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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
White dial or black? I've been looking at these for a few months now, and finally decided that I want the no-lume models. So the choice is between the white dial (AQ4020-54Y) vs the black dial (AQ4020-03E).

Has anyone seen them in the metal? Which one seems more legible? If I go by photographs alone, the white wins for legibility. I ask because sometimes I've found the non-lume sword hands get lost if the dial is reflective. But these paper dials have a matte-finish effect, so both of them ought to be more legible. What do you think?

--Greg
 

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White dial or black? I've been looking at these for a few months now, and finally decided that I want the no-lume models. So the choice is between the white dial (AQ4020-54Y) vs the black dial (AQ4020-03E).

Has anyone seen them in the metal? Which one seems more legible? If I go by photographs alone, the white wins for legibility. I ask because sometimes I've found the non-lume sword hands get lost if the dial is reflective. But these paper dials have a matte-finish effect, so both of them ought to be more legible. What do you think?

--Greg
Since the hands on both are reflective silver, the choice is silver on black vs. silver on white:




Higher contrast usually means higher legibility, so to me the choice is obvious - black dial wins the legibility test hands down.

HTH
 

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I wish they'd also do thermally blued, not just high-polish, as an option on the light dials. Or a more contrasting color of high-polish metal, like titanium nitride coating or rose gold PVD. Also wish they'd do some alternate hand shapes...Breguet, leaf, or spade. Heck, even lance hands are clearer than dauphine.
 
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These watches have also a high tridimensional effect coupled with high polished faces. Therefore even if the white dial could seem less contrasted, you should also consider the reflections of the many sides (the hands and the indices) as well as the different planes of the object in the dial which are able to help the readability. Also consider that the paper is matte while the rest of the elements are polished or brushed to this also helps a lot.

If you have the chance, I highly suggest to see it personally for a final judgment. If you cannot do that, I suggest you to go on youtube and look for the reviews. In fact obesrving the watch from several points of view and with "real light" (that is not with studio pictures) is completely different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ronald, I called the NYC store just last night. They have a waiting list, about 35 people, for these models. The one they have is the steel-cased AB9000-61E. I usually prefer matte-finish dials. But, I think you have inspired me to go in from Queens, NY to Manhattan and actually take a look.

Dicioccio, good idea to peruse the Youtube reviews.

Gangrel, I agree. If they had come out with a blued-hand model, I would probably own one already!

Gaijin, in your photos, the black wins. In Seiya's pictures, the white won out slightly. I will check some Youtube videos.

Thanks all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I decided to go for the white one (AQ4020-54Y). I asked Seiya if he could visually check it before shipping, to make sure about the second-hand alignment. He had done this twice in the past for me, but this time he politely declined. Maybe he won't be able to look before buying. He suggested that if alignment is important to me (it really is), I should buy from a store. That probably won't happen unless I travel to Tokyo. Any suggestions about where I could go from here?
 

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I decided to go for the white one (AQ4020-54Y). I asked Seiya if he could visually check it before shipping, to make sure about the second-hand alignment. He had done this twice in the past for me, but this time he politely declined. Maybe he won't be able to look before buying. He suggested that if alignment is important to me (it really is), I should buy from a store. That probably won't happen unless I travel to Tokyo. Any suggestions about where I could go from here?
I bought mine from Seiya. Also have the Exceed 510 and an Attesa RC. All of them with perfectly aligned second hands. I think Citizen QA in this area is excellent.

Cheers,

Miguel
 

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White dial or black? I've been looking at these for a few months now, and finally decided that I want the no-lume models. So the choice is between the white dial (AQ4020-54Y) vs the black dial (AQ4020-03E).

Has anyone seen them in the metal? Which one seems more legible? If I go by photographs alone, the white wins for legibility. I ask because sometimes I've found the non-lume sword hands get lost if the dial is reflective. But these paper dials have a matte-finish effect, so both of them ought to be more legible. What do you think?

--Greg
Depends on the ambient light. If it's dim indoors, the white dial wins hands down. In bright sunlight, the black dial is superior. For expensive watches, black dials also allow the applied markers and polished hands to catch the light and offset against a dark background, accentuating the jewelry-like sparkle. A white dial reduces the glitter effect.

I prefer white dials these days, all things considered.
 

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I decided to go for the white one (AQ4020-54Y). I asked Seiya if he could visually check it before shipping, to make sure about the second-hand alignment. He had done this twice in the past for me, but this time he politely declined. Maybe he won't be able to look before buying. He suggested that if alignment is important to me (it really is), I should buy from a store. That probably won't happen unless I travel to Tokyo. Any suggestions about where I could go from here?
Citizens feature list for the AQ4020 shows automatic correction for the "needle" but I'm not sure that relates directly to alignment with the markers.


