…but want to wear it at the office? Well here’s a “different” watch…it’s an Oceanus…and has a nice thin/flat case with a metal band and sells for “only” double the price. Anyways, back to my watch hunting story…the G-Shock Giez 1000 series was also a strong contender but I didn’t like the case dimensions of the G-shock, nor the styling of the Oceanus (though I can see its appeal and concede that most would consider it’s styling is better.) Basically, all the watches I didn’t buy eliminated themselves by either price or by some perceived shortcoming. Vostok-Europe’s N1 Rocket was a close contender, absolutely loved the styling of the black IP with green highlights model, the display back, but was turned off by the exterior bezel means of GMT timekeeping. Also, having more than one watch, I didn’t want it to run out of charge and force me to reset the time – thereby losing track of time back home. And yes, I do know what a watch winder is!(Or I could take 1 minute out of my day and give ‘em a few twists, right?) Case dimensions were also a concern. This also eliminated an automatic Orient GMT that I fancy (but just may buy as a summer watch anyways!) Junkers makes a really clean black & white faced automatic, but the GMT model gets a quartz mov’t. I wanted an awesome (awesome for me) mechanical watch OR a no hassles watch. Most awesome mech’s are well over the $250-$500 budget I am shopping in, so let’s go for a hassle-free watch. If I were to get quartz, it should be special – like an eco-drive or a kinetic (Seiko Kinetic GMT SUN007), or an atomic, or both! And since I am in Japan, might as well make it a domestic market only watch. Thus, I decided to get an Attesa GMT. I had looked very hard and long for a nice watch and then one day, fate smiled upon me, for the 2902 model was not only the least expensive of the Attesa line but also the best looking!

Face: easily readable. Clean styling. The face is rather deep, with the main hands near the glass, and the out-of-the-way but there-if-you-need-it GMT hand being near the dial itself. This keeps the main hands in a prominent view, with the GMT hand well in the background, making the relatively small-faced watch (glass is 30mm) very readable. Lume is a beautiful blue-green (versus standard yellow-green) and complements the blue face nicer than you’d expect. As it is a new watch, lume is strong. The lume often shows up during the day, like when moving indoors from out, or into a dark hallway. It’s kind of a nice highlight. I have yet to check how long it lasts into the night.
Bracelet: unbelievably comfortable. It just parks the watch on the wrist and doesn’t move all day. I mean doesn’t budge. Doesn’t pinch, doesn’t move – it just parks there. I haven’t worn a metal band bracelet in over 10 years because of my dislike for them – sliding, heavy, pinching – but this one is perfect (my dad had given me a large Seiko automatic from the 70’s – so maybe that’s why!) I like it better than my leather-banded Timex’s. Also, the first thing my wife said about the watch is that she likes the thin band – thin as in height of the bracelet (not width - which is 20mm). Bracelet is marked with Attesa symbol on the outside clasp, and numbered on the inside (bracelet model no. or assembler no. – I don’t know which). Has fine adjustment feature on clasp. Bracelet is very comfortable.
Function – GMT Hand: GMT hand is completely independent. When traveling; local time can be adjusted (hourly) without the watch losing track of the calibrated master home time or affecting the 2nd time zone (GMT hand).
Function – Calendar: The calendar is listed as a full-automatic – it corrects itself with the atomic clock signal and/or adjusts when the user inputs local time changes. Interestingly enough, when setting the date manually the watch displays months and leap years – thus leading me to believe that it is a perpetual calendar that happens to synch and auto adjust.
Function – Second Hand: The second hand lines up with the minute markers extremely well. There is both an automatic and manual needle adjustment function (have not used). The watch runs deadly silent. In addition to being solar-powered and radio-controlled – it’s neat to watch the hands quickly move backwards or forwards when setting or checking something.
Function – Atomic Synch: The back of the second hand, the pitchfork, acts a display hand to indicate whether the synch signal was received and at what strength. I happened to not receive the signal, and the date was off (I was playing with the watch the night before), so I performed a manual calibration and it went well, automatically synching the time and correcting the date.
Material: Glass is sapphire crystal. Case and band metal is titanium (with some steel mixed in for scratch resistance) which makes for a light, comfortable watch. Case and band are both combination polished and unpolished. The watch is very shiny – puts my platinum wedding band to shame – but the ring is worn while the watch is new. So maybe next year, they’ll match.
Warranty: Three years in Japan. Not as good as five years, but better than one!

The Attesa is bigger than the mid-sized Pasha...

THE NUETRAL: :think:
This is a Japan market watch, so the atomic receptor only reads the Japanese signals. Crown is unsigned and does not screw lock – but that doesn’t bother me since it doesn’t come out accidentally and the watch is still 100m water proof. Case back is pressure type, and only to be opened by service center in Japan. Setting the watch is neither easy nor difficult. The manual is adequate and in English. Even better (if you understand a little Japanese)is the interactive tutorial on their homepage. You can practice setting a virtual watch in real time!

...but is smaller than the 40mm Timex. The case is only 1 mm smaller, but the face is a full 6mm smaller!

Bracelet: Bracelet is pin-n-collar type, so when viewed at an angle, the pin holes lower the bracelet’s aesthetics. Bracelet squeaks - I didn’t notice this until reviewing the watch, but if one were to forcefully shake your hand, “squeak-squeak” can be heard. However, please note that this does not happen with normal daily use. On a positive side note about the band, I was in such a rush to get the watch in hand, that I forgot to request the retailer to adjust the band. So, with trusty paper in clip in hand, I quickly sized that sucker right up and have been enjoying the watch ever since.
GMT Hand: The watch does not register world time zones, so the GMT hand does not synch with the clock signal as a world time zone (this is the GMT model after all; a separate worldtimer model is offered in the Attesa line-up). The point is that my 2nd time zone of California will have to be manually adjusted twice a year to compensate for DST. The solar/atomic Casio/Oceanus models can not only adjust for DST, but some can indicate whether or not it is DST or Standard Time in the select city. However these models don’t simultaneously display a world time as well, nor as clearly as a GMT hand; the sub-dial is a little small to read at a quick glance. Yet, they do offer complete accuracy at all times (in all major time zones) and are unsurpassed in this regard in the all-analogue format. As the GMT hand is independently set, there is no quick swap function. If you were to travel to the 2nd time zone (the one set with the GMT hand) you would have to manually change both the main display (you could do this by adjusting it for a new local time or change the master time) and re-adjust the GMT hand to your old home time – or live with it for a few days by reading the 24-hour GMT hand as local time and remembering if it’s night or day back home while reading the main display. That’s probably how I’ll use, depending on length of stay of course.

The Attesa vs. an old Timex Chrono. See the bracelet pin holes? I just found a flaw. Now the watch has some character!

Conclusion: :-! Love it! Nice fit and finish. Nice overall round case shape. Fits smoothly under my most shirts. Accurate, stylish, hassle-free, comfortable, and reads easily.

Ahhh, the money shot!

Hope you enjoyed reading my review,

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