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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Recently, I traveled to Japan. Based on an excellent article on Deployant on the to do list was to examine the Citizen Chronomaster. For me this involved a trip to the Citizen Flagship store in the Ginza area of Tokyo. There were many watches in the Flagship store, but I quickly landed on the Chronomaster case. Yes, case, there are many more Chronomaster models than I knew, but I was looking for the washi paper dial version. In point of fact, however, there are multiple washi paper dial models and this one, the A060-T024271 was previously unknown to me but it caught my eye right away. The washi paper is Tosa-Washi, the thinnest manmade paper in the world so, yeah, it’s special. I might add that there was a battery powered version in steel with a blue dial that was very fetching but let’s focus on the AQ4030-51A, a JDM only model. If you Google this reference number you won't find anything in English, so I guess I’m a pioneer. Here is a video review of the black washi dial version of this very same watch in Russian. The black is also very fetching in person.

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Video showing the precise movement of the seconds hand and the quick-change perpetual calendar date in action.

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Since there are so many things going on with this watch I’m going to list the special features of this watch up front here.


  • Material: high-grade titanium (Super Titanium ) with Duratect protective treatment, which is surface hardening (and DLC? I’m not sure).
  • Case: 40 mm diameter not including the crown guards and smooth overhang bezel. Easy wearing 12.5 mm thickness that actually appears less beause you cannot see the peak of the crystal at all.
  • Dial: Traditional tosa-washi paper made by a paper master covered by clear plastic to which the indices are applied. The appearance runs from fresh snow to electric ice crystals with overall impressive three-dimensionality.
  • Indices: applied, high polish with unique central channel lumed with subtle dark lume. Legibility day or night is simply outstanding
  • Handset: delicately beveled (see the tips) and lumed minutes and hour hands, lancet style seconds hand. Steeply banked rehaut with minutes track and lume pips for visibility day or night at any angle.
  • Date: perpetual calendar with quick set date mechanism. The date change is neat looking and unique.
  • Time setting: hacking, zero reset, and independently settable hour hand.
  • Crystal: double domed sapphire with AR so good it really is not there, it really is totally invisible. Even in situations where I can get GS watches to glare this watch refuses.
  • Movement: HAQ regulated to +/-5 sec per year—if it gains 5 seconds per year in 12 years it will have gained one minute—with power reserve indication feature. Seconds hand nails each marker every time and can be reset by checking the power reserve. It must have an anti-backlash mechanism like GS. Eco-drive charges by light, no battery changes necessary, with 7 months in the dark power reserve with quiet feature where hands stop moving but timekeeping continues for up to 1.5 years.
  • WR: 100 m with screw down crown.
  • Bracelet and clasp: slender, tapering titanium with high polish tracks on the center links. Several half and full links are removeable by screws threading into massive tubes having a fixed screwhead at opposite end. Clasp is twin trigger release with the most positive action I’ve ever felt. Deep set mushroom pin is gripped by precision-made pincers neatly shaped for optimum resistance to opening; it reeks of unseen quality. This watch sits lightly and securely on the wrist.
  • Caseback: screw down titanium with central phoenix rising medallion in high polish and high relief over a stone finish base; it reeks of quality.
  • Finishing: Movement is decorated to haute horology standards. Case features zaratsu* (i.e. tin plate technique) polishing, compound curves and lengthy sexy lugs. The brushed areas are the finest and most regular I’ve ever seen. The finishing smashes anything under say $10k or $12k easily and competes on equal footing with GS. Aside from GS I’ve personally rarely held anything better finished including Vacheron, JLC, Rolex, Omega, whatever. Not even the lovely solid platinum Rolex Daytona at $70k has better finishing. I’ve never personally handled a Patek, but I’ve held Breguet and Lange. These high horology brands feature the same level or better finishing (yeah, ok, mostly better), but the Lange catalogue is almost all 10-fold the price.
  • Limited production: only six people at giant Citizen can make these watches and they only finish 1 per day each. The people are the so-called Super-Meisters.

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This exact watch is currently on the billboards in Japan pictured next to GS. Clearly Citizen has GS squarely in their sights. I’m partial to the egalitarian ethos at Citizen and I have a deep love for GS and Seiko in general. This watch has done the unthinkable, it has made me place GS, especially GS quartz on a second albeit lofty tier.
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This classy yet sporty insanely accurate perpetual calendar highly durable watch is a serious contender to the greatest watch of all time. Unrivaled timekeeping (until Citizen themselves better it with their 2019 release), supreme finishing, outstanding comfort and ease of ownership. 10-year warranty (1-year outside Japan for some reason). This is a massive achievement.
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Please see this watch in person if you can. I’m told there is a Citizen boutique in New York City. This watch rewards repeated inspection, loving gazes, and heaps of magnification. Witness it sparkle reflections on the wall in sunlight. It may not scream how great it is to the uninitiated, but it is sublime. Show me a more idyllic wrist mounted timekeeper and I’ll buy that. For now, I’m thinking of getting another version. The prices are low for what you are getting. A lot of money for sure, but they might be losing money on these beauties.