Second hand stop function
correction early date
calendar update feature just 0 when
the time difference correction
amount of charge display function
Charge warning function
Overcharge prevention function
shock detection feature
automatic correction feature needle
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was a little surprised the Seiya-san told me that if I really cared about the hand alignment aspect, I should try to purchase in person. (Which I can’t do with the models I buy from him.)

He did add that if I do buy and I think the hand is not aligned, I could send it into Citizen Japan. I’ve heard of Grand Seiko customers doing this, and it didn’t go well. Seiko said that some degree of missing the indices is allowed....

About white vs black, I’ve noticed that if the dial doesn’t have a glossy finish, then there’s pretty good legibility with both colors. With this purchase, I’m thinking of a more traditional mid-century-style dress watch, so I’m tending towards white....

—Greg


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Citizens feature list for the AQ4020 shows automatic correction for the "needle" but I'm not sure that relates directly to alignment with the markers.
Yeah, that feature might just return the second hand to where it was from the manufacturer, not necessarily in perfect alignment with the markers. In case the hand drifts with use or with user intervention.
 

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White dial or black? I've been looking at these for a few months now, and finally decided that I want the no-lume models. So the choice is between the white dial (AQ4020-54Y) vs the black dial (AQ4020-03E).

Has anyone seen them in the metal? Which one seems more legible? If I go by photographs alone, the white wins for legibility. I ask because sometimes I've found the non-lume sword hands get lost if the dial is reflective. But these paper dials have a matte-finish effect, so both of them ought to be more legible. What do you think?

--Greg
I bought the AQ4020-03E from Higuchi as I wanted a black dial, so have never seen the 54Y in person to do a comparison. Following gaijin's & RPF's posts, since the hands are silver, the contrast between the dials & hands partly depends on what is being reflected, so if you were in a dark environment (e.g., in a room w/dark walls) there might be less contrast w/the black dial than if you were in a bright environment (e.g., outdoors or in a room w/white walls).
 

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Yeah, that feature might just return the second hand to where it was from the manufacturer, not necessarily in perfect alignment with the markers. In case the hand drifts with use or with user intervention.
The A060 manual ( https://www.citizenwatch-global.com/support/pdf/a010/e.pdf ) discusses "Checking the reference position", where you keep the crown pushed in at position 0, then:

"Hold down the button (for approximately 5 seconds) until the all hands
begins to move.
• All hands as well as the date indication moves to the reference position.
• Do not pull the crown out while checking the reference position. Doing so will result in
misalignment in the current time indication.

Check if all hands and date are at the reference position [i.e., all hands at 12 o'clock & date set to 1]."

Then continues: "• If any of the hands or the date indication
is off the reference position, a repair is
needed.
• If the minute hand is slightly off the 12
o’clock position, it is possible that the
second and minute hands have become
slightly misaligned during the process of
adjusting the time. Readjust the time and
make sure that both hands are aligned
correctly with the minute marker."
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So with these HAQ Citizens, how often do we see people with hands that are out of alignment?


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So with these HAQ Citizens, how often do we see people with hands that are out of alignment?


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I'm guessing you will have to canvass the 'net, especially Japanese watch fora. I haven't seen any complaint threads in English. Anecdotally, it's not a problem on my AQ4020-03E or any other quartz watch I've owned.
 

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My The Citizen (AQ1000-58B) had a slightly misaligned second hand when I got it (sight unseen, over the Internet, of course). After riding my bike down a flight of steps the second hand was jolted even further out of alignment. About a fifth of a second. The people at the Citizen service centre said they wouldn't adjust it because it was within tolerance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I had a AQ1030-57E whose second-hand was about 1/5 a second off towards the bottom of the dial. Better towards the top. The re-alignment procedure didn't fix it. I was pretty sure that Citizen would have said the hand was moving within spec, as you learned, Tom-HK. Some manufacturers (not on HAQ watches) are seemingly uncaring about this aspect. But for watches from USD $2K and beyond, I want it as close to perfect as possible.
 

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What both of you reported is, unfortunately, well known - And I agree with you that it is not acceptable a misalignment in a 2k watch. There are a lot of cheap watches, many from Citizen too, that don't have misalignment issues so - what the hell - how is it possible ???

Also Seiko suffers by that - now I ask to myself: if Seiko and Citizen claim to have the best movements, why a "simple" problem like that is not solved after so many years...?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I know, right? I have several analog G-Shocks, and those things are right-on. The threads I remember in this group were about GS watches. And each time the owner sent it back to Seiko, Seiko judged it as within specs. This is why I am so careful to see the watch beforehand - which really cuts down my options. I might have found a Japanese dealer who says they'll inspect it before shipping. More info later!
 
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