Specifications:

  • Caliber No. A060 
  • ± 5 seconds / year accuracy
  • High precision eco-drive
  • White Dial
  • Super titanium Duratect Case 
  • Titanium band
  • White plating surface treatment
  • Dual spherical sapphire glass (99% Clarity coating) 
  • Three fold - one push type clasp 
  • Screw Lock Crown
  • Second Hand Stop Function
  • Date Correction Function
  • 10 Bar water resistant
  • Calendar Update Function
  • Perpetual Calendar (until February 28, 2100)
  • Charge Level Display Function
  • Charge Warning Function
  • Overcharge Protection Function
  • Impact Detection Function
  • Automatic Needle Correction Function 
  • Allergy-resistant allergy
  • Anti-Magnetic
  • Night light function
  • 20.0 mm Width
  • 88 gram weight
  • 38.4 mm x 12.5 mm Case size


*Zaratsu polishing has absolutely nothing to do with polishing of nihonto or Japanese swords. Zaratsu is a watchmaking technique and is not unique to Japan.
 

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Re: Citizen Chronomaster A060-T024271--A Giant Killer, maybe the GOAT

That's a very nice piece. Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts as well as some excellent photos.
 

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Re: Citizen Chronomaster A060-T024271--A Giant Killer, maybe the GOAT

Great photos, the model is actually AQ 4030-51A. I was considering this watch in black but went with the one shown in the Deployant review instead.

How is the black dial version in person? Is the paper dial obvious as it is hard to see on photos and the video review.

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
 

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Re: Citizen Chronomaster A060-T024271--A Giant Killer, maybe the GOAT

That dial looks a lot more impressive in your pictures than I've seen to date. Impressive to say the least.

I'm curious, will the paper dial break down over time due to light exposure? I know that UV light (from the sun) is supposed to be best to keep Eco Drives fully charged up but not necessary. I put my three Eco Drives on a window sill every few weeks for a few hours, they can get pretty toasty so there must be a lot of energy hitting the dial even behind window glass.

Paper can break down quickly in direct sunlight, hence why I brought it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Citizen Chronomaster A060-T024271--A Giant Killer, maybe the GOAT

Great photos, the model is actually AQ 4030-51A. I was considering this watch in black but went with the one shown in the Deployant review instead.

How is the black dial version in person? Is the paper dial obvious as it is hard to see on photos and the video review.

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
Thanks for the model number, it actually is not easy to locate. AQ4030-51A. Anyway, the black dial is quite striking in person. The colorway is less subtle than the white model. There is more contrast between the dial and the markers for instance. The dial goes from black to dark grey with sparkles. Really very nice. The texture of the paper is very fine. You need magnification to see paper fibers but I reckon they are breaking up the light in interesting ways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Citizen Chronomaster A060-T024271--A Giant Killer, maybe the GOAT

That dial looks a lot more impressive in your pictures than I've seen to date. Impressive to say the least.

I'm curious, will the paper dial break down over time due to light exposure? I know that UV light (from the sun) is supposed to be best to keep Eco Drives fully charged up but not necessary. I put my three Eco Drives on a window sill every few weeks for a few hours, they can get pretty toasty so there must be a lot of energy hitting the dial even behind window glass.

Paper can break down quickly in direct sunlight, hence why I brought it up.
Citizen claims to have protected the paper from UV. There is that 10-year warranty so it's all good as long as I seek service in Japan.
 

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Looks like a very well made watch with some great features - personally though I still prefer the look of a GS quartz.. Wear in good health as they say :-!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Looks like a very well made watch with some great features - personally though I still prefer the look of a GS quartz.. Wear in good health as they say :-!
Thanks, yeah, there are things l like better about my GS models. I think the GS looks more lux for lack of a better expression. My GS quartz models do, however, lose out on features. For example, I've got one sitting on my desk right now in need of a battery change.
 

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This is one of those:

"Shut up and take my money" watches.


Where can I buy one??
Price? The cheapest I've seen is $2450. Anyone find a better price?
 

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OP - thanks for the great review! I was just thinking about you, knowing that you had bought that watch. I am so happy that you love it..... It looks amazing. Now I want one. haha.

Congratulations. I have this one without the lume hands and could not be happier.

Is this the AQ4020-54Y?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OP - thanks for the great review! I was just thinking about you, knowing that you had bought that watch. I am so happy that you love it..... It looks amazing. Now I want one. haha.



Is this the AQ4020-54Y?
I believe that is the model number. It's a hot number too.
 

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I believe that is the model number. It's a hot number too.
Thank you. I agree, it's a hot number. I wouldn't be able to stop myself if I didn't have a 9F 3-hander already. Although, if I were to see it in person, it'd be v hard to resist.

(Good that I checked this thread again - I don't get notifications when someone quoted my post anymore...odd).
 
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